Director of Development, NY Tri-State and D.C. Region

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 currently seeking a skilled Director of Development to lead NRDC’s Major Gifts program for the eastern region, which currently comprises the New York Tri-state area and the Washington, D.C metropolitan region. The Major Gifts program is responsible for raising over $10 million annually in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. This full-time position, located at NRDC’s New York headquarters, will play an important role in our 50th anniversary celebrations and our ambitious $1 billion comprehensive campaign to be launched in 2020.


The Director is expected to plan, direct, and execute a Major Gifts strategy for the region in partnership with Special Projects, Membership, Donor Relations, and all other development colleagues. This includes the effective deployment of up to four Major Gifts Officers that the Director will manage and leveraging senior leadership to accelerate giving in the region. The Director will personally manage a high-value portfolio of at least 100 donors with capacity to give at the six- and seven-figure levels. The Director will join a senior team of regional directors of development, working closely with colleagues in other regional offices to maximize NRDC’s national brand and reach


  • Under the direction of the National Director for Major Gifts, establish annual Tri-state and D.C. region fundraising goals and a clear strategy for achieving them.
  • Direct and mentor a team comprised of up to four Major Gifts Officers.
  • Manage a high-value portfolio of at least 100 donors with the capacity to give at the six- and seven-figure levels.
  • Personally cultivate and solicit major gifts from current and prospective donors.
  • Set strategies and timetables for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of high-level gifts from current major donors and prospects for senior leadership, program staff, and volunteers.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for new fundraising efforts that will expand and diversify the funding base.
  • Contribute to the creation of fundraising materials that will resonate with major donors.
  • Partner with and support NRDC’s leadership with respect to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts, using their time and talents appropriately; ensure their effectiveness as representatives of NRDC.
  • Work with the New York Special Projects and Membership teams to plan events in the region that maximize major donor and prospect cultivation opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain expert familiarity with programmatic needs, budgets, and priorities.
  • Serve as a senior representative of the national development team within the New York office.


The Director of Development, Tri-State and D.C. Region must be a highly skilled major gift fundraiser with a track record of successfully and strategically identifying, cultivating, and stewarding donors at the six- and seven-figure levels. Other desired skills and qualifications include:

  • Ability to manage and mentor staff and to coach fundraisers to increasing levels of success;
  • Ability to interface effectively with the highest level of NRDC donors and senior staff members;
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple, complex fundraising activities simultaneously, in a fast-paced environment;
  • Strong communication, writing, and interpersonal skills; and,
  • Passion for the mission and goals of NRDC.
  • 10+ years of fundraising experience with a focus on major gifts, and a strong familiarity with philanthropic communities across the New York Tri-state area and D.C. metropolitan region.
  • Experience with large-scale fundraising campaigns a plus.
  • Experience with advocacy or environmental groups a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.


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. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, for positions based in San Francisco, CA 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. 


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