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Director, Institutional Relations

Rainforest Alliance
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Aug 17, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Other Fundraising, Programs, Community Outreach, Grant Administration, Program Administration and Management, Administrative, Information Systems, Other Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. To achieve our mission, we partner with diverse allies around the world to drive positive change across global supply chains and in many of our most critically important natural landscapes.


Our alliance spans 70 countries and includes farmers and forest communities, companies, governments, civil society, and millions of individuals. Together we work to protect forests and biodiversity, take action on climate, and promote the rights and improve the livelihoods of rural people.


As an international nonprofit organization with more than 30 years of experience in sustainability transformation, we understand that the social and economic well-being of rural communities is tightly connected to ecosystem health. This knowledge has shaped our rigorous programs to advance sustainable land-use and commodity production.


At the Rainforest Alliance we combat climate change, protect forests and biodiversity, promote human rights, and improve livelihoods. The enormity of the social and environmental challenges we are facing requires working together in a broad alliance. This is why we bring farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers together to change the way the world produces, sources, and consumes.



To protect nature and improve lives it’s becoming increasingly urgent that we approach the way we use our land and produce food and other products in more sustainable ways. For this to succeed we need to fundamentally change the way that businesses operate and source, and the choices we all make as consumers.



Our growing global alliance aims to transform our relationship with our natural resources and each other, to create a better future for people and nature together.


Position summary:

At Rainforest Alliance we are looking for a collaborative and engaging Director, Institutional Relations who will be responsible for leading the Rainforest Alliance’s institutional fundraising function globally from foundation, corporate philanthropy, government and multilateral resources. They will work directly with the Leadership Team members as well as senior program and finance staff to develop overarching fundraising targets and strategies for the institutional donors’ portfolio. The Director, Institutional Relations will also be responsible for meeting short-term revenue targets while simultaneously diversifying the portfolio and developing a long-term pipeline of institutional funding for future years. 


This role engages with a high-performing, globally based team of fundraisers and is responsible for $20 million and growing annual revenue. 



Strategies and Solicitation

  • The Rainforest Alliance’s Core Values are Impact, Change, Collaboration, Openness and Trust and as such they form the basis of the behaviors we demonstrate;
  • Working with Institutional Relations and Program staff, develop and manage execution of an Institutional Relations strategy, ensuring quality, efficiency, a healthy, forward-looking pipeline curated for steady revenue growth in alignments with RA’s organizational strategy and programming ambition;
  • Working with Institutional Relations and Program staff, ensure coordination of relationship building and management with government, corporate and foundation donors to build RA’s external profile and reputation;
  • Support and manage the team to develop new proposals and concept papers for government, corporate and foundation donors, ensuring quality, competitive and responsive proposals;
  • Represent the organization in senior-level meetings with current and potential strategic funders.
  • Engage with a small portfolio of key institutional donors to engage, cultivate, and steward the relationships. 



  • Be a key contributor, along with the Chief Development Officer, in the internal decision making and Strategy development;
  • Working collaboratively across the institution, in conjunction with the Chief Development Officer, develop protocols and procedures for managing government, foundation and corporate foundation relations and proposal processes;
  • Oversee internal engagement of the Institutional Relations team with other Rainforest Alliance departments to promote collaboration, coordination, efficiency, and streamlining of processes related to solicitation and management of grants;
  • Ensure quality briefing materials for the Leadership Team and Board Development Committee;
  • Be responsible for the Institutional Relations annual planning and budgeting process;
  • Track revenue and expenditure to ensure adherence to budgets.
  • Work with the team to set annual objectives including for professional growth and ensure performance is within the guidelines of RA’s Core Values.



    Minimum of 7 years work experience with experience in corporate, foundation and government fundraising experience required; At least 4 years leading a team;
  • Strong knowledge of philanthropic landscape for institutional funders, and demonstrated track record of securing seven-figure gifts from such funders;
  • Exceptional proposal writing and editing skills; Experience in an international environmental or economic development organization highly preferred; A track record of writing winning proposals; a creative, assertive approach to fundraising; ability to facilitate project development and design processes with multiple stakeholders, staff, and partners; Ability to motivate and delegate; collaborative work style; personal initiative; very attentive to detail; the ability to meet multiple deadlines in a fast-paced environment; Intermediate-level in Word, Excel and PowerPoint; Willingness and ability to travel up to 20% of the time; Bachelor’s Degree or a combination of education and relative experience; Additional language fluency a plus.



Commensurate with experience.


Deadline: August 15, 2021



Only candidates authorized to work in the countries in which we are registered will be considered.

The Rainforest Alliance encourages diversity and inclusion across the global organization. With this commitment to diversity, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, disability and any other protected group.



If you have any questions about the job vacancy, please contact the HR department:


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