Foundation Relations Officer

Virginia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jul 21, 2021
Aug 19, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and stripes. The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. We advance this mission through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, advancing environmental justice, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

The National Wildlife Federation believes that in order to save wildlife and ourselves, we need to ensure that everyone in America has clean air and water, safe communities, easy and equitable access to the daily benefits of nature, and protection from the ravages of climate change. These basic needs, equally necessary and urgent for all people, are foundational to bringing the conservation movement and ethos into the 21st century.

To advance our mission, we are seeking a Foundation Relations Officer with strong interpersonal, collaborative, written and verbal communications skills—as well as demonstrated abilities to juggle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment. Reporting to the Senior Director of Foundation & Government Relations, you will collaborate with program and philanthropy staff across the Federation, with a focus on our Western offices and programs.  This is an exciting time of growth at the National Wildlife Federation, and this role is ideal for an entrepreneurial self-starter who seeks opportunities to leverage professional talents and expertise to contribute meaningfully toward accomplishing the Federation’s ambitious conservation agenda. This position is best suited for a deadline-driven, detail-oriented, and well-organized philanthropy professional who is committed to conservation and environmental work and advancing and broadening the National Wildlife Federation’s ambitious agenda in the years ahead.

In this role you will:

  • Implement strategies and activities designed to increase support from existing foundation funders, and identify new potential avenues of foundation support.
  • Work closely with the Federation’s Institutional Relations team, program staff, and senior leadership to drive fundraising strategy to support program expansion, focusing primarily in the western U.S.
  • Research the giving interests of foundation funders, and stay abreast of philanthropic trends and recent foundation giving, particularly for assigned funders.
  • Identify new opportunities for funding that align with National Wildlife Federation’s cross-cutting (primarily Western-focused) programs through prospect research, working closely with philanthropy and foundation team research staff.
  • Prepare foundation materials, including but not limited to proposals, letters of inquiry, grant reports, agreements, emails, presentations, and acknowledgment letters. This includes drafting original copy, editing, and formatting as needed.
  • Assist with the planning and execution of meetings with foundation staff; research and draft briefings for executive leadership in advance of foundation meetings; and prepare senior staff for foundation meetings and phone calls.
  • Partner with National Wildlife Federation program staff to cultivate relationships with both current and prospective donors, and support foundation fundraising on the part of the Federation’s leadership.
  • Track grant requirements and deadlines, as well as contact between the Federation and funders.
  • Liaise with program, program operations, and finance staff to monitor grant spending.
  • Perform other duties as assigned or needed to move forward National Wildlife Federation’s foundation relations portfolio.


  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science is required.
  • Four to seven years of foundation relations experience or comparable work with foundations, preferably at an advocacy or policy-oriented nonprofit organization, or a foundation.
  • Experience managing a seven-figure portfolio of foundation donors, and managing relationships with both program officers and internal colleagues to help advance successful fundraising efforts and relationship building.
  • Experience writing foundation grant proposals and reports, as well as reviewing budgets and financial reports.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and prospect research skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft CRM database is desirable.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed to meet deadlines and manage workflow.

Further, in this position, your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus. These may be demonstrated by your experience:

  • Working collaboratively with an integrated and diverse team of professionals
  • Appreciating diversity of opinion as well as respect for individuals
  • Being a self-starter capable of putting plans into action and meeting deadlines
  • Prioritizing time and working efficiently
  • Showing a high-level performance in independent work and using problem solving, initiative and creativity
  • Being detail-oriented
  • Communicating well in writing and orally

Desired Competencies:

  • Dedicated to deepening understanding of cultural and systemic racism and the intersectionality of multiple forms of social inequality
  • Demonstrates awareness of positional power and privilege (both personally and professionally) and its attendant impacts
  • Consistently brings a high level of empathy and interpersonal skills to work and social interactions
  • Acknowledges when mistakes are made and harm is done; works to repair breaches in relationships
  • Exhibits a responsible and respectful demeanor with colleagues and partners
  • Actively seeks feedback, direction, and guidance from all team members and keeps staff informed of decisions that impact them
  • Committed to deepening an environmental justice approach in policy priorities, program development and partner engagement
  • Strategic thinker, self-starter, well organized, strong communicator, and relationship builder
  • Commitment to and strong skills related to leadership, strategy development, fundraising, and personnel management
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, energy, the ability to lead, mentor and inspire others
  • Passion for and commitment to NWF's mission

Remote work:

With a portfolio focused in the Western U.S., you will be expected to keep a work schedule that accommodates our western offices and teams. Options for remote work will be considered. We will also consider basing this position in our other offices, including our headquarters in Reston, VA; Washington, DC; Denver, CO; Missoula, MT; or Seattle, WA.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all employees are currently teleworking. We anticipate National Wildlife Federation Offices will begin reopening in January, 2022.


When offices reopen, travel (approximately ~15%) will be expected in order to engage in-person with National Wildlife Federation’s teams working across its Rocky Mountain and Northern Rockies, Prairies & Pacific regional centers.

Compensation and Benefits:

The salary range for this position starts in the low 70s to low 80s, depending on experience.

The National Wildlife Federation values work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere.  Our paid time-off includes 3 weeks of vacation leave, open wellbeing leave, 10 paid holidays, 3 floating holidays, a week-long winter break, and additional leave options, per year.  In addition, our benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, company paid life insurance, AD&D, short- and long-term disability, 16 weeks of paid FMLA leave, 403b retirement plan with employer matching and annual contribution, adoption benefits, and flexible work options including telecommuting, non-traditional work hours, and compressed work weeks.  Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s benefits package at

Application: Applications will be accepted through August 15, 2021. Applicants must submit both a resume and cover letter to be considered.

We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at

If you have a disability and require an accommodation or assistance with our online application process, please tell us how we can help by calling us at 703-438-6244.

The requirements listed in our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules, and if you have 75% of the qualifications listed we encourage you to apply.  Your experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, which helps build the competencies, knowledge, and skills that translates directly to our openings.  Applying gives you the opportunity to be considered.

If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.

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