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Associate Vice President of Development - East Coast Only

Appalachian Trail Conservancy
West Virginia, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Feb 25, 2024

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Position Type
Philanthropic Advisors
Employment Type
Full Time

Organizational Mission:

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to protect, manage and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Organizational Vision:

The Appalachian Trail and its surrounding landscape are protected forever for all to enjoy.

Position Summary:

The Associate Vice President (AVP) of Development reports to the Chief Growth Officer (CGO), is a key leader within the Engagement Team and is ATC’s chief fundraiser. The position provides leadership and guidance to a committed team responsible for individual and institutional giving. The AVP for Development will lead the creation and implementation of a comprehensive annual fundraising program and strategy to identify, cultivate and secure new donors and steward existing donors; advance a comprehensive planned giving program; formulate and execute plans to increase corporate and foundation philanthropic partnerships; and ensure facilitation of all gifts from prospective donors, including non-cash and deferred gifts. This position will also provide direct support, as appropriate, to the Board of Directors and Board sub-committees and regularly report to the Engagement Committee and the CEO’s Campaign Executive Committee regarding ATC Development activities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The AVP of Development is primarily responsible for establishing and implementing the infrastructure needed to grow a $14M annual budget and the endowment through soliciting major gifts, mid-level and annual giving, corporate and foundation grants, bequests and planned gifts.

The position is responsible for expanding and diversifying ATC’s donor base/pipeline and working closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives that support the strategic plan. The AVP is expected to build relationships and actively meet with current and future donors and foundations. In addition, the AVP of Development will work closely with the board of directors and support board members as they take on a more active fundraising role. The amount raised by ATC is expected to increase in future years as the AVP of Development systematically and effectively strengthens the organization's fundraising capacity.

The position is responsible for managing a team of professionals, including corporate and foundation relations, major and mid-level gift programs, annual giving, and gift planning.

Strategy, Planning and Operations Management

  • Work closely with the CGO and the Chief Finance and Administrative Officer (CFAO) to ensure ATC's overall financial health, stability, and compliance with financial and accounting requirements for fundraising, grants acquisitions, and gift planning.
  • Assess and evaluate the organization's fundraising performance relative to long-term operational goals, budgets and forecasts.
  • Develop the Campaign development strategy, plans, activities, and timeline.
  • Create and establish yearly objectives that align with the organization’s strategy for growth and determine the priority activities.
  • Work with the President & CEO, CGO, CFAO, Vice President of Conservation and Policy, and Vice President of Regional and Trail Operations to identify key goals and opportunities outlined in the strategic plan that can ultimately be converted into fundraising priorities.

Create long-range fund development and annual development strategic and operating plans.

  • AVP of Development, in collaboration with the CGO and ATC’s CEO and President, will lead the organization's efforts in carrying out any comprehensive fundraising Campaigns.
  • Works to ensure, directly and with the team, that the organization maximizes opportunities, meets its goals, and grows funding while building sustainability.
  • Set ambitious yet feasible revenue, donor quantity, and retention benchmarks to achieve immediate (current FY) and long-term (next 3-5 years) development goals and growth plans.
  • Develop and implement strategies and tactical plans to achieve goals for different donor segments.
  • Develop a balanced funding mix of donor sources and solicitation programs tailored to ATC’s needs that will enable it to attract, retain and motivate donors and prospects.

Cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of donors.

  • Manage a portfolio of top prospects and donors (in terms of highest giving potential and inclination).
  • Manage the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a personal portfolio of principle-level and prospective donors, including the board of directors.
  • Personally participate in fundraising activities, including cultivation and soliciting contributions on behalf of the ATC.
  • Build and execute strategic plans to expand the donor base and increase donor renewal and upgrade rates.
  • Make strategic recommendations on when to deploy the CEO and President, CGO, other V.P.’s or Board members to make solicitations of prospective donors and prepare/support the CEO and President, CGO and Board Members to execute.
  • Support the Campaign Executive Committee and work closely with its leadership volunteers to ensure the campaign's success.
  • Conduct excellent donor interactions and communications (i.e., events, meetings, newsletters, grants)
  • Create pitch proposals, briefing decks, briefing documents, etc., to prepare ATC executives for fundraising meetings, conversations or events.
  • Support the Communications Team in developing effective internal and external messaging and methods of fundraising communication.

Team Leadership and Organizational Collaboration

  • Lead, manage, mentor and inspire the team responsible for all philanthropic giving.
  • Hire, train, inspire and guide the Development team toward accountable, goal-oriented outcomes, including annual work plans with key performance metrics and revenue and expense budgeting.
  • Communicate, engage and interact with the Executive Leadership Team.
  • Collaborate across the Engagement team to ensure development, marketing, communications, membership, and visitor experience teams are informed of development activities and that activities are integrated with overall ATC growth and engagement plans.
  • Foster collaboration, communication, and effective organizational processes for plans, programs, grants, revenue, and expenses.
  • Ensure that sound human resource practices are in place and maintain an environment that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse team of top-quality development staff.

General Oversight

  • Provide general oversight of the ATC’s fund development, manage the day-to-day operations, and monitor the adequacy of activities through coordination with staff, appropriate committees, and governing bodies.
  • Ensure development and writing of foundation, corporate and grant proposals and solicitation materials.
  • Ensure design and maintenance of donor and prospect records, gift management and processing systems, and informational reports.
  • Ensure fundraising report reconciliation with financial reports.
  • Ensure design and implementation of cultivation, acknowledgment and recognition programs.
  • Ensure the stewardship plan is followed so all major donors feel engaged and appreciated and that funders are well stewarded.
  • Support and report to the Board of Directors, the Engagement sub-committee, and the CEO’s Campaign Executive Committee.

Establish performance measures, monitor results and evaluate the organization’s development effectiveness.

  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws, maintain accountability standards to donors and ensure compliance with the code of ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives.
  • Keep informed of developments in philanthropy and fund development, as well as the general fields of management and the nonprofit sector; notify the CEO, CGO, on current trends, issues, problems, and activities to facilitate policymaking.
  • Recommend policy positions concerning fund development.
  • Propose related budget and manage within approved budget and related accountabilities for financial results.
  • Support the CGO in developing the department’s annual operating budget and revenue plan and participate, as required, in the yearly financial audit.


  • A bachelor’s degree is required, and an advanced degree and/or specialized certification is preferred.
  • Minimum of eight years of fundraising experience in a professional position and demonstrated experience and confidence in asking people to contribute time and money.
  • Knowledge and experience in the following areas are required: the nature and dimensions of philanthropy, ethics, motivations for giving, research and cultivation practices, standard fundraising techniques, including face-to-face solicitation, proposal writing, special events, telephone solicitation, and development office functions including gift processing, prospect and donor histories, cultivating and soliciting principal and major gifts, and fundraising reporting.
  • Experience leading a capital campaign is preferred.
  • Experience in a recreation or conservation organization is preferred.
  • People management experience is required, including effective leadership and management of a high-performing team, leading in a decentralized environment, collaborating with executive staff, and working well with people at all levels of an organization.
  • Comprehensive management skills and experience should include, but are not limited to, short- and long-term planning, evaluation, directing and motivating staff and volunteers, oral and written communication skills, communicating with board members, demonstrated success in strategic planning and project management, marketing and financial management, and governance.
  • Strong technical and analytical skills, including skills in donor database management systems, including Salesforce and Wealth Manager, and proficiency in Microsoft Office, are essential.
  • The highest degree of professionalism, a results-oriented nature, demonstrating leadership and gravitas to reflect the ATC brand positively.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

  • Frequent travel (up to 75% annually) to key donor cultivation areas, meeting with individual donors, foundations, corporations, ATC offices, regional events, partner meeting sites, and limited site visits to trail locations.
  • Must be willing to travel to work with donors and as a representative of the organization.
  • Volunteer management meetings require weekend work hours.
  • Flexibility to work extended hours during peak season or special event periods.
  • Working on the computer or telephone for prolonged periods.
  • Ability to communicate with individuals by phone, video, email, and in person.
  • At times, it may require the ability to lift or move light to moderate weight.
Additional Details:
  • Location: Combination of remote and/or shared office environments. Remote workstations will require reliable, high-speed internet access.
  • If working remotely, candidates must have secure internet access from which to work.
  • Annual salary range: ($140k - $150k)
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance available.
  • Company paid long-term disability and life insurance provided.
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan with up to 7% match after 1 year of service.

ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness with all employees and volunteers to enable participation and contributions to their fullest potential.

We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization and recognize that diversity contributes to an effective and successful organizational culture and mission.

The ATC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and/or expression), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, political affiliation, union membership, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the locations where we operate.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Identity Statement


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