Director of Development

Director of Development

Reports to:               Executive Director
Location:                  Elizabethtown, NY (Global Headquarters)
Supervises:              Development Team
Salary Range:          $85,000+ (Depending on experience)

How to Apply:   Please send resume and cover letter by September 6 in one pdf file to with Subject: Director of Development position

Organizational Overview

For almost 50 years, the Adirondack Council has been the largest environmental advocacy group working solely to protect the ecological integrity and wild character of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park and broader North Country region. Based in Elizabethtown, NY (30 miles east of Lake Placid), we champion an Adirondack Park that seamlessly integrates private and public lands, is renowned for its clean water and air and globally significant wilderness areas, is surrounded by working farms and forests, and supports vibrant local communities. To protect the Adirondacks, the Council uses the best science to guide regional decision making and a deep knowledge of the political landscape in Albany and the North Country to educate, inform, and motivate the public and those who make public policy. We believe wild places are a powerful connector for visitors and residents alike and help make the Park a national treasure now and for future generations.  

Scope of Responsibilities:

As the Adirondack Council nears its 50th Anniversary, we are looking to hire an experienced Director of Development to help us embark on a new level of growth and engagement over the next five years and beyond. The Director of Development position is responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing all aspects of the Council’s fundraising program needed to achieve the organization’s annual and long-term financial goals. They develop, oversee, and implement the Council’s major gift program, foundation support, planned giving, special events, and capital campaigns. The Director supervises a small department of talented development professionals in identifying and cultivating donors and funding sources to achieve our roughly $3 million annual operating budget and works closely with the Executive Director, the Board of Directors, and the Development and Finance Committees to grow the Adirondack Council’s funding base. They work closely with the finance staff on budgeting and reporting processes and with the communications staff to ensure compelling fundraising messaging. This position reports to the Executive Director and is a valued member of the Council’s senior leadership team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Fundraising: Using creative, strategic, and effective development strategies, the Director of Development prepares and implements fundraising plans for annual operations, reserves/endowment, and special campaigns. The position works with donors on both a local, regional, and national level, cultivating new prospects and sustaining the organization’s existing base of support. The Director of Development leads all strategic initiatives to identify, cultivate, solicit, and follow up with major donors and foundations, as well as bring in new donors, build relationships, and grow contributions. Along with the Executive Director, they have lead responsibility for meeting with and engaging major donors, foundations, and other sources of significant funding. Working with development staff, as well as with conservation and government relations program staff, they seek funding from sources that can include: foundations, individual donors, Board Members, planned gifts, and businesses and corporations. The Director oversees annual appeals, special events, and online and social media fundraising campaigns.

Special Campaigns: Working with the Executive Director and Development Team, the Director develops and implements special fundraising campaigns such as the Council’s approaching 50th Anniversary Campaign. The Director will oversee all contractors, consultants, and the Campaign Committee, and works with the Executive Director and relevant staff to meet campaign outcomes and objectives.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Design and implement annual fundraising strategies based on results analysis to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors to raise funds in collaboration with the staff, Board Members, the Fund Development Committee, and others.
  • Supervise Development team and work with Executive and Operations Assistant.
  • Direct and support management of major donor engagement through personal contacts, events, stewardship, direct mailings, and emails, with corresponding record keeping, planning, and prioritizing. 
  • Direct and support donor research, prospecting, and acquisition efforts to expand the Council’s leadership donor base.
  • Prepare grant proposals, track grants, and special projects, and produce required donor reports for foundations and major donors.
  • Work with Executive Staff and Board of Directors to determine the timing, focus, design, and strategic implementation of special campaigns including Capital Campaigns.
  • Participate as a member of the Executive Team.
  • Bring a strategic approach and the ability to motivate and coordinate with multiple overlapping teams of staff, board, and partners.
  • Work closely with the Board Development Committee as the main staff contact, securing board gifts and participation in annual giving, select campaigns, and growing reserves, as well as identifying and cultivating new leadership-level donors at the $1,000 level and above.
  • Oversee and assist with database maintenance and
  • Create and track, on a monthly basis, annual fundraising and project/campaign level
  • Coordinate the creation of publications or other written materials that support fundraising activities.
  • Coordinate with the finance team on accounting and tracking of income and
  • Work with program staff to enable them to identify, cultivate, and steward donors in their geographic and subject
  • Ensure quality control over all aspects of the Development team


  • 7-10 years fundraising experience with demonstrated ability to raise money, including major gifts
  • Commitment to and understanding of the mission and goals of the Adirondack Council
  • BA/BS in relevant field
  • Understanding of and passion for conservation and advocacy
  • Proven major capital campaign design and implementation
  • Supervisory experience
  • Strong knowledge of principles, ethics, and practices of successful fundraising
  • Excellent writing, communication, and “people” skills
  • Strong public speaking and presentation skills
  • Experience with non-profit fundraising and finance software
  • Ability to travel in region and out of region on a regular basis


Organizational Purpose/Mission Statement: Based in Elizabethtown, NY (30 miles east of Lake Placid), the mission of the Adirondack Council is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of New York’s six-million-acre Adirondack Park for current and future generations. We envision an Adirondack Park with clean water and air and large wilderness areas, surrounded by working farms and forests and vibrant local communities. To protect the Adirondacks, the Council uses the best science, the law, and an understanding of political decision-making, to educate, inform and motivate the public and those who make public policy. We are committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds.

The Adirondack Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants receive equal consideration without regard to age, race, color, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, handicap, or disability. Employees are selected on the basis of their individual qualifications and ability to fulfill the requirements of the job. The same considerations apply to promotions, pay increases, and all other conditions of employment with the Adirondack Council.

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