Director of Development - Aldo Leopold Foundation

AFP SE WI Administrator
February 11, 2019

Purpose: Seeking a capable and committed individual to grow the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s development program  

Reports To: Executive Director

Impact Statement:

This position will take our robust development program to the next level ensuring the financial health and vitality of the organization and its mission.

Summary:  This development leader will work collaboratively with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to create a comprehensive fund development plan which will increase revenues to support the strategic direction of the organization.   With a donor base of over 3,000 supporters, this position will be responsible for overseeing a strategically-focused, relationship-building approach to fundraising focusing on major gifts and planned giving. The development leader will manage a portfolio of approximately 100+ major and prospective donors. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

Organizational Leadership                                                                                                                  10%

  • Foster a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization.
  • Work collaboratively with staff across the organization to develop consistent messaging and build strategic, productive relationships with donors.
  • As part of the executive leadership team, coordinate development goals that support organization-wide initiatives. 
  • Develop regular progress reports, budgets, contributions and expenditures related to fundraising and the management of the fund development program activities.

Management                                                                                                                                    15%     

  • Develop and manage timelines for various fundraising activities including major donor identification, qualification and engagement to ensure strategic plans and critical fundraising processes are carried out in a timely manner.
  • Track performance of the development program.  Monitor and evaluate key fundraising activities to ensure that the fundraising goals are being achieved.
  • Create and implement stewardship strategies for donor retention with particular emphasis on major donors.
  • In partnership with the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, develop a comprehensive communication plan to promote the organization to its donors and maximize public awareness of the fundraising activities of the organization.  
  • Utilize fundraising database to track and record donor interactions and program activity, maintain lists, perform queries, generate reports and track performance.
  • Work with the Marketing and Communications Coordinator in creation of annual giving strategies including but not limited to donor appeals and new member acquisitions.
  • Work with ALF program staff to understand and articulate programming accomplishments for donor communications.

Development                                                                                                                                        75%

  • Identify, qualify, engage and strategically ask corporate, community and individual prospective donors to support the organization's fundraising priorities.
  • Support the Executive Director in major donor relationship building activities, board development and other activities that contribute to raising additional resources for ALF. 
  • Maintain and further develop ongoing relationships with donors and key volunteers.
  • Interface with the ALF Board to identify and engage current and prospective major donors.
  • Engage board members and other volunteers for special fund development projects using established relationship management and volunteer engagement practices.
  • Plan and lead interactions with members and donors to build relationships and determine opportunities to strengthen support.

Personal Characteristics & Competencies

  • Business/Organizational Acumen: understands not-for-profits work, policies, practices, trends, marketplace and information affecting the foundation
  • Action-oriented: enjoys working hard, comfortable seizing opportunities and pushing others to be successful
  • Approachability: makes the effort to put others at ease, builds rapport well, good listener
  • Compassion: genuinely cares about others (essential for passion gifts), demonstrates empathy
  • Ethics and values: embraces and demonstrates core values of the organization
  • Integrity and trust: widely trusted, seen as direct and truthful, keeps confidences, admits mistakes, doesn’t misrepresent him/herself for personal gain
  • Interpersonal savvy: can diffuse high-tension situations comfortably, use diplomacy and tact
  • Has the patience to hear people and can accurately restate differing opinions
  • Effective communication: able to listen, write and speak succinctly, get messages across that have the desired effect inside and outside the organization in a timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Self-motivated: strategically implements organizational direction, goals and objectives.
  • Relationship-builder: establishes and maintains positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Collaborator: works cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Accountable: owns decisions and is responsible for results. 
  • Disciplined: sets priorities, develops a work schedule and is comfortable tracking details, data and information.
  • Flexibility: willingness and ability to travel periodically in and out of state; including occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Mission Focused:  commitment to conservation and environmental stewardship; awareness of Leopold legacy.

Preferred Qualifications

  • University degree
  • Relevant certification or training such as Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) designation
  • 5+ years of experience in fund development or relevant field
  • Experience building relationships with high net worth individuals
  • General IRS and accounting principles affecting charitable giving
  • Experience working with Boards of Directors and not-for-profit organizational leaders
  • Proficiency with technology including but not limited to: fundraising (or CRM) software, Microsoft Office, E-mail, and social media platforms

To Apply

To apply for this position, please send a full resume, cover letter (including any salary expectations), references, and one writing sample to Jen Anstett by email at or by regular mail to E13701 Levee Road, Baraboo, WI 53913.  Applications due February 22, 2019 or until filled.

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and recognizes that just as a healthy ecosystem depends on biodiversity, a healthy human society depends on cultural and social diversity. The Aldo Leopold Foundation is committed to expanding the conversation on land ethics by acting to achieve a rich diversity of staff, board, volunteers, members, supporters and those we seek to engage with our programming.  Please include in your cover letter how you will join us in building a socially inclusive network of individuals, organizations and communities to achieve our conservation goals and realize the vision of Aldo Leopold.

Foundation History & Context

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization established in 1982 by the five children of Aldo and Estella Leopold. Our headquarters are located in Baraboo, Wisconsin at the Leopold Center, which was built in 2007 using pines the Leopold family planted in the 1930s and ’40s, where they undertook a revolutionary experiment in returning health to a worn out farm. 

The foundation uses its unique assets, the Leopold Shack and Farm (a National Historic landmark), A Sand County Almanac, other writings by Leopold and the Leopold Archives to introduce and build a land ethic throughout society.

Development Success

The Aldo Leopold Foundation currently has an annual budget of +/- $1,250,000 and successfully completed 3 capital campaigns over the last 12 years raising over $14 Million.


To weave a land ethic into the fabric of society; to advance the understanding, stewardship and restoration of land health; and to cultivate leadership for conservation.


Fostering a land ethic through the legacy of Aldo Leopold.


Programmatic & Organizational

  1. Developing Future Conservation Leaders for Ecological Management
  2. Using the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area as a Destination for Landowners, Birders, and Lovers of Leopold to Learn More about the Past, Present, and Future of Ecological Management
  3. Increasing Ecological Management on Private Land in the Midwest
  4. Increasing the use of the Land Ethic as Context for Ecological Management Programs in Higher Education
  5. Enhancing the Foundation's Financial Health
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