Director of Development and Communications

Job Type

Full Time




Moss Landing
United States


Elkhorn Slough Foundation is seeking a dynamic and innovative Director of Development and Communications. The Director leads the identification, engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of current and prospective donors and funders. The Director is the lead in all marketing and communications.

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation (ESF) is a mature non-profit organization and an accredited Land Trust dedicated to conserving and restoring the Elkhorn Slough and its watershed. Elkhorn Slough is an extraordinarily rich tidal wetland located at the geographic center of the Monterey Bay shoreline on the central California coast. ESF has directly conserved over 4,000 acres of land and waters in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. The Foundation works closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a partner in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and maintains active public programs.


Job Description: Director of Development and Communications

The Director of Development and Communications is a full-time exempt position reporting to the Executive Director and works closely with the Board of Directors and senior management team. This position works with Development Committee members to increase individual/corporate funding, develop major donor relations, and implement planned giving programs.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

Planning and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program for Elkhorn Slough Foundation

·  Design, recommend and implement fundraising activities including, but not limited to, face-to-face solicitation, direct mail, special events, acknowledgments, and cultivation programs.

·  Analyze data to determine effectiveness of fundraising activities, identifying trends, and developing new strategies for future growth

·  Expand donor recognition program to increase ESF’s ability to recognize and thank its donors at all giving levels, encourage, motivate and reward participation by all, strengthen a sense of affiliation by donors and publicly recognize and thank its generous donors on a regular and ongoing basis.

·   Enlist, motivate, train and engage Board members in their fundraising leadership roles.

·   Lead, coordinate and actively participate in the cultivation and solicitation of donor prospects.

·   Oversee donor management including data entry and processing.

·   Plan, organize, and implement the ESF “Legacy Circle” (planned giving program) including recognizing and cultivating potential planned gift donors.

·    Host education events for Estate Attorneys, Financial Planners, and CPAs.

·    Research and write grant proposals to a range of foundations.

·    Track submission deadlines and reporting dates and requirements, submit required updates and reports and maintain compliance.

·     Maintain and enhance relationships with private/family foundation grant funders.

Plan and implement a marketing communications program supporting ESF programs and its activities.

·     Assure ongoing communications with members, grant funders, and prospects.

·     Design and implement an annual event schedule for members, major donors, and prospective donors including private and public events.

·     Oversee Development & Communication Manager to produce ESF’s print newsletter, Tidal Exchange. Provide story guidance, editing, and support for this 3 times per year publication, as well as monthly e-communication.

·     Direct and implement communications activities that will bring the Elkhorn Slough and its programs to the attention of the public, including preparation of media releases, coordination of media events, and maintaining an active press relations program.

·     As part of the communication program, oversee and support outreach activities including programs with local high school and elementary school, volunteers for ESF properties, tabling at community events, and other activities to engage the community, and support our partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

·     Assure regular updates and maintenance of the website:, as well as Facebook, and other social media.

Plan and implement overall management activities for Development, Communications and Outreach.

·     Supervise Development & Communications Manager, Web designer, and Outreach Specialists. Supervisory responsibilities include, recruiting, interviewing and training employees, planning and directing work, and performance appraisals.

·     Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws.

·     Prepare, submit, manage and adhere to budget for Development, Communication, and Outreach functions.

·     Prepare reports to assess fundraising success, operations and goals accomplished.

·     Interface with Finance team to provide necessary reports to ensure adherence of nonprofit financial, audit, and legal best practices.

·     Direct donation process including database management system (donor/prospect data, gift records, and engagement notes), gift acknowledgement, and identifying and tracking prospect solicitation activity.

·     Communicate and coordinate with ESF partner organizations California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, master’s degree preferred


  • Results oriented, self-starter able to work independently and as member of team
  • Knowledge of land conservation and/or environmental organizations preferred
  • Ability to identify, develop and execute strategic programs that build fundraising capability
  • Demonstrated success with major donor solicitations and sustaining long term donor relationships
  • Experience in planning and managing a development program
  • Experience in planned giving
  • Exceptional written, and oral presentation communication skills. 
  • Excellent computer skills with proficiency Microsoft Office and database programs. Knowledge of eTapestry and other fundraising software helpful.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which will include occasional evening and weekend work
  • Strong commitment to conservation


  • Five plus years of professional fundraising experience with a proven track record of success
  • Ability to lead and participate in donor walks, hikes, and other outdoor events
  • Valid California Driver’s license, clean driving record and 3 years of driving experience

Please visit our website for a full job description and details about how to apply

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree