Institutional Relations Director

River Network
Boulder, CO, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)


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Position: Institutional Relations Director

Reports to: President / CEO

Location: Open*

Term and Salary: Full time, exempt $70,000 – $75,000/year DOE plus comprehensive benefits including: medical, dental, and vision health insurance; 403b retirement savings plan; vacation and sick leave; employee assistance program; life insurance; technology stipend; and paid holidays.

*While the preferred location for this position is at River Network’s headquarters (Boulder, CO), we recognize that the ideal candidate may not be located near this geography. Our priority is hiring the best candidate for this position regardless of location. Additional travel may be required should the person selected not be based at River Network’s headquarters.

POSITION SUMMARY: River Network seeks an exceptional and proactive philanthropic strategist and resource development professional, capable of aligning River Network’s goals and aspirations as explained on our website and current strategic plan with the interests of institutional partners (foundations, corporations, and government funding sources). The Institutional Relations Director has lead responsibility for helping River Network achieve and surpass specific annual revenue goals with foundations, corporations, and government agencies ($3.7-$5m+ / year currently). Establishing new opportunities for River Network will be fundamental to the success of this position, as well as maintaining strong relations with existing institutional partners. This position will also lead our event-focused fundraising efforts (e.g. sponsorships, scholarships, etc.) which provide unique opportunities to partner with the business communnity. We are looking for a smart, energetic, organized, positive and determined leader with exceptional writing abilities, an appetite for impact, a proven ability to excite interest and investment to join our dynamic and dispersed team. The right candidate will also enjoy the challenges inherent with this position, have an uncanny ability to build trust and report with staff and institutional partners, and bring experience demonstrative of a close working relationship with finance and on distributed teams where everyone is not in the same location. They must be a collaborative team player, ready to work shoulder to shoulder with River Network’s President / CEO and other relevant staff.

ABOUT RIVER NETWORK:  River Network envisions a future of clean and ample water for people and nature, where local caretakers are well-equipped, effective and courageous champions for our rivers. River Network’s mission is to empower and unite people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life. Visit to learn more about our current priorities. Our headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado and we have staff located in communities across the U.S. We are committed to embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas to achieve our mission – explore our core values and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, our explanation for why equity, diversity an inclusion are the foundation of our mission, and our principles for equitable and inclusive work. Through our programs, we seek to connect with all communities and increase the impact of their efforts to secure clean and ample water. Through our internal practices and external leadership, we seek an inclusive workplace culture that attracts diverse staff, board, members, and supporters.


  • Leads the development, implementation of, and refinement of River Network’s institutional funding opportunities and portfolio (foundations, government, and corporations) in collaboration with River Network leadership to achieve or exceed organizational revenue goals.
  • Drafts compelling grant proposals and vibrant letters of inquiry to foundations, corporations, and government agencies, as well as interim and final reports, and solicits timely feedback from relevant staff.
  • Creates and maintains systems to track opportunities, set clear expectations with staff, and gain timely input from River Network collaborators with adequate and appropriate advance notice.
  • Develops and maintains thorough records and files for all institutional investors in Salesforce and SharePoint.
  • Stays abreast of best practices in partnering with foundations, corporations, and government agencies as well as emerging and evolving priorities that align with River Network’s existing work and aspirations (drinking water, community watershed science, resilient cities and communities, civic engagement, working with the agricultural sector, equity diversity and inclusiveness, etc.).
  • Contributes to River Network’s Leadership Team.
  • Occasional travel to ensure shared priorities across River Network leadership and some weekend or evening work to meet deadlines for strategic opportunities (up to 15%).
  • Candidates with exceptional experience will be simultaneously considered for Director of Philanthropy with oversight of staff responsible for River Network’s individual donor portfolio.


  • Five years professional fundraising and/or grants management, with experience raising funds in excess of $1,000,000 from institutional investors.
  • Exceptional research, writing, and oral communication skills, proven experience translating complex and technical concepts into compelling and clear prose for specific audiences.
  • Extensive experience developing and delivering successful proposals to a variety of foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Ability to comprehend and interpret nonprofit financial statements and an excited determination to work with leadership, program staff, and finance to develop compelling and clear grant proposals and reports.
  • Detail-oriented, with proven experience managing multiple projects simultaneously and delivering assignments within stringent deadlines. This position requires discretion and confidentiality
  • Highly technologically savvy, with proficiency in donor management systems (Salesforce), grant research systems (Foundation Center), and MS Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint).
  • Commitment to values of mutual respect and collaboration, teamwork and diversity.


  • Knowledge of current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the foundation, corporate, and government funding arenas.
  • Knowledge of river conservation, current issues within the water arena, and equity, inclusion and diversity.
  • Experience engaging with a dispersed team, where everyone does not work from the same office.
  • Interest in growing into the Director of Philanthropy for River Network with added responsibilities associated with our individual donor strategy and related staff supervision.

TO APPLY: Please send cover letter and resume as one integrated PDF or Word document to:  with “INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONS” in the subject line of the email. References, work samples, simulations, and questions will be part of the selection process.  Position will remain open until filled. The successful applicant must also meet the requirements of River Network’s background screening process.