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Senior Director, Donor Relations and Special Events

Job Location



Type of Job



$170,000 - $180,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jun 2, 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 Senior Director, Donor Relations and Special Events to work with the Development team headquartered in our New York office.  The Senior Director will lead NRDC’s Donor Relations and Special Events teams in the development and implementation of a transformative, best-in-class donor engagement platform that will fully support and elevate the critical engagement activities (cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship) of a robust and growing population of major and principal gift donors within the context of NRDC’s multi-year, $1 billion For Our Future. Now. fundraising campaign.


Working in close partnership with the NRDC’s major and principal gift fundraisers, Development leadership, and colleagues from across the organization, the Senior Director will be responsible for developing and driving innovative, high-touch communications strategies and vehicles, including sophisticated and impactful fundraising collateral (digital and print), reports, proposals, and digital communications. The Senior Director will also be responsible for developing and implementing a national, revenue-generating donor events strategy, including the planning and execution of high-production, million-dollar fundraising events for NRDC, both virtual and in-person.


The Senior Director must exhibit excellent relationship management and collaboration skills, and a superior ability to develop, gain buy-in for, and implement strategies that attract, engage, and retain NRDC’s top prospects and donors.



  • Develop and implement a comprehensive major and principal gift donor engagement plan that includes the close coordination and collaboration of activities supported by Donor Relations and Special Events.
  • Expertly lead the Donor Relations and Special Events teams.Ensure the teams are coordinated and working efficiently and effectively in service to our major and principal gift fundraising efforts.
  • Establish clear performance expectations and goals, and a strong system of accountability.
  • Proactively seek opportunities for individual and team career growth and knowledge building.
  • Proactively address performance issues.
  • In partnership with colleagues in Major and Principal Gifts and on the Campaign Team, prepare donor materials including fundraising proposals, stewardship reports, presentation decks, campaign and case for support brochures, and digital communications.
  • Synthesize and communicate about NRDC’s programmatic work and issues by developing compelling donor engagement activities and cultivation materials.
  • Enhance and elevate the strategies, tactics, and processes for recognition and stewardship of our major and principal gift donors.
  • Maintain a comprehensive calendar of communications activities (annual) targeted for major and principal gift donors.
  • Establish and maintain strong and productive partnerships with internal stakeholders including colleagues within Development, Communications, Programs, and Finance.
  • Develop and manage team revenue and expense budgets.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of the interests and expectations of NRDC’s major and principal gift donors.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum 10 years Donor Relations and Event management experience required
  • Direct team management experience required
  • Graphic design and marketing background preferred
  • Demonstrated success developing stewardship and cultivation tools for top donors
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent planning and project management skills and ability to independently manage multiple assignments and deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills and experience working with complex budgets
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Collegial team player able to interact effectively with diverse constituencies and contribute to the collaborative dynamic of the department and the organization
  • Strong commitment to environmental advocacy preferred
  • Shows a sensitivity, awareness and willingness to learn and participate in the advancement of DEI strongly preferred
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.

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 $170,000 to $180,000.  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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