Development Director, Kentucky Natural Lands Trust

Kentucky Natural Lands Trust Published: July 10, 2019
Louisville (preferred) or Lexington, Kentucky
Job Type
Fundraising / Membership / Natural Resources/ Restoration /

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~ Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) is a Berea-based, nationally accredited nonprofit working to protect, connect and restore wildlands. ~

Our work aims to protect biodiversity and climate resilient landscapes in ways that help local communities. We are a team-oriented organization leading innovative on-the-ground conservation efforts. Through creative cultivation of engaged and connected networks of partners and donors, KNLT is creating a living legacy. We think big, work creatively and find joy in the wild.


KNLTwas established in 1995 and has become a national leader in large landscape conservation. The Trust’s efforts span from the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor in southeastern Kentucky to the Bernheim-Fort Knox Wildlands Corridor in Central Kentucky with a wide range of conservation projects statewide. Pine Mountain, our primary project area, is within the second most biologically diverse temperate forest in the world and is the largest landscape conservation project ever undertaken in Kentucky.

KNLT has successfully cultivated a strong and wide-reaching group of private, nonprofit and government agency partners along with a dedicated donor base that has resulted in the protection and stewardship of tens of thousands of acres of wildlands that will benefit generations to come.

Position Overview

The Development Director leads the fund development efforts of KNLT and is expected to plan and execute all aspects of development, including but not limited to: major gifts, annual and capital campaigns, grants, reporting, donor recognition, direct mail campaigns, email communications, fundraising and cultivation events, and board engagement.


  • An important and early focus of the Director will be to lead the successful execution of a multi-million-dollar comprehensive fundraising effort.
  • In concert with this initiative, the Director will also be charged with expanding and diversifying KNLT’s annual fundraising program to increase long-term sustainable support for the agency’s mission that will aspire to $1M+annually after three years.
  • In all of these efforts, the Director will look to increase both the number of donors and revenue to the organization, while also striving for broader community engagement.
  • The Director is the lead fundraising professional for KNLT and should expect regular contact with current and potential major contributors in order to cultivate, solicit and steward gifts.
  • The Director must be professional in a wide variety of situations and be able to work closely with the Executive Director to support and guide all fundraising visits.
  • The Director must also analyze data to increase support by regularly improving methods for cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, retention and increased giving across the Commonwealth and beyond.
  • This position is the key senior staff member to serve as liaison to the Board for fundraising.
  • The Director must be a team player, flexible in working with varied constituents including Board Members, Advisors, donors, local communities, partner organizations, volunteers and KNLT staff among others.
  • The Director reports to the Executive Director.


Candidate Qualifications and Attributes:

  • Prior experience as a front-line fundraising professional including experience raising major gifts for capital, comprehensive and annual campaigns with a sizable nonprofit organization. Prefer at least 6 years’ experience in progressively more responsible positions that directly relate to the duties stated above.
  • Successful track record with corporate and individual major gift development and planned giving programs.
  • Experience in a wide-range of fund development including annual giving, grant writing, special events and online giving, as well as capital and comprehensive campaigns.
  • Proven management experiences achieving ambitious fundraising goals and adhering to budgets. Prefer prior fundraising experience aligned to goals of at least $500,000 annually or more in organizations where public charitable support accounts for at least half of the budget.
  • Demonstrative knowledge of, passion for or interests in learning conservation and environmental issues within Kentucky, Appalachia and beyond with an emphasis on biodiversity, large landscape conservation and transitional economies.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a career in fundraising and to the professional standards and ethics of fundraising, as well as a demonstrated ability to uphold the professional standards of confidentiality and workplace ethics.
  • Experience in developing, budgeting and implementing annual and strategic development plans with the ability to analyze, evaluate and prepare reports regarding development program results.
  • Ability to successfully work with all types of volunteers, but especially Board-level volunteers.
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft OfficeSuite and donor database software. Experience with DonorPerfect a plus.
  • Available to work some evenings and weekends, including occasional overnight stays.Regular travel is expected in order to visit donors throughout the region on a regular basis (weekly to bi-weekly).Must possess a valid state driver’s license.
  • Ability and willingness to hike 3-5 miles on moderate terrain as part of donor cultivation outings.
  • A completed bachelors’ degree is required.

Candidate Competencies and Characteristics:

  • Inspire, engage and influence others to embrace the mission of KNLT, to give generously of their time and financial resources, and to ask others to do the same.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and passion for conservation and environmental issuesamong all audiences.
  • Strengthen relationships and build trust and respect with key donors.
  • Lead through action, keeping the vision of KNLT at the forefront of fundraising work; and lead by example, giving staff and volunteers clear direction hat affirms the underlying mission.
  • Drive execution by translating strategic goals into operational reality and holding all accountable to agreed-upon timelines and outcomes.
  • Resolve conflicts and build coalitions with sensitivity, integrity and follow-through.
  • Demonstrate humility, humor and heart in interactions with the staff, board, advisors, donors, volunteers and community.
  • Highly organized, strategic thinker with problem-solving skills and the ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Dependable with demonstrated ability to operate in a team-oriented environment.

To Apply

  • Please e-mail your cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references.
  • Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be considered until the position is filled.
  • For more information about KNLT visit our website.

~ Kentucky Natural Lands Trust is an equal opportunity employer that actively seeks diversity in its workplace and offers an excellent benefits package. This national search is being guided with the assistance of KNLT’s partners at Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). ~

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

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