Development Officer, Foundation Relations

Earthjustice | San Francisco, California


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 here because the 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, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, D.C.

Job Summary

The Foundation Relations Development Officer is one of a five-person foundation relations team, which raises approximately one-quarter of Earthjustice’s contributed revenue. The Foundation Relations Development Officer raises grant support for their designated program areas and for regional offices as assigned, managing a portfolio of foundation donors and prospects. The person in this position works closely with the president, vice presidents of litigation, program managers, attorneys, communications staff, board members, and the entire development team to develop and implement effective strategies for meeting revenue goals.

This position is based in San Francisco, CA.

Reports To

Director of Foundation Relations


Foundation Solicitation and Relationship Development: 60% (writing 40%; research/prospecting 10%; foundation relationship building/stewardship 10%)

  • Achieve foundation revenue goals as specified in the annual work plan.
  • Ensure growth of donor base by identifying, researching, and cultivating potential sources of foundation support.
  • Research foundation guidelines and giving histories and, when possible, talk to informed allies to determine best approach for Earthjustice solicitation. 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 define and articulate broad program vision, goals, objectives, and specific strategies to attain them.
  • Work with program staff to develop and submit the highest quality letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and reports to foundations.
  • Engage foundation staff and other informed allies in discussions about program direction and gap analysis.
  • Write and submit timely gift acknowledgement letters.
  • Develop budgets and financial reports in coordination with program and finance staff and occasionally with subcontractors or external partners. Monitor and meet foundation proposal and reporting deadlines in coordination with attorneys’ schedules.
  • Identify and develop opportunities for personal communication between foundation contacts and Earthjustice staff and trustees, such as personal meetings, invitations to events, program update briefings, and letters.
  • Write briefings memos and prepare the president, senior leadership, and attorneys for foundation meetings; and participate in such meetings as appropriate. 

Program Knowledge and Communication 25% (15% research; 10% staff interactions)

  • 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 & 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.
  • Track the status of relevant legal cases and programs through ongoing conversations with program staff.

General Responsibilities: 15%

  • 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.
  • Regularly edit mailing lists for events and publications.
  • Serve as a resource for program writing for the Development Department.
  • Serve as a resource for program budgets for the Development Department.
  • Maintain current and accurate hardcopy and computer database records to track foundation relations.
  • 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.
  • Five years of successful experience in foundation fundraising. Knowledge of foundations that emphasize environmental giving a plus.
  • 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.
  • Ability to prioritize and to manage work independently; ability to perform effectively and with minimal supervision under pressure of multiple deadlines.
  • 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 mission and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.

How to Apply

Application Procedure:  Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their experience and interest in Earthjustice. Submit online via the Jobvite system. 

Go 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.



Organization: Nonprofit Organizations