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Director, Principal Gifts Operations

Job Location

Temporarily Remote


Type of Job



$150,000 - $165,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

May 20, 2021

About the job

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy 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 the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. 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. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.


Position Summary:


NRDC is seeking a Director, Principal Gifts Operations to work closely with institutional and Development leaderships and relevant internal stakeholders on the cultivation and stewardship of principal gift donors and prospects. The Director will assist with the development and implementation of individualized engagement plans for Principal Gifts donors and prospects to attract, renew, and upgrade grants of $5M+ in support of NRDC’s mission.




Donor Management:

  • Developing, implementing, and monitoring of individualized cultivation and stewardship plans for Principal Gifts donors and prospects in collaboration with Development and NRDC leaderships. Tasks include overseeing the creation of briefings, proposals, and reports, carrying out personalized communication and outreach plans, tracking principal grants progress, and liaising with internal stakeholders.
  • Planning of monthly PG meetings and other strategy sessions, as well as implementing appropriate follow ups.
  • Overseeing the sound management of NRDC’s Principal Gifts level grants to ensure the renewal and/or upgrade in giving.
  • Supporting planning and implementation of the growth strategy to ensure a steady pipeline of potential new Principal Gifts donors.

Planning and coordination:

  • Ensuring ongoing communication with internal stakeholders and building productive partnerships with all relevant teams.
  • Regular coordination with Program Directors and Department heads to ensure our fundraising efforts are aligned with NRDC’s strategic programmatic and communications priorities.
  • Supporting a process for establishing comprehensive narratives and institution-wide budgets for priority areas of work.
  • Liaising with Finance, President’s office, Program leadership, CPA, and Comms to fulfill comprehensive individual cultivation and stewardship plans.

Team Management:

  • Supervising the work of the Principal Gifts team, including one Grant Manager, one Prospect Manager, and one Writer, to ensure the highest quality of work, as well as alignment with organizational strategic priorities.
  • Establishing efficient processes and systems in support of team’s mandate.
  • Fostering a collaborative atmosphere within the team. Building productive relationships with all internal stakeholders.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • 7+ years’ experience in fundraising, including cultivating and stewarding 7+ figure gifts.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong planning and project management skills. Superior strategic thinking ability.
  • Ability to effectively interact with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, particularly at the senior and executive level.
  • Team-building and supervisory skills.
  • Broad knowledge of environmental issues and environmental donors.
  • Detail-oriented and committed to quality output.
  • Strong commitment to environmental advocacy preferred.
  • Shows a sensitivity, awareness, and willingness to learn and participate in the advancement of DEI required.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Job grade for this role is Guides 4 with a salary ranging from $150,000 to $165,000. Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed before making a final offer.

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. Due to the high volume of resumes, only qualified candidates will be contacted.

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, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.


For further information about NRDC, please visit

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