National Wildlife Federation
  • Philanthropy
  • Reston, VA, USA
  • Full Time

Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 51 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, etc. The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. The organization's programs focus on conserving wildlife, restoring habitat and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. To support our mission, we seek a Foundation Relations Officer to join our team.

This position may work out of the Reston, VA headquarter's or in our Washington, DC office.

The Foundation Relations Officer will join a high performing and accomplished team that is working to grow and diversify foundation funding in support of the National Wildlife Federation and the bold conservation agenda on which the Federation is delivering. Reporting to the Director of Foundation & Government Relations, the Officer will collaborate with program and philanthropy staff across the Federation, further building a robust portfolio of institutional funders and significantly scaling-up philanthropic revenue and investments as the organization embarks on new strategic vision aimed at addressing America's wildlife crisis.

This is an exciting time of growth at NWF, and this role is ideal for an entrepreneurial self-starter who seeks opportunities to leverage professional talents to contribute meaningfully toward accomplishing the Federation's ambitious conservation agenda.

In this role you will:

  • Build collaborations and work in concert with colleagues to design and implement a donor-centered foundation relations program aimed at securing significant financial support for a range of conservation and education programs.
  • Actively manage a portfolio of institutional funders, delivering on all aspects of relationship management and funder engagement.
  • Develop and implement engagement strategies designed to substantially increase support from existing funders, while dedicating sufficient time to identify, qualify, and begin building relationships with new funders and partners
  • Proactively identify investment opportunities in collaboration with national and regional program staff, and provide coaching and guidance to colleagues in securing funding and building collaborations and partnerships with the foundation sector.
  • Gather research and background information; track and maintain key data and actions in CRM; manage work plans and timelines; prepare letters of inquiry, outlines and concept papers; develop notices of intent to apply; and coordinate the drafting of pre-proposals, funding proposals, and various reports.
  • Assist in prioritizing key actions for the President & CEO; the VP for Philanthropy; and other key staff including vice presidents, regional executives, and senior program staff in the engagement, solicitation and stewardship of institutional funders.
  • Prepare briefing documents and ensure participating staff understand objectives for various meetings, teleconferences and other funder interactions.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Demonstrated success in institutional relations and a proven ability in drafting compelling proposals and securing investments at the $10,000 level and above.
  • College degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Experience in environmental and/or education philanthropy is highly desirable.
  • Passion for the preservation and protection of wildlife and wild places a plus.
  • Entrepreneurial, self-starting, and capable of working both independently and as an integral member of a team. Solid team building skills will serve this position well, as will direct experience in building collaborations with accomplished professionals, academics, and leaders of government and industry.
  • Professionalism, with superior interpersonal abilities, communications and political savvy, and excellent time management and organization skills.
  • Demonstrated ability in building funder relationships, developing and implementing engagement strategies, coaching senior staff and volunteer leaders, and writing winning proposals, fundraising collaterals, and reports.
  • Knowledge of industry trends and command of philanthropy's best practices; firm grasp of prospect identification and research tools; and experience partnering with colleagues to effectively engage and grow relationships with institutional funders.
  • Ability to travel domestically, about 10-20% on average.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and familiarity with CRM and other fundraising software, various databases and management reporting tools.
  • The employee's actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.

The National Wildlife Federation offers excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a family-friendly, flexible work environment.  We are committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.  If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we encourage you to submit an application.  A background check will be conducted on the selected candidate.

Interested candidates should submit both a cover letter (expressing your interest and qualifications) and resume

National Wildlife Federation
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