NOLS' (National Outdoor Leadership School) mission is to be the
leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that
serve people and the environment. Our community—staff, students,
trustees, and alumni—shares a commitment to wilderness, education,
leadership, safety, community, and excellence.
We are a nonprofit global wilderness school that supports
thousands of students each year all over the world. Our school
began in a small cabin in Sinks Canyon, Wyoming in 1965 as the
National Outdoor Leadership School. At that time, we were primarily
an outdoors skills school, doing our work in local mountain ranges
and exploring what it meant to teach leadership in the backcountry.
Today, we are NOLS, a multifaceted wilderness school headquartered
in Lander, Wyoming with locations in seven U.S. states and six
countries, that supports thousands of students each year all over
the world in both field & classroom courses.
NOLS is committed to creating and fostering environments that
are welcoming, equitable, and inclusive for all of our past,
present, and future students, instructors and staff. We seek to
celebrate the breadth of diversity represented within our
community, while keeping our eyes on the continued journey that we
must walk, run, or stroll to create spaces made with everyone in
mind. It is important that our hiring practices reflect our
commitment to diversity and we strongly encourage applications from
members of underrepresented groups.
The Advancement office is a small but mighty team of kind,
compassionate adventurers who prioritize working hard and playing
harder! We seek experienced fundraisers to grow our team in
anticipation of a capital campaign–please read on to see if you
might be a good fit!
The Associate Director of Advancement (AD) cultivates, solicits,
and stewards a regional portfolio of major gifts ($100,000+) and
leadership annual fund ($2,500+) prospects and donors in support of
the school’s mission and goals. The AD manages and leads strategic
development donor acquisition efforts for the cultivation and
support of newly identified prospects. This position requires
understanding and applying key principles to create loyal and
generous donors with focused energy on “out-the-door” fundraising
work. The AD must be motivated to learn and be able to work
collaboratively with colleagues, donors, board members, and other
volunteer leaders across the organization. They are experienced in
designing and executing strategies to move new or annual fund level
donors to a major gift level. They will be responsible for direct
solicitations to meet funding needs and will listen for
opportunities to secure gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts,
such as planned gifts. They have demonstrated success in developing
substantive donor relationships and in engaging and supporting
natural partners in executing donor strategy.
The Associate Director of Advancement provides opportunities for
donors to receive recognition and increase future giving. They are
a passionate advocate and spokesperson for NOLS and can communicate
about the various programs in detail and can confidently discuss
legacy giving opportunities. The AD will be required to use the
NOLS donor database, participate in the development of proposals,
and lead or assist in donor events. The AD understands and complies
with all NOLS gift-related policies and procedures and ensures
ethical compliance, as defined by the organization and the
Association for Fundraising Professionals.
- Ability to energetically and accurately represent NOLS to a
variety of constituents including alumni, major and leadership
annual donors, board, staff, parents, and other friends of the
school. NOLS program experience preferred.
- Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships
with fundraising constituents to help our donors accomplish their
philanthropic goals and ambitions.
- Demonstrated experience in developing comprehensive donor
strategies that include a variety of ways of giving.
- Understanding of major and planned gift fundraising and
associated tax laws. Capital and endowment campaign experience
- Experience in actively asking for and closing planned gifts; a
good understanding of different giving vehicles and related laws
and tax benefits preferred.
- Expert project management skills, initiative, flexibility,
discretion, and thoughtful decision-making to achieve ambitious
performance objectives for outreach to constituents, including
personal and virtual visits, gift solicitations, gift closures, and
- Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to
build rapport, identify donor interests, and write customized
giving proposals that include pertinent materials to donors and
- Experience researching and analyzing large groups of data to
- Ability to thrive in an environment where fundraising metrics
play an essential role in annual performance evaluations.
- Strong interpersonal, organizational, and teamwork skills.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and
advancement CRM software such as Raiser’s Edge.
- Ability and willingness to travel across the U.S., and
occasionally internationally, approximately 30%-40% of the
- Ability and willingness to work outside of normal business
hours frequently, participating regularly in fundraising dinners,
community events, conferences, and after-hours or weekend meetings
with high-net-worth individuals.
- Ability to act independently and in the supervisor's stead as
needed and exercise independent judgment to identify and solve
- Ability to sensitively handle confidential information.
- CFRE or other fundraising credential preferred.
- Bachelor’s degree preferred along with a proven fundraising
track record, ideally with 3-6 years’ experience and demonstrated
success securing major gifts. Consideration may be given for
related experience in customer-facing sales, nonprofit programming,
financial and estate planning, or marketing.
Manages a donor and prospect portfolio, requiring individual visits
(in-person and virtually) to cultivate, steward, and solicit
support to meet combined department goals for endowed scholarship
fundraising, NOLS Fund, and other identified projects. Active
leadership regarding campaign planning and execution, managing
volunteers, developing and implementing strategies for cultivation,
solicitations and stewardship of donors. Establishes cooperative
working relationships with development and other staff members to
increase understanding and support of development efforts. Stays
current on NOLS programs and projects across the world. Limited
fieldwork opportunity for NOLS qualified field instructors.
Major Giving (70%)
- Effectively researches, cultivates, solicits, and stewards a
large portfolio of prospective donors (initially 250-400
individuals) with the ability to secure major gift commitments
($100,000 over several years) in support of identified
- Cultivates major gift prospects, building relationships and
understanding the donors’/prospects’ goals with the expressed
purpose of building comprehensive donor strategies to align donor
interests and organizational goals. Meets outreach and personal
visit metrics as established by Chief Advancement Officer and
Director of Major Gifts.
- Moves prospective major donors along the donor pipeline
preparing them to receive an appropriate ask based on donor intent
- Solicits major gifts through face-to-face meetings, or when
needed, telephone and video conferences.
- Employs high-volume email, phone, social media messaging, and
personalized mail outreach to secure first-time personal visits
with major gifts prospects and increased leadership annual
- Ensures necessary tracking and regular communication with
prospects. Tracks fundraising progress and manages relationships to
increase donor gift amounts.
- Designs highly customized donor engagement plans for assigned
- Works in concert with Stewardship and Foundation Relations
Coordinator to produce and deliver stewardship materials for
Leadership Annual Giving (20%)
- Works with NOLS Fund manager to present a coordinated
fundraising effort to all donors.
- Solicits annual fund gifts, especially at $2,500 and above,
from donors and prospects to help reach annual goal for
unrestricted support. Encourages leadership annual fund donors to
commit to a five-year NOLS Fund pledge.
- Stewards NOLS Fund donors through personal communication and
adheres to thank you protocols.
General Advancement Leadership and Support (10%)
- Other duties as assigned to support the organization and
changing needs of the Advancement Department. Development Officer
will maintain professional affiliations and expand skills by
keeping abreast of the latest information and trends in major gift
fundraising, including deferred giving techniques, estate planning,
and tax laws.
- The above duties should not be considered an exhaustive list;
other responsibilities may be required.
Work Location and Compensation
NOLS is headquartered in Lander, Wyoming with employees working
remotely across the U.S. and around the globe. We are building a
candidate pool for several regional positions to be hired in the
next several months. Current hiring priority for the West Coast
region. NOLS can currently employ remote employees who are legal
residents of: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine,
Minnesota, Montana, New York, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming. Please
note not all locations in all states listed are eligible. For
specific locations please reach out to the recruiter listed below
in the ‘How to Apply’ section.
Position starts at $62,500 depending on experience. Other
benefits include 403(b), 403(b) contribution, Health Insurance,
Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Flexible Spending Account, Life
Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Long Term
Disability, Employee Assistance Program, Paid Time Off, and special
NOLS employee discounts.
COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
All employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
by their first day of work, unless they meet a medical, disability
or religious exemption and a reasonable accommodation is approved.
Any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization
(WHO) is an acceptable vaccine for the purpose of this policy. Full
vaccination or an approved exemption is a condition of employment
for all new employees.
Equal Employment Opportunity
NOLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age,
genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission
requirements, or status as a protected veteran. The school’s
nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment
process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other
aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation
directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or
grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or
otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.
NOLS values community and fosters a sense of belonging for our
employees and applicants. We are committed to providing reasonable
accommodations in the workplace because they embody these values,
as well as our operating principle of promoting a positive, safe,
and learning environment. Reasonable accommodations may be
requested for disability; limitations related to pregnancy,
childbirth, or a related medical condition; religion; and domestic
violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. Reasonable
accommodations may be requested at any point of the employment
process, including during recruitment. Please email
email@example.com with your request.
A criminal background check is required from all NOLS
NOLS participates in E-verify.
Closing Date for Applications
Open Until Filled; applications will be reviewed upon receipt.
The target start date for this role is two weeks from the time of