The Director/Senior Director of Individual Giving will play a key role in launching Potomac Conservancy’s next exciting phase of our engagement with growing community of leadership supporters and their family foundations. In this key new position for the organization, the Director/Senior Director will have the opportunity to execute on a multi-faceted donor acquisition, cultivation, and stewardship strategy with individuals giving $1,000 and more, to support Potomac Conservancy’s mission to protect the Potomac River and ensure clean water for all in our community.
**The Conservancy is seeking to fill a single position. Based on level of experience and qualifications, the right candidate will be hired as a Director or Senior Director. Qualifications and related benefits for each level are detailed below.**
This position reports to the Vice President of Development and enjoys the teamwork of four development professionals. You will be joining a passionate and growing team of 12 professionals fighting for clean water. A strategic plan is in place, and accelerated programs are supporting the growth of impact and income.
Potomac Conservancy is the region’s leading clean water advocate. Founded in 1993, we believe the foundation of healthy, sustainable, and vibrant communities starts with clean water. We shape the broader effort for water protection in the Potomac River watershed, from the highlands of Virginia and West Virginia to Maryland and the District of Columbia to ensure the Potomac boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities.
Responsibilities and Duties:
The Conservancy’s income has grown nearly 40% in the last 4 years. A total of 64% of the organization’s financial support comes from individuals, with significant growth in the past four years. You will help to fuel the organization’s work for clean water by expanding the commitment of our leadership donor community focusing on donors giving 4-figure to 6-figure gifts, and by cultivating those new to the community for whom this level of giving is possible.
You will engage personally in meetings over coffee or on a walk along the Potomac, in phone calls and zoom meetings, and in smaller groups hosted by a long-time donor or board member. Philanthropic giving will be nurtured as you respond to donor interests and make a compelling case to support forest protection and river restoration, land and water protection, river-friendly laws and policies, and volunteer engagement in diverse communities.
The Conservancy maintains a robust calendar of events for leadership supporters, including donor-facing fundraising and social receptions that highlight Potomac Conservancy’s programs and impacts, speaker events on Zoom, and outdoor walks & talks on mission-focused topics. Smaller salons and donor receptions are held by board members as well.
Fundraising & Donor Stewardship (70%)
- Develop and implement strategies for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual donors, with a focus on leadership giving levels of $1,000 and more.
- Ask for financial support from individual donors with in-person, online, and letter formats.
- Oversee a portfolio of between 150 – 175 donors.
- Current donors make up 75% of the portfolio you will guide, needing increased stewardship to support their commitment to the organization and ensure increased giving.
- Identified but not-yet-engaged prospective donors make up 25% of your portfolio, needing opportunities to learn about the organization and make their first gifts.
- Collaborate with current committed donors and board members to research and bring new donors to the Potomac Conservancy community through warm introductions and events.
- Craft fresh and compelling information on Potomac Conservancy programs and impacts (letters, emails, and talking points for discussion) in collaboration with program and communications staff.
- Take full ownership of the fall donor “thank you” reception with the support of our events coordinator. Assist in the creation of a major spring fundraising event.
Organization Engagement (20%)
- Attend 4 quarterly board meetings in person, and 4 development committee meetings online. Make periodic presentations on topics relevant to your work.
- Implement the Potomac Conservancy’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice plan by actively expanding our fundraising and donor-facing learning events to include new communities.
- Mentor others on the team, sharing your knowledge and skills in fundraising and other areas of expertise to continually enrich the whole organization’s donor stewardship skills.
- Participate in all-hands work in the office including mailings and event preparation. Attend all-staff gatherings 4 times a year in person for organization strategy discussions.
Fundraising Program Management (10%)
- Maintain high standards of accuracy with donor data by recording new information, to facilitate timely follow-up, in collaboration with the Data and Administration Manager.
- Monitor and report on fundraising progress toward goals on a monthly basis.
- Use the Every Action CRM database functions for data management and assessment including analysis and reports to get an accurate and timely picture of fundraising results, and to facilitate fundraising asks.
Qualifications by level**
- Senior Director of Individual Giving
- Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 5 years of active fundraising experience required; at least 7 years of work experience overall is preferred, or an equivalent combination of education and experience adding to at least 7 years total will be considered.
- Director of Individual Giving
- Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 3 years of fundraising experience required; at least 5 years of work experience overall is preferred, or an equivalent combination of education and experience adding to 5 years total may be considered.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Demonstrated success with fundraising, asking for funds and gaining commitments from donors for a mission, project, or cause. The way you raised funds is more important than the dollar amounts you have raised.
- Comfort in making a fundraising ask of a donor (individual, corporate, foundation, etc.), including preparing a donor to be asked.
- Proven ability to create relationships, with a willingness to learn a donor’s interests and perspectives while maintaining a focus on and delivering on your agenda.
- Ability to become comfortable with a wide range of people from backgrounds different from your own.
- Confident speaking skills, communicating about a project, cause, or mission in a compelling way, including in unplanned discussions with donors on their Potomac-related interests.
- Proven ability to manage the competing demands and timelines of projects while also being flexible enough to respond to new high-priority items.
- Strong writing skills in letters and emails, as well as in more structured reports and proposals.
- Exceptional attention to detail.
- Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment, take initiative, but also operate as a team player who will productively engage others at varying levels of seniority.
- Willingness to take direction and coaching.
- Ability and willingness to travel throughout DC, Montgomery County in Maryland, Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria communities in Virginia. Availability and willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends, including at least four board meetings a year, and up to five donor evening events a year.
Preferred Skills and Abilities:
- Event development and management experience.
- Database experience. We use EveryAction, a model similar to most donor databases.
- Knowledge of environmental issues or specific knowledge of water conservation issues.
- Passion for our environment.
- Spanish language fluency or fluency in another second language.
*This position uses a wide variety of skills. We encourage you to apply if you think you would be a good fit, even if you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications.
Compensation, Benefits, and Location
- Salary range is $70,000-$80,000 for the Senior Director level. Salary range is $60,000-$70,000 for the Director level.
- This position is full-time and allows for a hybrid work environment with in-office work in our Silver Spring, Maryland office balanced with the option of remote work. Meetings with donors must be in person as much as possible and will be focused on the Washington, DC metro region.
- Flexible work schedule. Hours must be typical office hours but our organizational culture maintains responsible flexibility for life needs and work-life balance. Different seasons entail varying levels of intensity; you will work more intensively in the spring and fall/winter than you will in February or mid-summer, as follows the fundraising cycle and donor availability.
- Benefits include medical & dental coverage, with 80% of premiums covered by the Conservancy.
- 18 days paid time off and 11 holidays per year. Three additional personal holidays per year.
- Summer Friday afternoons and one week in January also offered as paid time off.
- Travel reimbursement for work-related trips.
- Working with bright, fun coworkers and interacting with a supportive board of directors.
- 403 (b) matching and flex spending accounts.
Email a cover letter and resume to Mary Vasse at email@example.com with “Director of Individual Giving” in the subject line. You do not need to specify Director or Senior Director, as we will determine that in an interview setting. Applications are only accepted electronically. The position will remain open until filled. Applications submitted before February 1, 2023, will be given first consideration. Potomac Conservancy is an equal-opportunity employer.
We recognize the environmental movement has not been an inclusive one and has a history of excluding historically discriminated communities — including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), people from working class backgrounds, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. We believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Because of this, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other communities that have been historically excluded from the environmental movement.
For the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, all Potomac Conservancy staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandatory vaccine requirement applies to all staff working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site. Effective June 2, 2022, new hires will be required to provide proof of full vaccination with a government-approved vaccine as a condition for employment. Requests for reasonable accommodation or exceptions (medical or religious reasons) will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.