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Michigan Director of Development, The Nature Conservancy

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About the Position


Based in lower Michigan (Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor or Detroit)

Sitting at the heart of the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater system, we have an important conservation responsibility to the world. And, as the world faces the climate and biodiversity crises, TNC is urgently clearing obstacles, developing breakthrough ideas, amplifying local leaders, and influencing policy to find solutions to make the highest possible impact on these crises between now and 2030.
The Nature Conservancy has worked in Michigan for more than 60 years to protect the state’s cherished landscapes and develop sound science to support benefits to people, nature and our economy. With 55 passionate and talented staff across the state, more than 32,000 supporting members in the state, this role offers a unique opportunity to build fundraising strategies for key conservation priorities in Michigan, driven by a robust conservation agenda for the state, the region and The Nature Conservancy’s global 2030 goals (https://www.nature.org/priorities). Our most recent capital campaign exceeded $100 million, and the organization has now launched a global campaign in pursuit of its ambitious 2030 goals.

But we don’t succeed alone. With time, tenacity and teamwork we know that we can achieve conservation impact at scale, and work to ensure the resilience of systems that provide Michiganders with food and livelihoods, while protecting clean, abundant and accessible water and a network of healthy, connected lands. As we work in partnership across Michigan, the Midwest and around the world, you can be part of this vast network of committed TNC colleagues and partners to achieve meaningful impact that will shape our future.

The Michigan Director of Development (DOD) plays a leading role for the Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to preserve, strengthen and grow a culture of philanthropy. The DOD leads a comprehensive, top-in-class development program that secures significant philanthropic resources from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support The Nature Conservancy’s priorities in Michigan and around the world. They have access to fundraising expertise and best practices in the Midwest, nationally and globally, and will lead and oversee a team that focuses on major gift fundraising and outreach, including multi-year fundraising campaigns, major (6 and 7-figure) gift fundraising, donor prospecting, strategic communications, planned giving, research, and stewardship. The DOD directs and manages a team of four, with development operations support managed centrally in order to free up the team to focus externally and place a major personal emphasis on face-to-face fundraising. The DOD reports to the State Director and works closely with the state director to manage the philanthropic support and outreach conducted by a strong Michigan Board of Trustees.

Job Duties

We’re Looking for You:
The Michigan Director of Development (DOD) will work towards meeting the priorities of The Nature Conservancy by expanding a strategic, comprehensive development program that taps into the entire range of development tactics and opportunities for all donors and prospects in Michigan. They are a key leader within the Chapter and serve on the Michigan Management Team. They are responsible for developing and communicating fundraising goals for the Chapter and integrating their efforts with the overall conservation strategy and direction of the Chapter.

The DOD works in collaboration and advances strategic relationships across the organization, including The Midwest Division, Worldwide Office, other Conservancy programs, trustees and donors, and conservation staff, to achieve Conservancy goals. They leverage constructive and effective relationships with a wide range of people and conservation experts and work closely with the State Director and Management Team to strengthen and engage the Board of Trustees in fundraising, trustee recruitment, and board management. The DOD recruits, develops, and manages a staff of high-performing philanthropy professionals to set and meet fundraising objectives, evaluate results, develop effective strategies, and nurture effective team collaboration.

A primary responsibility of the DOD will be identifying, cultivating, and managing a select portfolio of principal and major donor prospects and trustee relationships as the Michigan chapter implements a comprehensive fundraising campaign. Creating new connections to increase philanthropic revenue in service of our conservation vision, in addition to unlocking the full potential of our existing donor base, will be critical. They will also be responsible for presenting analysis and recommendations to the Management Team and Board of Trustees. They understand and comply with all Conservancy gift-related policies and procedures and ensure ethical compliance, as defined by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

• Accountable for fundraising goals of over $7-10 million a year through a fundraising program, including outright gifts and pledges in support of the Michigan Chapter’s contributions to TNC’s global campaign, and divisional, regional, and global conservation priorities.
• Accountable for the Associate Directors of Development achieving their goals and outcomes.
• Broad management responsibility for a department of professional major gifts fundraisers of four or more, including recruitment, retaining, professional development, establishing clear directions, and setting “stretch” objectives.
• Responsible for developing and managing an efficient and effective partnership with the development operations team to support the work of the external focused major gifts fundraising team they manage.
• Design and direct complex and diversified projects, coordinating the work of other professionals, managing budget, and ensuring program accountability.
• Develop and administer budget and fundraising objectives, evaluates results, and develops corrective strategies as needed.
• Direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
• Ensure that programmatic commitments, TNC policies and procedures, financial standards, and legal requirements are met and managed for ethical compliance.
• Help to attract, develop, and retain the widely diverse range of talent among staff, trustees and donors critical to mission success, and support workplace climates that are fair and inclusive, where every staff member feels they belong and can offer their maximum contribution.
• Lead strategic initiatives through collaboration with senior-level stakeholders to enhance overall performance in accordance with short and long-term objectives.
• Maintain confidentiality of frequently sensitive and emotionally charged information.
• Make strategic decisions; decisions made may have program-wide impact and may bind the organization financially or legally.
• Plan and lead new programs/initiatives that will ensure department and organization-wide goals are achieved.
• Responsibility and accountability for meeting strategic goals and objectives.


• Bachelor’s degree and 8 years related experience, or equivalent, including experience working at a senior level.
• Experience asking for and closing major gifts.
• Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents such as major donors, foundations, and corporations.
• Experience in planning and delivering budgetary responsibilities.
• Experience managing and supervising a multidisciplinary team.
• Experience working in a large, complex, not-for-profit environment.
• Experience, coursework, or other training in principles, practices, and procedures of relevant field.

Salary Range

$120,500 – $160,000

How to Apply

Please apply to Job #55315 at www.nature.org/careers or follow this link https://bit.ly/3XCarOC   Submit required cover letter and resume separately using the upload buttons. Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration. If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact applyhelp@tnc.org

Application Deadline:


About the Organization

The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube or on Glassdoor.

Founded in the U.S. in 1951, TNC is one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. With 5,000+ staff (including more than 900 scientists) working in 77 countries and territories and all 50 United States, TNC collaborates with partners from all sectors. We are dedicated to bringing diverse voices to the table and fostering powerful partnerships as we collaborate with government agencies, policymakers, nonprofits, businesses, universities, Indigenous communities and more to help ensure that conservation provides tangible, equitable benefits to all.

Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”