Chief Philanthropy Officer

National Park Foundation Washington, District of Columbia
Job Type Paid permanent

The National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charitable partner of the National Park Service (NPS), enriches America’s national parks and programs through the support of private citizens, park lovers, stewards of nature, history enthusiasts, and wilderness adventurers. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the Foundation grew out of a legacy of park protection that began over a century ago, when ordinary citizens took action to establish and protect our national parks.

Today, NPF carries on that tradition as the only national charitable nonprofit whose mission is to directly support America’s national parks by protecting them through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connecting all Americans with these special places and inspiring lifelong engagement of the next generation of park stewards. The Foundation fulfills this mission by aligning closely with NPS and with countless affiliated local park friends and nonprofit groups. Working together, NPF is committed to making and leveraging investments to protect, preserve, and restore the natural, cultural, and historic resources stewarded by NPS. The Foundation also focuses on greater public awareness of national parks, communicating relevancy of parks, and inspiring deeper public engagement with them.

In the face of budgetary restraints, aging infrastructure, the need to improve visitor experience, and the increasing wear-and-tear resulting from millions of annual visitors, philanthropic support for our national parks is vital. In addition to preserving national park landscapes, support is required for National Park Service programs beyond park boundaries that provide vital help to communities big and small. Operating in nearly every county in America, these essential programs save historic structures, preserve outdoor spaces, honor local history, and bring needed trails and recreation space to urban centers. To ensure that the national parks remain relevant and welcoming to Americans from all walks of life, we must explore ways to attract greater numbers of young people, multicultural audiences, and urban residents to our national parks, as well as to encourage families to experience our parks as part of an active, outdoor lifestyle that promotes good health.

In the past five years alone, over $500 million has been raised by NPF through The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, the largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign for NPS. These funds are strategically being reinvested back into the parks to support a myriad of preservation, conservation, scientific, and educational projects.

Amid an eminently favorable organizational backdrop replete with an inspiring mission, ubiquitous brand affiliation, an ascendant track record of success, and forward-thinking, ambitious strategies for the future, NPF seeks candidates for the role of Chief Philanthropy Officer. S/he will serve as the lead executive responsible for maintaining and growing the Foundation’s base of individual and institutional support, while building a sustainable major and principal gifts-focused fundraising culture that is seamlessly integrated into the organization’s programmatic and external relations initiatives. The Chief Philanthropy Officer will oversee a Philanthropy team of approximately 38 individuals. The Chief Philanthropy Officer will collaborate with impactful and highly networked administrative, programmatic, and board leadership, who have established themselves as strong non-partisan partners to NPS and the Department of the Interior (the federal agency which oversees NPS). The Chief Philanthropy Officer will develop, implement, and lead all future fundraising campaigns.

Required qualifications and experience:

- Genuine enthusiasm for and commitment to the complementary missions of NPF and NPS.

- Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree and/or record of continuing professional development preferred.

- Minimum of 15 years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, which includes work in all functional areas of development (individual giving, institutional giving, planned giving, stewardship, board relations) and leadership of a major fundraising campaign. Experience working in a large, complex, national-scale nonprofit enterprise and/or governmental or quasi-governmental agency is strongly preferred.

- A history of securing six and seven-figure gifts or more, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual giving strategies.

- Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating board members and other volunteer leaders, and a sophisticated understanding of their role in building an effective philanthropic network.

- Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with at least eight years of significant supervisory experience, including creating and managing a budget.

- Strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives.

- Proven ability to develop, balance, and coordinate donor bases on a national scale.

- Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement philanthropic initiatives and achieve goals.

- Highly developed skills in organizational efficiency and project leadership, including demonstrated accomplishments while working with cross-functional teams.

- The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about prospect/constituency engagement strategy and process.

The National Park Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to sustaining a diverse and inclusive work community. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


The National Park Foundation has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.

Managing Director

Founder and Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy

Diversified Search

The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174 | 212.542.2587

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.