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  • Senior Director of Philanthropy

    • Employer: Defenders of Wildlife
      Location: Washington, DC
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes



    JOB TITLE:   Senior Director of Philanthropy

    GRADE: 32

    SALARY: Up to $125,000

    FLSA:  Exempt

    DIVISION/SITE:  Headquarters, Washington DC

    DEPARTMENT:  Development

    REPORTS TO:  Vice President of Philanthropy

    LAST REVISED:  May 2019

    Basic Summary:

    The Senior Director of Philanthropy manages Defenders of Wildlife’s major gifts program, supervising the major gifts team and maintaining a donor portfolio of up to 125 individuals. Working closely with the Vice President of Philanthropy and the major gifts staff, the Senior Director of Philanthropy develops strategies and tactics for significant growth in major gifts. Specific duties include engaging and soliciting current major donors, increasing the pipeline of major donors, particularly those capable of making six- and seven-figure gifts, and cultivating new prospects for Defenders of Wildlife and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. The Senior Director works closely with the Vice President of Philanthropy and Director of Philanthropy for mid-level giving, as well as the CEO.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    ·         Meets or exceeds annual revenue goals that are established in partnership with the VP of Philanthropy.  

    ·         Supervises two Directors of Philanthropy and the Events Manager. Oversees and helps develop strategies for events and Director portfolios.

    ·         Develops and manages a portfolio of 125 donors and prospects of $10,000+ for Defenders of Wildlife and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.  

    ·         Establishes and carries out donor cultivation and solicitation strategies including personal visits, events, letters, e-mails and telephone calls. Qualifies and recruits key prospects, including individuals and family foundations.

    ·         Works with the Development Research Manager to identify and qualify additional $10,000+ donors to grow the major donor pool, with an emphasis on donors capable of making six- and seven-figure gifts.

    ·         In partnership with the Vice President of Philanthropy, sets donor goals, evaluates results and develops new approaches as needed. Develops multi-year fundraising strategies and goals for selected donors.

    ·         Prepares funding proposals and progress reports for select donors.

    ·         Works with volunteer hosts, Development staff and regional staff to coordinate donor cultivation events and field trips    

    ·         Engages and supports senior management and program staff in executing donor strategies.

    ·         Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice strategies into Defenders’ work

    ·         Perform all other related duties as assigned.



    ·         Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) or equivalent in related discipline. Advanced degree and/or CFRE certification desirable.


    ·         7+ years of experience in major gift donor cultivation, solicitation and staff management. Proven history of managing Development staff and leading a major donor program. Record of soliciting and receiving six-figure gifts.

    ·         An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.


    Demonstrated success in fundraising, developing substantive donor relationships and in supporting senior management, program staff, and high-level volunteers in executing donor strategies

    Proven team player

    Excellent verbal and written communications skills and strong interpersonal skills

    Analytical, strategic, and problem-solving skills with the ability to function independently and as part of a team

    Knowledge of wildlife conservation issues desirable

    Ability to make sound decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment

    Work Expectations:

    Work Environment:

    General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

    Physical Demands:

    While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.

    All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

    How to Apply:

    Interested applicants please apply with a cover letter through our indeed jobs portal at http://www.defenders.org/jobs

    About Defenders:

    Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.

    Visit Our Values and Diversity page to learn more about who we are and how we operate.


    It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.



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