Director of Development / Philanthropy

Rainforest Trust seeks a Director of Philanthropy with a passion for wildlife to grow Rainforest Trust’s organizational budget. The Philanthropy Director plays a key role in overseeing the Philanthropy department to identify, cultivate, grow and renew funding from a diverse portfolio of individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations.

Rainforest Trust is a highly efficient and effective U.S. non-profit founded in 1988 with the mission to purchase and protect threatened rainforests and tropical habitat to save endangered wildlife through community engagement and local partnerships. To date, we have saved 11.5 million acres in 20 countries across more than 100 project sites with the ambitious goal of protecting 20 million acres by the year 2020. Our great efficiency consistently earns us Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Experience serving as a Development Director for a mid-sized NGO with a successful record of significantly increasing donation income, overseeing a fundraising team, and providing detailed development reports to senior management and the board with results of well-tracked gifts
  • Passion for conservation and Rainforest Trust’s mission

Detailed Description of Position:

  • Review, implement and regularly update our comprehensive fundraising strategy plan to meet Rainforest Trust’s annual financial objectives
  • Supervise, recruit, train and evaluate qualified personnel for the development team to successfully plan and execute the overall development strategy
  • Oversee the Deputy Director of Philanthropy to create and maintain a strategic communications schedule to cultivate, solicit, steward and upgrade major individual gifts by providing regular project updates from international partners, providing written proposals as needed
  • Grow individual fundraising and ensure renewal of annual giving through annual appeals and campaigns
  • Secure major gifts by growing relationships with current donors, conducting donor visits, establishing a successful planned giving campaign, and identifying new major donor prospects
  • Support senior management team by providing comprehensive relationship management for their portfolio of supporters
  • Oversee the Foundations and Corporate Relations Manager to grow that donor portfolio while developing a comprehensive corporate donor strategy with accompanying policy
  • Oversee the Philanthropy Assistant to ensure the accurate maintenance of donor records, gift acknowledgement, data entry, and gift tracking
  • Work with senior management to identify fundraising goals and priorities
  • Present quarterly fundraising reports to Rainforest Trust’s Board of Directors while developing strategies to leverage each Board Member’s individual skills and guiding personal solicitation of all Board Members to maintain a 100% giving level.
  • As a member of senior management team, help to shape Rainforest Trust’s organizational strategy and play a leadership role in implementing the organization’s operating plan and growth plan.
  • Develop and implement communications protocols relative to fundraising for Rainforest Trust staff to ensure consistent messaging and branding
  • Lead in one-to-one solicitation and stewardship communication
  • Coordinate and oversee national donor visits and international donor trips to project sites (national and international travel as necessary)
  • Work in close conjunction with all members of Rainforest Trust teams


  • Master’s degree and a minimum of five-years experience as a Development Director in a non-profit fundraising role with a proven record of successfully securing five to six digit gifts from diverse donor channels with substantial practice cultivating and expanding donor relationshps among individuals, corporations, and foundations; preferred experience in special event planning and annual appeals
  • Demonstrated successful management of a team of 5 or more staff members
  • Experience in planning, leading, and managing development projects
  • Demonstrated ability to compose and manage successful grant proposals
  • Accuracy and attention to detail with experience tracking gifts and donor records in database software like eTapestry
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint and development software programs such as eTapestry
  • High energy, entrepreneurial spirit with passion for international conservation and commitment to the mission of Rainforest Trust
  • Sound professional judgment, ability to maintain confidentiality and guard sensitive donor information, an exemplary moral compass, exceptional personal integrity, and high ethical standards
  • Flexible and able to adapt to shifting priorities
  • Strong interpersonal skills and desire to be part of an intimate team
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
  • Track record of delivering superior results, quickly building trust in relationships, and assuming leadership
  • Proven expertise in building and maintaining positive relationships with diverse individuals; high level of comfort with direct donor interaction, including discussions of personal and family finances and asking for money
  • Experience with strategic communications, marketing and branding
  • Natural problem-solver who exudes energy and initiative
  • Flexible team player who is able to work independently; must be very organized and able to effectively manage multiple projects and conflicting priorities
  • Must be willing to travel nationally and internationally with a valid Driver’s License
  • Must be able to occasionally work nights, weekends, and holidays as necessary to carry out key job functions
  • Demonstrated ability to set and achieve goals as well as meet deadlines

The candidate will work in our central office with 30 staff in Warrenton, Virginia, just 45 minutes west of Washington DC.

How To Apply:

Please send applications to Include a cover letter stating your interest to work for Rainforest Trust, your salary aspirations, any specific job requirements, and your resume. Cover letters without salary aspirations will not be considered.