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Director of Development

Rainforest Foundation US
New York, United States
$90,000.00 - $125,000.00
Closing date
Jun 1, 2022

TITLE: Director of Development

LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY, preferred, remote possible

WORK SCHEDULE: Full-time – 40 hours a week

EMPLOYMENT/JOB TYPE: Full-time employee

DEPARTMENT: Fundraising & Development 


  • Executive Director


  • Director of Strategic Impact
  • Institutional Giving Manager
  • Donor Relations Manager
  • Development Operations Manager
  • Engagement Associate


About Rainforest Foundation US

For over 30 years, Rainforest Foundation US (RFUS) has worked to address climate change and safeguard biodiversity by promoting the rights of indigenous peoples and supporting their efforts to protect and defend their rainforests. Scientists tell us that protecting forests is as essential as reducing greenhouse emissions if we hope to stem the tide of ecological collapse. Science shows that forests managed by indigenous peoples are healthier, suffer less deforestation, capture more carbon, and contain more biodiversity than forests managed by private or public entities--including nationally protected areas.

RFUS works in partnership with indigenous communities and their representative organizations to protect tropical rainforests by supporting their efforts to secure rights to their lands, strengthen monitoring and land security, influence laws and policies that protect their resources, and build strong and sustainable community leadership. By investing directly in indigenous communities, RFUS connects the people rooted in the land with the tools, training, and resources to become effective advocates and protectors of the forests they call home. RFUS currently operates four country programs in Brazil, Guyana, Panama, and Peru and hosts several regional partnerships in Central America, the Amazon Basin, and across the tropical belt.


About the Position

Rainforest Foundation US (RFUS) is recruiting a dedicated, energetic, and strategic Development Director to manage RFUS's overall development strategy, oversee its implementation, and guide a growing team of dedicated development professionals. This newly created role is an exciting opportunity to work with a talented, high-energy team of professionals making a difference at a local level for global impact.

This role reports to the Executive Director and collaborates with the leads of the Communications and Programs departments and with the Board of Directors.



The Development Director will translate the vision and goals set by the Executive Director and the Board of Directors into an effective operational plan and fundraising strategy with measurable short- and long-term benchmarks to achieve current goals and drive future impact growth. They will design and direct a comprehensive fundraising plan each year and work with the Fundraising team to achieve those goals. They are accountable for overseeing all fundraising activities for multiple income streams to meet the organization's annual budget. They will work to increase the awareness of the organization among philanthropists, increase donor giving at all levels, and build and maintain an effective network across corporate, foundation, and nonprofit organizations. 

  • Budget
    • Work with the Executive Director to develop the organization's annual revenue budget
    • Provide quarterly revenue updates and forecasts for the year
    • Develop an annual expense budget for the Development department and manage team expenditures based on the established budget
  • Prospect Pipeline
    • Oversee the prospect management process for the development team, including the identification, qualification, and assignment of prospects
    • Prepare and conduct prospect briefings for Executive Director and Board members on an ongoing basis
  • Donor Cultivation and Solicitation
    • Ensure the Fundraising team is implementing effective donor cultivation and solicitation systems and processes at all levels
    • Cultivate, solicit and steward a small portfolio of major donors
  • Events
    • Establish overall event strategy, accounting for changing environments due to the pandemic
    • Oversee all aspects of fundraising and engagement events: organize events to engage existing donors and identify and introduce new prospects
  • Team Management
    • Oversee, support, and mentor current development staff;
    • Ensure team member's voices are heard and represented at leadership meetings
    • Contribute to RFUS’ evolving and inclusive work culture
    • Work with the Executive Director and Operations Manager to build the development team over time as the organization requires                                                                                          


The Candidate

The ideal candidate will have a history of success in cultivating, soliciting, and closing major gifts from individuals, developing portfolios of individual, foundation, and corporate donor prospects; and managing a team to achieve ambitious fundraising goals. They will possess a deep understanding of best practices in philanthropy and the ability to see the big picture and translate strategy into targeted goals and actions.


Skills & Requirements

  • A minimum of 7 years of significant fundraising experience working with individuals
  • History of soliciting and securing six-figure gifts
  • Ability to effectively evaluate, qualify, and move prospects through the identification, cultivation, and solicitation cycle
  • Experience interacting with high-net-worth individuals and the ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Excellent communication skills coupled with strong writing and presentation skills
  • Proficiency with donor database/CRM applications
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google Workspace
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, as well as the ability to prioritize and manage time efficiently
  • Ability to travel and work outside of regular business hours to meet donors and attend events
  • Knowledge of and interest in conservation, human rights, and social justice causes, as well as a personal commitment to RFUS's mission



  • Full professional proficiency in English is required
  • Professional working proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese is an advantage 


Compensation & Benefits

$90,000 - $125,000 USD 

​​Full-time employees (40+ hours a week) are entitled to full health, vision, and dental insurance and 20 days per year of vacation leave, closed offices from Christmas to New Year's Day (inclusive), and 10 additional federal holidays. Beyond this, employees are entitled to 10 days per year of sick leave, 2 days per year of personal days, 3 days for bereavement leave per event, up to 12 weeks of parental leave, and accommodations for additional time off under extraordinary circumstances.


Workplace Culture & Conditions

Rainforest Foundation US prides itself on providing a flexible, equitable, family-friendly, and inclusive work environment that values work-life balance. Our offices are pet friendly and located in a historic downtown Brooklyn neighborhood that is easily accessible by public transit and boasts many restaurants and services. Since the pandemic, employees can come into the office as they wish or negotiate with their supervisors to work from home or remotely.


Commitment to Equality & Equity 

​​Rainforest Foundation US does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations. We will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment. We are committed to an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients. Black, indigenous, and people of color are highly encouraged to apply.


Application instructions

Interested applicants are advised to carefully study the job description and reflect in the cover letter how your work and experience help you meet the requirements and skills we are looking for. Providing a link to a portfolio of past work is an advantage. Applications will not be considered without the submission of a cover letter and a resume. 

Please note that the position will be listed as open until filled. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply early. Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be contacted.

The candidate must possess the legal requirements to work in the United States; Rainforest Foundation US will not sponsor visas for international candidates.

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