Senior Manager for Foundations and Donor Relationships

Environmental Law Institute (ELI)
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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For five decades, the Environmental Law Institute has played a pivotal role in shaping the fields of environmental law, policy, and management both domestically and internationally. In 2019, ELI will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

ELI seeks an individual to serve as the Senior Manager for Foundations and Donor Relationships. This position is responsible for playing a lead role in the development office to help secure the resources needed to help ELI address environmental challenges and opportunities. The Senior Manager will work in close coordination with the Vice President of Development and Membership to meet and exceed the fundraising goals of the organization. These duties will include, but are not limited to, helping manage and expand our foundation goals into the multi-millions, build on our almost $1 million individual giving goal, and maintain and nurture donor relationships.

The primary objective of the Senior Manager for Foundations and Donor Relationships is to help raise the funds to contribute to ELI’s overall mission to foster innovative, just, and practical law and policy solutions to enable leaders across borders and sectors to make environmental, economic, and social progress. Together, ELI’s staff aims to:
• Build the skills and capacity of tomorrow’s leaders and institutions
• Research and analyze complex and pressing environmental challenges
• Promote and disseminate the best thinking through print and electronic media
• Convene people with diverse perspectives to build understanding through robust dialogue

Foundation Relations
The Senior Manager will ensure the creation and implementation of strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and expand a multi-million dollar grant portfolio. The senior manager is responsible for cultivating, securing, and stewarding major foundation relationships from the initial introduction through grant approval and management. Additionally, the senior manager manages the foundations pipeline, dashboard, and the grant funding process, working with the program staff under the direction of the Vice President of Development and Membership with the support of the Vice President of Programs and Publications. The role includes researching and identifying new foundation prospects and, in concert with the program staff, conceptualizing, writing, and reviewing concept papers/proposals.
• Help develop the overall foundations' strategy and pipeline to ensure that annual foundation revenue is secured and growing and that current and prospective funders are appropriately cultivated and stewarded.
• Develop and refine internal systems (pipeline, dashboard, others) to track and monitor all foundation funding opportunities from cultivation to stewardship.
• In collaboration with program staff, frame and structure proposals and outline clear program goals, activities, and outcomes aligned with organizational priorities and tailored to foundation focus area(s).
• Research and identify new funders and trends in corporate and institutional support.
• Help to build and steward relationships, including having introductory meetings to present programs and explore potential fit as well as participating in grant check-in meetings, etc., when necessary.
• Structure proposals and program objectives tailored to foundations' priorities.
• Review, edit (and write when appropriate) and submit concept papers and proposals.   

Donor Relations
Coordinates outreach to new individual donors and stewardship of current donors under the guidance and direction of the Vice President of Development and Membership. Plans and executes quarterly donor luncheons in Washington and annual (or more) donor outreach events in other major U.S. cities, including California and New York.
• Follows up with current Leadership Council (LC) members on their yearly gifts
• Schedules one on one lunches for current and prospective donors with the President, Vice President and ELI staff. Handles prospect research for prospective donors.
• Coordinates all LC lunches by setting dates, contacting speakers, and working with hosts on venues. Oversees the Development Associate in sending out invites and managing the RSVP list.
• Manages our small donor program by writing solicitation emails.

The Senior Manager for Foundations and Donor Relationships is responsible for training and supervising the Development Associate and Development Intern and such other staff as specified by the VP for Development and Membership.

Note that these requirements are representative, but not all-inclusive, of the knowledge, skill, and ability required to perform this job.
• Baseline knowledge of, or experience in, environmental issues
• Strategic mindset and ability to understand how to connect the program to larger strategic goals and outcomes
• Excellent organizational skills including the ability to simultaneously plan multiple events and/or projects
• Superb attention to detail and ability to reliably adhere to deadlines
• Outstanding professional writing communication skills including a demonstrated excellence in writing proposals and donor stewardship communications.
• Excellent presentation and public-speaking skills and confidence in cultivating and soliciting high-level foundation officers and donors.
• Ability to build and maintain positive and authentic relationships and a desire to understand the interests and motivation of foundations and donors.
• Proficiency with standard office software, including Microsoft Office and donor management software such as eTapestry.
• Demonstrated ability to:
- represent ELI publicly in a manner consistent with our mission and values
- manage events and projects effectively and efficiently while producing high quality deliverables
- collaborate effectively with others
- effectively manage multiple projects/events and establish priorities with moderate supervision
- confidentially and professionally communicate and interact with ELI stakeholders
- manage through crisis scenarios (in the context of event management)

• Degree or equivalent experience: Bachelors or equivalent degree
• Years of experience: At least 5-10 years of development experience with an emphasis on foundation fundraising, including track record of success in securing multiple six-figure foundation grants and an extensive foundation portfolio.
• An environmental background or degree in environmental policy or a J.D. in environmental law is preferred, but not required.

These physical demands are representative of the physical requirements necessary for an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodation can be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the described essential functions. This job operates in a clerical office setting. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines. While performing the responsibilities of this job, an employee will be required to spend multiple hours in a stationary position using computers and attending meetings and occasionally move around the office environment to access office equipment, files, and supplies. An employee in this position will need sufficient verbal and auditory skills to communicate with others. Given the nature of the office setting, an employee must be able to adjust to ambient noise and moderate interruptions. An employee in this position will also be required to work at ELI related events located outside the ELI office space.

Event related travel around the DC Metro area, as well as some domestic travel, may be required on occasion. The location, duration, and frequency of travel will vary.

$70,000 - $80,000 annual salary (depending on experience), with excellent benefits including:
• Health/Dental/Vision insurance
• Flexible Spending Account
• Employer paid life insurance & disability insurance
• Long Term Care insurance
• Pre-tax transportation benefit
• Fitness Incentive
• 403(b) Retirement Savings Account with employer match
• Paid time off
Details about ELI's benefits can be found in attached document.

Submit an application package via ELI’s online application system by clicking the Apply button. To be considered, your submission must include the completed online form, together with the following uploaded materials:
• cover letter, addressing your personal goals and interests, as well as your experience and interest in carrying out the duties outlined above.
• current resume
• writing sample that involves fundraising, such as outreach to donors or a grant proposal
Applications must be submitted to ELI no later than Friday, August 2, 2019. You must use ELI’s online application system. ELI is unable to consider applications submitted by email, U.S. mail, or hand delivery; nor can late applications be considered. No phone calls, please. Send an email to if you have any technical problems complying with these application instructions.