Director of Development

March 2023 | Tri-State Area, US
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Climate Central is seeking an energetic, strategic, and seasoned Director of Development 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

newspapers with headlines detailing cliamte changeClimate 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.

Thousands 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 energetic, strategic frontline fundraiser to join its development team. Reporting to the Vice President for Development, the Director of Development will manage a portfolio of prospects and donors that have the capacity to make six- and seven-figure gifts to support the organization’s mission and goals. The portfolio will be a mix of foundations and individuals. This position offers an exceptional and entrepreneurial candidate the chance to make a difference by growing resources for an organization with a powerful track record.

newscaster reporting on climate changeIn the coming year, Climate Central plans to emphasize major and principal philanthropic giving from new individuals and foundations to diversify its portfolio of revenue streams. It is also focused on growing its annual giving program. To support overall fundraising growth, the organization is investing in marketing communications strategies to more effectively engage prospect and donor constituencies. Climate Central’s Programs, Finance, and Administration teams work closely with Development to support the fundraising success.

Climate Central’s headquarters are in Princeton, NJ. Some presence in the office is preferred; in person attendance at staff retreats is required. 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

  • Effectively manage a portfolio of prospects and donors (both individuals and foundations) that have the capacity to make six- and seven-figure gifts.
  • Work closely with the Vice President for Development and other colleagues to create strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors, including the design and execution of complex, high-level solicitations.
  • Make a minimum of ten meaningful donor contacts per month and an average of two major gift solicitations per month.
  • Bring an entrepreneurial approach to engaging new, promising prospects through research and leveraging the organization’s impressive board, donor, and staff network.
  • Align prospects’ interests and philanthropic goals with Climate Central’s current and emerging funding priorities.
  • Cultivate working relationships with Climate Central leadership and program staff to understand the needs and opportunities for the organization.
  • Partner with colleagues on a limited number of major donor events to attract new prospects and deepen engagement with current donors.
  • Develop compelling written proposals.
  • Develop and implement strategic stewardship plans. This will include both tailored stewardship for individuals as well as overseeing stewardship reporting for foundation funders.
  • Partner with finance colleagues and our development writer to ensure reporting requirements are met for all donors, notably foundation donors.
  • Leverage opportunities throughout the year to deepen donor engagement.

Key Qualifications

  • Minimum of ten years of development experience, with a track record of soliciting and closing six- and seven-figure gifts from foundations and/or individuals.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors while effectively moving them through the gift cycle. Strong understanding of the Moves Management process and ability to think and work strategically.
  • map of the united states detailing how climate change has affected temperatureAbility to strategically link Climate Central priorities and programs with donors’ interests and funding opportunities.
  • Experience with both highly engaged donors as well as making qualification calls.
  • Experience supporting volunteer leadership with their efforts in fundraising.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Superior writing skills and high standards for presentation of written materials. Proven ability to write clearly and persuasively.
  • Experience utilizing a fundraising database.
  • A high level of initiative, organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail
  • Skill in successfully managing multiple projects on tight deadlines and under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • 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 in a way that meets the interests and passions of donors.
  • A creative, enthusiastic team member with a clear commitment to the mission of the organization.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills; experience interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Able to travel and undertake occasional evening and weekend work.
  • Experience with fundraising in the New York area a plus.
  • Experience with government grant writing 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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