Vice President of Development, Individual Giving - (US-Flexible Location)

Conservation International
Washington, United States
Competitive Salary
Oct 01, 2020
Oct 30, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

Flexible Location, prefer major US city

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.  


The Development Division is committed to supporting Diversity and Inclusion and finding opportunities for all employees to succeed by creating an inclusive environment. The Development team leads private donor engagement on behalf of Conservation International. We raise approximately $50M-$100M annually in funds from individuals and foundations and serve as relationship managers for donors of all levels to catalyze the resources needed for Conservation International to harness nature’s ability to mitigate climate change, to bring ocean conservation to scale globally, to demonstrate sustainability for nature and people in priority landscapes and seascapes, and to accelerate innovation in science and finance for conservation.

The Development Division sits within the newly created Conservation Partnerships team at Conservation International (CI). The team brings together CI’s revenue-generating divisions focused on philanthropy, multilateral and bilateral partnerships, private financing and CI funds under one umbrella, to allow us to create new mechanisms and platforms for strategically scaling up conservation investments, efforts and results in a synergistic and integrated fashion. 

This is a senior management and fundraising position that will make a significant impact partnering with Senior Leadership across CI to increase the pace of fundraising to match the urgency of the mission. This position will have very high visibility with a corresponding responsibility to bring in revenue, set strategies, guide a team of fundraisers and improve upon the core processes that are essential to engaging donors at all levels of giving – from annual donors, planned, middle, major to principal giving. This role will manage a small portfolio of donors so that they can model for their team the best practices of a sophisticated Development team. The role oversees a team of major giving fundraisers in key US markets, annual giving fundraisers, and related support staff with the goal of building and advancing a pipeline of prospects.

The ideal candidate for this role will be highly motivated with a commitment to teamwork and individual achievement. A professional demeanor with a knack for adaptability is essential for success in this role.


 Manage a high-performing team

  • Grow the major gifts program and build a pipeline of individual major gift donors ($25,000+) through identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship cycles.
  • Lead and manage a team of up to 15 staff – including major gift officers, annual and planned giving staff – and ensure that the appropriate systems, accountability, staffing, and procedures are in place to support fundraising goals.
  • Coach and mentor Development staff and field fundraisers to strengthen team skills and strategies to encourage collaboration and growth on matters of prospect strategy and solicitation; leveraging individual gifts with other sources of private and public funding; regularly share new approaches and techniques.
  • Build and refine with gift officers the individual strategies to identify, qualify, prioritize, cultivate, solicit, recognize, and steward all donors and prospects. 

Set fundraising strategy for individuals including planning, metrics, monitoring and evaluation

  • Contribute to the management and strategic direction of the Development Division as a member of the Development Leadership Team.
  • Develop annual fundraising and program projections and goals for staff in collaboration with the Chief Development Officer and the Deputy Director of Development; monitor and report progress against goals and produce necessary reports.
  • Build a strong Development-wide pipeline program including the creation of a mid-level giving initiative. 
  • Oversee growing annual and planned giving programs and its efforts to acquire and retain donors in digital and mail channels and move them up the pipeline.
  • Oversee the experiential travel department to optimize travel as a cultivation tool for donor engagement.
  • Collaborate with senior Development staff, including the Chief Development Officer and SVP of Principal Gifts, to ensure the Division maximizes retention and growth of donors.
  • Collaborate with Brand + Communications to produce virtual and in-person high-quality donor cultivation and stewardship events, and ensuring prospects have appropriate follow-up and strategies in place to convert them to donors.

Raise revenue through a donor portfolio of your own

  • Build and manage a portfolio of approximately 20-30 donors and prospects and raise approximately $5M in your first 24 months.  
  • Perform other related duties as assigned


  • Location flexible, prefer major US city.
  • Remote work environment.
  • Ability to work irregular and extended work hours, including evenings and weekends. 
  • Ability to travel when conditions allow for donor meetings and events as needed.



  • 15 or more years of related work experience with either a demonstrated track record of successfully cultivating significant gifts of $100K or more from donors or prospects or with private sector sales and business development experience and bachelor’s degree or up to four years of college-level work or an equivalent combination of degree and experience. 
  • Experience building a portfolio of donors and successfully converting prospects to donors 
  • At least 5 years managing staff
  • Bachelor’s degree or up to four years of college-level work. 
  • Experience and/or demonstrated interest in conservation, environmental studies, global development, or related topics.
  • This position requires the ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment with you and staff based remotely across multiple time zones.
  • Ability to prioritize and organize multiple complex projects and plans to deliver results.
  • Success in this position requires a person who is a self-starter and has the ability to work independently with impeccable professional integrity and confidence.
  • Demonstrated experience in management, leadership, team development, and the ability to successfully motivate and manage a multi-functional and diverse staff.
  • Highly motivated, committed to teamwork and individual achievement, professional in demeanor, flexible, organized, and forward-thinking.
  • Experience participating in a major fundraising campaign; with a leadership role preferred.
  • Experience working with board members and key volunteers in cultivating prospects.
  • Professionalism, knowledge of protocol and discretion.
  • Exceptional writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficient in fundraising software and systems.


  • Graduate-level study or Master’s degree preferred.