Director of Institutional Giving

American Prairie
Montana, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Mar 7, 2024
This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive list of activities, duties, or responsibilities required of the employee. Employees are expected to be responsible for and assist with additional tasks and duties as needed. Job descriptions may change to meet the business needs of the organization.


JOB PURPOSE: This position is responsible for identification, cultivation, and direct solicitation of institutional giving partners for American Prairie, including individual, family and corporate grant-making foundations and brand partners and public funding entities.   



Institutional Giving Portfolio (70%)  

  • Secure major, principal and planned gift commitments from individual, family, corporate grant-making foundations and brand partners, and public funding entities, per the following metric expectations:
    1. Manage and grow a portfolio of 50 to 75 donors and donor prospects with the capacity to make philanthropic gifts of $50,000 to $1M+. 
    2. Conduct donor visits regularly and often with a goal of 60 to 80 meaningful visits per year, including qualifying at least 30 prospects a year through discovery outreach and cultivation. 
    3. Solicit at least five gift commitment proposals of $1M+ and eight gift commitment proposals of $250,000+ each year. 
    4. This position will also receive credit for all gifts raised $10,000 or greater. 
  • Using a Moves Management approach, including personal visits, digital and mailed communications, phone and video calls, and hosted visits to American Prairie properties, works as a member of the American Prairie Philanthropy team to design and execute strategies that advance the cultivation and stewardship of institutional giving donors. Visit with foundation and corporate prospects to establish contacts, gather information, qualify prospects, present ideas, develop networks, promote understanding of American Prairie’s goals, request invitations for proposals, and conduct stewardship. 
  • Execute thorough, creative, impactful, and ambitious funding proposals through purposeful meetings, volunteer leads, presentations, grant letters, and applications, as determined by the funder. 
  • Create gift opportunities with internal partners (philanthropy colleagues, field and external relations colleagues, finance, and executive team) to meet organizational priorities and pursue funding in support of these goals. 
  • Identify new prospective institutional funders through research and peer-to-peer networks, serving as the strategic lead to align American Prairie’s organizational priorities with the defined priorities and interests of institutional partners. 
  • Write letters of inquiry, corporate pitches, concept papers, and research briefings. 
  • Maintain a high level of knowledge on all aspects of American Prairie’s mission and initiatives and communicate updates regularly to portfolio funders and prospective funders.   
  • Contribute to Philanthropy team key performance indicators (KPIs) and meet individual fundraising metrics. 
  • Contribute to planning and execution of the organization’s next comprehensive philanthropic campaign. 
  • Contribute to the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize, including opportunities for significant major sponsorships ($250K+). 


Organizational Grants Program Systems, Reporting, and Stewardship (25%) 

  • Oversee, direct, manage, and execute American Prairie’s grant application program, working closely with the Philanthropy Operations and Finance teams to develop, improve, and streamline the templates, systems, and processes of complex grant applications to diverse funders. 
  • Working closely with Philanthropy Operations, determine an effective sequence of work, including planning and monitoring activity timelines for each donor or prospect, including proposal due dates, reporting dates, cultivation and stewardship activities, and managing simultaneous proposals and strategies while meeting required deadlines. 
  • Coordinate with Finance, Marketing, and Executive teams, and Philanthropy team colleagues, to develop proposal budgets, deliver engagement opportunities, and monitor deliverables for grant contracts. 


Other (5%) 

  • Strategic Philanthropy team support, as determined. 


  • Minimum 5+ years of philanthropic experience in the nonprofit sector, including securing funding from and stewarding large institutional partners. Proven ability to meet or exceed fundraising goals. Proven record of developing and sustaining productive relationships with foundation staff and corporate partners.
  • Experience developing and executing corporate engagement opportunities including networking events, volunteer engagement activities, etc.
  • Strong skills in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising. The ability to convey complex ideas via presentations, e-mails and face-to-face communications. Substantial experience writing grant proposals, letters of inquiry, and reports to institutions.
  • Comprehensive program management skills and experience, including short- and long-term planning and evaluation, philanthropy ethics, cultivation practices, and development and maintenance of systems and processes. 
  • Basic accounting skills and understanding of nonprofit financial practices; ability to coordinate with Finance and Philanthropy staff to develop proposal budgets.
  • Skilled in effective teamwork; ability to drive alignment and productive collaboration.
  • Accustomed to being held accountable for ambitious bottom-line results.
  • Strategic relationship management experience.
  • Highly engaging and approachable with savvy interpersonal skills; diplomatic, ambassadorial, and authentic.
  • Highly skilled and experienced in polished and persuasive written and oral communication.
  • Entrepreneurial and creative; driven to innovate and improve.
  • Enthusiasm for and positive representation of American Prairie’s mission, values, goals, and culture.
  • Moderate travel, up to 5-10 nights per month, and ability to attend evening and weekend events.
  • Proficient with current technology devices and software including databases and cloud-based software.
  • Valid Driver’s license, acceptable driving record, and ability to drive.



  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Knowledge, understanding and familiarity with conservation missions and organizations. 
  • Experience in a leadership position. 


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