Chief Advancement Officer
NatureServe seeks a dynamic and highly collaborative leader with a commitment to conservation to build a comprehensive fundraising program that advances the organization’s mission and strategic goals by generating sustainable growth in philanthropic revenue. This is an exciting and unique opportunity for an experienced advancement professional with hands-on corporate and foundation relations experience and demonstrated success in building programs from the ground up who is interested in taking the next step in their career. NatureServe is an established organization in the midst of a strategic planning process, with an emphasis on diversifying its funding model. The work of the individual in this role will be critical to the organization’s ability to meet its strategic goals and priorities in the next three to five years. Location for this role is flexible, but Arlington, Virginia is preferred. JOB SUMMARY: The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will be charged with creating a programmatic fundraising model, inclusive of corporate and foundation relations, individual major gifts, annual giving, and donor communications. They will collaborate with colleagues across the organization to leverage existing organizational relationships as well as to identify new potential sources of philanthropic support. A key member of NatureServe’s Executive Team, the CAO will work closely with colleagues across the organization to apply moves management strategy to the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of both individual and organizational donors. They will lead of team of three development staff in operationalizing the organization’s fundraising strategy. As NatureServe seeks to shift to a mixed-funding model with greater emphasis on philanthropy, the CAO will play a critical role in cultivating a culture of philanthropy across the organization - both among staff as well as the Board of Directors. They will partner with the CEO to identify opportunities to meaningfully engage staff and Board members in fundraising activity and dialogue, including offering coaching and guidance to increase individual’s confidence and impact in philanthropic conversations with prospects and donors. NatureServe offers flexibility in terms of remote work, with the expectation that the CAO will travel as needed for staff and donor meetings. KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: The CAO will oversee the development and staffing of the following functional areas over time. To begin, priority will be given to solidification of fundraising strategy and operations and the development of a corporate and foundation relations program. Development and staffing of additional areas - individual giving, annual giving and donor communications - will be supported with the hiring of three direct reports, currently envisioned as Strategic Gifts Officer, Philanthropic Grants Manager, Development Associate. Fundraising Strategy & Operations
Develop and implement a multi-year fundraising strategy that is
inclusive of diverse revenue streams - including foundations,
corporations and individuals. As part of this strategy, set,
monitor, and report on measurable goals for revenue sustainability
Partner with CEO and Executive Team to define NatureServe’s
fundraising priorities as related to the organization’s strategic
Work closely with the Operations team to forecast annual
revenue goals, perform monthly revenue reconciliation and manage
donor reports to maintain accuracy and financial
Develop and maintain internal systems that increase
transparency and integration of data across the organization.
This includes evaluation of existing technology and tools, such as
Recruit, hire, coach and supervise a team of three development
staff members and manage budgets related to the fundraising
Collaborate with colleagues across the organization to research
and identify philanthropic potential within existing organizational
relationships, and to identify new prospective corporate and
foundation funders, with an emphasis on major national and
Create and manage cultivation, solicitation and stewardship
strategies for the most promising corporate and foundation
prospects, partnering with NatureServe leadership and/or key staff
members as relevant.
In partnership with CEO and key staff, manage a portfolio
of the organization’s highest capacity corporate and foundation
funders (current and prospective).
Oversee creation of a philanthropic grants process,
inclusive of grant application drafts and submissions, post-award
reporting, and stewardship for current and prospective
Identify and prioritize individual major gift prospects,
leveraging existing relationships and NatureServe staff and Board
With Strategic Gifts Officer, create and manage cultivation and
solicitation strategies for the most promising individual major
gift prospects, partnering with NatureServe leadership and/or key
staff members as relevant.
In partnership with the CEO, manage a portfolio of the
organization’s highest capacity major gift donors (current and
Support and advise the CEO, the Board of Directors, and other
senior staff on cultivation and solicitation of major gift donors
Oversee creation and implementation of a segmented annual
giving strategy that seeks to increase donor retention and overall
With Development Associate, partner with Communications staff
to develop and implement an annual giving solicitation strategy,
with an emphasis on digital engagement.
Oversee creation and implementation of a segmented donor
communications strategy, inclusive of stewardship materials that
compellingly illustrate the impact and outcomes of NatureServe’s
Partner with Executive Team and Communications staff to create
case statements for fundraising priorities. Ensure staff and
Board members have the necessary tools to communicate this
information consistently and impactfully to external
Partner with CEO in managing fundraising-related activities of
the Board of Directors, including the creation of annual engagement
plans for each Board member and management of Development
Identify opportunities to enhance Board confidence and impact
in fundraising conversations.
These key responsibilities are not
meant to be all-inclusive and may be subject to change at any
Bachelor’s degree and ten years of related work
Proven track record in fundraising from diverse sources,
including experience applying moves management and facilitating
leadership gift conversations with individual, corporate and/or
Demonstrated experience with and knowledge of the grant
seeking process, including grant writing, submission and
reporting. A record of successful grant awards from major
national and/or international foundations preferred.
Proven track record of leading people and processes within
complex organizations, including coaching and motivating teams to
successfully reach and/or exceed fundraising goals.
High ability to effectively manage processes and projects for
multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment.
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, iteratively and
creatively with a diverse set of stakeholders, including scientists
and researchers, to co-create processes and solutions that meet the
needs of the organization as well as donors and funders.
Excellent interpersonal communication skills, energy, and
enthusiasm with the ability to build long-term relationships and
represent the organization to external audiences.
Outstanding verbal and written communications skills,
including the ability to write and present fundraising materials to
a diverse set of audiences.
Ability to engage and support volunteer leadership with their
efforts in fundraising, consultation and advocacy.
Demonstrated flexibility, self-awareness, professional
integrity and cultural competence - including commitment to
diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ability to travel independently to attend meetings.
Ability to converse verbally and in writing with donors,
prospects, and other business partners.
Ability to maintain a full-time position with some extended
hours required to travel and attend donor events.
Specific vision abilities required by the job include close
vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and
the ability to adjust focus such as: preparing and analyzing data
and figures; viewing a computer terminal; extensive
For nearly 50 years, NatureServe has
been the authoritative source for biodiversity data throughout the
Western Hemisphere. With an international network of nearly 100
natural heritage programs across the United States, Canada, and
Latin America, NatureServe is the leading source of information on
rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems. To
protect threatened biodiversity, NatureServe works with over 1,000
conservation scientists to collect, aggregate, and standardize
biodiversity statistics, providing comprehensive data to the public
for strategic conservation efforts. NatureServe and its network
programs develop and manage the most comprehensive data for
over 100,000 species and ecosystems, answering fundamental
questions about what exists, where it is found, and how it is
NatureServe offers full-time employees
a comprehensive benefits package that includes:
401K savings and retirement plan with matching
Health and dental insurance
Short and long-term disability
Annual and sick leave
NATURESERVE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
An equal opportunity, reasonable
accommodations employer, NatureServe complies with the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990. If you need accommodation in the
employment process or this document in an alternative format,
please contact our office at 703-908-1840 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We stand in
support of equality for and advancement of all people
based on their qualifications and actions alone without regard to
color, gender, age, religion, national origin, or