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Director of Philanthropy
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin
Date Posted 05/18/2022
Salary 70000 - 85000  USD Per Year
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline 06/03/2022

POSITION: Director of Philanthropy
REPORTS TO: Executive Director
SUPERVISES: Membership Director

This is a full-time, senior level professional position (averaging 40 hours per week).

211 S. Paterson St., Madison, Wisconsin*
*This position has the flexibility to work a hybrid schedule. A minimum of two days per week at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin office preferred.

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin believes that nature has inherent value, and that people can make a positive difference. NRF is a statewide nonprofit organization works to protect Wisconsin’s natural heritage by supporting critical conservation work through grant programs, engagement, and partnership development. NRF offers opportunities for people to experience Wisconsin’s outdoors through a statewide Field Trip Program and providing a means for people to help protect Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife that they cherish most, through our diverse ways to give.

NRF is based in Madison, Wisconsin around four lakes and the ancestral home of the Ho-Chunk Nation. The Fox (Meskwaki) and Sauk tribes also lived in the area. We strive to be a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just conservation organization. We are integrating our commitment to DEI throughout our operations and programs.

We believe diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. We value the contributions of every person and respect the ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinions enrich our work and communities. We believe excellence is promoted through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

The Natural Resources Foundation seeks an enthusiastic, charismatic, innovative, organized, and responsible individual with an appreciation for nature and the environment to join its team. The Director of Philanthropy, along with the executive director, is responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing NRF’s fundraising initiatives and activities to support its programs and operations and build financial resilience for the future.

The Director of Philanthropy, in collaboration with the executive director, board of directors, and NRF Donor Relations Committee works to create and sustain relationships with individuals, businesses, foundations, and agencies to secure funding to achieve our mission and meet our $1.1 M operating budget. The Director of Philanthropy will collaborate with individuals and organizations to direct funding through our diverse ways to give, which include outright and planned gifts for NRF and our conservation programs, as well as creating spend down funds or permanently endowed funds held within NRF’s Wisconsin Conservation Endowment – a portfolio of 100+ funds that provide sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife.

The Director of Philanthropy will also support the expansion of a donor community and fundraising approach that aligns with our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

We strongly encourage applicants from individuals who have a passion for conservation and the work outlined below, even if their professional experience does not align perfectly with the experiences listed. The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin supports paid professional development opportunities and training., and support from fellow staff members.


Advancement, Development, & Fundraising

  • Set and meet ambitious annual revenue goals, steering NRF’s overall strategy and collaborative leadership across fundraising activities to secure and maintain diverse funding sources of support annually and for long-term organizational resilience.
  • Identify new strategies and areas of emphasis, based in up-to-the moment awareness of the national funding landscape and opportunities, demographic and giving trends, best practices, and emerging data.
  • Lead and hold direct responsibility for NRF’s fundraising efforts, collaborating closely with the executive director, director of conservation programs, communications director, and programmatic staff.
  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 120 donors and prospects. Make at least 100 visits (aspire to 120 visits), virtual or in-person, annually.
  • Produce and distribute major donor cultivation and stewardship communications including personal thank you correspondence, thank you calls, written updates and impact reports.
  • In collaboration with the executive director and key staff, shape and present an ambitious revenue budget for board of directors’ approval.
  • Oversee grants management, proposal, and report writing by development and program staff, engaging directly as needed on messaging and content and coordinating efforts.
  • Work with the executive director, communications director, and key staff, to ensure accurate and compelling communications are developed that represent NRF in donor forums effectively.
  • Coordinate with the executive director and other key staff to craft effective program asks that direct fundraising where it is needed most.
  • Be fluent in NRF’s work and impact on Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife.
  • Stay abreast of trends and changes in conservation philanthropy, ensuring that NRF’s development work is nimble, innovative, and effective within our rapidly changing landscape.

Organizational Leadership

  • Contribute to the organization-wide implementation of fundraising goals and strategies within NRF’s Strategic Plan
  • Set and lead the agenda for the fundraising department, including the development, implementation, and progress reporting of three-year strategic plan goals and one-year targets that align with overall organization priorities.
  • Serve on relevant internal teams/committees that engage with fundraising and serve as the staff liaison for the Board of Director’s Donor Relations Committee.
  • Embrace and foster NRF’s organizational culture that is consistent with our mission and values and model a supportive work environment, work-life balance, and a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, & justice.
  • Provide leadership in NRF’s efforts to build a diverse staff, board, and partner network by seeking out, welcoming, and providing a supportive environment for diverse voices and backgrounds.
  • Inspire and engage in efforts that ensure continuous improvement of the organization overall.
  • Direct the development and execution of the annual program budget, in coordination with other development staff and in consultation with finance staff.

Other Duties As Required


  • A commitment to NRF’s mission and values.
  • At least seven years relevant nonprofit development/advancement or foundation philanthropy experience.
  • A proven history of major gift solicitation from individual donors.
  • Comfort engaging with donors and perspective donors on a regular basis in-person, via Zoom, or phone.


  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents.
  • Effective organizational and project management skills.
  • Strong client service orientation and attention to detail.
  • Working knowledge and use of MS Office Suite and donor database management tools.
  • Donor research experience.
  • Knowledge of and love for Wisconsin.
  • Experience working directly with a board of directors and executive leadership.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience managing budgets and teams.


  • Demonstrated expertise in nonprofit fundraising systems and best practices with deep and current knowledge of the overall philanthropic field and how strategies fit together.
  • Excellent oral and written communication abilities including experience in effectively crafting solicitations, including both written and in person “asks.”
  • An awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Expertise in donor communications, including donor acquisition, and strategies for donor stewardship and engagement.
  • Experience and knowledge of equity-centered and donor-centered fundraising principles.
  • Aptitude for creating compelling narratives around conservation science.
  • Available to periodically attend/participate in NRF events and programs, with occasional work on nights and weekends
  • Ability to work periodically in natural environments and outdoor weather conditions
  • Capacity to collaborate with financial experts and data.


  • $70,000 to $85,000 per year to start, based on experience and qualifications
  • 16 days paid time off
  • Flexible, hybrid work schedule
  • Private office
  • Free parking
  • Office on Capital City Bike Trail
  • Ten paid holidays
  • GHC health & Delta dental insurance (NRF pays 75% of individual health & dental insurance premiums)
  • Life, short-term and long-term disability insurance (NRF pays 100% of basic premium)
  • Two paid NRF Field Trips
  • 403(b) retirement plan – 4% contribution
  • Flexible spending account
  • Madison Metro Bus Commuter Pass
  • We encourage life-long learning and support ongoing professional development


A complete application will include:

  • Cover letter which speaks to your experience and how it meets the qualifications of this position.
  • Resume.
  • Three professional references.

Please combine the requirements above into one pdf and email to
Incomplete applications will not be considered.

This position will remain open until filled. For best consideration apply by June 3rd, 2022.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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