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Founded in 1974, the Open Space Institute (OSI) has grown to become a national conservation leader, partnering in the protection of more than 2.3 million acres across the Eastern US and Canada. OSI protects land for clean drinking water, public recreation, healthy communities, wildlife habitat, and climate protection, since the intact forests and floodplains we protect capture carbon and protect against extreme weather events.
In addition to strategic conservation, OSI is also committed to making protected land more welcoming to the public; making the outdoors more accessible for all; and, promoting science-based conservation among fellow land trusts and government leaders.
OSI is also a leader in advocating for public policies that promote innovative and effective land protection, including securing full and permanent funding for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Due in part to rapid programmatic and geographic growth, OSI seeks a skilled and experienced development professional to lead and expand our individual giving program. Reporting to the Chief External Affairs Officer and supporting the President & CEO, the newly created Senior Vice President for Individual Giving will be responsible for leading efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major and principal gift donors and prospects. This front-line fundraising position requires experience interacting successfully with high-level donors, prospects, and board members, as well as executive and senior program staff. Responsible for managing a staff of four, including two Major Gift Officers, the SVP for Individual Giving will design and lead the organization’s individual giving strategy while also managing a portfolio of donors and prospects. With a historical emphasis on donors in New York State, OSI’s geographic and programmatic expansions set the stage for a growing portfolio across the Eastern United States.
Leadership and Management
- Provide leadership, vision, and strategy for a growing individual giving program as part of the overall philanthropy strategy for the organization
- Work in close partnership with the President & CEO, Chief External Affairs Officer, development leadership, executive team, program staff, and Board of Trustees
- Coordinate and strategize with existing SVP leadership position, who oversees the department’s extensive institutional and foundation giving efforts
- Lead and manage a four-person team directly responsible for OSI’s individual giving portfolio—establishing best practices, employing moves management, creating tailored strategies for maximizing individual donor engagement, supporting the professional development of the individual giving team, and expanding the use of the donor database, creating a platform for sustained increased giving
- Set, manage, and analyze short-term and long-term metrics on major and principal gift fundraising activities, including implementation of a progress reporting system and ensuring tracking and reporting in OSI’s donor database
- Persuasively convey OSI’s mission and programs through written proposals, brochures, reports, letters, and other correspondence
- Foster and maintain programmatic relationships within the organization to identify the opportunities for individual support and maximize donor engagement
- Personally manage a portfolio of 30-40 major and principal gift level donors, securing six-and seven-figure commitments:
- Successfully identify and cultivate existing and new donors for project-specific, annual, and multi-year support
- Develop and implement efforts to raise the level of commitment among OSI’s existing donor base
- Develop and maintain communication and outreach plans (strategies) to retain and steward donors and move them along the giving continuum
- Together with executive leadership, train and support Board of Trustees and other volunteer leaders in identifying new donors
- Provide support to OSI leadership, including the President & CEO, as well as program colleagues in preparing for and/or participating in cultivation visits, briefings, and solicitations of high-level donors and prospects
- Act as an OSI representative and spokesperson and effectively network in various venues and in front of a wide range of audiences
Education and Experience
All candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of ten years in professional fundraising experience. Additional requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Ability to develop and implement a sound strategic annual fundraising plan to increase OSI’s philanthropic revenue
- Record of working with individual donors, building existing relationships and growing new ones, and successfully managing a donor portfolio
- Proven track record of raising funds from individuals with experience closing six- and seven-figure gifts
- Previous experience successfully managing a team of fundraisers to meet their individual and team goals
- Awareness of donor prospect management methods and software; experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors
- Capacity to develop new and creative approaches to increase donor base and giving with particular attention to major and principal donors
- Experience developing and implementing a long-term vision and supporting operating plan to deliver ambitious fundraising goals
- Ability to manage staff to maximize performance and build healthy relationships with cross-functional teams
- Knowledge of and experience in planned giving and blended gifts, and comfort in discussing planned giving opportunities with donors and prospects
- Knowledge of conservation issues or experience fundraising in support of environmental issues is strongly preferred