Associate Director of Development

Posted 1 week ago


TITLE: Philanthropy Associate

CLASSIFICATION: Associate Director II or Director I

DEPARTMENT: Advancement

WAGE CATEGORY: Exempt, Full-time

REPORTS TO: Senior Director of Philanthropy or Director of Philanthropy

LOCATION: Washington, DC

About American Rivers

American Rivers believes a future of clean water and healthy rivers everywhere, for everyone is essential. Since 1973, we have protected wild rivers, restored damaged rivers, and conserved clean water for people and nature. With headquarters in Washington, D.C. and 300,000 supporters, members, and volunteers across the country, we are the most trusted and influential river conservation organization in the United States, delivering solutions for a better future.  American Rivers centers the ongoing work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all that we do. Rivers Connect Us is more than just our tagline. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field. The life experiences, knowledge, innovation, and talent that everyone brings to our work provides perspectives, experiences, and competencies which are critical to our effectiveness in protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature.


The Philanthropy Associate will join a high impact, growing Major Gifts team, playing a key role in achieving fundraising goals and fostering a culture of philanthropy within American Rivers. The Associate will support dynamic, fast paced, and fun Major Gift colleagues in securing five and six figure gifts from individual donors, as well as in engaging and supporting leadership volunteers.

The Associate will work closely with two major gift officers to build major donor portfolios in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. They will also support and track moves management activities of the President and CEO and the Senior VP of Advancement; assist with the development of a robust pipeline of prospective major donors; and facilitate the team’s communication and outreach plan. The Associate will also provide support to our new President’s National Council and assist with the launch of three regional River Councils, working with major gift officers to ensure members are appropriately supported, trained, and engaged.

Interfacing with leadership staff and volunteers, diplomacy and service leadership values are necessary. The successful candidate will be high energy, well organized, knowledgeable of moves management practices, experienced in event planning, and proficient in the use of donor database. The Associate will be exposed to professional development opportunities and learn from experienced mentors who are passionate about development and conservation.


Major Gifts program management:

  • Work with Major Gift officers in planning, implementing, and monitoring major gifts strategies and activities.
  • Assist with managing major donor records and portfolios, including maintaining accurate information in ROI Solutions donor database and optimizing major donor files.
  • Draft donor/prospect background briefings to prepare Major Gift officers and Executive staff for visits and successful asks.
  • Provide support in planning, executing, and following up to donor cultivation events and educational programs.
  • Work closely with Development Operations team to develop and run database reports to track team progress toward annual financial goals and key performance indicators.

Donor communications:

  • As part of the qualification process, contact identified donors and prospects by phone and written correspondence.
  • Manage the Major Gift team’s donor communications plan, including developing lists, preparing mailings, and recording activities.
  • Prepare acknowledgement letters for major donor and leadership volunteer gifts.
  • Assisting in the design, production, and copy editing of major donor proposals, updates, and reports.
  • Liaise with Communications and Conservation colleagues to help identify and draft content to convey impact to donors.

Volunteer leadership support:

  • In partnership with Major Gift officers and Regional Conservation staff, coordinate and manage regional Rivers Councils, including meeting and event planning, drafting communications, and maintaining accurate files.
  • Assist the SVP of Advancement in coordinating and managing the President’s National Council.


  • At least five years of relevant work experience, preferably in nonprofit fundraising, OR a degree with least three years of relevant experience.
  • Superior written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Highly detailed self-starter able to work independently and manage multiple projects effectively, efficiently, and accurately; and prioritize competing tasks and deadlines with minimal supervision.
  • Proven ability to navigate complex information and data, including breaking down complex subject matter into understandable and compelling language.
  • Proactive and creative problem solver who will take initiative to suggest and execute improvements to existing processes.
  • High degree of professionalism with ability to practice diplomacy, discretion, and sound judgement.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, basic graphic design and in the use of donor databases (preferably ROI Solutions).
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.


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Washington DC

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