Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

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National Director, Donor Relations and Special Projects

National Director, Donor Relations and Special Projects

Job ID 
# of Openings 
Job Locations 
US-NY-New York
Posted Date 
Development [201000]

More information about this job


The National Director of Donor Relations and Special Projects will be responsible for the direction of those two key functions within the Development team.  The two functions operate separately but are related, and the development of structures to support a climate of cooperation, collaboration, and partnership within a national framework will be a key initial objective for the role.  The National Director will oversee the Donor Relations team in the development and execution of a robust stewardship program.  The National Director will oversee the Special Projects teams in the planning and execution of events across the country.


Preferred home location for this position will be NRDC headquarters in New York, but frequent travel to all US major offices is a requirement of the position.


  • Direct the Assistant Director of Donor Relations and a team of 5 professionals responsible for donor relations activities and stewardship programs.
  • Direct 3 Regional Special Projects Directors and their teams of 3 professionals responsible for fundraising, cultivation, and stewardship events in their regions.
  • Build collaboration between these separate but related functions.
  • Build robust donor travel program, with contributions from both teams.

Donor Relations:

  • Create an active and robust donor stewardship program for major gift level donors that dovetail with membership level and planned giving stewardship activities.
  • Direct the gift proposals, reports, and acknowledgement process for major gifts.
  • Build on the existing infrastructure for high level donor volunteerism, including leadership councils and grassroots outreach.
  • Build a robust donor travel program that supports major gifts outreach.

Special Projects:

  • Oversee the execution of a variety of high-level fundraising and other events, including those with high profile donor and celebrity participation.
  • Maximize synergy between and among special projects regional teams, including developing long-term events calendars that fully leverage.
  • Oversee the planning and execution of high-level fundraising, cultivation, and stewardship events across the country.



The Director will operate in a leadership role in the Development Department, and as such will be expected to advance the department’s goal of building a strategic and highly successful development program that affirms NRDC’s mission and supports its ongoing programmatic successes and future growth.


  • Will manage two Assistant Directors and their respective teams.
  • Will set forth goals and performance expectations and hold team accountable.
  • Will address opportunities for career growth and knowledge building on team.
  • Will actively address performance issues.



  • Travel to major US offices in NY, LA, DC, San Francisco, and Chicago 25-30% of time.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred.
  • 8+ years direct experienced preferred.
  • Must have experience managing and mentoring staff and the ability to coach fundraisers to increasing levels of success.
  • Senior level experience in a blend of development competencies, including two or more of the following: Major Gifts, Donor Stewardship, or Special Events Management.
  • Solid understanding of the functions, structures, and operations of a professional development office is required.
  • Ability to interface effectively with the highest level of NRDC donors, senior staff members, and members of the Board of Directors.
  • Ability to effectively interact with a wide range of internal and external constituents.
  • Ability to plan strategically and build long-term relationships with donors and prospects
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple, complex fundraising activities simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent communication, writing, and interpersonal skills.                                                                                   

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion.  We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.  We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment.  Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.


To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to Customer Care by dialing 1-866-803-9663.


For further information about NRDC, please visit