Director of Development, Special Projects

Environmental Defense Fund
1875 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C., DC 20009
United States
Job Description

The Director of Development, Special Projects will be part of an international development team responsible for generating philanthropic revenue from a myriad of sources. This is a unique opportunity for a development professional with an extensive background in operational management and a deep familiarity with institutional and major gifts fundraising to become part of the development team at one of the nation’s premier environmental organizations. In collaboration with portfolio managers and other experts in Development, the Director will have varied leadership responsibilities with a primary focus on managing fundraising travel for EDF senior executives.

In concert with the Vice Presidents of Individual and Institutional Giving, the Director will prioritize, prepare for, and implement high-level travel for EDF executives as they cultivate, solicit, and steward top donors and prospective donors in the US and abroad. The Director will be responsible for managing travel priorities together with portfolio managers and support executive office staff throughout EDF. The Director will develop protocols and materials for donor strategy discussions by utilizing resources across the Development department, to inform those meetings including data, research, and financial details.

Reporting to the Senior Director, Major and Principal Gifts, and managing a small team, this individual will also lead other important projects in furtherance of the Development Department’s priorities.

This position can be performed remotely or on a hybrid arrangement out of any of our US-based EDF office locations - candidates must currently reside in and be based out of the United States.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and oversee strategy for donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship through the design and execution of a travel plan for EDF’s senior executives including the CEO, Executive Director, and Executive Vice Presidents.
  • Transform the current process to a proactive and thoughtfully designed annual plan for Senior Executive Travel. This includes establishing a work plan for inter and intra departmental notifications regarding travel opportunities and portfolio manager needs.
  • Conduct quarterly reviews of ongoing travel and opportunities for donor engagement, both internally and externally (donor convenings and special events organized outside of EDF)
  • Design and lead a process for outreach, logistics, and meeting preparation. This includes ensuring that all of the briefing materials are accurately prepared and that individual briefing conversations are held with Portfolio Managers so that our executives are fully prepared before meetings occur.
  • Contribute to the strategy sessions with internal stakeholders regarding EDF’s largest donors and prospects.
  • Lead debriefing conversations following trips to ensure meeting details, outcomes, and next steps are documented so that progress and impact can be tracked and measured.
  • Maintain meticulous internal records and ensure relevant information is appropriately distributed internally.
  • Work closely with peers across the Development Department on priority trips and evaluation of fundraising success.
  • Manage executive assistants during trip planning and advise on all major decisions.
  • Participate in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.
  • Complete other special projects as assigned.


  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible positions in fast-paced fundraising departments with demonstrated success in operational excellence.
  • Previous fundraising experience, including donor strategy and stewardship as well as designing and managing executive travel in furtherance of fundraising goals.
  • Deep understanding and experience in donor strategy including managing the cycle of donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Experience in managing a high-net worth donor portfolio preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate about and implement processes involving senior colleagues across departments.
  • A commitment to Environmental Defense Fund’s mission and values.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills; sound judgement and ability to prioritize; a high level of comfort in working closely with executive leadership and internal and external stakeholders.
  • Mastery of written and oral communications, including excellent ability to present to, influence, and lead others.
  • Knowledge of, and ability to use, fundraising databases. Salesforce preferred.
  • Creativity, energy, confidence, and integrity. High level of discretion and respect for donor privacy.
  • Initiative and independence combined with the ability to gain cooperation and problem resolution as part of a team.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • A valid driver’s license and ability to drive. Willingness to travel out of state.

Please submit a cover letter with your submission.

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization. We take into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Please note that pay ranges are country specific. As a result, the stated currency is not meant be converted into any other currency.


1875 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C. DC 20009
United States