Director of Development

The Amazon Conservation Team
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) seeks a dynamic and experienced fundraising professional with a strong and proven track record to play a central role in the senior management team of one of the leading environmental organizations working to preserve South American rainforests. The Director of Development will be responsible for planning and implementing all of ACT’s development/fundraising activities. S/he will direct the efforts of a development team and coordinate on both strategic and operational levels with other ACT departments. This position is based in Arlington, VA (Washington, DC area).

The Organization

Founded in 1996, ACT is a 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to preserving South American rainforests. This robust organization occupies a unique niche among other environmental non- profits working in the tropics in that ACT works hand in hand with local indigenous communities to devise and implement its conservation strategies. ACT’s vision is that the vast, life-sustaining rainforests of the Amazon basin are forever preserved and protected. ACT believes that strengthening, empowering, and working with rainforest people and their cultures is the most enduring route to that future.

ACT empowers partners with additional tools, resources, and skill training necessary for:
•       The security and management of indigenous territories
•       Legal protection for their territories and rainforest ecosystems
•       Exercising effective governance and influencing decision-makers
•       Creating sustainable health initiatives, income generation, and food production
•       The preservation of traditional knowledge and practices

ACT works in Brazil, Colombia, and Suriname, where each project is managed in partnership with indigenous communities sharing knowledge and experience at a grass-roots level.

Currently, ACT’s largest projects are in Colombia and Suriname, where the organization has a long history and excellent relationships with both the governments and local communities. Smaller initiatives are underway in Brazil and Peru. Each worksite offers diverse challenges, but also tremendous opportunities, having some of the largest tracts of forest left in Amazonia and many indigenous groups whose livelihoods depend on healthy ecosystems. ACT’s headquarters is located in Arlington, Virginia and its administrative Country Programs are located in Bogotá (Colombia) and Paramaribo (Suriname).

ACT is supported by private foundations, individuals, and government grants, and has an operating budget of close to $4M. Ten (10) staff members are employed at the ACT headquarters and close to 50 staff are employed in Suriname and Colombia. ACT is governed by a 13 member Board of Directors.

For more information about ACT, please visit

Key Accomplishments
Leading ACT accomplishments include:
•       Partnered with indigenous groups to map and improve protections of more than 70 million acres of the Amazon with GPS technology
•       Trained more than 150 indigenous people to become certified park rangers
•       Provided legal support to 20 indigenous groups to help them understand and exercise their rights to self-governance, territory, language, and education
•       Sponsored the first large-scale gatherings of male and female traditional healers in the Amazon
•       Worked with the Colombian national park service and local indigenous leaders to establish new categories of co-managed protected areas, notably the Alto Fragua Indi Wasi National Park and the Orito Ingi-Ande Medicinal Plant Sanctuary
•       Partnered with the Kogi Indians and the Colombian government to purchase a coastal sacred site, which became the first such location to be declared a national cultural monument
•       Confirmed the presence of uncontacted tribes in Colombia and provided information essential to defining public policy for the protection of these groups
•       Sponsored the establishment and continuity of Colombia’s Yachaikury K-12 Ethno-Education School to help preserve traditional knowledge
•       First environmental organization to win the prestigious Skoll Social Entrepreneurship Award

The Position
The Direct of Development will play a key role in identifying, cultivating, and renewing financial resource commitments in order to grow ACT’s organizational budget from a $4M budget over the next five years through the solicitation of corporate, foundation, and individual gifts. To this end, the Director of Development will design, implement, and regularly update a comprehensive fundraising plan.

In addition, the Director of Development serves as a member of the HQ’s executive management team and is strongly involved in the organization’s strategic direction. The position interacts directly with the President, Executive Director of Program Operations, Board of Directors, Director of Financial Operations, and Program Directors in ensuring the organization’s effective operation. Outside ACT, the position interacts with prospective and existing funders, strategic partners, government officials, and other high-level relationships relevant to the ongoing operation and growth of ACT.

The essential duties and responsibilities of the Director of Development include, but are not limited to:

Fundraising and Donor Stewardship
       Designing, implementing and updating a comprehensive fundraising strategy in accordance with defined ACT goals and objectives.
       Securing major gifts (including multi-year gifts) from individuals, foundations, and corporations (a major gift for ACT is defined as a 5-6 figure gift).
       Ensuring appropriate levels of unrestricted funding and indirect cost recovery, while maintaining and growing current operating reserves.
       Developing and managing an active donor stewardship plan, conceived as a living document, designed to manage relationships with prospective, current, and past donors; working to ensure renewals and potential increases to annual gifts.
       Developing and implementing campaigns including individual donor campaigns, capital campaigns, online giving campaigns, intimate gatherings for individuals, groups of individual donors, etc.
       Ensuring renewal of annual giving with an eye toward increasing numbers of donors and levels of support.
       Developing a comprehensive corporate donor strategy with accompanying policy, including but not limited to employee giving programs, cause marketing programs, and employee volunteer programs.
       Providing comprehensive relationship management support for the senior management team.
       Selecting/updating/managing the appropriate development software and technology platform, and ensuring the accurate maintenance of donor records and development-related activities and information.
       Working with the Board of Directors, senior management team and Country Program Directors to identify short and long-term fundraising goals and priorities, and to develop funding-related projects that support defined goals and objectives.
       Developing comprehensive communications protocols for ACT staff relative to development and fundraising activities, ensuring consistent messaging and branding relative to the mission and vision of the organization.
       Regularly communicating with Country Program Directors to establish revenue plans and budgets, and coordinate targeted proposal development accordingly.

Management of Development Department
       Recruiting, training, supervising, and evaluating qualified personnel for the development team; building a cohesive and goal-directed unit that will collaborate effectively with other teams across ACT.
       Working with development staff to plan and execute overall development strategy.
       Overseeing, improving and evolving the execution and tracking of all funding proposals/applications to individuals, foundations, corporate, and governmental grant makers.
       Ensuring and overseeing a comprehensive donor and development research function within the Development Department.
       Responsible for identifying and overseeing professional development opportunities for Development Department staff.
       Working with non-development staff to foster a better understanding of fundraising and donor stewardship; ensuring all staff at ACT have a basic understanding of their roles in fundraising.
       In partnership with senior management, helping to prepare for Board meetings, developing strategies to leverage each Board member’s individual skills, and ensuring personal solicitation of each Board member to attract leadership contributions and 100% participation. Attending Board meetings and preparing presentations to inform the Board of Directors.
       As a member of the senior management team, helping to shape organizational strategy and play a leadership role in implementing the organization’s operating plan and growth plan.

Skills and Attributes
Highly qualified candidates will bring a variety of experiences and attributes, including:
       Minimum 10 years of professional experience in nonprofit fundraising with proven track record in corporate, foundation, and major gift solicitation and cultivation.
       High energy, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the mission of ACT.
       Experience in planning, leading, and managing development projects, including coordinating with departments within an organization.
       Demonstrated ability to compose and manage comprehensive grant proposals, government contracts, and corporate contracts like cause marketing campaigns.

       Proven experience in securing five to six figure gifts from diverse donor channels, with substantial practice in cultivating and expanding donor relationships.
       A  track  record  of  delivering  superior  results,  quickly  building  trust  and  relationships,  and assuming leadership.
       Experience with strategic communications, marketing, and branding.
       Savvy with technology, and familiarity with design and implementation of web- and social- media-based donor campaigns.
       Strong interpersonal skills and desire to be a part of an intimate team.
       Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.
       Demonstrated successful management of a team of 5 or more staff members.
       Native-level  English  speaker;  Conversational  ability  in  Spanish,  minimum  ability  to  read Spanish; Portuguese and/or Dutch a plus.
       Accuracy and attention to detail; excellent organizational and administrative skills.
       Sound professional judgment, an exemplary moral compass, exceptional personal integrity, and high ethical standards that engender trust.
       Proficiency with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and development/financial software programs such as Sage FR50, Raiser’s Edge, Salsa, Salesforce, etc.
       Must be willing to travel domestically and internationally. This position requires a minimum of 25% travel. Must be able to occasionally work nights, weekends, and holidays as necessary to carry out key job functions.
       Master’s degree with a preference for candidates who have pursued continuing education and professional development opportunities relative to fundraising, communications, and branding. CFRE preferred, but not required.
       International field experience desirable.

The  Amazon  Conservation  Team  offers  an  excellent  benefits  package  and  a  salary  that  is commensurate with experience.

Application Process
To apply, send an email with a cover letter detailing your qualifications, resume, and salary requirements Communications will be treated with confidence and resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. For more information contact Ginna Goodenow at

Amazon Conservation Team is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women and persons of color are encouraged. Resume reviews begin immediately.