Vice President, Philanthropy

Rainforest Trust
Virginia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 21, 2023

Position Title:  Vice President, Philanthropy 

Location: Remote USA (preferred proximity to DC office or major fundraising market Bay Area or NYC)

Anticipated Salary: $140,000-$160,000

Status: Full-time, salaried, exempt 

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer 

To apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter. Screening interviews will begin the week of June 12. Please note that resumes submitted without cover letters will not be considered. 


Rainforest Trust

Rainforest Trust is the leading global organization sponsoring the creation and expansion of protected and conserved areas, playing a central role in combating biodiversity loss and climate change. In 2022 we raised $38 million and agreed new grants worth $62 million to non-profits in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Our 28 thousand active donors invest through us because of our extraordinary impact, transparency, and cost-effectiveness, and many note our perfect rating with Charity Navigator. This is an incredibly exciting time to join Rainforest Trust and elevate our contribution to saving the world’s biodiversity.


Job Overview/Purpose

The Vice President, Philanthropy leads a dynamic team of 16 committed professionals responsible for all of Rainforest Trust’s marketing and fundraising activities. The incumbent drives the growth in the organization’s impact by developing and implementing strategies to build awareness of the brand, attract new donors, and build deep and enduring relationships with existing donors. The ideal candidate will be a coach, builder, innovator, and accelerator. They will be able to hold onto a vision and have the roll-up-their-sleeves attitude to accomplish it.

In furtherance of the organization’s strategic plan (see here), the Vice President, Philanthropy develops with the CEO, board, and committees strategies and plans to grow Rainforest Trust’s donor base, increase income year on year, and cost-effectively optimize the donor journey and relationship with every prospect and donor.

The Vice President, Philanthropy also serves as a key member of the Senior Leadership Group, working closely with the CEO, other departments, and board to ensure that development strategies support the organization’s growth as well as short and long-term financial stability. 


Primary Responsibilities & Essential Functions

Successful creation, management, and execution of an annual fundraising and marketing plan with a revenue goal of $60 million with simultaneous responsibilities of leading and empowering the Philanthropy team in an organized and collaborative manner while individually stewarding principle donors and cultivating new and existing partnerships.


Strategic Leadership

    In support of Rainforest Trust’s 5-year strategic plan and funding needs for conservation and operations, develops and implements fundraising and marketing strategies as well as the annual departmental work plan and budget  Analyzes, monitors, and reports revenue results (with the help of CFO) to the Senior Leadership Group, Board of Directors and organization at large Leverages data to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing and digital efforts and adjusts strategies As a member of the Senior Leadership Group, contributes to the strategic direction and major decision making of the organization and will play a critical role in developing Rainforest Trust’s next five-year strategy with particular emphasis on translating the strategy into targeted marketing campaigns  Fosters short and long-term initiatives through continuous assessment of organization resources and evolving needs and priorities Plans for, and measures the success of, initiatives using a data-driven approach and industry best practices,  Represents Rainforest Trust in an ethical, professional, respectful and inclusive manner with all


Leads and cultivates the effectiveness of 5 focus areas within the Philanthropy Department 

    Individual & Major Giving: Designing & implementing giving & stewardship plans for existing and prospective donors at all levels, including annual and regular gifts, significant gifts, and planned gifts Corporate & Foundation Giving: Developing and managing a strategy for partnering with and soliciting private foundations and corporations  Marketing & Publicity: Steward and broaden the recognition of the brand, recruiting new donors, and driving fundraising results through integrated, data-driven marketing strategies including digital ads, earned media, social media, search optimization, email, print, video, etc. Donor Services: Providing a foundation for all the department’s work through cutting edge, accurate, timely data collection fostering performance, integrity and security and enabling targeted research to inform investment Philanthropy Operations: Building systems and processes to ensure smooth & efficient operations while coordinating cross-team collaboration and communications to accomplish shared goals


Team Development & Inclusion

    Establishes and monitors quantifiable objectives and performance standards  Provides mentorship and professional development opportunities and pathways Partners with HR and Senior Leaders to develop annual staffing plan, administer reviews, design talent retention strategies and fill vacancies Demonstrates attuned interpersonal skills with the intellectual and emotional depth, maturity, and collaborative mindset to work harmoniously across the organization at all levels Models discretion and sensitivity in handling confidential information. Demonstrates an authentic commitment to the mission and strategic goals of the organization, incorporating our core values of Nature & People; Efficiency; Transparency; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Partnerships & Collaboration; Science & Innovation


Individual Fundraising

    Responsible for identifying and developing new partnerships, donors, and granting opportunities at significant levels while expanding existing partnerships  Personally responsible for stewarding and growing a $10 million per year portfolio of individual donors and co-stewarding an additional $15 million Remains abreast of policy developments, trends and critical issues in the areas of fundraising



    Bachelor's degree required, Master’s degree preferred. 10+ years experience as a successful senior fundraising leader in a non-profit organization with demonstrable achievements in the following areas:
      People development. A proven record providing innovative oversight of a fundraising department. Recognizes the value that diversity brings to an organization and its communities and has a commitment to expand equity whenever possible. Success in increasing the effectiveness of fundraising and marketing staff through established objectives, performance standards and quantifiable benchmarks. Fundraising  including individual, major and planned giving, corporate & foundation giving, donor data systems & reporting.  Principal donor management. History of securing significant gifts ($100,000 and above) from individual private donors and of meeting and exceeding fundraising goals.


  • Marketing. Has proven experience managing marketing and brand awareness campaigns, digital ad purchase and earned media. Remains up to date on the latest marketing strategies and technologies, has an ability to think strategically about how to apply those tools to our work and understands how to integrate online and offline campaigns


    Effective public speaker and communicator who can successfully present proposals and adapt her/his/their style to different audiences Superior writing skills. Persuasive communicator Demonstrated ability to cast a vision, design new development strategies in an organized and purposeful manner, and engage others to create and successfully implement new ideas that foster the organization’s strategic plan. Ability to successfully deliver results in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. A giving network within the conservation community is a plus. Possess a solid understanding of nonprofit organization financial statements and analysis, budgeting and philanthropic gift instruments  High proficiency with remote working and management, donor databases, spreadsheets, document management, etc. Working knowledge of Virtuous donor database is a plus as is experience with G-Suite.


Working Conditions and Travel Requirements

Rainforest Trust is a remote first organization and the incumbent will be expected to work primarily from home with an excellent internet connection, though part-time office space may be available in Warrenton, VA and/or Washington DC. The incumbent may be based anywhere in the US provided they are comfortable working on an East Coast time zone. Proximity to the Warrenton office, Washington DC, or major fundraising markets such as the Bay Area or New York City are a plus.

Requires willingness and ability to travel domestically up to 10% of time for organizational meetings, donor engagements, special events and similar business purposes. May be required to travel internationally, including to countries with CDC travel advisories


Physical requirements

The physical requirements described here are representative of those that must be met by a candidate to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

Ability to remain in a stationary position at a computer terminal for an extended period. The person in this position frequently communicates with colleagues both verbally and in writing and must be able to exchange accurate, neat and thorough information. 


Anticipated Salary 

The salary range for this position is $140,000-$160,000 commensurate with experience. This base compensation range represents the anticipated low and high range of wages for this position. Actual salaries will vary and will be based on various factors, such as candidate's location, qualifications, skills, competencies, and proficiency for the role. Information on other benefits, hiring practices and commitment to equal opportunity may be found on our Careers Page.


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