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Donor Relations Director

Center for Biological Diversity
Arizona, United States
$85,000.00 - $105,000.00
Closing date
May 9, 2024

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Position Type
Fundraising, Donor Relations
Employment Type
Full Time

This position provides a unique opportunity for an experienced development professional to join a successful fundraising team in a senior supervisory role while advancing the Center for Biological Diversity’s mission to protect imperiled wildlife and wild places.


The donor relations director oversees the expansion and stewardship of the Center’s Leadership Circle (donors who individually contribute $1,000 or more annually) who provide as much as 80% of individual donor giving from a base of 4% of all members. The donor relations director will cultivate a portfolio of mid-level and major donors and prospects and provide project management oversight for year-round donor stewardship plans for Leadership Circle members. The donor relations director will supervise and serve as the project manager for multichannel fundraising campaigns – leading their team to successfully raise funds largely through email as well as direct mail campaigns, phone, Zoom and some face-to-face outreach.


The donor relations director supervises staff members who are responsible for implementing high-quality, timely donor stewardship for the Center’s sophisticated Leadership Circle members; ensuring accurate account administration; producing fundraising campaign materials; and conducting year-round stewardship and cultivation efforts such as a quarterly report, special reports and live biodiversity briefing via Zoom. This position manages and oversees the execution of a robust calendar of communications including regular in-depth stewardship reports and the production of in-person and virtual events. The donor relations director also oversees the stewardship program for members and prospects of the Owls Club, which is the Center’s legacy giving circle.


This position can also expect to directly engage in and oversee daily administrative activities such as maintaining up-to-date individual donor records, obtaining and analyzing donor and campaign information from the database, preparing fundraising reports and researching individual donors. The donor relations director will work closely with the chief development officer and will report to the deputy development director. This position will also communicate with members of the conservation program staff, communications, finance and IT team as needed.


Main Duties:

  • Oversee the execution of multiple fundraising campaigns, appeals, and provide year-round stewardship of Leadership Circle members to ensure fundraising goals are met and exceeded.
  • Manage, motivate, inspire donor relations staff to ensure timely, high quality, effective donor communications, stewardship and fundraising activities.
  • Collaborate with the chief development officer and deputy development director on strategy by researching and identifying new prospects to increase the major donor pipeline at every level.
  • Cultivate a portfolio of Leadership Circle donors in high four-, five- and six-figure levels. Support donor relations staff to successfully manage their own portfolios.
  • Develop stewardship plans and implement high level written and verbal communication to steward current and prospective donors about Center program work in their area/s of interest with reports, calls, updates, visits and actions.
  • Draft letters, emails, proposals, reports, etc., for the Leadership Circle, Owls Club, individual and family funders.
  • Work with Senior development staff including development operations director to determine criteria, analyze data to create custom segments for targeted campaigns, review data and make recommendations demonstrating high attention to detail.
  • Ensure that donors receive timely and high-quality acknowledgement letters.
  • Plan, coordinate and oversee implementation of special events.
  • Support planned giving efforts via customized campaigns, Owls Club communications, and administration, collaborating with chief development officer and legacy giving staff as required.
  • Move nimbly to implement rapid communications in response to breaking news, or in response to requests for proposals or other information.
  • Stay on top of trends in both the environmental movement as well as in best practices for donor stewardship.
  • Assist with other projects as assigned.


Essential Qualifications and Skills:

  • At least seven years of proven fundraising experience.
  • 2-3 years experience with donor stewardship, research and moves management and adhering to best practices in nonprofit donor acknowledgments and IRA tax guidelines.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills.
  • Extensive experience with donor relationship management databases or similar.
  • Excellent supervisory skills and experience managing a staff of 2-3 people, as well as demonstrated leadership and interpersonal skills.
  • A proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team. 
  • Analytical with an exceptional ability to pay attention to detail, great organizational skills, and high-level accuracy in completing complex tasks.  
  • Strong abilities working with data in Microsoft Excel.
  • A highly motivated and self-confident character, as well as a strong drive to move projects forward quickly and follow through with staff regarding their completion.
  • The ability to learn and complete tasks quickly. 
  • Strong project management skills including the ability to organize time, manage diverse activities and personal interactions, and meet short-term and long-term deadlines.
  • High energy level and excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team.



  • Fully paid medical premiums for staff, and greatly discounted for families.
  • Fully paid dental and vision premiums for staff and their families.
  • Generous employer contribution to HSA and HRA’s.
  • Center paid premiums for Short Term and Long Term Disability provided for all staff.
  • Center paid premiums for Basic Life Insurance for all staff.
  • Discounted premiums for pet discount program.
  • 403(b) plan with employer match and increasing employer paid contributions.
  • Generous time off policies, including 13 paid holidays per year, 5 “personal” days per year and 10 paid sick days awarded each year.
  • Vacation accrual starts at 15 days annually, but it may be higher commensurate with experience.
  • Center Paid Time Off for parental leave, personal leave, caretaker leave and even pet caretaker leave.
  • After 5 years of service, all employees receive a 12-week paid sabbatical.
  • Relaxed work atmosphere and dress code.


Salary Range: $85,000 - $105,000


Application Process:

Please apply online by completing our application and submitting a cover letter, resume and reference list. 


The Center for Biological Diversity deeply values, and is committed to sustaining and promoting, both biological and cultural diversity. We welcome, embrace and respect diversity of people, identities and cultures. We are committed to fostering an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion. The Center believes staff and board diversity is critical to saving life on Earth.


We are an equal opportunity employer.

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