Organization: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Location: New York, NY

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Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the nation’s most effective environmental action group, works to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. It has designed policies, advocated for legislation, and enforced laws that make the air safer to breathe, the water cleaner to drink, and wildlife and wild lands more secure for future generations.

NRDC leverages the grassroots power of more than two million members and online activists along with its own courtroom clout, technical expertise, $130M+ operating budget, six offices, and institutional partners around the world. Employing a simultaneously bold and deeply pragmatic approach, NRDC’s environmental priorities are: curbing global warming and creating the clean energy future, reviving the world’s oceans, defending endangered wildlife and wild places, protecting our health by preventing pollution, ensuring safe and sufficient water, and fostering sustainable communities.

NRDC’s success over its 45-year history is a direct result of the unusually high quality and dedication of its staff, which includes nearly 500 attorneys, scientists, policy analysts, and educators working to protect the environment and public health through advocacy and education. NRDC is headquartered in New York City, with offices in the District of Columbia, Chicago, Bozeman, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Beijing, and actively engages with partners in India, Canada, and Latin America.

NRDC is currently seeking a skilled Eastern Director of Major Gifts to oversee the major gift program for this critical region. This is a full-time position located in New York, NY.

For more information on NRDC, please visit

Candidate Profile:

The Eastern Director of Major Gifts plans, directs, and executes NRDC’s major gift program for the Eastern region, which currently raises over $30M annually. The Eastern Director is responsible for working with senior leadership to design and execute cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship for a portfolio of approximately 200 donors who contribute at the five-figure plus level, and for identifying and managing a prospect pool of major donors in the region. S/he will be a member of the senior team of regional major gifts officers.

The Eastern Director of Major Gifts responsibilities are as follows:

  • Establish annual Eastern fundraising goals and clear strategy for achieving them
  • Direct and mentor a team presently comprised of three Portfolio Managers
  • Manage a portfolio of individuals and family foundations:
    • Personally cultivate and solicit high-level gifts from current and prospective donors
    • Set strategies and timetables for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of high level gifts from current major donors and prospects for senior leadership, program staff, and volunteers
  • Provide comprehensive, timely, and innovative stewardship opportunities. Elevate the importance of stewarding all gifts and programs in ways that strengthen donor interest in, satisfaction with, and commitment to NRDC
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for new fundraising efforts that will expand and diversify the funding base
  • Coordinate with CDO and Director of Board and Strategic Relations to cultivate and strengthen support of NRDC from members of the NRDC Board of Trustees
  • Develop strategies with membership team to upgrade members from direct mail solicitation to personal solicitation
  • Contribute to the creation of fundraising materials that will resonate with major donors
  • Partner with and support NRDC’s leadership with respect to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts, and utilize their time and talents appropriately; ensure their effectiveness as a spokesperson and fundraiser for NRDC
  • Work with the New York special events team to plan events in the region that maximize major donor and prospect cultivation opportunities
  • Develop and maintain expert familiarity with programmatic needs, budgets, and priorities


The Eastern Director of Major Gifts must be a highly skilled major gift fundraiser with a track record of successfully and strategically identifying, cultivating, and stewarding donors at the $250K+ level. Other desired skills and qualifications include:

  • 10+ years of fundraising experience with a focus on major gifts and a strong familiarity with philanthropic communities in New York and on the east coast
  • Experience managing and mentoring staff and the ability to coach fundraisers to increasing levels of success
  • Ability to interface effectively with the highest level of NRDC donors and senior staff members
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple, complex fundraising activities simultaneously in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong communication, writing, and interpersonal skills
  • Passion for the mission and goals of NRDC
  • Bachelor of Arts or Sciences degree
  • Experience with fundraising campaigns a plus
  • Experience with advocacy or environmental groups a plus

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Natural Resources Defense Council has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan here.

Natural Resources Defense Council is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit