Chief Advancement Officer

Chief Advancement Officer

Type of offer:
The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will be charged with creating a programmatic fundraising model, inclusive of corporate and foundation relations, individual major gifts, annual giving, and donor communications.  They will collaborate with colleagues across the organization to leverage existing organizational relationships as well as to identify new potential sources of philanthropic support.  A key member of NatureServe’s Executive Team, the CAO will work closely with colleagues across the organization to apply moves management strategy to the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of both individual and organizational donors.  They will lead of team of three development staff in operationalizing the organization’s fundraising strategy.

As NatureServe seeks to shift to a mixed-funding model with greater emphasis on philanthropy, the CAO will play a critical role in cultivating a culture of philanthropy across the organization – both among staff as well as the Board of Directors. They will partner with the CEO to identify opportunities to meaningfully engage staff and Board members in fundraising activity and dialogue, including offering coaching and guidance to increase individual’s confidence and impact in philanthropic conversations with prospects and donors.

NatureServe offers flexibility in terms of remote work, with the expectation that the CAO will travel as needed for staff and donor meetings.


The CAO will oversee the development and staffing of the following functional areas over time.  To begin, priority will be given to solidification of fundraising strategy and operations and the development of a corporate and foundation relations program.   Development and staffing of additional areas – individual giving, annual giving and donor communications – will be supported with the hiring of three direct reports, currently envisioned as Strategic Gifts Officer, Philanthropic Grants Manager, Development Associate.

Fundraising Strategy & Operations

  • Develop and implement a multi-year fundraising strategy that is inclusive of diverse revenue streams – including foundations, corporations and individuals.  As part of this strategy, set, monitor, and report on measurable goals for revenue sustainability and growth.
  • Partner with CEO and Executive Team to define NatureServe’s fundraising priorities as related to the organization’s strategic priorities.
  • Work closely with the Operations team to forecast annual revenue goals, perform monthly revenue reconciliation and manage donor reports to maintain accuracy and financial accountability.  
  • Develop and maintain internal systems that increase transparency and integration of data across the organization.  This includes evaluation of existing technology and tools, such as NatureServe’s CRM.
  • Recruit, hire, coach and supervise a team of three development staff members and manage budgets related to the fundraising team.  

Corporate and Foundation Relations

  • Collaborate with colleagues across the organization to research and identify philanthropic potential within existing organizational relationships, and to identify new prospective corporate and foundation funders, with an emphasis on major national and international foundations.
  • Create and manage cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for the most promising corporate and foundation prospects, partnering with NatureServe leadership and/or key staff members as relevant.
  •  In partnership with CEO and key staff, manage a portfolio of the organization’s highest capacity corporate and foundation funders (current and prospective). 
  •  Oversee creation of a philanthropic grants process, inclusive of grant application drafts and submissions, post-award reporting, and stewardship for current and prospective grant-related funders.

Individual Major Gifts

  • Identify and prioritize individual major gift prospects, leveraging existing relationships and NatureServe staff and Board member networks.
  • With Strategic Gifts Officer, create and manage cultivation and solicitation strategies for the most promising individual major gift prospects, partnering with NatureServe leadership and/or key staff members as relevant.
  • In partnership with the CEO, manage a portfolio of the organization’s highest capacity major gift donors (current and prospective). 
  • Support and advise the CEO, the Board of Directors, and other senior staff on cultivation and solicitation of major gift donors and prospects. 

Annual Giving

  • Oversee creation and implementation of a segmented annual giving strategy that seeks to increase donor retention and overall commitment levels.
  • With Development Associate, partner with Communications staff to develop and implement an annual giving solicitation strategy, with an emphasis on digital engagement.

Donor Communications

  • Oversee creation and implementation of a segmented donor communications strategy, inclusive of stewardship materials that compellingly illustrate the impact and outcomes of NatureServe’s work.
  • Partner with Executive Team and Communications staff to create case statements for fundraising priorities.  Ensure staff and Board members have the necessary tools to communicate this information consistently and impactfully to external audiences.

Board Management

  • Partner with CEO in managing fundraising-related activities of the Board of Directors, including the creation of annual engagement plans for each Board member and management of Development Committee.
  • Identify opportunities to enhance Board confidence and impact in fundraising conversations.

These key responsibilities are not meant to be all-inclusive and may be subject to change at any time.  

Location: Arlington, VA
Organization: NatureServe
Deadline: May 2, 2021
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