Director of Philanthropy

National Wildlife Federation | Seattle, Washington


Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation's mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

Job Summary

To support our mission, we seek a Director of Philanthropy to join a team of program staff and development professionals as we work to further build conservation programs in the Northern Rockies, Prairies & Pacific Region and achieve the goals outlined in the Federation’s ambitious strategic plan. Together, we bring to the table executive and programmatic leadership with senior level professionals with expertise in individual major gifts, foundation relations, campaign management, and member engagement toward the goal of dramatically scaling up philanthropic investment in key conservation programs, campaign initiatives, coalition work, and mission delivery. As a Director of Philanthropy, you’ll serve as a key partner to the Associate Vice President for Individual Philanthropy and the executive and programmatic leadership of our Northern Rockies, Prairies & Pacific Regional Center in Missoula, Montana and our office in Seattle, Washington. You’ll be responsible for all aspects of individual major gift philanthropy, building relationships with prospects and donors with the capacity to make $10,000+ philanthropic gifts. You’ll also serve as an important strategic thought partner on institutional funding opportunities that support regional priorities.

You’ll work in close collaboration with the organization’s Philanthropy Division, comprised of professionals in philanthropy operations and donor engagement as well as colleagues in foundation relations and individual major gifts across NWF’s other offices and regional centers. This is an exciting and critically important time at NWF as we work with our members, donors and affiliates to recover America’s wildlife and address the growing climate crisis.

This position is Seattle based, but there may be opportunities for remote work for the right candidate.


  • Effectively engage a portfolio of individual major donors with the capacity and propensity to make charitable gifts and philanthropic investments at the $10,000 level and above. In time, your portfolio will comprise 100+ individuals and families. You’ll develop highly tailored engagement strategies for these supporters, and you’ll be responsible for all aspects of relationship management, including cultivation, engagement, solicitation and stewardship within your portfolio.
  • Dedicate sufficient time to identifying, qualifying, and building relationships with new funders, assessing their capacity for making major gifts and their philanthropic interests.
  • Qualify and cultivate key prospects through a strategic program of personal engagement, in-person visits, telephone calls, letters, emails /messages, and select events and excursions. You’ll maximize your time by planning and coordinating your travel, and you’ll help coordinate visits for senior executives and program staff, prioritizing key actions for them to undertake in support of donor engagement and fundraising activities.
  • Develop and communicate to donors a thorough understanding of the Federation’s conservation and education programs and opportunities of special interest. Lead in the development of proposals and a range of other collaterals and reports that highlight opportunities that will resonate and compel action and investment.
  • Proactively identify investment opportunities in collaboration with program staff and provide guidance to colleagues across teams in the design and implementation of fundraising and engagement strategies for individual major donors.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with colleagues in Philanthropy and Conservation Programs; attend the Federation’s Annual Meetings; actively participate in cross-departmental gatherings and retreats; and join other convenings and excursions as appropriate.
  • Provide strategic advice and support around regional approaches to foundations and corporations.
  • Develop relationships with NWF affiliates, and seek mutually beneficial opportunities on which we can engage.
  • Assist in prioritizing key actions for the Associate Vice President for Philanthropy; the Northern Rockies, Praries and Pacific Regional Center Executive Director and other executive and program staff across the Federation in support of donor engagement and fundraising activities. Collaborate with Philanthropy’s leadership team, and with colleagues in other offices and regional centers, in supporting the NWF Board’s donor engagement and fundraising efforts.
  • Personally acknowledge appropriate gifts made from donors in your portfolio. Serve as their main point of contact, and address their inquiries to appropriate NWF staff in a timely manner. Maintain hard files, electronic donor files and prospect management-related information as appropriate -- you’ll be responsible for tracking various steps / moves / actions in CRM.
  • Meet and endeavor to surpass both restricted and unrestricted revenue targets and other performance goals. Safeguard sensitive information, and protect funder confidence. Work with us as endeavor to build a unified team structure to champion the bold conservation priorities identified in the Federation’s strategic plan.
  • Endeavor to stay current and knowledgeable of industry trends and best practices. Be active in our profession, and serve as a knowledgeable resource for colleagues on all things fundraising. Help facilitate information sharing and two-way communication, and advise staff across the organization on our policies and protocols.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s Degree required; advanced degree and a record of continued professional development is highly desirable.
  • 5-7+ years of professional experience in individual philanthropy, with a successful track record in securing gifts at the $10,000+ and above, and demonstrated expertise in building major donor relationships, developing and implementing fundraising strategies, coaching senior staff and volunteer leaders, and writing winning proposals and fundraising collaterals is required.
  • Personal warmth and enthusiasm, and a genuine interest in and ability to work well with a wide range of individuals while respecting that various ways they engage with our natural world is necessary.
  • Professionalism, with superior interpersonal abilities, communications and political savvy, and excellent time management and organization skills. Intellectual curiosity, creative energy, level-headedness, and analytical and critical thinking skills will serve this position well. So, too, are the energetic and self-starting, who are equally capable whether working independently or as part of a team.
  • Proven ability to follow through and complete projects on schedule and manage time and resources effectively, with attention to detail, and sensitivity to Federation policies and protocols.
  • Passion for the preservation and protection of wildlife and wild places, and personal commitment to NWF’s mission and the ability to articulate that commitment. Experience in environmental and conservation organizations is a plus.
  • Knowledge of industry trends and command of its best practices.
  • Ability to travel domestically, about 30% on average. Occasional overnight trips. And it’s anticipated a good measure of travel within the region will be by car, so a valid driver’s license is required.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and familiarity with CRM and other fundraising software, various databases and management reporting tools.

Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.


The National Wildlife Federation offers excellent benefits, including 16 weeks of paid FMLA leave, competitive compensation, and a family-friendly, flexible work environment.


We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) 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 or transsexual 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 diversity, equity, and inclusion 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.

If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we support your application. If selected, a background check will be conducted.

Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume.


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations