Government Grants Officer

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 Government Grants Officer will be an integral part of a small team focused on the strategic development and management of high-level government relationships.  This person will partner with senior staff across the organization to successfully cultivate, solicit and steward a large and growing portfolio of government funders that increasingly provides significant support for EDF to carry out its mission. 


Department, Location and Reporting: 


This position is part of the growing Government Grants team within EDF’s Development Department. The Development Department raises 90% of EDF’s budget annually. This position is located in EDF’s New York office and will report to the Vice President, Government Partnerships.


Key Responsibilities


  • Serve as a key self-starter and an integral contributing partner to a team that secures and manages 6-8 figure grants from new and existing government sources. This entails a range of strategic activities, including but not limited to:
  • Managing a portfolio of government funders, serving as a liaison and informational contact between EDF and granting agency staff.
  • Identifying and evaluating public funding opportunities, providing strategic guidance to programs on alignment/fit, eligibility, and competitiveness.
  • Working with program staff to conceptualize, prepare, and submit responsive and competitive proposals, reports, and other communications materials.
  • Preparing materials for funder meetings and participating in meetings as appropriate.
  • Contributing to accurate donor and income/projections information in Salesforce database.
  • Develop and maintain strong knowledge of EDF’s program work to independently and effectively represent, through both written and oral communications, a wide array of regional, national, and global environmental programs.
  • Maintain extensive internal communication with the Development Department, program, finance, and administration staff, and at times the Executive team.
  • Actively contribute to the Government and Development teams as they seek to improve best practices and procedures and develop new cultivation strategies and tools.
  • As appropriate, delegate to and oversee work of Government support staff.




  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of six years of demonstrated success in non-profit fundraising, including securing and managing gifts from foundations and/or government agencies.
  • Deep knowledge of priorities, trends, and donor requirements in the government funding arena.
  • Knowledge of environmental issues strongly preferred; ability to quickly grasp and translate complicated subject matter required.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and associated strategic and analytic skills.
  • Strong computer literacy, including Word, Excel and donor management databases.
  • High degree of proficiency working in a fast-paced, flexible, goal-oriented and entrepreneurial environment, with the highest level of personal and professional integrity.
  • Excellent planning and project management skills. Experience working in a non-profit institution of comparable complexity and scale, including the ability to work effectively with geographically dispersed colleagues, is preferred.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills; experience working with a team to successfully manage multiple projects with competing timelines.
  • Experience critically reviewing budgets and financial information.
  • An understanding of, and commitment to, Environmental Defense Fund’s mission.
  • 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.