Director of Development, East Coast

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 6 December 2018
  • Arlington, Virginia, United States
  • Closing on 4 February 2019
  • Current

Job Description

Position Overview

Rare is a $29 million fast-growing, international conservation organization. We believe conservation comes down to people—their behaviors toward nature, their beliefs about its value, and their ability to protect it without sacrificing basic life needs. Rare’s culture is results-oriented, entrepreneurial, and optimistic. We are working toward ambitious goals and creating measurable social change. At an exciting inflection point in our history, Rare is scaling our Fish Forever initiative to globally transform coastal fisheries and launching the Center for Behavior & the Environment.

The Director of Development, East Coast will play a critical role in achieving these goals by continuing to build our individual giving fundraising program. This position is part of a team that takes an organization-wide fundraising approach. This will entail working closely with senior leadership and the Board of Trustees to grow a community of supporters and raise the necessary funds to scale our programs around the world. This position plays a key role in fostering positive relationships with individual donors and volunteers while also collaborating with colleagues across multiple levels of the organization.

Reporting to the Vice President, Board Relations and Individual Giving, the Director of Development, East Coast will manage cultivation and solicitation efforts involving a portfolio of some of Rare’s most generous individual donors and prospects. S/he will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to significantly grow this portfolio and secure revenue from individuals across the U.S. East Coast, including the New York and Boston metropolitan regions. As a dynamic ambassador of the organization, the Director should be capable of inspiring support from a variety of constituent groups ranging from dedicated conservationists to venture philanthropists. This position will be based in Rare’s offices in Arlington, VA.

Core Responsibilities

  • Develop cultivation and solicitation strategies for a select group of Rare’s most generous individual donors and high potential prospects.
  • Build and manage a network of relationships with prospective donors involving program staff and senior leadership.
  • Facilitate and coordinate all communication with these prospects across Rare.
  • Evaluate various gift opportunities and giving vehicles and recommend the most suitable for a particular donor.
  • In addition to personal interactions with donors, facilitate interaction with targeted prospects by the President & CEO, Chief Development Officer (CDO), Trustees, and other key staff. Includes traveling and arranging priority meetings with the President & CEO, CDO, and other staff and/or volunteers.
  • Interact with internal contacts to consult on organizational needs, formulate strategies to promote prospect engagement with Rare and identify potential high-level donors.
  • Lead the strategy creation for donors and craft articulate written donor communications. Also includes drafting communications from the President & CEO, Chief Development Officer, and other senior leaders appropriate to a donor’s interest.
  • Ensure excellent stewardship and timely reporting
  • Participate (typically in concert with others) in gift solicitations, including multi-million dollar gifts.
  • Help design, launch and manage high-end donor circles for Rare and for specific programs.
  • Travel extensively, commensurate with Rare’s standard expectations for fundraising activity, contact, and travel. May involve occasional international travel.


  • Bachelor’s Degree and seven years’ experience in fundraising or a related area; at least two years involved with the successful solicitation of multiple major gifts.
  • Deep personal connection and/or demonstrated commitment to organizational mission.
  • Earnest desire to help generous people make meaningful gifts and have a satisfying experience.
  • Experience working with sensitive information and ability to maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to relate to donors, volunteers, colleagues, and high-level external contacts.
  • Self-motivated (a “self-starter”); optimistic and solution-oriented; innovative and ability to work with considerable independence within the context of a team environment and a network of relationships.
  • Superior written and oral communication, negotiating, organizational, analytical and fundraising skills, including the ability to interpret financial information and manage data.
  • Preferred: Knowledge of the philanthropic landscape across the East Coast of the U.S.
  • Preferred: Familiarity with financial planning, tax and charitable gift laws and planned giving vehicles and methods.
  • Must be able to travel frequently; some occasional international travel may be required.

Rare is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all to apply; EOE/M/F/D/V

About the Organization

Rare inspires change so people and nature thrive.

Rare believes that conservation is about people. True, most environmental problems stem from human activity, but people also wield the solutions. Rare concentrates on finding and replicating proven solutions to many of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. Rare’s mantra is to find what works and then repeat.

Core to that approach is Rare’s insight that individuals and communities are motivated as much by emotion as by reason. Thus conservationists must become as skilled in social science as biological science. This is the rationale behind Rare’s signature Pride campaigns.

Rare trains local leaders to run Pride campaigns that employ proven social science methods typically reserved for the marketing and advertising industries to inspire change people to adopt conservation solutions and empower them to make those solutions their own. By appealing to both hearts and minds, Rare’s prove approach accelerates the adoption and increases the sustainability of the solutions. Rare and its partners have conducted over 250 Pride campaigns in more than 50 countries, empowering local communities to become natural asset managers across Latin America, Asia and Africa.

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