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Foundations Officer I

Job Location

San Francisco, CA


Type of Job



$96,300 - $107,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jul 6, 2021

About the job

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals, and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time and bring about positive change. We are guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. We are here because th e earth needs a good lawyer.


Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Bozeman, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tallahassee, and Washington, DC.

The Foundations Officer I is an integral part of a 12-person foundation relations team, which raises approximately one-third of Earthjustice’s contributed revenue. The Foundations Officer raises grant support for their designated program areas, managing a portfolio of foundation donors and prospects, working in close collaboration with program staff, which may include the president, vice presidents of litigation, and attorneys. This position may also collaborate with board members and other development staff to develop and implement effective strategies for meeting revenue goals.  


Foundation Solicitation and Relationship Development: 50% (writing 10%; research/prospecting 10%; foundation relationship building/stewardship 25%)

  • Manages portfolio of foundation grants, targeting $1 - 3 million annually toward team’s cash goal.
  • Ensure growth of donor base by identifying, researching, and cultivating potential sources of foundation support.
  • Research foundation guidelines and giving histories and talk to informed allies to determine best approach for Earthjustice solicitation, when possible. Monitor program developments at relevant foundations.
  • Stay abreast of foundation trends through philanthropic journals and other sources.
  • Engage in personal contact with foundation staff to cultivate, solicit, and steward foundation donors; coordinate appropriate program staff involvement at each stage.
  • Serve as a resource to foundation staff seeking information about Earthjustice, about the environmental community, or about environmental issues more broadly.
  • Work with program staff to develop and submit the highest quality letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and reports to foundations.
  • Engage foundations and other informed allies in discussions about program direction and gap analysis.
  • Write and submit timely gift acknowledgement letters.
  • Monitor and meet foundation proposal and reporting deadlines in coordination with attorneys’ schedules.
  • Monitor and track foundation commitments or deliverables and communicate these expectations with program staff. Identify and develop opportunities for personal communication between foundation contacts and Earthjustice staff, such as personal meetings, invitations to events, and program update briefings.
  • Write briefings memos and prepare the president, senior leadership, and attorneys for foundation meetings.
  • Manage travel and other logistics for funder meetings, in collaboration with foundations associate.

Program Engagement 25%


Follow issues related to Earthjustice litigation and remain conversant in the work of assigned Earthjustice programs. This includes reading all relevant New Matter Forms, news and communications generated by Earthjustice, and news from external sources such as E&E Publishing and Greenwire.

  • Develop a working knowledge of Earthjustice’s past accomplishments and current programs and budget.
  • Work with program staff to define and articulate broad program vision, goals, objectives, and specific strategies to attain them. Maintain regular communication with program staff on grant management.
  • Track the status of relevant legal cases and programs through ongoing conversations with program staff, and surveying Earthjustice’s web site and press releases.

Budget Creation and Financial Reporting: 10%

  • Develop budgets and financial reports in coordination with program and finance staff and occasionally with external partners.
  • Coordinating with litigation operations and finance staff, track case lists to inform budget construction and financial reporting.
  • Define new bodies of work by researching and aggregating cases; support budget development for new programs.
  • Keep program staff abreast of grant-related budget commitments.

General Responsibilities: 15%

  • Advance Earthjustice’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by participating in DEI-related meetings, committees, and trainings, and by supporting fundraising for Earthjustice’s clients and partners.
  • Participate in the preparation of foundation revenue estimates for the annual budget.
  • Develop and implement an individual work plan to meet revenue goals.
  • Periodically provide revenue re-projections based on actual year-to-date performance.
  • Collaborate with development staff on donor cultivation activities, site visits, solicitations, and special events.
  • Coordinate with the events team to ensure donors are invited toto appropriate events.
  • Support the senior development officer, deputy director of foundation relations, and director of foundation relations as needed.
  • Maintain current and accurate records to track foundation relations. Document interactions with foundations in our relational database.
  • Attend departmental and organizational retreats for shared planning, team building, and professional development.
  • Represent development department in legal practice groups.
  • Additional duties as assigned.
  • This position requires occasional travel.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 3-5 years of successful experience in foundation fundraising. Knowledge of foundations that emphasize environmental giving preferred.
  • Background in law, policy, and/or the environment preferred.
  • Excellent creative writing skills, including the ability to develop successful grant proposals, reports, and other materials. Ability to synthesize complex material, to translate it into readable and engaging prose, and to communicate it clearly and succinctly.
  • Ability to build and interpret a program budget and financial reports.
  • Outstanding verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Extraordinary attention to detail.
  • High level of intellectual curiosity.
  • Outstanding commitment to producing high quality work products.
  • Ability to prioritize and to manage work independently; ability to perform effectively and with minimal supervision under pressure of multiple deadlines.
  • Keen ability to troubleshoot complicated projects to their completion.
  • Ability to take initiative in identifying and skillfully solving problems.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a wide range of people, including the public, foundation staff, and in-house staff.
  • Ability to work constructively as a member of a team.
  • Interest in environmental protection and public health issues.
  • Legal and/or environmental background preferred.
  • Ability to use relational database systems.
  • An awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Contribution to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive. We also offer an extremely supportive and congenial work environment and a casual dress code. 

Salary range is based on experience and location. 
Salary range in San Francisco, CA: $96,300 - $107,000
Salary range for remote locations will vary.


To Apply:
Interested candidates should submit the following via Jobvite:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter

Click here to apply:


Please reach out to if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.


Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.


For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment-qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


For positions located within the City of Los Angeles:We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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