Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

Associate Director of Principal Gifts, Western Region 

Job Locations US-CA-San Francisco | US-CA-Santa Monica
Posted Date 6 months ago(10/24/2023 11:29 PM)
Job ID
# of Openings


NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Beijing; Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New Delhi; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; and Washington, D.C.  


Position Summary  


NRDC is seeking a skilled Principal Gifts Officer (Associate Director of Principal Gifts) to join its National Principal Gifts team, with a geographic focus on the western states ranging from Washington to California. This full-time position will preferably be based near NRDC’s San Francisco or Santa Monica office.     


Reporting to the National Director of Principal and Major Gifts, based in New York, the Principal Gifts Officer will execute prospecting and renewal strategies across the Western region (at least 20% travel is expected) with the goal of growing leadership support for NRDC’s work. In collaboration with the Principal Gifts team, which includes a Director of Principal Gifts Operations, Prospect Manager, Grant Manager, two writers, and a program assistant, this position will manage a portfolio of NRDC donors and prospects who are capable of giving $5M+.  


The Principal Gifts Officer will work with a diverse range of development and program staff, including senior leadership, advocates, scientists, and litigators, as well as our Membership, Planned Giving, NRDC Action Fund and E2 teams.  


  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 20 individuals with the capacity to give at the seven figure level.    
  • Partner with and support NRDC’s leadership with respect to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts, using their time and talents appropriately; ensure their effectiveness as representatives of NRDC.
  • Collaborate with leadership to implement cultivation and stewardship strategy, including developing new concepts to attract large philanthropic investments.
  • Collaborate with research to identify new prospects.
  • Lead the planning of the leadership visits in the region in collaboration with the Principal Gifts team, President’s Office, and Development leadership.
  • Contribute to the creation of fundraising materials and regular communication that will resonate with top philanthropists in the region.  
  • Develop and maintain expert familiarity with programmatic needs, budgets, and institutional priorities.   
  • Adeptly manage Salesforce and other processes for your portfolio, such as tracking donor gift projections and list management.  
  • Collaborate with NRDC Action Fund to deploy effective fundraising tactics to raise non-deductible 501(c)4 funding.  
  • Other tasks as assigned.


The Principal Gifts Officer, Western Region must be a highly skilled major gifts fundraiser with a track record of successfully and strategically identifying, cultivating, and stewarding donors with capacity to give seven to eight-figure gifts. Other desired skills and qualifications include:    

  • Commitment to NRDC mission and values 
  • 10+ years of major gifts fundraising experience with a proven track record of successfully and strategically identifying, cultivating, and stewarding principal gift prospects and donors.  
  • Eagerness to pursue new potential high net worth supporters with significant capacity.  
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Familiarity with philanthropic communities across the Western region. 
  • Collaborative and inclusive approach to inter- and intra-departmental work.  
  • Professional demeanor when interfacing with NRDC donors and senior staff members. 
  • Willingness to travel 20%   
  • Bachelor’s degree and a commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion required.
  • Experience with political or 501(c)4 fundraising a plus.  
  • Experience with advocacy or environmental groups a plus.  
  • Commitment to DEI essential.  


NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.  


We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.   


We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience.


For this position, the salary range is $175,000 to $190,000.  Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed before making a final offer. 


Our offices are open and we are operating in a hybrid model. We offer NRDCers flexibility, and we ask them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues. We call this purposeful presence.  


As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.


To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs. 


If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422. 


For more about NRDC, visit 


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