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 700 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.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.

Overall Function


The Director, Institutional Giving (IG) is an important leadership position on the IG team.  The Director is responsible for the strategic cultivation and stewardship of a select portfolio of principal-level foundations that provide significant support for EDF to carry out its mission.  The Director also manages a team of IG staff, providing strategic and operational guidance to ensure team members’ effective performance and success.


Department and Location


This position is part of the 20-member IG team within EDF’s 100+-member Development Department.  The Development department raises 90% of EDF’s $200+M budget annually; IG is responsible for raising between one-third and half of the Department’s revenue. This position reports to the Vice President of Institutional Giving and will be located in EDF’s New York (headquarters), Washington, DC or Boston, MA office.


Key Responsibilities


  • Partner with program, executive and finance staff to secure and skillfully manage 6- to 8-figure gifts from foundations to support the work and mission of EDF.
  • Support and mentor staff, including delegating and overseeing work, and, as appropriate, providing guidance to ensure performance expectations are achieved and operations run smoothly.
  • Work with staff to set strategy, and to plan and execute on workplans, to accomplish team goals, including fundraising and engagement/stewardship plans for their donors.
  • Conduct a range of development activities including:
    • Developing and implementing strategic cultivation plans.
    • Preparing high quality proposals, reports and other communications to donors (including effective collaboration with Development Communications writers).
    • Preparing strategic briefings and other materials for donor meetings.
    • Participating in donor meetings.
    • Overseeing accurate donor and revenue information in the Development database (SalesForce).
  • 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. 
  • Assist the VP and other team members with internal donor- and strategy-related communications, and liaise with colleagues in the Development department, program, finance, and at times, members of the Executive Team to fulfill requests or share information.
  • Draw on extensive experience, sound judgment, and input from program staff and Development leadership to cultivate and steward donors and make a wide range of independent and collaborative decisions.
  • Work effectively with staff across all departments throughout all EDF offices.



  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ demonstrated success and increasing responsibility in non-profit fundraising, including a strong track record of securing and managing large gifts from foundations.
  • Experience managing and mentoring staff.
  • Demonstrated 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.
  • Proven ability to work both as a team player and independently, as a self-starter.
  • 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.