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Donor Relations Manager

The Nature Conservancy
Kentucky, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Nov 18, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Direct Marketing, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Membership, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising, Special Events
Employment Type
Full Time
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About Us

Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is the world’s leading conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are working to ensure healthy lands, waters, and ocean, tackling climate change, both through emission reductions and adaptation.   

For over 45 years, The Nature Conservancy in Kentucky has worked collaboratively to advance leading land and water conservation efforts in the Bluegrass State.  As our work has matured, so too has the size and complexity of our development program, and we seek to hire a Director of Development who can build on our strengths and lead the program to growth and success.

One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 75 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


Position Summary

The Kentucky Director of Development (DOD) leads a comprehensive, best-in-class development program that secures significant philanthropic resources from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support The Nature Conservancy’s priorities in Kentucky, North America, and around the world. The DOD has access to fundraising expertise and best practices Kentucky, nationally and globally, and will lead and oversee a team that manages all major gift functions, including multi-year fundraising campaigns, major (6 and 7-figure) gift fundraising, donor prospecting, strategic communications, planned giving, research, and stewardship. To achieve fundraising objectives, the DOD works with Kentucky senior staff, philanthropy staff, and Kentucky Board of Trustees to develop, communicate, and deliver a philanthropy vision and multi-year fundraising goals. The Director of Development places a major personal emphasis on face-to-face fundraising, while also leading a four-person development team of seasoned, collaborative, and results-oriented professionals, including staff directly responsible for advancing our communications and marketing work. The DOD reports to the State Director and works closely with leadership to recruit and develop a strong Kentucky Board of Trustees. 



  • Bachelor’s degree and seven years related experience, including experience working at a senior level, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Understand and passionately support the chapter and organization’s conservation mission and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s goals, strategies and outcomes.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in principles, practices, and procedures of charitable giving, particularly in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts, and planned giving.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with high net worth constituents such as individual major donors, private foundations and corporations.
  • Track record of cultivating and closing major or planned gifts (six to seven-figure gifts)
  • Experience working with trustees and/or volunteer committees to drive philanthropic efforts.
  • Experience building and successfully executing fundraising plans for a program or an organization.
  • Management experience of a large multidisciplinary department, including planning and delivering budgetary responsibilities
  • Proven strategic thinking skills and experience designing and executing donor strategies.
  • Understanding of the need for divergent and varied views and styles, and an ability to incorporate these diverse components into everyday management systems.
  • A positive attitude
  • A valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program.


Desired Skills & Experience 

  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Master’s degree and 12+ years related experience, including 5+ years working at a senior level preferred.
  • Experience recruiting, training and engaging board members and other volunteer leaders and ensuring that they are well prepared to engage in effective fundraising efforts.
  • Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of campaigns, major gifts and planned giving. Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) certification desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate colleagues, donors and volunteers.
  • Experience overseeing a philanthropic campaign with an overall goal greater than $10 million.
  • Experience fundraising for multiple strategies or programs that are deployed at a local, regional and global scale.
  • Expert understanding of best practices in non-profit management.
  • Experience in managing a geographically dispersed team.
  • Knowledge of and experience working in Kentucky’s philanthropic community.
  • Knowledge of current conservation issues
  • Willingness to lead groups on canoe trips, hikes, and other outdoor activities


How to Apply

For more information and to apply, please visit and search for job ID#49677 in the keyword search. Deadline to apply is 11:59 PM EST on November 18, 2021.  The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Please visit our career center for a full list of all our open positions globally. New opportunities are posted daily!



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