Foundations Officer

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, creative partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are central.

Overall Function: The Foundations Officer will be an integral part of a team focused on the strategic development and management of relationships for a portfolio of mid- and high-level foundations, as well as lead the successful cultivation and solicitation of five- to six-figure gifts that provide significant base support for EDF to carry out its mission.

Department and Location: This position is part of the growing Institutional Giving (IG) team (foundations and government donors) within EDF’s Development Department. The Development Department raises 90% of EDF’s budget annually, and the Institutional Giving team is responsible for raising and managing about half of that revenue. This position will be located in EDF’s New York or Washington DC office.

Reporting: The Foundations Officer will report to the Director of Institutional Giving.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the IG team building/managing 7-8 figure foundation relationships.
  • Create and implement strategic cultivation plans that result in gifts to EDF from mid-range donors (5-6 figures).
  • Work with program staff to prepare compelling proposals and reports and other communications materials as needed.
  • Prepare talking points and other materials for donor meetings, and participate in meetings as appropriate.
  • Have a strong knowledge and keep abreast of EDF’s program work.
  • Work with the IG support staff to ensure current and accurate donor and income/projections information in development database.
  • Maintain extensive internal communication with the Development Department, program staff, finance and administration, and at times the executive team.
  • Actively contribute to the Institutional Giving and Development teams as they seek to improve department best practices and procedures and develop new cultivation strategies and tools.
  • As appropriate, delegate and oversee work of IG support staff.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of six years of demonstrated success in non-profit fundraising, including a track record of independently securing and managing gifts from foundations and/or government agencies.
  • Deep knowledge of donor cultivation and strategies to develop and sustain long-term relationships with donors.
  • Knowledge of environmental issues (preferred), and/or demonstrated ability to quickly develop a strong command of EDF’s issues and work.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, associated strategic and analytical skills.
  • Strong computer literacy, including Word, Excel, and donor management databases.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to work effectively across long distances and different cultures.
  • Experience with budgets and financial information processes.
  • The ability to work both as a strong team player and independently as a self-starter.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to travel.

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.

Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.