The Development Director will report to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will be based in San Francisco. Current funding comes from grants (65%) and individual donors (35%). In addition, WildAid receives significant in-kind media, production, and spokesperson support that has created high visibility for its international conservation efforts. Building on this base, the new Development Director will leverage the support of the Board and ambassadors in order to increase funding for its mission.
Fundraising is key to WildAid’s achievement of its programmatic goals. The Development Director will envision and implement a targeted, strategic fundraising plan to include grantwriting and the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major donors to meet planned revenue benchmarks. WildAid staff, board, and the CEO look to the Development Director for proactive leadership of fundraising efforts, managing the direction, planning and execution of all development related activities, and ensuring that fund development efforts are consistent with program objectives.
The early stage of the organization will require a flexible approach to action and scaling efforts. Innovative thinking and entrepreneurial gusto combined with a zealot’s passion for the WildAid conservation through communication mission is required for success.
There is a strong outward focus requiring the Development Director to be first and foremost the chief fundraiser, but also a key spokesperson and advocate of WildAid. This is an opportunity to build a development program and a donor base from early support, establishing effective, best practice systems and procedures along the way. In addition to building relationships with prospective donors, the Director of Development will partner closely with the CEO, Board, and Managing Director to enhance their roles in fund development.
This is a very hands-on position. The Development Director will develop a personal portfolio of high capacity donors from foundation and individual funding sources as well as lead the preparation of high-quality proposals, grants, reports, direct mail, and acknowledgements required to support all fundraising activities. He/She will identify and utilize resources including ambassadors, volunteers, committees, and all forms of media to mobilize and maximize fundraising efforts.
Strategy Developmement: A comprehensive fundraising plan to meet program goals needs to be developed for approval by the CEO. Building on the momentum of success surrounding recent fundraising events, the Development Director needs to proactively pursue funding, heighten awareness, and build support by implementing proven development strategies to expand and diversify the donor base. Keeping the mission in mind, he/she will need to move the work forward without getting caught up in procedures and processes that are not yet in place. Determining the best way to involve the Board and volunteers, and how best to incorporate events such as donor trips, should be part of the strategy.
Build Relationships Internally and Externally: A key success factor in this role will be to establish effective communications and working relationships with the new Managing Director, who will partner with the Development Director to drive fundraising efforts toward the goal of $6 million in three years. The Development Director will also work closely with the Board, international staff members, and the San Francisco-based staff in order to lead and coordinate fundraising activities.
Issue Knowledge: It is essential to quickly become an informed team member and learn the key issues around conservation in order to create case statements and proposals for funding that leverage WildAid’s unique approach to conservation through communication.
Coalition Building: The Development Director will need to become familiar with the individuals and organizations who support conservation issues, including government officials, international NG NG Os, foundations, nonprofits, conservation leaders, international donors, and other key stakeholders. He/She needs to be prepared to develop creative partnerships with them around fundraising.
Key Competencies & Ideal Profile
We seek a passionate, experienced team player who is excited by the opportunity to play a pivotal role in global conservation, create the roadmap for funding, and work with high profile supporters both nationally and internationally. This individual is not daunted by the lack of infrastructure and established processes, but rather embraces the fact that WildAid is a growing global organization.
Independent-minded and entrepreneurial, the ideal candidate possesses a flexible attitude and the highest degree of integrity. This individual is self motivated and driven to get things done. Ideally, candidates will have spent some part of their career working in the area of international conservation.
The successful candidate will be inspired by and at ease working with senior-level stakeholders, such as Board of Directors, grant-making organizations, high net-worth individuals, international donors, and country directors to both build relationships and secure support. Demonstrated success in securing funds through measured risks, a history of effective development planning, and solid relationship-building skills are essential.
The capacity to identify, pursue, and solicit new sources of funding from foundations, corporations, investors, government, and individual donors is critical. An understanding of the role of individuals, corporations, and foundations in contemporary philanthropy is important, as is the ability to network, gain credibility, and influence in the global conservation donor communities. Excellent written, verbal, and listening skills are required.
A flexible, nimble, and collaborative style is critical to success in this position; the culture of WildAid is highly independent, creative, and entrepreneurial. This individual will show sensitivity and the ability to establish respect, credibility, and trust with regional office staff and in multicultural settings. The successful candidate will be comfortable with ambiguity and excited by the opportunity to work in a dynamic, start-up-like environment.
WildAid is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. For immediate consideration, please address a cover letter and resume to Melissa Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org.