Institutional Relations Director

Reports to: President / CEO

Location: Boulder, CO (strongly recommended)

Term and Salary: Full time, exempt ($70k/year plus benefits)


POSITION SUMMARY: River Network seeks an experienced and highly organized professional to join our dynamic and geographically dispersed team. The Institutional Relations Director oversees River Network’s institutional relations and investment portfolio (foundations, corporations, and government or public funding sources), including grant research, writing, submission, and reporting. The Institutional Relations Director has lead responsibility for establishing and meeting or exceeding River Network’s institutional revenue goals, helping us grow to $3.5M in foundation grants and $1.6M in corporate funding over the next five years. This role is highly collaborative in nature, working with a wide range of River Network staff to brainstorm alignment between our current work and aspirations (see our current strategic plan) and investor priorities, develop compelling proposals, establish budgets with oversight from finance, and report on progress against deliverables associated with each grant. They are also responsible for identifying and approaching new prospects to fund our work in collaboration with other staff. We are looking for a smart, energetic, organized, and determined leader with a growth mindset, experience germane to designing and executing resource development strategies, a proven ability to excite interest and investment, and a drive to continually engage with institutional partners in person and by phone, email, and other means.

ABOUT RIVER NETWORK: River Network is the foremost national organization connecting, empowering, and expanding the efforts of thousands of individuals, groups, and coalitions who work on river conservation and water equity across the United States. Today, nearly 6,000 NGOs work at the local level to protect and restore rivers and safeguard clean water across the United States. These champions are on the scene when rivers run dry, become contaminated, or pose a threat to homes and livelihoods. We serve as a backbone organization to this network, providing the tools, resources, and alignment opportunities that help propel individual and collective efforts and impact. River Network staff are located across the United States, with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. We embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of our organization. Through our programs, we seek to connect with all communities and increase the impact of their efforts to secure clean and ample water and help align for collective action on key issues to address today’s water crisis. Through our internal practices, we seek an inclusive workplace culture that attracts diverse staff, board, members, and supporters.


  • Leads the development, implementation of, and refinement of River Network’s institutional investment opportunities and portfolio (foundations, government, and some corporations) in collaboration with various staff, achieving or exceeding revenue goals.
  • Researches, writes, compiles and submits clear, compelling and targeted concept briefs, LOIs, proposals, interim and final reports, and other written and verbal communications to current and prospective foundation, corporate, and public funding sources with appropriate input from staff.
  • Creates and maintains systems to track opportunities, set clear expectations with staff, and gain timely input from River Network collaborators with adequate advance notice.
  • Develops and maintains thorough records and files for all institutional investors in SalesForce and Sharepoint.
  • Stays abreast of best practices in partnering with foundations, corporations, and government agencies as well as emerging and evolving priorities that align with River Network’s existing work and aspirations (drinking water, citizen science, resilient cities and communities, civic engagement, working with the agricultural sector, equity diversity and inclusiveness, etc.).
  • Contributes to River Network’s Leadership Team.
  • Occasional weekend and evening work and travel (up to 10%).


  • Five years professional fundraising and/or grants management, with experience raising funds in excess of $1,000,000 from institutional investors.
  • Exceptional research, writing, and oral communication skills, proven experience translating complex and technical concepts into compelling and clear prose for specific audiences.
  • Extensive experience developing and delivering successful proposals to a variety of foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Ability to comprehend and interpret nonprofit financial statements and work with program and finance staff to develop project budgets to accompany grant proposals and reports.
  • Detail-oriented, with proven experience managing multiple projects simultaneously and delivering assignments within stringent deadlines. This position requires discretion and confidentiality.
  • Highly technologically savvy, with proficiency in donor management systems (Salesforce), grant research systems (Foundation Center), and MS Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Sharepoint, etc.).
  • Commitment to values of mutual respect and collaboration, teamwork and diversity.


  • Knowledge of current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the foundation, corporation, and government or public funding arenas.
  • Knowledge of river conservation, current issues within the water arena, and equity, inclusion and diversity.
  • Experience engaging with a dispersed team, where everyone does not work from the same office.

TO APPLY: Please send cover letter and resume as one integrated PDF or Word document to Storey Blackwell ( with “INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONS DIRECTOR” in the subject line of the email. References, work samples, simulations, and questions will be part of the selection process. Position will remain open until filled with a preliminary deadline for applications of July 12, 2018. No phone calls please.

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