Director of Philanthropy, Northwest and Northern Rockies

American Rivers

American Rivers

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Director of Philanthropy, Northwest and Northern Rockies

North Fork Nooksack, Washington | Photo by Bonnie Rice

TITLE: Director of Philanthropy
DEPARTMENT: Advancement
REPORTS TO: Sr. Director of Philanthropy
LOCATION: Remote, Northern Rockies or Pacific Northwest

Click Here to Apply


American Rivers is championing a national effort to protect and restore all rivers, from remote mountain streams to urban waterways. Healthy rivers provide people and nature with clean, abundant water and natural habitat. For 50 years, American Rivers staff, supporters, and partners have shared a common belief: Life Depends on Rivers℠.

American Rivers centers the ongoing work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all that we do. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field. The life experiences, knowledge, innovation, and talent that everyone brings to our work provides perspectives, experiences, and competencies which are critical to our effectiveness in protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature.


Reporting to the Senior Director of Philanthropy, the Director of Philanthropy is responsible for securing major gifts from individual donors and actively contributing to the success of the Life Depends on Rivers campaign. The Director of Philanthropy will partner with the President and CEO, board members, campaign cabinet members, River Council volunteers, and leadership staff. This person will have a history of success in cultivating, soliciting, and closing major gifts from individuals; developing portfolios of individual donors and prospects with major gift potential; and building relationships and sustainable donor engagement strategies. They will also possess a deep understanding of best practices in major gift philanthropy as well as the ability to see the big picture and translate strategy into targeted goals and actions. As American Rivers executes the Life Depends on Rivers comprehensive fundraising campaign to scale our work and impact, this is an exciting opportunity to join a talented, passionate, and fun major gifts team.


  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit a portfolio of approximately 100 major gift donors capable of giving at least $10,000, with focus on securing annual gifts of $50,000+ and six to seven figure multi-year campaign pledges.
  • Travel regularly for donor visits, events, field trips, and trainings.
  • Build a pipeline of potential new donors and develop a plan for introducing American Rivers to the philanthropic leaders.
  • Qualify prospective major donors for upgrades from membership and mid-level giving programs.
  • Develop and execute personalized solicitation strategies for each donor/prospect in assigned portfolio and ensure that donor contact reports are compiled and maintained.
  • Prepare and conduct briefings for visits and solicitation of assigned prospects by President and CEO where warranted.
  • Work with conservation leadership colleagues to develop case statements, proposals, and strategies for major donors.
  • In partnership with regional conservation leadership, ensure members of regional River Councils are appropriately supported, trained, and engaged on American Rivers programs, campaign, and other fundraising efforts; leverage their networks on behalf of the organization.
  • Work collaboratively with major gifts colleagues to develop and execute donor communications plan, engagement events, and stewardship activities, while supporting one another and celebrating success.


  • Seven or more years of major gift fundraising experience; campaign experience preferred.
  • Proven success closing five-figure+ gifts including the ability to evaluate, qualify, and move prospects through the identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation cycle. Six-figure gift experience a plus.
  • Experience and comfort interacting with high-net worth individuals and the ability to maintain a high level of maturity, discretion, and confidentiality.
  • Excellent communication skills coupled with strong writing and presentation skills.
  • Proficiency with donor database/CRM applications and in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills as well as the ability to prioritize and manage time efficiently.
  • Ability to travel frequently to meet donors and attend functions.
  • Interest and/or experience with planned giving principles and vehicles.
  • Knowledge of and/or interest in conservation as well as a personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.

andidates who are unsure if they meet all minimum qualifications or who have transferrable skills and experience beyond the conservation sector are encouraged to apply

Remote, Northern Rockies or Pacific Northwest

The salary range for this position is $90,000-$120,000 annually depending upon qualifications and experience. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental, and life insurance; a retirement plan, training budget, sick leave, 11 paid holidays, four weeks of paid vacation, paid sabbaticals every seven years, and a 3% retirement match. American Rivers offers TIAA-CREF Social Choice, including green impact, as an investment option.

Our community’s core values motivate us to Lead with Collaboration and Trust, Infuse Equity and Justice, Deliver Results, and Ensure Staff and Volunteers Thrive. American Rivers offers staff professional development and training opportunities, engages in equitable hiring and retention practices, has taken the Green 2.0 pay equity pledge and participates in the transparency report, and hosts People of Color, Accessibility, LGBTQAI+, Women’s Leadership, Parents and Caregivers, and DEIJ affinity groups and committees led by staff and board members.


Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and list of three references by following the link below. No phone calls please.

Click Here to Apply


American Rivers is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request reasonable accommodation, please contact the Human Resources department at 202-243-7050 or Please note that one week’s advance notice is preferred.

Applicant must be legally allowed to work as an employee in the United States.

Candidates of all personal and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply.