Development Director

River Alliance of Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $65,000-$70,000/year
Deadline Jun 03, 2024

The Development Director leads our efforts to build relationships with supporters, donors, businesses and others who believe in clean water for all. The development director works closely with River Alliance staff and board members to expand our major giving program and further integrate fundraising into communications and program work. This position is full time (32 hours/week).

For the last 30 years, River Alliance of Wisconsin has worked to empower people to protect and restore water in three big ways:

  • local watershed group support,
  • lobbying for clean water protection laws, and
  • leading a vision for a better water protection system.

Vision: Clean and plentiful water for all living things
Mission: Empowering people to protect and restore water

Guiding Values:
Water is life.
People have power when they work together.
Diversity is strength.
Wisdom comes from science and traditional ecological knowledge.

Core Principles:

  • We commit to hearing and bringing forth diverse perspectives into decisions and actions to support advancing an inclusive and equitable systems.
  • We pursue clean water for all with passion and determination.
  • We believe in the power of grassroots action.
  • We expect the government to safeguard water, and we hold public agencies and elected officials accountable.
  • We are a credible voice on water policy and public engagement.
  • We engage people in activities to inspire water stewardship.

What you’ll do:

Donor Stewardship (85%)

Develop, implement and evaluate River Alliance’s annual fund development plan and integrate the fund development plan with the communications plan. Priorities include: (70%)

  • Developing a major donor plan and then working directly with the executive director on major donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Leading direct mail and email fundraising campaigns.
  • Guiding a business sponsorship program.
  • Leading a planned giving program.
  • Stewarding relationships with River Alliance supporters and donors.
  • Working closely with the executive director on grant retention and prospecting. The executive director will take the lead on most grants, with the development director taking the lead on some grants as determined by the executive director, and additional staff supporting the grant program.
  • Plan and execute fundraising and outreach events in collaboration with the communication director and staff as needed.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to integrate fundraising into program activities.
  • Oversee gift processing, manage IRS acknowledgement and gift receipt letters. (15%)
  • Manage, maintain and improve our fundraising database.

Organization Growth and Management (15%)

  • Reflect on and grow Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion principles in our fund development program and organization as a whole.
  • Be the staff liaison to the development committee, which includes working with the committee chair to set agendas and board fundraising goals, and preparing development reports for the committee that are presented to the board of directors. Attend quarterly Board meetings as needed.
  • Provide the executive director with regular updates on fundraising progress, including development reports.
  • Participate in/co-lead volunteer coordination to support the fund development program.
  • Assist with other duties and assignments not directly related to fundraising that support the organization.

Skills you have to bring:

  • Fundraising work experience, preferably in environmental conservation and/or advocacy.
  • Understanding of fund development planning and major donor stewardship.
  • Strong relationship skills, able to connect quickly and genuinely with diverse groups of people.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and projects.
  • Excellent donor and engagement data management skills; experience with EveryAction is desirable.

This position is open to remote/hybrid work, but requires an in-office presence 1-2 days per week. Candidates must be within a commutable distance of the office in Madison, WI. Salary between $65,000-$70,000/year, depending on experience. Includes a comprehensive benefits package, an energetic work environment, and the chance to associate with passionate board members, staff and advocates committed to clean fresh water.


Please submit a cover letter and resume via email to jobs@wisconsinrivers.org  with the title “Development Director Search.” Applications may also be submitted via mail to: Development Director Search, River Alliance of Wisconsin, 612 W. Main Street Suite 200 Madison, WI 53703.

For best consideration: Apply by June 3, 2024. Application review and interviews will continue until the position is filled. Expected start date, late July or early August 2024.
No calls, please.

River Alliance of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity employer committed to an inclusive, equitable, and supportive working environment in which everyone is respected for their unique experiences and perspectives.

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

Category Admin & Leadership , Hydrology
Tags Outreach