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Director of Advancement

Wild Earth Wilderness School
High Falls, New York / Some remote work is possible
$75,000-85,000 plus benefits
Closing date
May 1, 2024

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Focus Areas
Education, Environment, Youth Development
Job Function
Development / Fundraising, Executive / Senior Management
Position Type
Full Time
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

Founded in 2004, Wild Earth leads programs for youth, adults, and families, serving more than 4,000 individuals in the Hudson Valley annually. Central to all of our programs is a unique organizational philosophy that prioritizes building connections and relationships in outdoor spaces. Wild Earth nurtures the development and empowerment of youth by fostering reciprocity with nature, cultivating regenerative practices, and uplifting equity and environmental justice. Wild Earth’s current program priorities include:

Supporting Students in Schools: Since 2015 Wild Earth has provided social and emotional support to Kingston City School District students by cultivating consistent mentoring relationships and offering experiential and sensory-based programming on the playground and in nature. Wild Earth has also begun a program partner relationship with Ellenville Central School District and may develop that relationship more significantly in the years ahead.

Supporting Hudson Valley Youth and Families - Summer and Year-round Programs: Wild Earth has offered year-round weekend programs and summer camps since its founding in 2004. We provide youth ages 4-17 opportunities to cultivate their sense of agency and belonging through interactive, sensory- based team building experiences that connect them with nature, inspiring leaders, and one another.

Community Engagement Partnerships: Wild Earth is committed to engaging in collaboration with local partners and organizations with aligned vision and values. We believe in the continued growth of regenerative practices and structures that support joy, wellbeing, and connection to place; for our communities require a sustained and shared effort among community and organizational leaders. 

As the organization supports growth across its program areas, Wild Earth continues to more fully center justice, access, diversity, and equity (JADE) in our approach and endeavors.

At Wild Earth, salaried staff collaborate in a participative leadership framework to uphold the organization’s vision and mission through strategic collaborations pertinent to their expertise and job responsibilities. Through this structure, our leaders support and contribute to org-wide initiatives and considerations that impact their individual work, ensuring strategic decisions are well informed and enhance our collective impact.

The Director of Advancement plays a lead role in crafting, implementing and evaluating the organization’s strategies around development, external communications, and organizational impact. This experienced development professional will cultivate and maintain donor relationships and seek unique fundraising opportunities that are aligned to organizational and programmatic goals. In Wild Earth’s participative leadership model, the Director of Advancement will work collaboratively with the Executive Director, Learning Director, Program Directors, Communications Coordinator, Operations Manager and other staff to share stories about Wild Earth’s impact with participants, families, donors, and community partners. In addition, this individual will be a key contributor to organizational management as a member of the director team.

Foundational Role (15%): Our foundational roles as team members uphold the mission, vision, and values of our work. We achieve this through staff meetings and retreats, professional development and training opportunities including JADE, internal communications, and administrative responsibilities.

Core Role (85%):

Development Oversight and Project Management

  • Create and implement Wild Earth’s annual development plan and strategies in collaboration with the Executive Director, Development Team and Board of Directors
  • Lead day-to-day development activities, facilitate regular development meetings, and steward cross departmental collaboration and coordination to support organizational strategy related to development efforts
  • Cultivate new and existing funder relationships across all funding categories (foundation, business and individual giving)
  • Work with Directors and key program staff to develop compelling funding proposals and reporting materials 
  • Ensure Wild Earth’s development activities honor and uphold the values of the organization and feel in alignment with programmatic goals
  • Collaborate with the Finance Team to monitor grant expenditures and payments
  • Collaborate with Program Directors and key program staff to develop grant deliverables, narratives and budgets
  • Ensure that evaluation measures are accurately captured in grant reports and donor communications
  • Collaborate with Executive Director to prepare for donor pitch meetings and effectively represent the organization in donor meetings conducted without the Executive Director
  • Oversee planning and execution of fundraising events (summer party, donor dinners, gala)
  • Engage all staff and Board members in a collaborative philanthropic culture
  • Evaluate and improve development processes through periodic audits of departmental processes and team feedback

Communications Oversight and Project Management

  • Oversee the Communications Team, which currently consists of a Communications Coordinator, to plan and implement the communications strategy for the organization through print and digital media
  • Oversee and support the Communications Coordinator in creating, writing, editing and producing press releases, blog posts, website content, newsletters, social media and printed materials, including annual reports and advertisements
  • Evaluate and improve communication processes through periodic audits of departmental processes and team feedback
  • Offer one-on-one guidance, actionable feedback and support to Communications Coordinator, helping them to identify and progress toward their own goals

Evaluation Oversight and Project Management

  • Lead grant reporting efforts that include quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods for organizational activities
  • Ensure grant reports and organizational evaluation efforts showcase and align to the mission, vision and impact statements of the organization
  • Improve communication processes through periodic audits of departmental processes and team feedback

Experience and skills:

  • 5+ years of experience or proven track record in successful fundraising and donor/grantor cultivation, particularly in the Hudson Valley and NYC area
  • Strong understanding and commitment to environmental justice and supporting people and communities to connect with outdoor spaces
  • Experience using Salesforce, Google Workspace, and learning software as needed
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills with various stakeholders, ie: participant families, community partners, donors and grantors, and the broader community 
  • Commitment to Justice, Access, Diversity, and Equity, while welcoming those with identities historically excluded from outdoor ed, such as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, women and girls
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively on various projects that may occur simultaneously
  • Self-reflective, committed to personal growth, and actively seeks feedback and support

Hours: 40 hours / week with five hours of built in flex time, Monday-Friday at our office, currently in High Falls. Some remote work is possible.

Compensation: $75-85,000 / year plus benefits, including health insurance, retirement, and paid time off.

Position open until filled. Ideal start date is May 6, 2024. Send a cover letter and resume to jobs@wildearth[dot]org.

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at Wild Earth, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

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