Director, Institutional Giving

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Overall Function


The Institutional Giving team sits within EDF’s growing Development Department. The Development Department raises 90% of EDF’s $200M+ budget annually; the Institutional Giving team is responsible for raising about half of the department’s revenue. 


Job Overview


The Director – Institutional Giving will be responsible for the effective strategic development and management of relationships for a portfolio of high-level foundations, including the successful cultivation and solicitation of 6-8 figure gifts that provide significant support for EDF to carry out its mission.  The Director will also manage select staff within the Institutional Giving subgroup of the Development Department, providing strategic and administrative guidance to ensure team members’ effective performance and success.


This position is located in EDF’s New York (headquarters) office and reports to the VP of Institutional Giving. 


Key Responsibilities

  • Working closely with program, executive and finance staff, raise and manage 6-8 figure gifts from foundations to support the work and mission of EDF.
  • Conduct a range of development activities including:  
    • Develop and implement strategic cultivation plans
    • Prepare high quality proposals, reports and other communications to donors (including effective collaboration with IG grant writers)
    • Prepare strategic talking points and other materials for donor meetings
    • Participate in foundation meetings
    • Maintain accurate donor and revenue information in the development database
    • Leverage the resources of department-wide research and donor engagement (communications/events) teams as appropriate.
  • Maintain strong knowledge of EDF’s program work to effectively represent, through both written and oral communications, a wide array of regional, national, and global environmental programs to inspire donors to support EDF. 
  • Maintain extensive and ongoing internal communication with the Development Department, program staff, finance and administration, and at times the executive team.
  • Effectively make a wide range of independent and collaborative decisions in cultivating and stewarding donors, using his/her best judgment and the input of program staff and development leadership, where appropriate.
  • Help manage support and mentor junior staff, including delegating and overseeing work, and, as appropriate, providing guidance to ensure smooth operations and meeting of performance expectations.
  • Work effectively with staff across all departments in New York and other EDF offices.


  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • A minimum of 10 years demonstrated success and increasing responsibilities in non-profit fundraising, including strong track record of securing large gifts from foundations.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to work effectively across the organization and among geographically-dispersed colleagues.
  • The ability to work both as a team player and independently, as a self-starter.
  • Experience working with, or ideally managing, support staff.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and listening skills.
  • Strong computer literacy, including Word, Excel, and donor management databases.
  • The ability to travel as needed.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.