Director of Philanthropy and Fundraising

District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Mar 24, 2021
Apr 22, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Announcement

American Forest Foundation

Director of Development, Family Forest Carbon Program




In this Director role you will be making a meaningful contribution to addressing global climate change by helping us activate America’s family-owned forests as a measurable and verifiable natural climate solution. Family lands represent the largest part of the forests in the US and until now, there was no viable way for those landowners to access carbon markets to increase the benefits from their land. The Family Forest Carbon Program is a partnership between the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy to generate significant, additional carbon sequestration and storage on America’s 280 million acres of family forests.


As Director Development for this program, you will be raising vital philanthropic dollars to help catalyze the engagement of 20% of America’s family-owned forests in meaningful climate mitigation by 2030.  Success in this effort means we will have unlocked a globally significant Natural Climate Solution, capable of generating at least 50 million tons of CO2E mitigation annually.


What it is like to work with us

AFF is embarking on a bold new strategy for conservation impact across America’s family-owned forests. Our entire organization is in a mode of complex problem solving and rapid iteration. All teams at AFF are working to discover the root challenges in forest conservation issues, create solutions, and adapt based on iteration and learning to develop viable and scalable models for impact. AFF is driven by values of our shared purpose, measurable and verifiable results, and learning for continuous improvement to tackle big conservation challenges in climate change mitigation, biodiversity loss, reducing threats of catastrophic wildfires, and ensuring a sustainable resource economy for rural communities.


Some specifics about the job

As the Director of Development for Family Forest Carbon Program you will be working with the Director of Philanthropy, the Senior Director of the Family Forest Carbon Program, the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, the President and CEO, and members of AFF’s Board of Trustees to cultivate deep, strategic funding relationships with government agencies, private foundations and corporations looking to catalyze meaningful solutions to climate change. You will be responsible for identifying potential funders, developing deep relationships with them, and directing a process at AFF to create and propose unique solutions to their specific needs, in close coordination with FFCP program staff, and drawing on AFF’s core capacities.  You will also work closely with other “demand-side” FFCP staff to make sure outreach to donors is coordinated with parallel outreach to investors in the program and buyers of the carbon credits the program produces.


At scale, the program will leverage the rapidly growing voluntary carbon market to finance forest improvements across the country.  Currently, we are emerging from our pilot stage – during which we have been testing our model in 16 counties in Pennsylvania - and seeking to rapidly expand to new geographies and forest types.  The program has leveraged more than $4 million in strategic philanthropy to build and test a new methodology that has allowed us, for the first time, to engage family landowners in carbon markets.  As the program expands, investors and buyers will play an increasingly important role in fueling the program’s expansion, but philanthropy will always remain a crucial part of making the program succeed and accelerating its development along several key dimensions.  The Director of Development, FFCP, will play a vital leadership role in enabling us to catalyze this new Natural Climate Solution.  They will be able to offer donors an incredible opportunity to leverage their philanthropic contributions to attract massive private investments and achieve meaningful climate, social, environmental, and economic impacts at scale. 



Essential Accountabilities/Responsibilities:

  • Increase the amount of philanthropic capital available to the FFCP as it expands.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward close, personal relationships with decision makers at government agencies, private foundations, and corporations with strong interests in forest health and / or climate mitigation.
  • Serve as the primary philanthropic staff on AFF’s FFCP team and maintain responsibility for attracting resources to the team in general, and to its component initiatives.  
  • Travel nationally as necessary to establish and maintain relationships with current and prospective philanthropic donors.
  • Represent the FFCP to donor audiences and at relevant events.
  • Prepare and deliver high-quality, compelling concept papers and proposals that make a succinct and compelling case about providing philanthropic funding for the FFCP.
  • Maintain regular electronic, telephone, and written communication with current and prospective donors.
  • Work with FFCP’s other “demand-side” staff to sync donor engagement with investor and buyer engagement efforts. 
  • Coordinate, support, and, where necessary, train program staff, senior AFF leaders, and AFF board members in outreach to and engagement of key donors. 
  • Work with the VP of Communications and other communications staff to ensure that communications to donors, the public, and other audiences are aligned with the objectives of FFCP in general and the drive to increase philanthropic resources specifically.
  • Develop case statements, donor proposals, and other materials to support fundraising efforts for the FFCP.
  • Work closely and iteratively with the Senior Director, FFCP, to make sure philanthropic funds are aligned with program objectives and meeting the program’s financial needs. 


Your First Year

Success at the end of your first year, looks like the following:

  • Raised $1 million in philanthropic funds for the FFCP through both executing on opportunities with current donors and identifying opportunities with new donors.
  • Constructed a solid pipeline of donors and prospective donors that can, over time, meaningfully contribute to the expansion of FFCP at increasing levels.
  • Built solid relationships with colleagues on the Family Forest Carbon Program team, as well as with partners.
  • Immersed yourself in the culture and mission of the organization and the FFCP team. Developed a broad understanding of how the FFCP works, goals and how the FFCP contributes toward AFF’s long-term goals.


What’s Attractive to the Right Candidate?

  • You will work with all levels of the organization. 
  • Your contributions and leadership will be appreciated.  Our staff is passionate, dedicated, and good at what they do and will be deeply appreciative of your efforts to create and preserve an environment that is both fun and fair.
  • The FFCP team is a rapidly growing team that has garnered a lot of attention within the conservation community in a relatively short period of time.
  • An existing network of donors and partners is in place to support the achievement of your goals.
  • The team includes people with experience in securing philanthropic contributions, who know what it takes to create a project worthy of philanthropy.
  • You will work on a project which is meaningfully responding to one of the great social and environmental challenges of our time.  Your contributions will make a difference for current and future generations. 
  • We offer a flexible work environment that respects your life outside of work.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • AFF offers a comprehensive and very competitive benefits package.
  • The ideal candidate can be home-based anywhere in the country, so long as they are willing to travel as needed to meet donors. 

Qualifications and Experience that will help you succeed:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university required. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Experience in program development, and a passion for raising funds for climate, conservation, wildlife, or environmental causes strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding institutional donors of all kinds (agencies, foundations, corporations).
  • Experience working effectively with volunteers and staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to work iteratively and creatively with program staff to co-create responsive programmatic solutions that meet the needs of donors and others.
  • Strong working knowledge of principles and practices of philanthropy.
  • Proven track record of establishing and growing revenue from a portfolio of donors and partners over time.
  • Experience working collaboratively with program staff in a support/coaching role.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and write effective program and fundraising materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage multiple parties in program design, document their needs, and integrate their desires into a comprehensive solution.


We know there are great candidates who may not check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that applies to you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. 


We are committed to creating a diverse work environment and proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.


For more information on the American Forest Foundation, please submit your resume and cover letter at This job posting will be open until a suitable candidate is found. To apply, please follow links.



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