Vice President for Development

The Forest Society seeks an exceptional, experienced development professional to lead fundraising for the organization. The successful candidate will have at least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in development in a position that involves strategic thinking and major gift solicitation. The VP for Development serves as a member of the Leadership Team, advising the President on organizational issues and is staff liaison to the Board Development Committee.  The person in this position supervises, directly or indirectly, all the staff in the Development and Membership Departments and collaborates with all staff in meeting the organization’s funding needs. Experience in the outdoors and with conservation is required. The position is located at the award-winning, energy efficient Conservation Center in Concord, NH.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is a statewide land conservation organization that was founded in 1901 to protect New Hampshire’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its renewable natural resources.  Today, with 10,000 member households and over 40 employees, the Forest Society owns 186 reservations in 102 communities across the state, and has interests and monitoring responsibilities for over 800 conservation easements.  With ongoing programs in advocacy, land protection and sustainable forest management, the Forest Society consistently ranks among the nation’s top land trusts and has been a leader in setting the standard for American land protection. If you enjoy working both independently and in a cooperative team-approach in a challenging, at times fast-paced, but always rewarding, setting you may be the right person for this position.

Letters of interest and resumes should be sent to Maria Stewart at: mstewart@forestsociety.org by July 15, 2019 or until position is filled.

Full Job Description

Reports to President

Exempt/Full Time/Regular

Position Summary: The Vice President of Development manages the development department and is ultimately responsible for all fundraising at the Forest Society, including annual support from individuals, foundations and businesses, land-based fundraising campaigns, capital campaigns, endowment fundraising, donor cultivation and stewardship, planned giving and the membership program. The Vice President serves as a member of the Leadership Team, advising the President on organizational issues, and is the staff liaison with the Board Development Committee.  The Vice President for Development directly or indirectly supervises all the staff in the Development and Membership Departments and collaborates with all departments in meeting their funding needs.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Work with the President, Board Development Committee, Trustees, and Leadership Team to develop an overarching fundraising strategy that includes the following elements:

Annual Fund: draft the direct mail annual appeal letters and supervise production. Cultivate and solicit major donors to the Annual Fund.

Operating Grant Support: work with direct reports and other staff to cultivate and solicit individual, business, and foundation support for operating projects (with a current emphasis on stewardship projects on fee-owned conserved lands), prepare grant proposals and reports, and supervise grant proposal writer(s).

Land-Based Fundraising: collaborate with land protection/reservation stewardship staff to strategize, cultivate donors, and execute fundraising plans to support the acquisition of fee-owned lands and conservation easements and the stewardship of fee reservations.  Land-based fundraising campaigns generally include the following elements:  government agency support, foundation support, major donor contributions and a direct-mail solicitation.  Cultivation activities include donor visits and conducting field tours of the subject properties.  Supervise other fundraisers assigned to land-based fundraising campaigns.

Endowment Fundraising: The Forest Society is continually building endowment to support the organization as a whole, and reservation and conservation easement stewardship, in particular.  The Vice President is responsible for securing endowment support from individuals and foundations. The Vice President is also responsible for the design, donor cultivation and execution of endowment campaigns.

Planned Giving: The Forest Society’s planned giving program is integral to its major donor stewardship effort.  The Vice President is responsible for securing major gifts through planned giving vehicles including bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and other appropriate vehicles.

Membership: The Vice President is responsible for supervising the Membership Director and a direct mail membership program that includes monthly renewals and new member acquisition mailings several times per year.  The Vice President is also responsible for garnering new members through events, regional campaigns, and other sources.

Capital Campaigns: The Forest Society occasionally conducts capital campaigns for the acquisition or construction of new facilities and the renovation of existing facilities. The Vice President is responsible for the design, donor cultivation and execution of capital campaigns.

Database Management:  Supervise the maintenance of a comprehensive database of donor information (Raiser’s Edge).

Contributions/Outcomes: Designing and implementing a fundraising plan to meet the annual goals for membership dues, annual fund, operating project support, and campaign revenue.  The Forest Society’s annual operating budget is approximately $5 million and land acquisition funding in a typical year is $3 to $5 million. It is important to note that the project support and land-based fundraising programs at the Forest Society change annually to meet the organization’s needs.

Qualifications and Skills Required:

Strong written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to communicate with diverse audiences. Public speaking is frequently required.
A strong understanding of land conservation issues and processes.
Proven skills in direct-mail letter composition, grant writing and donor communication.
Experience with the legal environment of charitable giving and ensuring the fundraising program is in compliance.
Experience with planned giving vehicles.
High level experience managing a database of donor information and using that information to inform fundraising goals and activities.
The skills necessary to lead prospective donor groups on field tours of subject properties.  Tours often include hiking or mountain climbing carrying a backpack and/or paddling a canoe or kayak. First aid training and the ability to teach field skills desirable.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in development in a position that involves major gift solicitation.
A bachelor’s degree in an applicable field is required, master’s degree preferred.
This position involves some overnight travel, and a driver’s license and proof of insurance is required.

Working Conditions:

1.         Offices are located in an environmentally sustainable office building within walking distance of wooded trails.

2.         Field trips include hiking over a variety of terrain and paddling in lakes and rivers.

3.         Field trips may occur in inclement weather.

Physical Requirements:

This position requires the ability to sit and work at a computer for extended periods of time.
This position requires the physical fitness necessary to lead daylong hikes and paddling trips.

Direct Reports:

Senior Director of Development

Director of Membership

Land-Based Fundraising Manager

Development Specialist (grant writer)

Development Associate

Senior Technology Specialist