Development Director

Leelanau Conservancy Published: September 14, 2018
Job Type
Fundraising / Membership / Natural Resources/ Restoration /

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~ The Leelanau Conservancy is a 501 (c) 3 organization founded in 1988. We opened our doors in 1988 with a big dream and a small group of individuals dedicated to the idea that the Leelanau Peninsula is a place that deserved our best efforts to protect its unique landscapes. ~

We believed that with commitment and hard work, we could be successful in harnessing the love that people have for Leelanau into finding ways to protect land forever. Thus the Leelanau Conservancy was born.

Since then, the Leelanau Conservancy has been devoted to protecting the land and water that make the Leelanau Peninsula one of the most unique and beautiful areas in the U.S. We have preserved over 13,000 acres and created 25 Natural Areas for public enjoyment with more than 15 miles of hiking trails. Our latest project? The spectacular 721-acre Palmer Woods Forest Reserve near Glen Arbor, which opened in February, 2016. We have also worked with over 200 landowners to protect family farms and cherished private lands with legal agreements called conservation easements. These agreements restrict development and protect the land’s most important natural features.

Position Overview

The Development Director is responsible for the strategy, organization and execution of all major fundraising, land campaign and endowment-building efforts. These include, but are not limited to: major gifts program, endowment and planned giving solicitation program, land acquisition project fundraising (comprehensive campaigns for conservation) and all related activities. Essential skills are a high level of organization, zeal to work with people and develop strong donor and working relationships, and excellent verbal, written and fund development systems skills.

Relationships and Authority:

  • The Development Director reports directly to the Executive Director.
  • The Development Director manages a team of professional staff including Charitable Giving Manager, Planned Giving Officer, and Membership and Outreach Coordinator.
  • With the Executive Director, the Development Director is responsible for creating the organizational fundraising strategy and setting fund development goals.
  • The Development Director collaborates closely with the Communications team.


Top Line:

  • Serves as the LC’s primary fundraiser, working in concert with the Executive Director on major donor engagement.
  • Leads, creates and executes a fundraising strategy across all categories: Individual, Foundation, Corporation (Major Donors, Grants, Giving Circles, Annual, Planned Giving, Volunteer-In Kind).
  • Ensures the engagement and leadership of our Board of Directors for fundraising.
  • Works closely with the Board Fund Development Committee and/or other essential committees as needed.
  • Creates an annual Fund Development Plan. Sets achievable and stretch goals, building towards future sustainability.


  • Become familiar with all aspects of LC programs.
  • Maintain an awareness of ongoing and future land protection and stewardship projects that may be of interest to current and potential donors.
  • Advise, train, and motivate the Board, recognizing the critical leadership role it plays in fundraising at the LC.
  • Facilitate education of the entire Conservancy community (staff, board, volunteers, and members) to create a culture of fundraising.
  • Provide leadership, organization and staff support for the Board Fund Development Committee.
  • Facilitate communications within the LC regarding development activities and needs.
  • Such other responsibilities as the Executive Director may assign from time to time.


  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in major gifts and managing fundraising staff.
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field.
  • Strong verbal, written and fund development systems skills.
  • Must be willing to work occasional long hours, weekends and overnight travel.
  • Demonstrates a passion for the LC's mission and an aptitude for internalizing our brand.
  • Has a depth of experience and demonstrated zeal for cultivating and engaging donors.
  • Is goal-driven, highly accountable and has a strong work ethic.
  • Has an ability to create high-functioning relationships with staff, the ED and the board.
  • Demonstrates an ability to create, lead and execute successful fundraising strategies.
  • Commits to the short- and long-term development of the fundraising team.
  • Develops strong collaborative relationships with staff, particularly communications/outreach and finance.
  • Is a team-player and team-builder.
  • Exudes a positive, professional demeanor.
  • Easily adapts to change and encourages others to react positively.
  • Uses and supports systems and processes to enhance productivity.
  • Shares information strategically; seeks out supervisors, team members, and other stakeholder colleagues to explain and discuss ideas so decisions are informed and take into account the impact on others.
  • Is able to persuade others; can obtain agreement and support from internal and external groups while maintaining relationships.
  • Contributes to the success of others; pursues opportunities to share knowledge and assist others in achieving shared goals.

To Apply

Please click "Apply" below to upload your cover letter, resume, writing sample, three references and salary requirements by September 30, 2018.

~ EOE ~

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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