Advancement Director

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Job Title: Advancement Director, Northeast/South Region
Department: Advancement
Location: Washington D.C., location strongly preferred.
This position requires travel throughout the eastern and southern US.
Reports To: Sr. Managing Director, Major Gifts, East
Supervises: N/A

: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of interdependence. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel injustice, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our future. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it. Sierra Club has close to 800 staff across the country and a network of 64 local chapters that are led and fueled by thousands of volunteers. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with three labor unions representing more than half of our employees.

This is an opportunity to join the Advancement team of the country’s leading grassroots environmental organization. At a critical time for the planet, Sierra Club is running highly effective campaigns to address climate change, protect wilderness and wildlife, and advance these priorities by rooting the work in justice and equity for all. We are seeking an Advancement Director responsible for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting gifts of $25,000 and greater. In this position, you will be part of a dynamic team of gift officers raising upwards of $65 million dollars annually for our high-impact campaigns from individual donors, family foundations, and institutional funders within the defined geographic region. The Advancement Director will engage donors and prospects throughout the region via discovery, cultivation, engagement, solicitation and stewardship activities. Valid driver’s license, satisfactory driving record, and proof of auto insurance required. 40-50% of travel is typically expected in this role.

Job activities include but are not limited to:

  • Portfolio Management
  • Personally manages a portfolio of high-potential prospects and donors by identifying and cultivating new prospects.
  • Engages with prospects and donors through face-to-face meetings, phone, video conference, digital engagements, and writing based on a clear strategy for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Solicits assigned donors for gifts of $25,000 and more to meet organizational priorities and annual projected fundraising revenue goals.
  • In collaboration with the Sr. Managing Director, Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) and other Advancement Team members, identifies and pursues new prospects, developing and implementing a clear strategy for each prospect, leading to new and increased giving over time by connecting donor philanthropic priorities with Sierra Club’s programs and priorities.
  • Leverages donor engagement events in the Northeast and South geographic regions to identify, cultivate and solicit new and existing prospects and donors.
  • Prepares and sends donor correspondence, including written solicitations and proposals.
  • Develops and maintains an in-depth knowledge of the organization’s activities, priorities and needs. Applies this knowledge in matching the interests and needs of prospective donors with the strategic needs of the organization and campaigns.
  • Captures all interactions and relationships in the donor database in a timely manner.
  • 40%-50% travel is likely for this role with travel occurring across the country.

  • Strategic Planning and Execution
  • Drives strategies and plans to identify, cultivate, upgrade and/or solicit new donors, with an eye towards building a strong pipeline of qualified major donors and high-net-worth individuals with the capacity to give $25,000 or greater.
  • Maintain knowledge and expertise in environmental issues broadly, including climate change, clean energy, land, water and wildlife conservation. Work with Campaign and Chapter key staff and teams to help develop and implement relevant major gift programs, initiatives, events, and materials.

The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience and competencies:

  • 7-10 years of senior-level experience or equivalent combination of experience and education in development and major gift fundraising, including a strong background in the identification, qualification and cultivation and solicitation of six and higher figure gifts to nonprofit organizations or similar equivalent experience.
  • Proven ability and inclination to build a portfolio of prospects and grow a revenue pipeline through active identification, qualification and cultivation strategies
  • Strong knowledge of fundraising best practices, planned giving, financial and/or estate planning concepts, and campaign planning.
  • Personal success identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual and institutional donors at the major and principal gifts levels, and ability to inspire high-net-worth individuals and institutional funders to provide significant financial support to an organization.
  • Deep understanding of and appreciation for the philanthropic process and individual giving behaviors.
  • Experience working with organizational leadership, preferably in a non-profit setting.
  • Ability to develop strong, positive, and constructive relationships with internal and external stakeholders; high emotional intelligence and flexibility, with the ability to continually experiment, learn, and revise strategies; and the exceptional ability to juggle a heavy volume of diverse projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize, multi-task, and meet deadlines and fundraising goals.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and presentation skills and demonstrated ability to handle complex environmental and social justice issues and translate information about them to diverse audiences in ways that are consistent with the Sierra Club’s mission and goals and that will encourage long-lasting connections to the organization.
  • Proficiency with fundraising databases and MS Office applications.
  • Passion for the Sierra Club’s commitment to environmental and social justice.
  • Positive energy and good humor that engenders enthusiasm and collaboration.
  • Ability to travel 40-50% of the time as needed across the country.
  • Committed to evolution. You are aware of your group identities and how they have shaped your life and experiences at work. You have an analysis of how racism and other forms of oppression in society impact relationships, systems, and culture. You bring experience and skills for working effectively with colleagues across group identities and position/role.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a constructive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for this position is $95,000 - $112,000.

This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit and is subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between Sierra Club and Progressive Workers Union or Sierra Employee Alliance, depending on location.

The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

This is a category 4 exempt, represented position.

Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club People Department in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce belonging.
To Apply
The Sierra Club provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, lived experience and skills. The Sierra Club does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.

The Sierra Club values applicants who are people that identify as Black, Indigenous, and other minoritized groups; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people.
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