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Foundation Relations Officer

Job Location

Remote (See job description for details)


Type of Job



Low 70s to low 80s

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Oct 5, 2021

About the job

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Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization, with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and stripes. The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. We advance this mission through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, advancing environmental justice, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.


The National Wildlife Federation believes that in order to save wildlife and ourselves, we need to ensure that everyone in America has clean air and water, safe communities, easy and equitable access to the daily benefits of nature, and protection from the ravages of climate change. These basic needs, equally necessary and urgent for all people, are foundational to bringing the conservation movement and ethos into the 21st century.


To advance our mission, the National Wildlife Federation seeks a Foundation Relations Officer with strong interpersonal, collaborative, written and verbal communications skills—as well as demonstrated abilities to juggle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment. Reporting to the Senior Director of Foundation & Government Relations, the Officer will join a high performing and accomplished team that is working to grow and diversify institutional funding. This is an exciting time of growth at the National Wildlife Federation. This role is ideal for a deadline-driven, well-organized, and entrepreneurial self-starter who seeks opportunities to leverage professional talents and expertise to contribute meaningfully toward accomplishing the Federation’s ambitious conservation agenda.


Responsibilities Include:


  • Implement strategies and activities designed to increase support from existing foundation funders, and identify new potential avenues of foundation support.
  • Work closely with the Federation’s Institutional Relations team, program staff, and senior leadership to drive fundraising strategy to support program expansion.
  • Research the giving interests of foundation funders, and stay abreast of philanthropic trends and recent foundation giving, particularly for assigned funders.
  • Identify new opportunities for funding that align with National Wildlife Federation’s cross-cutting programs through prospect research, working closely with philanthropy and foundation team research staff.
  • Prepare foundation materials, including but not limited to proposals, letters of inquiry, grant reports, agreements, emails, presentations, and acknowledgment letters. This includes drafting original content, editing, and formatting as needed.
  • Assist with planning and executing meetings with foundation staff; research and draft briefings for executive leadership in advance of foundation meetings; and prepare senior staff for foundation meetings and phone calls.
  • Partner with National Wildlife Federation program staff to cultivate relationships with both current and prospective donors, and support foundation fundraising on the part of the Federation’s leadership.
  • Track grant requirements and deadlines, as well as funder contact.
  • Liaise with program, program operations, and finance staff to monitor grant spending.
  • Perform other duties as assigned or needed to move forward National Wildlife Federation’s foundation relations portfolio.




  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science is required. Advanced degree is desirable.
  • 4+ years of foundation relations experience or comparable work with foundations.
  • Experience managing a seven-figure portfolio of foundation donors, and managing relationships with both program officers and internal colleagues to help advance successful fundraising efforts and relationship building.
  • Experience writing foundation grant proposals and reports, as well as reviewing budgets and financial reports.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Exemplary written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and prospect research skills.
  • Solid interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft CRM database is desirable.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed to meet deadlines and manage workflow.


Further, in this position, your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus. These may be demonstrated by your experience:


  • Working collaboratively with an integrated and diverse team of professionals
  • Appreciating diversity of opinion as well as respect for individuals
  • Being a self-starter capable of putting plans into action and meeting deadlines
  • Prioritizing time and working efficiently
  • Showing a high-level performance in independent work and using problem solving, initiative and creativity
  • Being detail-oriented
  • Communicating well in writing and orally


Desired Competencies:


  • Dedicated to deepening understanding of cultural and systemic racism and the intersectionality of multiple forms of social inequality
  • Demonstrates awareness of positional power and privilege (both personally and professionally) and its attendant impacts
  • Consistently brings a high level of empathy and interpersonal skills to work and social interactions
  • Acknowledges when mistakes are made and harm is done; works to repair breaches in relationships
  • Exhibits a responsible and respectful demeanor with colleagues and partners
  • Actively seeks feedback, direction, and guidance from all team members and keeps staff informed of decisions that impact them
  • Committed to deepening an environmental justice approach in policy priorities, program development and partner engagement
  • Commitment to and strong skills related to leadership, strategy development, fundraising, and personnel management
  • Passion for and commitment to NWF's mission


Remote work:


Due to Covid-19, all employees are currently teleworking. We anticipate offices may begin reopening in January, 2022. Options for longer-term remote and/or hybrid work will be considered for the right candidate. This position works closely with multiple Federation staff, the majority of whom are based in the D.C. metro/Mid-Atlantic. We are, however, willing to consider applicants based near our regional offices, which can be found here:




When offices reopen, travel (~15%) will be expected to engage in-person with National Wildlife Federation’s teams working across the U.S. Funder travel is also anticipated once travel and meetings are safe and wise to conduct.


Compensation and Benefits:


The salary range for this position starts in the low 70s to low 80s, depending on experience.


The National Wildlife Federation values work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere. Our paid time-off includes 3 weeks of vacation leave, open wellbeing leave, 10 paid holidays, 3 floating holidays, a week-long winter break, and additional leave options, per year. In addition, our benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, company paid life insurance, AD&D, short- and long-term disability, 16 weeks of paid FMLA leave, 403b retirement plan with employer matching and annual contribution, adoption benefits, and flexible work options including telecommuting, non-traditional work hours, and compressed work weeks. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s benefits package at




Applications will be reviewing on a rolling basis. Applicants must submit both a resume and cover letter to be considered.

We strive to increase equity and justice in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to equity and justice at


If you have a disability and require an accommodation or assistance with our online application process, please tell us how we can help by calling us at 703-438-6244.


The requirements listed in our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules, and if you have 75% of the qualifications listed we encourage you to apply. Your experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, which helps build the competencies, knowledge, and skills that translates directly to our openings. Applying gives you the opportunity to be considered.


If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.

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