Chief Advancement Officer

5 days left

Indiana, United States
$80,000.00 - $100,000.00
Jul 07, 2021
Aug 05, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time


River Heritage Conservancy, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit established in 2017, is creating an iconic and internationally recognized public park system (Origin Park System) on the North Shore of the Ohio River that honors and embraces the historical, cultural, recreational, and ecological importance of this unique riverfront. This new urban river landscape will dramatically transform the region’s interaction with the Ohio River, create an international renowned park and build upon the community’s reputation as the nation’s leader in creating enduring park systems. It will also fill in the last “gap” of systemic public landscape development in our region and serve as the final linkage for an unparalleled system of urban greenspace found nowhere else in the United States.



River Heritage is in the final stages of planning for a comprehensive capital campaign to underwrite the creation of the system’s first phase, a dramatic reinvention of one of the oldest occupied landscapes on the entire Ohio River watershed. This initial effort is designed as a 100-acre park, located on southeast corner of the park system near the Falls of the Ohio. The new Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will be an integral part of the Conservancy’s leadership team and will spearhead the preparation and execution of the campaign along with the eventual build-out of a comprehensive fundraising program for the Conservancy.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Chief Advancement Officer will lead the fund development efforts of River Heritage and is expected to plan and execute all aspects of the fundraising program, including but not limited to major gifts, annual and capital campaigns, grants, reporting, donor recognition, direct mail campaigns, email communications, fundraising and cultivation events, and board engagement. An important and early focus of the CAO will be to lead the successful execution of a multi-million-dollar comprehensive capital campaign described above. Following the successful conclusion of this initiative, the CAO will also be charged with expanding River Heritage’s annual fundraising program to increase long-term sustainable support for its mission that will aspire to $500,000 annually after five years. In all of these efforts, the CAO will look to increase donors and revenue to the organization, while also striving for broader community engagement. The CAO is the lead fundraising professional for River Heritage and should expect regular contact with current and potential major contributors in order to cultivate, solicit and steward gifts. The CAO must be professional in a wide variety of situations and be able to work closely with the Executive Director to support and guide all fundraising visits. The CAO must also analyze data to increase support by regularly improving methods for cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, retention, and increased giving across the region and beyond. This position is the key senior staff member to serve as liaison to the Board for fundraising. The CAO must be a team player, flexible in working with varied constituents including board members, donors, local community leaders, volunteers, and River Heritage staff among others. The CAO reports to the Executive Director.


Candidate Qualifications and Attributes

The successful candidate for Chief Advancement Officer will demonstrate:

  • Prior experience as a front-line fundraising professional including experience raising major gifts for capital campaigns/ annual campaigns with a sizeable nonprofit organization. Prefer at least 8 years’ experience in progressively more responsible positions that directly relate to the duties stated above.
  • Successful track record with corporate and individual major gift development and planned giving programs.
  • Knowledge of the region and local donor community preferred.
  • Experience in a wide range of fund development tactics including annual giving, grant writing, special events and online giving, as well as capital and comprehensive campaigns.
  • Proven management experiences achieving ambitious fundraising goals and adhering to budgets. Prefer prior fundraising experience aligned to goals of at least $500,000 annually or more in organizations where public charitable support accounts for half of budget.
  • Understanding of conservation financing and environmental fundraising a plus and previous experience with a similar non-profit or public agency with strong donor engagement activities preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a career in fundraising and to the professional standards and ethics of fundraising, as well as a demonstrated ability to uphold the professional standards of confidentiality and workplace ethics.
  • Experience in developing, budgeting and implementing annual and strategic development plans with the ability to analyze, evaluate and prepare reports regarding development program results.
  • Ability to successfully work with all types of volunteers, especially Board-level volunteers.
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Bloomerang software.
  • Available to work some evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to move freely in outdoor settings including guiding walks on uneven and rough surfaces and some river/creek paddling trips.
  • Must possess a valid state driver’s license.
  • A completed bachelors’ degree is required.


Candidate Competencies and Characteristics

When we interview candidates and speak with their references, we are looking for demonstrated proof that the next Chief Advancement Officer can:

  •  Inspire, engage and influence others to embrace the mission of River Heritage, to give generously of their time and financial resources, and to ask others to do the same;
  • Comfortable working in a small and nimble organization – a start-up entrepreneurial thinker.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and passion for conservation and park systems.
  • Strengthen relationships and build trust and respect with key donors;
  • Lead through action, keeping the vision of River Heritage at the forefront of fundraising work; and lead by example, giving staff and volunteers clear direction that affirms the underlying mission;
  • Drive execution by translating strategic goals into operational reality and holding all accountable to agreed-upon timelines and outcomes;
  • Resolve conflicts and build coalitions with intentionality, thoughtfulness, and tangible follow-through.
  • Demonstrate humility, humor and heart in interactions with the staff, board, advisors, donors, volunteers and community;
  • Highly organized, detail oriented strategic thinker with the ability to handle multiple tasks;
  • Dependable with demonstrated ability to operate in a small team that asks for significant work to be delivered by board members and recruited community volunteers.

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