Director of Development
Irvine Nature Center
The Director of Development (DOD) for Irvine Nature
Center will plan, direct, and execute a comprehensive fundraising
plan including major gifts, corporations and foundations, annual
fund, special events, planned giving and the final phase of a $6.5
million capital campaign. The DOD will drive Irvine’s overall
fundraising strategy while playing a leading role in identifying,
cultivating, and soliciting major donors, growing the corporate and
foundation philanthropic funding base, and supporting Board and
volunteer leadership development and engagement. Funds raised
support environmental education and conservation. The ideal
candidate is an experienced, creative, and inspiring leader able to
cultivate relationships with stakeholders while broadening the base
of supporters and leading a current team of two full-time
The Director of Development will report to the Executive
Director and serve on Irvine’s leadership team, attend Board
meetings, and present on fundraising progress and opportunities.
This is a full-time, exempt position with full benefits.
Develop and Execute Annual Fundraising
Plan: In support of the vision, mission, and
strategic plan the Director of Development will create and lead the
execution of a fundraising plan. This plan addresses annual
fundraising projections with an emphasis on a) diversification
of funding, b) new growth in corporate sponsorships, major
gifts and annual fund donors, and c) long-term
sustainability – planned giving.
- Develop and implement a multi-year Strategic Fundraising Plan
in concert with the organizational Strategic plan. This plan would
ideally be shared by all key stakeholders in the organization and
focus on the priorities listed above.
- Evaluate and strengthen current fundraising programming in
accordance with the annual fundraising plan.
- Research and develop new potential significant funding
- Explore relationships and programs to develop major gifts
through individuals, foundations, and corporations.
- Work collaboratively with the Director of Marketing to create
successful appeals, annual report, and partnership opportunities
for potential corporate partners.
Donor Relations and Development: Lead the
stewardship and development of all donors of Irvine Nature Center
in accordance with the Annual Fundraising Plan.
- Lead Development staff and assist them in developing a strategy
to inform and implement unique and meaningful stewardship plans for
all donor categories.
- Manage a dedicated major gift portfolio that focuses on annual
operating support as well as for the capital campaign.
- Oversee the development of collaborative relationships with
marketing staff to create successful print and digital fundraising
Organizational Leadership: Development
Director will provide leadership to development staff and serve on
the leadership team, as well as provide fundraising support to the
Board of Directors.
- Provide effective leadership and direction to the development
- Serve as an organizational leader, acting always in the best
interest of the entire organization, supporting the overall values
and mission. Serve as public spokesperson for Irvine Nature Center
when needed or called upon.
- Build and maintain positive working relationships with staff,
Board members, donors, and volunteers at Irvine Nature Center.
- Generate regular fundraising reports and engage Board Members
in fundraising opportunities as requested.
- Plan in collaboration with the Deputy Director and Director of
Marketing the implementation of fundraising events.
- Partner with Irvine leadership team to promote the importance
of DEI to the Center’s mission.
- Collaborate with leadership to establish, attain, pursue, and
report on DEI deliverables, goals and values in accordance with the
strategic plan for Irvine, with a focus on supporting diverse and
Administration and Communication:
- Provide oversight to the management of donor database to ensure
data integrity and support long- term goals.
- Provide oversight to the systems that ensure accurate contact
reports in Blackbaud’s Raisers Edge when donor interactions
- Ensure effective coordination (reconciliation) is taking place
between Development and Finance to follow appropriate accounting
- Responsible for the management of the Development Department
Budget, planning and reporting, both with staff, leadership and
Board of Directors.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent knowledge, skills, experience,
and abilities in a related field are required; advanced studies
- Minimum of five (5) years of fundraising experience with
demonstrated success as an individual performer in a fundraising
capacity within a nonprofit organization.
- Proven success in the development and execution of a successful
development plan for an organizational fundraising goal of $1 – 2MM
annual fundraising budget.
- Experience with a diverse fundraising portfolio of both public
and private funding sources is highly desired.
- Experience cultivating new donors during and following capital
- Creativity as well as analytical ability to maximize Capital
Campaign outcomes and track for strategic and process
- Self-motivated individual with the ability to work effectively
as part of a team, instilling confidence and trust among fellow
staff and external constituents.
- Good judgment to make decisions in the absence of specific
- Exceptional organizational and time management skills, with an
ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously,
seeing projects to completion on deadline and with quality.
- Enthusiasm, poise, professionalism, flexibility, a sense of
humor, and a positive attitude.
- Superior writing skills, including the ability to craft,
proofread, and edit persuasive content.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, with demonstrated ability to
listen well, reflect understanding back to the communicator.
- High ethical standards, discretion, and confidentiality in
working with donor information.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite required. Advanced
understanding of Excel and knowledge of Blackbaud strongly
preferred. Savvy in working with data to improve processes and
- Must possess a passion for the organization’s mission.
- Must possess the ability to relate to diverse communities.
- Commitment to lifelong learning and professional
To apply: Please send your resume, cover letter
and three references to HR@ExploreNature.org
Please note: Employment is contingent upon completing and
passing a criminal background check and fingerprinting.
Irvine is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
We celebrate diversity and do not discriminate based on race,
religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age,
veteran status, disability status, or any other applicable
characteristics protected by federal state or local laws. This
policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including
recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff,
recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and
ABOUT IRVINE NATURE CENTER
Located in Owings Mills, Maryland, Irvine Nature Center is the
largest independent nonprofit environmental education center in the
greater Baltimore region. Our mission is to encourage lifelong
engagement with the natural world through environmental learning
and green living. At Irvine, we inspire people to explore, respect
and protect nature.
Founded in 1975 by Olivia Irvine Dodge, Irvine was originally
located on the campus of St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, but its
programs were so popular that it eventually outgrew the rented
facilities. In June 2008, Irvine moved to 116 ecologically diverse
acres in the Caves Valley donated to us by the State of Maryland.
In October 2015, a very generous gift from a local philanthropist
enabled us to acquire an adjacent property that brings our total
footprint to nearly 210 acres. After laying out trails, mowing
paths, building boardwalks, and installing directional signs,
Irvine opened the property to the public on June 23, 2018.
Our 211-acre property is rich in wetlands, forests, and meadows,
making it ideal for our environmental education programs and a
treasured resource in a region that is becoming increasingly urban.
Our campus includes a 17,200-square-foot visitor center with
interactive exhibits, educational gardens, an Outdoor Classroom, a
Native American site, an aviary currently housing five raptors, a
66-acre restored wetlands, and 7.5 miles of trails, all surrounded
by nearly 1,400 acres of protected land. Irvine’s trails and
exhibit hall are open to the public year-round, Tuesday-Sunday.
We offer more than 800 environmental education opportunities
each year, including school field trips, outreach to schools and
the community, after-school programs, summer nature camp, Scout
programs, volunteer naturalist training, a native plant seminar,
and countless lectures, workshops, and special events. We also are
a popular location for nature-themed weddings and birthday parties.
Our popular Nature Preschool has spawned other early childhood
education programs that have grown substantially over the past
This wide range of programs and services has enabled us to
diversify our funding and ensure our financial sustainability. FY
2023 income was generated by education programs (29%), philanthropy
(53%), special events (10%) and investments (8%). Irvine has
received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
Irvine is led by a Board of Trustees composed of individuals
with expertise in law, business, marketing, higher education, the
environment and energy sectors, philanthropy, and the non-profit
community, as well as representatives from local garden clubs,
volunteers, and parents. To find out more about Irvine Nature
Center, please visit our website at www.ExploreNature.org