Director of Development, Special Projects

Development Director

The Director, Development Special Projects will be part of a national development team responsible for generating over $300 million in annual major gifts. 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 the decision-making, justification, and management of fundraising travel for EDF senior executives.

In concert with the Vice President of Individual and Institutional Giving, the Director will prioritize, prepare for, and strategize high-level travel for EDF executives as they cultivate, solicit, and steward top donors and prospective donors. 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 two full time employees, this individual will also lead other important projects in furtherance of the Development Department’s priorities.


  • Develop and oversee a 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 reactive process to a 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. 


  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible positions in fast-paced fundraising departments with demonstrated success in operational excellence.
  • Deep understanding and experience in 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; 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 from an accredited university.
  • Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • A valid driver’s license and ability to drive. Willingness to travel out of state.

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.

Pay range

$125,000 - $140,000 USD/Yr.


Regular Full Time


New York


September 15, 2023

Apply now

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.

We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 1,000 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.

Our culturevalues and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?