The Nature Conservancy seeks a highly-experienced development leader who will lead the Chapter and work across the global organization to preserve, strengthen and grow the culture of philanthropy within the Illinois Chapter and allow the Chapter to fully avail itself of its location in one of the top wealth markets in the world. This position is one of a handful of major philanthropic leadership roles within the organization (approximately 4,000 employees worldwide) and is critical to the Conservancy’s success in Illinois and around the globe. The Illinois Chief Development Officer will join an exceptionally committed and passionate team of executive leaders, scientists, program experts, board members and volunteers at a time of robust growth.
The Illinois Chief Development Officer (CDO) leads a comprehensive, top-in-class development program that secures significant philanthropic resources from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support The Nature Conservancy’s priorities in Illinois and around the world. They must be a proven strong and inspiring leader, a successful major and principal gifts fundraiser, and experienced in program management and in designing and executing complex donor strategies. The CDO manages all major gifts functions, which may include multi-year fundraising campaigns, board recruitment and development, planned giving, principal (7-figure) gift fundraising, donor prospecting and research, and stewardship. The CDO recruits, develops, and inspires a staff of high-performing philanthropy professionals, works closely with the Illinois Board of Trustees and other volunteer leaders, and builds a culture of philanthropy throughout the Illinois Chapter.
The CDO will build on the Illinois Chapter’s significant contributions to the Conservancy’s domestic and global priorities. To that end, the CDO must be motivated to learn and able to work in collaboration with conservation experts, philanthropy staff on an organization-wide basis as well as with donors and volunteers across a dispersed and complex organization to integrate philanthropy with sophisticated conservation and policy initiatives. The CDO is a member of the Illinois Management Team and plays a leadership role in building the Chapter’s role as a hub of conservation innovation and success.
The Chief Development Officer is charged with:
Management responsibility for a 15-person philanthropy team, which encompasses major and principal gift functions, planned giving, philanthropy operational and support functions.
Leading Chapter philanthropy efforts to fundraise over $20 million annually in outright gifts and pledges in support of The Nature Conservancy’s Illinois Chapter as well as regional and global conservation priorities.
Executing the current 5-year, $100M comprehensive campaign for Illinois and global priorities, currently entering year 3 at 50% of goal (as of August 2017).
Expanding a strategic, comprehensive development program that taps into the entire range of development tactics and opportunities.
Working closely with the State Director, the Management Team, the Illinois Committee on Trustees to strengthen and engage the Board of Trustees in fundraising, trustee recruitment and board management.
Actively fosters deep collaboration and advances strategic relationships, with Worldwide Office and other Conservancy programs, and with trustees and donors to achieve Conservancy goals.
Serving on the Illinois Management Team to develop and communicate fundraising goals for the Chapter, for which the CDO is accountable, and contributing to the overall strategy and direction of the Chapter.
Leading, inspiring, and managing the Illinois Philanthropy Team to achieve relationship-building and funding objectives:
Sets and meets fundraising objectives, evaluates results, and develops effective strategies as needed.
Recruits, develops, and retains high-performing Philanthropy staff and nurtures effective team collaboration.
To achieve these objectives, the CDO plays a leadership role in motivating and coordinating the multi-disciplinary Illinois staff and volunteer leaders in collaborative fundraising efforts, including major and principal gift donor strategy development, cultivation and solicitation. They are directly responsible for managing a select group of principal and major donor prospects. The CDO understands and complies with all Conservancy gift-related policies and procedures and ensures ethical compliance, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals.
Responsibilities and Scope
Level of Position: The CDO is an executive leadership position for the Illinois Chapter, with significant strategic, management and financial responsibilities.
· Lead, inspire and develop a team of 15 fundraising professionals, directly supervising of 4-5 staff, with responsibility including recruitment, retaining, training, professional development, establishing clear direction, and inspiring “stretch” objectives.
· Direct ambitious and comprehensive fundraising campaign, including oversight of the volunteer Campaign Steering Committee and Committee on Trustees to ensure Board participation in campaign goals.
· Strategic decisions may affect public image, impact multiple programs, and bind the organization financially or legally.
Within the scope of the position, the CDO will:
· Conceive, design and direct high-level and interdepartmental projects and initiatives, coordinating the work of other professionals, managing budget, and ensuring program accountability and fulfillment of objectives.
· Develop and manage chapter outreach plan to donors and prospects at all levels and through multiple channels including print, digital, events and meetings; oversee creation of requisite communication tools and publications.
· Direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
· Ensure functional program meets commitments and is managed for ethical compliance with TNC policies and procedures, financial standards, and legal requirements.
· Exercise leadership in strategic and tactical manners, work with fellow leaders to establish and evaluate policies and/or long-term programs.
· Oversee financial management of program; set budget and fundraising objectives, analyze and report results, and take corrective actions.
· Maintain confidentiality of frequently sensitive information.
Work Environment and Schedule
· Travel as needed (up to 20%) and on short notice occasionally. May require working extended and/or varied work hours, including on weekends.
· Work is generally performed in a professional office environment and involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain.
Bachelor’s degree and 9 years related experience, including 3 years working at a senior level.
Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with high net worth constituents such as individual major donors, private foundations and corporations.
Track record of cultivating and closing major or planned gifts of $1,000,000 or more.
Experience working with trustees and/or volunteer committees to drive philanthropic efforts.
Experience building and successfully executing fundraising plans for a program or an organization.
Management experience of a large multidisciplinary department, including planning and delivering budgetary responsibilities.
Experience working in a large, complex, not-for-profit environment.
Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
Experience, coursework, or other training in principles, practices, and procedures of non-profit fundraising
Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Experience
Master’s degree and 12+ years related experience, including 5+ years working at a senior level preferred.
Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross cultural experience appreciated.
Experience recruiting, training and engaging board members and other volunteer leaders and ensuring that they are well prepared to engage in effective fundraising efforts.
Effectively communicate via presentations, conversations, and documents.
Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of campaigns, major gifts and planned giving. Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification desirable.
Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate colleagues, donors and volunteers.
Experience supervising a major and principal gifts program.
Experience overseeing a philanthropic campaign with an overall goal greater than $10 million.
Experience fundraising for multiple strategies or programs that are deployed at a local, regional and global scale.
Expert understanding of best practices in non-profit management.
Experience in managing a geographically dispersed team.
Accountability for Outcomes
Pushes for excellence. Establishes challenging goals for self and others to drive performance in support of the Conservancy’s mission. Rewards behavior that achieves these standards and is aligned with the organization’s mission/ values. Takes action to address performance problems in a timely and appropriate manner.
Builds Organizational Capability
Builds or adapts organizational structures to accomplish the mission and to improve performance. This includes reorganizing organizational systems, structures, processes, procedures, communication channels or reporting relationships. With the Conservancy’s strategic filter in mind, determines who can contribute, gets the right people involved, and builds bench strength for the future.
Collaboration & Teamwork
Shows a willingness to put the needs and goals of a global organization before personal/local/departmental needs. Works with others across organizational boundaries. Makes decisions, sets priorities, and allocates resources to help the organization as a whole achieve results.
Courage & Decisiveness
Makes decisions and stands by them. Makes timely decisions even under pressure and when lacking complete information. Has the courage to modify decisions and admit why and how they were wrong.
Develops Strategic Partnerships
Improves position of the Conservancy with key stakeholders and constituents. Builds broad, global networks with internal and external stakeholders (e.g., boards, NGOs, government agencies, donors, other conservancies) to raise awareness of conservation issues and further organizational goals.
Personally demonstrates innovative thinking and encourages this behavior in others. Is willing to take calculated risks within organizational parameters in order to achieve tangible results that advance the strategic agenda of the Conservancy. Achieves results by generating and encouraging the development of imaginative, novel, or original ideas and solutions that are consistent with TNC strategy.
Influences for Results
Achieves results by persuading, convincing, or influencing others. Adapts approach to the individual or group and knows how and when to use complex influence strategies. Uses success stories and passion for the mission to generate enthusiasm and support.
The ability to identify trends and opportunities for the Conservancy to achieve effective global conservation. Develops strategies and plans aligned with the mission. Understands both the immediate and long-term implications of each decision by looking beyond their local environment.
Inspires team to meet challenges and implement the strategy. Includes communicating an inspiring vision and generating clarity, commitment and passion for the mission.
This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.
The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity EmployerOur commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants fro...m all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.