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Chief Development Officer

Yellowstone Forever
Montana, United States
$124,000.00 - $149,000.00
Closing date
Apr 6, 2023

View more

Position Type
Animal Protection, Education, Environment
Employment Type
Full Time

Position:           Chief Development Officer


Location:          Bozeman, Montana


Reports To:      President/Chief Executive Officer


Status:               Full-time / Exempt


Salary:               $124,000-$149,000


Summary Description:

Yellowstone Forever (YF) is the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park. Our mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Yellowstone National Park through education and philanthropy. YF connects people to Yellowstone through outstanding visitor experiences and educational programs and translates those experiences into lifelong support of the park and philanthropic investment in its future. Our educational programming and products help people enhance their understanding and appreciation of the wildlife, natural wonders, and cultural history of the park. YF’s operations include Park Stores in and around Yellowstone; the Yellowstone Forever Institute, which offers in-depth educational programing for people of all ages; and a supporter program which raises funds for priority park projects.


The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for managing daily operations for Yellowstone Forever’s philanthropy programs. The CDO will build strength across philanthropy, implement best practices and policies, elevate our fundraising aspirations and achievements, and inspire the team to achieve success with a strategic vision through sustainable and impactful fundraising techniques and programs. The CDO coordinates and solicits gifts, works with the Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Regional Development Officers, and Foundation Relations Manager to develop solicitation strategies for major donor support. The CDO will ensure all philanthropy efforts are strategically focused on park priorities and supporting Yellowstone Forever’s operations. The CDO will be a leader, team player, strategic thinker, and possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills and is responsible for leading a professional and collaborative culture within the organization and providing professional growth and mentorship opportunities for staff.


Primary Responsibilities:

Working with staff, the President/CEO, Board, and other volunteers, the CDO will help guide the organization's vision and create strategy to impact the future of Yellowstone Forever through sustainable and creative fundraising techniques and programs.

  • Lead a talented team of fundraisers, staff, board members and volunteers to unite in a fundraising vision for the future;
  • Ensure adequate resources and expertise are dedicated to building a comprehensive, cohesive, and fully integrated team that effectively meets the needs of the organization;
  • Participate in regular Leadership Team meetings as a member of YF’s Leadership Team;
  • Meet regularly with the President/CEO to report on YF fundraising activities;
  • Manage a portfolio of major donor prospects including creating cultivation and solicitation strategies, solicitation amounts, and deadlines;
  • Utilize and support new approaches to philanthropy through social media, technology, targeted communications and marketing tools;
  • Think strategically and develop and guide a multiyear program of fundraising growth and development;
  • Stay current with evolving philanthropic trends, discover and encourage new and diverse audiences and methods of giving in alignment with organizational and park priorities;  
  • Manage all aspects of Yellowstone Forever’s philanthropy team including:
  • Regular meetings with direct reports;
  • Regular philanthropy team meetings;
  • Provide staff with professional growth opportunities within Yellowstone Forever;
  • Approve expense reports, timecards, and PTO requests;
  • With support of Park Projects Manager, lead Park Projects Committee meetings and preparation;
  • Manage Yellowstone Forever’s Planned Giving Program including:
  • Support Regional Development Officers on individual planned giving strategies;
  • Collaborate with Marketing/Communications on planned giving outreach;
  • With support of Director of Stewardship, ensure members of the Old Faithful Society are properly recognized for their support;
  • Support the President/CEO and volunteer leadership in the solicitation of leadership gifts;
  • Coordinate with Marketing/Communications on messaging for philanthropy materials;
  • Schedule and provide necessary materials for YF Board and Committee meetings;
  • Track quarterly progress for Major Gift, Annual Fund, Corporations, Foundations and Planned Giving;
  • Provide up-to-date philanthropy reports to YF President/CEO, Board and Committee members;
  • Ensure annual goals are communicated to President/CEO and YF Leadership Team;
  • Develop and manage philanthropy budget for Yellowstone Forever;
  • Meet regularly with the Chief Financial Officer to track expenses/revenues;
  • Communicate in clear and compelling language, specifically when giving presentations and requests for support;
  • Represent Yellowstone Forever and its mission accurately and positively;
  • Foster a collaborative, team-oriented environment with Yellowstone Forever staff, volunteers, and partner organizations;
  • Donor trips into Yellowstone Park;
  • Meeting with donors in individual states and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem;
  • Other tasks as assigned by the President/CEO.

Basic Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree;
  • 10+ years of non-profit/fundraising experience;
  • 5+ years of executive leadership experience;
  • Proven history of leading, managing, inspiring and supporting an experienced philanthropy team;
  • Significant expertise in the fundamentals of fundraising and experience leading a comprehensive nonprofit development program;
  • Knowledge of current fundraising best practices, trends, and donor activation with diverse audiences and commitment to an inspired, pragmatic, and relevant philanthropic vision;
  • Ability to think strategically and develop and guide a multi-year program of fundraising growth and development;
  • Ability to supervise staff, train and develop employees, and create opportunities for professional advancement and engaging assignments;
  • Skill and ability to work with President/CEO, Board, and Board Committees on donor engagement and fundraising and ability to motivate fundraising volunteers;
  • Demonstrated success in building and managing donor relationships;
  • Experience leading larger dedicated fundraising and capital campaigns;
  • Strong presentation and communication skills and the experience to be an outgoing relationship builder and fundraiser;
  • Ability to partner and collaborate with other members of the Leadership Team and departments to align with the overall strategic direction of Yellowstone Forever;
  • Experience setting and driving strategy at the organization level;
  • Dedication, passion, and knowledge for the mission of Yellowstone Forever and the preservation of Yellowstone National Park;
  • Ability to travel frequently;
  • This position involves driving YF vehicles, therefore applicants must hold and maintain a valid driver’s license, and maintain a favorable driving record for insurance purposes;
  • A satisfactory criminal background check are conditions of employment.


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Knowledge of Yellowstone National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem;
  • Salesforce proficiency.



This is a full-time, exempt position, which will be based in Bozeman. Travel between the offices and throughout the park may be required. Salary is based upon experience. Benefits of this position include knowing that your efforts directly benefit Yellowstone National Park and having the opportunity to work in one of the world’s premiere wilderness areas.


To Apply:

Apply on-line for this position at


Yellowstone Forever is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, political beliefs, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.


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