Director of Annual Giving

July 2022 | Tri-State Area, US
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Climate Central is seeking an energetic, strategic, and seasoned Director of Annual Giving to raise funds in support of the organization’s mission to communicate climate change science, effects, and solutions to the public and decision-makers.

About Climate Central

Climate Central is a dynamic science, technology, and communications organization. Its staff of leading scientists, tech experts and communication professionals are dedicated to researching and reporting on climate change and its impacts and solutions. Founded by top scientists at Princeton, Yale, and Stanford and a generous philanthropist in 2008, Climate Central provides a bridge between the public and climate scientists and contributes in a pivotal way to the national and international efforts to communicate the facts of climate change.

newscaster reporting on climate changeThousands of scientists have declared that the planet is now facing a climate emergency — and that how humanity responds this decade will shape every aspect of our common home for hundreds of years to come. No past generation has been in a position to make such a profound and lasting difference for so many people.

Climate Central’s team is a leader in developing and delivering effective, science-backed climate communications via trusted messengers to diverse key audiences across the U.S. and around the world.

As an independent, non-partisan science organization, Climate Central researches and reports the facts about climate change impacts, such as extreme weather, drought, flooding, wildfires, and sea level rise, as well as alternative energy systems and transportation. Climate Central is not an advocacy organization and does not lobby or support any specific legislation, policy or bill. In addition to its policy-neutral, non-partisan stance, its values include scientific and journalistic integrity and the importance of informing the public, effective communication, and collaboration.

Climate Central is exceptional in reaching large audiences with localized information that makes the impacts of climate change relevant and personal. The organization uses science, big data, and technology to generate thousands of local storylines and compelling visuals that make climate change relevant and show what can be done about it. Content is delivered through trusted local messengers at scale, including in areas with below-average levels of climate understanding and concern. The goal: to catalyze a response in proportion to the problem.

About Philanthropy

Philanthropy at Climate Central has been growing steadily over the last few years, as the organization has laid the groundwork to support long-term growth and diversification of revenue sources. Climate Central has historically relied heavily on its board and a number of major foundations including the MacArthur Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation. More recently, under the leadership of the Vice President for Development, Jessica Cashdan, it has expanded its focus to increase annual and major donor support.  Climate Central raises on average $9-10M annually.

About the Opportunity

Climate Central is seeking an experienced, energetic, strategic annual giving professional to join its development team. Reporting to the Vice President for Development, the Director of Annual Giving will oversee and expand the organization’s annual giving program.  This position offers an exceptional and entrepreneurial candidate the chance to make a difference by building a program and growing resources for an organization with a powerful track record.

map of the united states detailing how climate change has affected temperatureClimate Central has historically received its funding principally from individuals, foundations, and government grants via university partners. Two key priorities for the coming year are to grow the annual giving program, which experienced 40% growth from 2020 to 2021 and to increasingly invest in major giving from new individuals and foundations to diversify its revenue streams. The organization is also enhancing its communications strategies to more effectively reach and move large audiences. Climate Central’s Programs, Finance, and Administration teams work closely with Development to support these objectives.

The Director of Annual Giving will offer vision, strategic planning, and implementation, with an emphasis on retaining, renewing and securing new annual giving donors. The role offers a blend of administrative and non-administrative responsibilities. The director will be able to bring creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to a young and growing annual giving program that has tremendous potential.

Climate Central’s headquarters are in Princeton, NJ. Some level of routine presence in the office is preferred. Climate Central does not require in-person presence in the office when health conditions create enough risk to warrant concern, as measured by third-party public health agencies.

Key Responsibilities


  • Set, and periodically review and adjust, annual giving goals, strategies and objectives that are designed to increase total dollars raised.
  • Oversee the development of a suite of annual giving reports to drive data-driven decision making.
  • Identify opportunities to leverage strategic use of our segments.
  • Develop and implement a lybunt/sybunt strategy.
  • Develop and implement a recurring donor strategy, including multi-year annual giving pledges.
  • Partner with colleagues to develop and implement an annual giving stewardship plan, which includes our monthly newsletter, collateral materials, pledge reminders, and leveraging our web content.
  • Oversee the gift acknowledgment process. Manage template updates as needed for annual (< $10K) and leadership ($10K-$24.9K) donors. Oversee and assist with preparation of mail and e- acknowledgement letters.

Marketing and Appeals

  • Design marketing strategies for print and email communications.
  • Partner with writers and designers to prepare annual giving print and e-appeals. Draft some targeted appeal content.
  • Track results and conduct analyses to drive improvements to the annual giving program.
  • Manage lists and segments, in partnership with our Operations Manager, for optimal use for every print and e-appeal.
  • Partner with development colleagues on the development and dissemination of the newsletter. Articulate strategic priorities for the monthly newsletter and oversee the design of reports that monitor metrics to track progress toward goals.
  • Oversee an annual marketing calendar, in coordination with our Operation Manager, and work to ensure timely completion of steps for each communication and appeal.
  • Integrate compelling impact messages and periodic stewardship communication into the annual communications plan.


  • Provide guidance in unifying organization’s constituency lists and developing strategic segments to meet various organizational communications needs.
  • Maintain and update data in SalesForce on annual giving prospects and donors. Includes monitoring returned/bounced emails and mailings, updating preferences, performing routine data reviews and integrating data from periodic appends.
  • Partner with colleagues to design and implement an improved unsubscribe preference tool.
  • Coordinate with other teams across Climate Central who use constituent data for communications. Serve as liaison to ensure communication and coordination for both development and non-development marketing outreach.
  • Design and oversee monthly reports for the VP to track growth and progress.
  • Note: Based on the candidate’s experience and interest, there is the possibility of managing a small, targeted portfolio of donors that give at the four- to five- figure level, as well as an opportunity to help design and run a new engagement program to deepen connections with promising prospects and donors.

Key Qualifications

  • Minimum of five years of experience leading a successful annual giving program.
  • Must have a proven track record of annual giving growth achieved through the candidate’s leadership of the annual giving program.
  • Ability to think and work strategically. Proven record of managing time, resources, and budgets to maximize fundraising results.
  • newspapers with headlines detailing cliamte changeStrong analytic skills with high proficiency designing reports and tracking data to guide decision making.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
  • Skill in successfully managing multiple projects on tight deadlines and under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and a high level of productivity.
  • Solutions-oriented team member who can be highly responsive to donor, staff, and volunteer needs. Highly collaborative with a customer service orientation.
  • Superb verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must have high comfort level with regular phone work with donors.
  • The ideal candidate will bring experience gained from more than one organizational setting.
  • Unquestionable integrity and commitment to professional ethics, and the ability to responsibly handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to grasp and articulate complex programs to be able to convey them in writing and verbally.
  • A creative, enthusiastic team member with a clear passion for and commitment to environmental issues and science.
  • Experience interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Able to undertake occasional evening and weekend work.
  • Experience working with donors and/or frontline fundraising experience is a plus.
  • Experience designing and launching new engagement programs is a plus.

Climate Central embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a workplace that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We recognize that diverse teams make the strongest teams, and we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:


Jesse Bryan

Senior Consultant

Development Guild DDI

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