• Vice President, Development

    Job Locations
    Regular, Full-Time
    Job Category
  • Overview

    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).



    Position Summary

    Based in Chicago and reporting to the Chief Development Officer at the National Audubon Society, the Vice President of Development, Upper Central & Mississippi Flyways, will be charged with increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of fundraising in the Upper Central & Mississippi Flyways, including the Rockies & Gillmor Sanctuary in Utah, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Great Lakes & Grange, Minnesota & Riverlands, and Arkansas, with a focus on managing a team of fundraisers who are responsible for securing funds for state programs, regional flyway initiatives and national programs aligned with the strategic plan. As a senior leader on the National Development team, s/he will carry a portfolio of qualified major gift donors and prospects in the region; will direct the strategy and fundraising staff within the Flyways; and will partner with state, regional, and national executives to maximize Audubon’s impact with existing and potential donors.
    The successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial, results-driven, senior development professional with success in leading development teams to success and closing six-figure+ gifts. This is a new and exciting opportunity to help influence and create value for an organization-wide fundraising initiative and act as a major contributor to one of the nation’s oldest and well-known leaders in the conservation arena. The Vice President will need to have a flexible approach to work, with some evenings and weekends being required, as well as a willingness to travel regionally and nationally up to 25% of the time.

    Essential Functions

    • Develop, refine and implement the strategy for fundraising in the Upper Central & Mississippi Flyways that maximizes potential giving.
    • Partner with leaders across the organization in order to deliver effective strategies for donors, leveraging Audubon’s state/regional and national Development staff.
    • Direct the work of a small regional team of fundraisers in order to develop and implement local mid-level fundraising programs and donor cultivation opportunities that maximize giving; effectively manage and mentor these staff, providing guidance on best practices and strategy when needed.
    • Manage an active portfolio of major gift donors and prospects; create and implement personalized cultivation/stewardship plans and gift requests for each donor within portfolio, based on their philanthropic focus and maximizing their giving to Audubon; and assign donors to other staff as appropriate.
    • Partner effectively with colleagues to ensure that every donor has an optimal level of interaction with Audubon volunteers, leadership and program staff.
    • Communicate and collaborate effectively with the National Development team, peer Flyway VPs, State Executive Directors and key state and center board members in the region and other key staff across the Audubon network.
    • Develop a strong knowledge of Audubon’s Strategic Plan, and local, regional, national and international conservation initiatives.
    • Participate in opportunities to engage with leaders and development colleagues across Audubon via in-person and virtual team meetings and training opportunities.
    • Analyze reports on donor interactions to make strategic decisions for the program to maximize giving opportunities. Prepare and present information and progress to Audubon’s senior management team and other stakeholders.
    • Adhere to the highest ethical standards and fund raising best practices, reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to the needs of donors.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Senior-level development professional with 10+ years of experience in organizations that have a reputation for strategic thinking, organizational excellence and aggressive action, with at least 4 years of management experience developing strategy and overseeing a team of development professionals, preferably in a decentralized setting. Bachelor’s degree also required.
    • Proven track record of building donor relationships and closing gifts in the six-figure range. Experience with seven-figure gifts a plus.
    • Excellent leadership skills; must be comfortable and experienced in managing a decentralized, regional team and mentoring and directing staff.
    • A self-starter with a positive attitude and demonstrated capability to work independently in a fast-paced environment with changing priorities.
    • Keen attention to detail, with the ability to synthesize and carefully analyze information; follow best practices, trends, and make decisions for Audubon’s major gift program.
    • Skilled at working cross functionally with leaders, as well as high-level volunteers and boards.
    • Ability to drive, manage and delegate project work. Establish and monitor priorities, and maintain flexibility while meeting deadlines.
    • Exceptionally strong communicator; superior interpersonal skills also a must.
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, as well as navigating, analyzing and reporting data from fundraising databases and other web-based tools. Knowledge of Salesforce a strong plus.
    • Interest, understanding, and commitment to the conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitat is critical, as is the ability to communicate Audubon’s mission, goals, and programs effectively and with the highest professional standards.


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