Director of Leadership Giving & Individual Philanthropy

Job Type

Full Time




11100 Wildlife Center Drive
United States


Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 51 state and territorial affiliates and some six million members and supporters nationwide. The Federation's programs are aimed at conserving wildlife, restoring important habitats and waterways, defending clean air and water, protecting public lands, expanding outdoor opportunities for all, and connecting children with nature.

The Director of Leadership Giving & Individual Philanthropy oversees the Federation’s budding individual major gifts program, leading a team across eight offices in the pursuit of both restricted and unrestricted major gifts at the $10,000 level and above. Together with the Federation’s program and executive leadership, the major gifts team engages thousands of hunters, anglers, hikers, birders, boaters, climbers, campers, cyclists, gardeners, farmers, educators, forest and land stewards, and outdoor enthusiasts of all walks and political stripes who comprise our diverse and growing base of support. The team also curates relationships with the President’s Leadership Council, the Federation’s top tier gift club, comprised of its most loyal and generous individual donors.

As an integral member of a high performing leadership team that is guiding the Philanthropy Division to new levels of success, you will oversee all aspects of major gifts fundraising strategy planning and implementation. You will work closely with the Membership, Mid-Level, Donor Relations and Gift Planning teams to build a robust prospect pipeline without leaks, all in an effort to identify potential funders and elevate levels of giving and engagement by our most loyal and generous individual donors.

In this role you will:

  • Lead the major gifts program, overseeing major gifts fundraising strategy development and implementation, as well as the professional capacity dedicated to major gifts fundraising across our organization.
  • Co-supervise the Directors of Philanthropy with their respective Regional Executive Directors, orchestrating the effective and efficient implementation of strategy to achieve both activity goals and revenue targets. Ensure appropriate levels of communication and information sharing across the team. Work to resolve challenges and remove obstacles, and serve as a sounding board and capable strategist, tailoring management style as necessary to drive the best possible outcomes.
  • Assist in prioritizing key actions for the President & CEO; the Vice President for Philanthropy; Philanthropy staff; regional executives; and program leadership in the engagement, solicitation and stewardship of major donors across the US. With the Vice President, serve as the primary staff liaison to the Executive Office, and administer the CEO’s prospect portfolio.
  • Develop and work to harmonize major gifts messaging, case documents, marketing materials and other collaterals.
  • Proactively identify investment opportunities in collaboration with national and regional program staff, and provide guidance to colleagues across the organization in major gift fundraising methodologies and practices, as well as the design and implementation of fundraising and engagement strategies tailored to individual funders.
  • Guide the Donor Relations team in administering the President’s Leadership Council, including its programs and the various benefits attached to membership. Help develop and implement the various engagement and communication strategies aimed at effectively stewarding this group.
  • Actively manage a portfolio comprised of individual major donors with significant giving capacity, overseeing all aspects of relationship management, including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship for these funders (approximately 50 relationships).
  • Implement strategies and activities designed to substantially increase support from existing funders, while dedicating sufficient time to identify, qualify, and begin building relationships with new funders and partners.
  • Oversee the team’s progress toward fundraising goals and regularly reports on performance. Develop and administer the Major Gifts budget in close collaboration with the Associate Vice President for Philanthropy.
  • Serve as a member of the Federation’s Senior Management Team and the Philanthropy Division’s leadership team.
  • Endeavor to be a knowledgeable and approachable resource for all things major gifts. Actively monitor trends and the range of factors that influence major gifts performance across the industry. Seek professional development and enrichment opportunities to stay current. Is a regular presence at major Federation events and meetings to further establish his or her own profile and to elevate the work of the team.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • College degree required; advanced degree preferred
  • 7+ years of professional experience in individual philanthropy and major gift fundraising. Direct experience soliciting gifts at the $10,000 level and above is required. Experience with leadership gifts and high-impact philanthropy is ideal.
  • Passion for the preservation and protection of wildlife and wild places is highly desirable.
  • Experience in environmental conservation a plus.
  • Entrepreneurial and self-starting, with the demonstrated ability to effectively lead teams and develop professionals. Solid team building skills will serve this position well.
  • Professionalism, with superior interpersonal abilities, communications and political savvy, and excellent time management and organization skills.
  • Demonstrated ability in building major donor relationships, developing and implementing fundraising strategies, coaching senior staff and volunteer leaders, and writing winning proposals and fundraising collaterals.
  • Knowledge of industry trends.
  • Ability to travel domestically, about 20% on average.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and familiarity with CRM and other fundraising software, various databases and management reporting tools.

Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.

We aspire to be an inclusive multicultural organization that celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical ability, and religious and political belief. Diversity at the National Wildlife Federation translates into understanding and valuing each other's perspectives.

The National Wildlife Federation offers excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a family-friendly, flexible work environment. We are committed to building a complementary team and strongly support candidates from all backgrounds to apply. If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we support your application. If selected, a background check will be conducted.

If you are interested you should submit both a cover letter and resume.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree