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Foundation Relations Officer
National Wildlife Federation in Reston, Virginia
Date Posted 07/07/2020
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 51 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world, and the Federation is committed to inspiring all people around our shared love of nature and wildlife by creating a welcoming and inclusive community representative of all Americans. The organization's programs focus on conserving wildlife, restoring habitat and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. To advance this work and further support our mission, we seek a Foundation Relations Officer to join our Philanthropy team in Reston, VA.

In this role you will join a high-performing and accomplished team that is working to grow and diversify foundation funding in support of the National Wildlife Federation and the bold conservation agenda on which the Federation is delivering. Reporting to the Director of Foundation & Government Relations, you will collaborate with program and philanthropy staff across the Federation, further building a robust portfolio of institutional funders and significantly scaling-up philanthropic revenue and investments as the organization embarks on new strategic vision aimed at addressing America’s wildlife crisis.

This is an exciting time of growth at NWF, and this role is ideal for an entrepreneurial self-starter who seeks opportunities to leverage professional talents to contribute meaningfully toward accomplishing the Federation’s ambitious conservation agenda.

In this role you will:

  • Build collaborations and work in concert with colleagues to design and implement a donor-centered foundation relations program aimed at securing significant financial support for a range of conservation and education programs.

  • Actively manage a portfolio of institutional funders, delivering on all aspects of relationship management and funder engagement.

  • Develop and implement engagement strategies designed to substantially increase support from existing funders, while dedicating sufficient time to identify, qualify, and begin building relationships with new funders and partners.

  • Proactively identify investment opportunities in collaboration with national and regional program staff, and provide coaching and guidance to colleagues in securing funding and building collaborations and partnerships with the foundation sector.

  • Gather research and background information; track and maintain key data and actions in CRM software (Microsoft Dynamics 365); manage work plans and timelines; prepare letters of inquiry, outlines and concept papers; develop notices of intent to apply; and coordinate the drafting of pre-proposals, funding proposals, and various reports.

  • Assist in prioritizing key actions for the President & CEO; the VP for Philanthropy; and other key staff including vice presidents, regional executives, and senior program staff in the engagement, solicitation and stewardship of institutional funders.

  • Prepare briefing documents and ensure participating staff understand objectives for various meetings, teleconferences and other funder interactions.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.



  • Demonstrated success in institutional relations and a proven ability in drafting compelling proposals and securing investments at the $10,000 level and above.

  • College degree

  • Entrepreneurial, self-starting, and capable of working both independently and as an integral member of a team. Solid team building skills will serve you well, as will direct experience in building collaborations with accomplished professionals, academics, and leaders of government and industry.

  • Professionalism, with superior interpersonal abilities, communications and political savvy, and excellent time management and organization skills.

  • Demonstrated ability in building funder relationships, developing and implementing engagement strategies, coaching senior staff and volunteer leaders, and writing winning proposals, fundraising collaterals, and reports.

  • Knowledge of industry trends and command of philanthropy’s best practices; firm grasp of prospect identification and research tools; and experience partnering with colleagues to effectively engage and grow relationships with institutional funders.

  • Ability to travel domestically, about 10-20% on average.

  • Familiarity with CRM and other fundraising software, various databases and management reporting tools.


  • Passion for the preservation and protection of wildlife and wild places a plus.

  • Experience in environmental and/or education philanthropy is highly desirable.

Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.


We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender or transsexual individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at https://www.National Wildlife Federation.org/About-Us/DEIJ.

If you have a disability and require an accommodation or assistance with our online application process, please tell us how we can help by calling us at 703-438-6244.

If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we support your application. If selected, a background check will be conducted.

The National Wildlife Federation offers excellent benefits, including 16 weeks of paid FMLA leave, competitive compensation, and a family-friendly, flexible work environment.

Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume.

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