Director of Advancement

LightHawk Published: May 24, 2023
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Fundraising / Membership
(Number of Job Posting Views: 3)

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LightHawk is a 40+ year-old non-profit conservation organization that uses the power of flight to advance conservation and environmental causes across North America.

Our employees identify significant conservation priorities that can be advanced by the use of aviation and work with partners who share those priorities. Together we design and execute programs that utilize LightHawk’s network of 300 Volunteer Pilots and their aircraft to accomplish the desired conservation outcomes. Missions included land, water and coastal monitoring, wildlife species transport and tracking, scientific data collection, photo and video documentation and education. LightHawk arranges over 200+ flights a year with 400 different conservation partners.

Director of Advancement – Helping save the environment one flight at a time.

Why this role matters to our organization: The LightHawk Director of Advancement has the responsibility for the planning and execution of all fundraising activities of the organization. The funding portfolio includes significant foundation support, individual and major gifts, and specific program funding. This funding enables the LightHawk Program staff and management team to develop conservation programs with our partners, enlist our Volunteer Pilots to fly and manage the resulting missions. The funding that the Director of Advancement raises leverages millions of dollars’ worth of conservation efforts by LightHawk’s pilot corps. Since communicating LightHawk’s story and accomplishments is such a critical aspect of the fund-raising process, this position will have considerable involvement in the creation and execution of LightHawk’s marketing strategy and communications. The Director of Advancement will work with the CEO and Director of Conservation and the rest of the staff to set the direction for LightHawk in the coming years.

Job Description 

The Director of Advancement will supervise the members of the Advancement Team and work closely with the Director of Conservation to develop the revenue streams that support LightHawk. The Advancement Team is responsible for meeting the revenue goals of LightHawk. The Director of Advancement will have the opportunity to build their team and to create a high-performance advancement/development program.

The various duties of the position will include:

  • Preserving the strong base of individual and foundation donors while growing the portfolio of funders through effective fundraising campaigns, direct personal outreach, and outreach utilizing the Board of Directors and Advisory Council.
  • Creating and executing an annual plan for fundraising that will achieve organizational goals and metrics. Current fundraising model includes individual and major gifts, foundation grants, planned giving, and volunteer engagement and specific program funding.
  • Working closely with the Strategic Communications Manager and participating in the development of the branding, messaging, and marketing activities for LightHawk to insure that LightHawk’s communication efforts are as effective as possible.
  • Developing and managing a budget that supports the Advancement Team’s annual
  • Managing the portfolio of donor prospects, including identifying, qualifying, cultivating, and soliciting gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Managing the annual giving programs, including communications, appeals, and
  • Identifying and developing new fundraising
  • Researching, designing targeted approachs and executing outreach to individuals, foundations, and organizations to effectively meet or exceed fundraising initiatives.
  • Personally developing and stewarding a portfolio of donor relationships and soliciting major
  • Supporting the CEO and Board members in major gift cultivation and solicitation efforts through research, planning, and strategy development.
  • Collaborating with the CEO to create individualized stewardship plans for top contributors, including customized donor reports and donor recognition.
  • Write effective grant application and fund proposals to meet LightHawk


Candidate Requirements:

A candidate for the Director of Advancement position must have a strong interest in LightHawk’s mission and a demonstrated passion for both the environment and aviation. Above all, the candidate needs to work well in a remote setting and be comfortable in a fast-paced small team working environment.

Position Requirements:

  • Demonstrated track record of developing and maintaining donor and funder relationships and acquiring significant funding from individuals, foundations, and corporate sponsors preferrable in the conservation/environmental space.
  • Demonstrated track record of fundraising $1 million to $2 million on an annual basis.
  • Ability to work effectively with and present a professional image to multiple constituencies (board, staff, volunteers, community, businesses, donors, conservation organizations).
  • Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in the field of fundraising, or philanthropy, or related area.
  • Demonstrated success in building and leading an effective team within a small team environment. Ability to effectively manage with a distributed home-based office.
  • Demonstrated excellence in all aspects of communication- written, verbal, listening, public speaking, and presentations.
  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related Master’s degree a plus.
  • Willingness to travel. Six or more 3-5 day long trips per year. Be within reasonable driving distance to an airline served airport.
  • Digital competency, and strong user skills with Google-Suite tools, Salesforce, videoconferencing and work-sharing technologies. Due to LightHawk’s distributed work environment and our dependence on Salesforce and G-Suite tools for virtual collaboration, a fluency and comfort with operating in digital, virtual information system environments is essential. Access to a home office that is private and has internet speed of at least 10 Mbps to support frequent video.


Salary Range: $70,000 to $100,000 per year. Actual compensation within the range will be dependent upon the individual’s skills, experience, qualifications, and location.

Top Benefits/Perks: As a member of LightHawk, you’ll enjoy an impressive benefits package:

  • Medical Plan: choice of three high-quality medical insurance plans with low employee
  • Dental and Vision Plans: $0 employee-only
  • Long-term disability, life insurance, and AD&D covered by employer for employee-only plans
  • 401K plan with a 5% company match (after a year of service).
  • Unlimited Paid Time Off
  • 7 holidays and the week between December 25 and January 1 as paid time
  • Technology stipends to assist with home office

Steps to apply: 

Please click "Apply on Company Website" below. Candidates selected to move forward in LightHawk’s hiring process will be contacted to schedule a video interview. All candidates must pass a background check prior to employment.

**Deadline for Applications is May 6, 2023

Equal Opportunities and Accommodations Statement: LightHawk is deeply committed to building a workplace and global community where inclusion is valued. We are proud to be an equal-opportunity employer, seeking to create a welcoming and diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, neurodiversity, disability, age, or veteran status, or any other non-merit based or legally protected grounds.

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