Director of Development (Global Water)

Arlington, VA, US

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 65 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Through collaborations with an extensive network of partners around the world, we are poised to take action on the most complex challenges facing our planet. Our place based projects in 69 countries serve as living laboratories where new ideas to protect nature are tested and perfected. We engage businesses and governments in delivering on-the-ground results, proving that these innovations can transform how all sectors of society value and use natural resources. And, by empowering stakeholders with solutions that work, we inspire the kind of action that brings lasting prosperity for people and nature around the globe.

The Conservancy has launched the world’s largest campaign for conservation, called “Our World”. Our World is a campaign to create a new vision for the planet – one powered by a virtuous cycle where we take care of nature so nature takes care of us. The Our World campaign has a goal of raising $6B of outright gifts, deferred gifts, government funding and impact capital. Guided by strong science, we are partnering with people and organizations around the world to put into action the innovations needed to achieve this vision.

Around the world, the demands of growing economies are straining rivers, lakes and aquifers beyond their limits. But by managing water for nature’s needs, we can also meet our own. Nature can serve as a solution to some of today’s greatest water challenges, including scarcity, pollution and development. We have identified a set of strategies – water funds, community water trusts and more balanced approaches to hydropower management – that can produce globally significant improvements in how the world manages valuable water resources.

  • Water Funds: The Conservancy pioneered water funds—in which downstream users, mostly in cities, invest in upstream conservation that results in cleaner water—in Latin America, and we are expanding this solution around the world. Specifically, we are driving to ensure 585 million people have better access to clean water because we have helped to ensure that 640 million acres of land cover and 1.7 million kilometers of streams are protected.
  • Saving Great Rivers: Building on deep experience in Great River basins, we are building the science that underpins sustainable river management and applying this science to conserve and restore rivers and the services they provide to communities. We are working to ensure 100,000 kilometers of river are conserved by 2020, and 20% of hydropower projects are the world incorporate conservation strategies by mobilizing $3.5 billion in public and private funding for river conservation.
  • Community Water Trusts: We are launching community water trusts—funded by impact investment in water markets—in Australia, and plan to launch them in Latin America and the United States, to ensure that people can get the water they need while rivers have sufficient flows to be healthy. We will work to bring $500 Million in investment capital to restore 30,000 acres of wetlands and purchase 400,000 acre-feet of water rights by 2020.

One of the Conservancy’s core values is our commitment to diversity therefore we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.


The Director of Development is responsible for leading all aspects of the Global Water development program to secure significant financial resources in support of its goals. The Director has an opportunity to grow the donor base for Global Water and works within an excellent fundraising team/infrastructure. The Director is externally and internally focused, being responsible for both growing our current donor prospect pipeline and managing a portfolio of prospective donors, and for socializing the Global Water initiatives to VIP audiences internal to the Conservancy and partnering with fundraisers through the organization to support their work with donors that support and/or are interested in Global Water. The estimated fundraising goals in the first year are $8 Million and $10+ Million in years two and three for the central team. S/he is a member of the Principal Gifts Team and also sits on the Global Water Leadership Team. The Director of Development reports directly to the Director of Principal Gifts and works very closely with the Global Managing Director for Water , as well as the global water leadership team.

Specifically, the Director will:

  • Design, build and execute the private philanthropic fundraising plan for the Conservancy’s Global water program.
  • Both personally raise and support fundraisers throughout the organization in raising at least $10 Million in gifts and pledges annually for the Global Water priorities of TNC.
  • Motivate the efforts of a multi-disciplinary team of staff and volunteers in activities related to donor identification, cultivation and solicitation, participating in some cases as the direct relationship manager and in other cases as an active team member to fundraisers across TNC.
  • Grow the donor prospect pipeline for Global Water. The pipeline goal in the first year will be to identify and begin relationships with 15 new individuals and foundations that are capable of making 6-7 figure philanthropic gifts to TNC Global Water.
  • Ensure responsiveness to donors/prospective donors and to fundraisers throughout TNC related to engaging them in TNC Global Water.
  • Ensure the fundraising goals for Global Water and the progress against those goals are clearly tracked and monitored.
  • Lead the feasibility analysis related to the health of the donor pipeline and adjust the fundraising plan accordingly.
  • Establish and monitor activity level benchmarks and measures of success pertaining to pipeline growth, donor engagement, # of solicitations, dollars raised annually.
  • Liaise with the principal gifts fundraising team and network, the global priority development team, as well as other key relationship managers and senior conservation staff to build the best and most robust donor strategies and solicitations – ensuring we represent and communicate the synergies between all of the global priority areas to our donors.
  • Partner with senior leadership to lever their contacts, relationships and talents related to donor and investor pipeline development and donor and investor engagement and stewardship.
  • Work closely with and manage relations with key stakeholders including senior management, internal teams, donors, investors and volunteers to achieve program goals.
  • Socialize our Global freshwater programs and priorities to fundraisers and key leaders throughout the organization.


  • Decisions may have program-wide impact, affect staff in non-program areas, and bind the organization financially or legally.
  • Design and lead collaborative, complex, and diversified projects, coordinating the work of other professionals, ensuring accountability.
  • Direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Ensure compliance with TNC policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements; be alert to ethical compliance issues.
  • Financial responsibility for setting and meeting fundraising objectives, evaluating results, and developing corrective strategies.
  • Maintains confidentiality of frequently sensitive and emotionally charged information.
  • Maximum opportunity to act independently, resolves complex issues within program area.
  • May eventually supervise support or administrative staff.
  • Persuasively convey the mission of TNC to diverse groups important to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Travel frequently (about 30% time) and on short notice, work long and weekends as needed.
  • Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain


  • Bachelor’s degree and 8 years related experience.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with constituents such as individual major donors and foundations.
  • Experience building and successfully executing fundraising plans for a program or an organization.
  • Experience in asking for and closing major or planned gifts of $100,000 or more.
  • Experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors.
  • Experience working with fundraising principles and practices.
  • Experience, coursework or other training in current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts and planned giving.


  • Ability to design and direct fundraising initiatives, including individualized cultivation, solicitation and recognition strategies.
  • Ability to determine an individual’s interests, capacity and potential for helping the Conservancy meet its goals, and act appropriately to tie those interests with the Conservancy’s work.
  • Ability to educate and inform both internal staff and prospective and existing donors about appropriate giving vehicles.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate colleagues, donors and volunteers.
  • Experience in prioritizing work for several executives.
  • Experience with grant writing for requests from major private foundations.
  • Experience working in a large, complex, not-for-profit environment.
  • Multicultural experiences and multilingual skills appreciated.
  • Passion for raising money and for identifying new prospective donors (individuals and foundations)


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The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of *The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.*

Job Title: Director of Development, Global Water

Location: All United States

Job ID: 45092

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time