Assistant Director, Campaign and Strategic Initiatives

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of more than 500 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.


Position Summary:


NRDC is seeking an Assistant Director of Campaign and Strategic Initiatives to work with the Development team in our New York office.   Reporting to the National Director of Campaign and Strategic Initiatives (National Campaign Director), the Assistant Director is responsible for providing strategic consultation and support to the National Campaign Director and Chief Development Officer on all relevant strategies and activities relating to the successful execution of NRDC’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. The Assistant Director will also assist in the development and tracking of moves management strategies and plans for the Chief Development Officer’s portfolio of principal gift prospects.


The Assistant Director will assist in the development of the overall campaign plan and will be specifically responsible for a comprehensive set of campaign duties to include planning, budgeting, communications, volunteer management, and project management. This role will be expected to broadly support campaign and principal gift efforts across the organization. 


The Assistant Director is expected to have experience in large-scale campaigns and a strong background in major and/or principal gifts. He/she should be comfortable in a complex organization working with others with whom he/she has no authority over but whose work represents a key input to the work of the campaign.


This is not a fundraising role and the incumbent will not be responsible for their own portfolio of prospects.


Campaign Operations

  • Support the National Campaign Director in developing the overarching strategy and plan for NRDC’s For Our Future. Now. campaign. This includes planning for NRDC’s slate of 50th Anniversary activities (specifically event and fundraising activities) in support of Development’s overall goals and objectives for this monumental year in the campaign and in NRDC’s history. 
  • Collaborate closely with colleagues in Communications, Major Gifts, and Donor Relations to produce campaign-related collateral (print and web-based), including but limited to the overarching campaign case statement (brochure), mini-cases for support around NRDC’s fundraising priorities, and the campaign website and newsletter. 
  • In partnership with the Chief Development Officer and National Campaign Director, assist with the recruitment and staffing of the Campaign Cabinet. Prepare meeting agendas and materials and follow up as required.  
  • Assist in the preparation of campaign-related materials and presentations to NRDC’s Board of Trustees and its committees. 
  • Monitor and prepare regular campaign progress reports and fundraising updates. 
  • Promote and publicize news about the campaign and major milestones to the NRDC community.
  • Assist in managing the campaign budget.

Principal Gift Operations


  • Assist the Chief Development Officer in the management of her portfolio of prospects including the development of short and long-term plans for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospects and donors identified as needing Chief Development Officer involvement. Proactively explore opportunities to advance donor interests. Anticipate actions/moves required to secure giving at the highest levels. 
  • Disseminate action items and track progress on a regular basis through deliberate review of the Chief Development Officer’s portfolio of prospects. 
  • Produce background and briefing materials for key meetings with NRDC leadership and trustees. 
  • In partnership with Donor Relations, create or provide input on proposals and impact reports for NRDC’s top donors. 
  • Develop and maintain strong and effective relationships with gift officers across NRDC to ensure integration of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for the Chief Development Officer’s portfolio of prospects. Communicates regularly with this group. 
  • Serve as a point of regular communication with Board Relations, Research, Donor Relations, Regional and Major Gift Officers, and Special Projects Team about campaign operations and principal gift strategies and developments. 
  • Perform other special duties as requested


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible campaign and/or major and principal gift experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector, with evidence of passion for the NRDC mission and goals.  
  • Demonstrated success persuading and influencing groups and individuals to support the organization’s agenda with respect to colleagues, volunteer leadership and other potential stakeholders. 
  • Outstanding skills in building, cultivating and stewarding relationships with internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Very strong Microsoft Office Suite skills, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Experience in Salesforce a plus. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills along with outstanding social skills, instincts, judgment and integrity. 
  • Experience working with and managing volunteer committees or boards. 
  • An ambitious and motivated professional, who values working with committed colleagues in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. 
  • Ability to be self-motivated and self-directed. 
  • Comfortable with a flexible work schedule, including travel for campaign and/or major donor cultivation and fundraising events. 
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends as needed.

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. Consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.


For further information about NRDC, please visit


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