Development Director

Posted by
Conservation Nation
Washington, DC
Published 23 days ago

Who are you?   

Are you someone who is passionate about wildlife conservation and social equity?  Are you someone who knows how to tell a story, develop relationships, and appeal to donors?  Do you love working in start-up mode, building as you go, and can manage multiple priorities each day?  Are you passionate about building a community of support for a cause you care about?  

If this is you and the opportunity sounds intriguing, we want you to learn more about us.  Read on!  

Who are we?  We are Conservation Nation, and we are just getting started (sort of). 

Conservation Nation is the new path forward for Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ).  Our goal is to save wildlife and their habitats by fueling a self-sustaining movement that brings a more diverse and inclusive community of conservationists to the fight, today and in the future.  Our public launch was September 30, 2021, so we are just getting started!  

What will you do? 

We are starting as a small team and all of us work in multiple areas.  We have engaged fundraising consultants to get us started and have a small group of visionary lead donors, but we need help to build, execute, and grow the strategic plan.  We want you to bring your experience and grow your capabilities in this role.  We will expect you to further define the responsibilities, but here is a list to get you started:  

Build a development program, from the hands-on basics to defining a growth strategy   

Develop an appeals strategy, develop distribution lists, and provide point of contact for donors and prospects  

Serve as point person for donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship  

Identify grant opportunities and prepare proposals   

Join the CEO in fundraising opportunities as one of the ambassadors of Conservation Nation  

Maintain donor and prospect files for individual, foundation, and corporate donors, including contacts, strategies, and research in Salesforce 


Track and calendar grant and reporting deadlines for corporate and foundation prospects  

Manage gift processing and acknowledgement, coordinate with team on tailored communications for Advisory Council, Board, and Major Donor contributions   

Collaborate with the team on all fundraising communications, social media, and marketing activities and support the development of communications materials to showcase CN’s work and attract donors  

Manage recurring funding sources, including workplace giving and matching gift programs  

Collaborate with the CEO to engage the board and advisory council in fundraising  

Develop and manage sponsorship opportunities for public events and programs  

 Coordinate consultants, as needed   

Own the content in the Ways to Give section of website  

What else could we possibly need from you? 

Educational background and experience that supports your work, most likely a bachelor's degree.  Ideally, 3 to 5 years of experience leading development and fundraising, demonstrating skills in donor identification and management, ‘making the ask,’ and appropriate follow-up  

Work history that has developed your confidence to successfully navigate interactions with senior leaders  

Experience building the development function of a non-profit or foundation  

Proven ability, willingness, and desire to represent Conservation Nation to a variety of audiences with effective written and verbal English skills, other languages are a plus  

Thrive in both self-directed and team-focused work with the ability to lead colleagues and influence leaders  

Fluency in Microsoft 365 applications and comfort learning new platforms.  Salesforce experience is a plus.  

Flexibility to transport yourself around the DC metro area, as needed, although most work will happen in a home office, office, or school-like environment  

Ambition to grow and expand the role  

What do we do for our team? 

We are truly a people-first, family-friendly team.    

Our budget for this role is targeted at $100,000 per year.  

We are currently working from home.  We have virtual team meetings twice a week to stay connected.    

When logistically possible, we meet in person once per month because we like seeing each other in person.  

We encourage you to take time off to rest, rejuvenate, and have fun, as well as care for yourself and your loved ones with “Minimum PTO” (unlimited paid time off of at least 3 weeks per year).  

We help you with healthcare premiums and a technology stipend.  

We support your saving for retirement. 


We practice our belief that diverse voices bring phenomenal value to our work.    

Should you need an accommodation, we welcome a discussion about how we can help you be successful in your role.  

Wow!  If you are still reading, you must be interested.  Learn more about us at    

Please share your work story with us even if your background is not a perfect match.  We look forward to hearing from you! 

Who are you?   

Are you someone who is passionate about wildlife conservation and social equity?  Are you someone who knows how to tell a story, develop relationships, and appeal to donors?  Do you love working in start-up mode, building as you go, and…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Application Deadline
    July 10, 2022
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required
  • Experience Level
USD $99,999 - USD $100,000
/ year


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Washington, DC
Associated Location
Washington, DC, USA

How to Apply

Please attach a cover letter.

Please attach a cover letter.

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.