National Wildlife Federation
  • Philanthropy
  • Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • Full Time

Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is 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, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation's mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

The Great Lakes Regional Center (GLRC) is a leader in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes as well as the Ohio River and the Upper Mississippi River. Our programs include Great Lakes restoration, water policy and programs and climate resilience as well as education, youth and habitat programs. The GLRC boasts a positive team atmosphere and is highly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. To further support our mission, we seek a highly motivated Director of Philanthropy based at our regional headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI.

As an integral member of a high performing team that is guiding the Philanthropy Division to new levels of success, the Director leads in fundraising strategy planning and implementation across the Great Lakes region; identifying and qualifying prospective funders; building relationships and forging collaborations; and securing major gifts, grants and other philanthropic revenue targeted at the $10,000 level and above. The Director will also coach volunteer leaders and guide program staff in the pursuit of major gifts and grants, and assist in coordinating internal staffing and systems to support the same.

This is an exciting time of growth and expansion at NWF with a new strategic plan ( "Saving America's Wildlife: Toward a Common Agenda" driving progress across the Great Lakes region and the country. The role is ideal for an entrepreneurial self-starter seeking opportunities to contribute meaningfully toward the goal of achieving substantial increases in philanthropic support in the years ahead.

In this role you will:

  • Lead in the design and planning of fundraising strategies for the Great Lakes Regional Center, with a particular emphasis on major giving and relationship building with individuals, corporations, and foundations alike.
  • Provide personal management of a major donor portfolio; key activities include discovery, qualification, cultivation and solicitation of donors as well as stewardship activities for existing donors.
  • Coordinate programmatic and/or regional solicitation with other organizational solicitations or renewals (President's Leadership Council, Ding Darling Circle, etc.).
  • Manage donor engagement in partnership with Great Lakes Regional Executive Director and Director, Leadership Giving and Individual Philanthropy; key activities include scheduling major donor/prospect meetings, preparing briefings/support materials, follow up correspondence, and CRM tracking. 
  • Develop engagement strategies for major donors aimed at addressing the Federation's funding needs, and lead in the development of proposals and a range of other collaterals and reports that highlight programming and investment opportunities across the region.
  • Assist in prioritizing key actions for the President & CEO; the VP for Philanthropy; the Regional Executive Director; and other executive and program staff in the engagement, solicitation and stewardship of major donors across the region.
  • Serve as a leader in the Great Lakes Regional Center, building collaborations with regional staff and working to broaden the region's overall visibility and advance its fundraising priorities.
  • Assist in the coordination of a range of internal staff and systems to support fundraising activity across the region.
  • Seek opportunities for collaborative philanthropic engagement with NWF affiliate organizations, resulting in mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


The National Wildlife Federation seeks a qualified candidate with at least 8 of the 10 following skills

  • College degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • 5+ years of demonstrated success in fundraising at the $10,000 level and above. Professional experience in philanthropy, individual philanthropy, and corporate and foundation relations. Candidates demonstrating expertise across all sectors are strongly preferred.
  • Passion for the preservation and protection of wildlife and wild places is highly desirable.
  • Experience in environmental and conservation organizations a plus.
  • Entrepreneurial and self-starting, with the demonstrated ability to work independently and as an integral member of the team. Solid team building skills will serve this position well.
  • Professionalism, with superior interpersonal abilities, communications and political savvy, and excellent time management and organization skills.
  • Demonstrated ability in building major donor relationships, developing and implementing fundraising strategies, coaching senior staff and volunteer leaders, and writing winning proposals and fundraising collaterals.
  • Knowledge of industry trends and command of its best practices.
  • Ability to travel domestically, about 30-40% on average.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and familiarity with CRM and other fundraising software, various databases and management reporting tools.

Diversity at the National Wildlife Federation

Clean air, clean water, and abundant wildlife sustain Americans from all walks of life. We share a responsibility to protect these public assets for our children's future. Just as a diversity of animals and plants are essential to a healthy ecosystem, the National Wildlife Federation derives its strength and relevance from bringing together diverse people to create healthy communities for all.

The employee's actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus. We aspire to be an inclusive multicultural organization that celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical ability, and religious and political belief. Diversity at the National Wildlife Federation translates into understanding and valuing each other's perspectives.

We offer excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a flexible and fun work environment. The Federation is committed to further building a diverse team and strongly encourages all qualified professionals to apply.

Interested candidates should apply online and submit a cover letter stating their interest, qualifications, and respond to the question: what does diversity mean to you? In addition, please share salary expectations and a resume.

National Wildlife Federation
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