Development Officer

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Resources for the Future ( is a nonprofit research and public policy organization that focuses on a variety of natural resource, public health, and environmental issues. Established in 1952, the organization is committed to both scholarly excellence and policy analysis. Researchers at RFF address a wide range of issues including benefit-cost analysis of environmental and other health and safety regulations;; the economics of energy and the environment, forestry, biodiversity, water, and other resources; issues related to the environment and the economy of developing countries; and conceptual modeling and analysis of public policy pertaining to these topics.

RFF is currently recruiting for a Development Officer who would be responsible for responsible for contributing to RFFs individual and corporate major gift revenue stream to assist in meeting the institutions fundraising goal. The Development Officer is based in Washington, DC and is responsible for all fundraising activities for a targeted portfolio of donors and prospects within a designated geographic area. The position reports to the Interim Director of Development.

The successful candidate must possess the following:

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills;
  • Strong organizational and relationship building skills
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple priorities
  • Knowledge of Raisers Edge or other fundraising databases
  • Positive, helpful, and proactive demeanor
  • Detail oriented
  • Three to five years of front-line annual fund and/or major gift fundraising experience required.
  • Familiarity with environmental issues and/or economic principles preferred.

To apply for the position, please upload a cover letter indicating your interest in the position, a resume summarizing your qualifications for the position and containing the names of three references (with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers), and a writing sample. All documents should be in PDF (<5MB).

Salary is competitive. Benefits include a collegial environment, 20 days annual leave, 13 days sick leave, 3 days family medical leave, 10 holidays, medical insurance, educational assistance, and commuter benefits.

RFF is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Design and implement strategies to identify, cultivate, and solicit approximately 200-250 individual and corporate donors and prospects capable of making gifts of $5,000 and greater.
  2. Directly manage and maintain donor and prospect relationships, including conducting in-person meetings and calls, personally making direct requests for support, and drafting and submitting letters of inquiry, proposals, invoices, and other requests.
  3. Facilitate Executive and Research staff engagement with donors and prospects through briefings, talking points, scheduling, correspondence, and follow up; provide support for in-person solicitations by RFF Executive staff.
  4. Work collaboratively with Development colleagues to create strategies to expand RFFs donor pipeline and upgrade lower and mid-level donors; move donors through appropriate phases of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  5. Coordinate fundraising activities for a designated geographic region, including: planning, implementation, and follow up for donor events; Executive and Research staff travel to the region; and backup on foundation relations activities in the region.
  6. Build and maintain relationships with Research and Communications staff to acquire the information needed to engage donors and prospects, solicit gifts, and steward donor relationships effectively; act as point person for the Development Team on a selected set of RFF research areas; and achieve and sustain fluency with regard to RFFs research more generally.
  7. Participate in annual process to establish Development Team fundraising goals and operating plans and strategies.
  8. Monitor philanthropic trends, as well as environmental, economic, political, and social issues relevant to donor attitudes and capacity to give.
  9. Assist with special projects as assigned.

Education/Experience Requirements

Three to five years of fundraising experience or relevant nonprofit external affairs experience required. Familiarity with environmental issues and/or economic principles preferred.