In 1971, a group of lawyers working with the Sierra Club established the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, an independent, non-partisan public interest law firm dedicated to taking legal action to protect the environment. Relying heavily upon environmental legislation enacted in the 1970s and later—including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act—Earthjustice has since fought powerful private interests and government agencies in its work to protect watersheds; reduce air pollution; address climate change; stave off unwise development of natural areas; and protect endangered wildlife.
Although renamed Earthjustice in 1997 to reflect its broad mission and client-base, this organization has maintained the same core goals since its inception: working in courtrooms across the nation, Earthjustice’s attorneys have successfully fought to protect the rights of millions of people to live in a pollution-free environment and to ensure that our most valuable natural resources are preserved for future generations. Earthjustice has provided cost-free legal representation to clients ranging from large national groups such as The Wilderness Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Lung Association, to smaller state and community coalitions, such as the Alaska Center for the Environment and the Friends of the Everglades.
Earthjustice’s work is currently divided into three major program areas:
- Protecting Our Natural Heritage focuses on cases that protect endangered species, national forests, national parks, other public lands, water resources, and the oceans.
- Safeguarding Our Health focuses on cases that protect public health, in particular clean air and water, toxic chemicals, and mercury.
- Promoting a Clean Energy Future focuses on cases that encourage clean energy and energy efficiency while challenging the reliance on coal, oil and other dirty fuels.
The San Francisco, California headquarters houses core organizational functions, including the communications team, which initiates strategic media campaigns to address the most urgent threats to our environment; as well as dedicated teams responsible for development; finance; human resources; and administration. The San Francisco office is also home to the California Regional office and the International Program.
Earthjustice has offices in Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska; Bozeman, Montana; Denver, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; New York, New York; Philadelphia, PA; Seattle, Washington; Tallahassee, Florida and Washington, D.C., each of which has teams of lawyers working on issues relevant to their geographic area and the three major programs. In addition to these offices, the Policy and Legislation team, based in Washington D.C., helps shape and support strong laws to keep polluters in check, and deals with legislative backlash against courtroom victories. To learn more about the different offices at Earthjustice, please see http://earthjustice.org/about/offices.
The Vice President of Development (VPD) is responsible for successfully developing and implementing Earthjustice’s fundraising program; providing the Board of Trustees and President with consistent, professional and strategic fundraising leadership and direction; developing and implementing long term strategies for revenue growth; strengthening Earthjustice’s relationships with its donors, and ensuring that Earthjustice delivers successful, ethical and effective fundraising.
The VPD serves as a member of the organization’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT), which is charged with setting direction on issues that are vital to the organization as a whole, and coordinating significant inter-departmental matters that arise. The SLT is comprised of the President, three VPs of Litigation, VP of Communications, VP of Policy & Legislation, and Sr. VP of Operations. The VPD will work collaboratively with the other members of the organization’s leadership team to integrate strategic program and advocacy direction with fundraising opportunities to maximize growth and impact. S/he will also contribute to a diverse, inclusive and equitable organizational culture.
The VPD will manage six direct reports with oversight of a total staff of approximately 30. The organization has grown steadily and is budgeted to raise $39 million in fiscal year 2014 from individual major donors, foundations, planned gifts, and public support. Earthjustice expects to grow to $50 million in the next three to five years.
- Responsible for ensuring that Earthjustice employs effective strategies for developing donor relationships and raising significant revenues from Earthjustice donors, board members and institutions, including directly developing, maintaining and strengthening personal relationships with an assigned portfolio of current and prospective Earthjustice donors.
Board of Trustees
- Lead and engage Board of Trustees in fundraising strategies ensuring each board member is an active donor and supporter of Earthjustice.
- Identify and evaluate prospective new board members in collaboration with President and Board Nominating Committee.
- Partner with VP for Communications on staffing the Board’s Development & Marketing Committee
- Leads Development department by setting and maintaining high performance standards of development staff, ensuring a professionally challenging and personally enjoyable workplace, and building a strong management team within the department.
- Works with Development directors to prepare and review budgets, revenue projections, mid-year reforecasts and regular reports on progress.
- Develops strong, cooperative relationships between the Development department and other units, especially the Communications, Litigation and Operations Departments.
- Partners with VP of Finance to ensure donor financial accountability and appropriate stewardship of funds.
- Continually improves the development function to create a top-notch fundraising operation that employs best practices and utilizes up-to-date strategies, tools, and techniques.
- Assesses the current fundraising operation, identifying priorities, and building a highly efficient and effective department by mentoring, motivating, and empowering the team.
- Leads the exploration, evaluation and implementation of long-term fundraising strategic plans including conceiving of and launching strategic fundraising campaigns.
- Contributes to building a culture of philanthropy at Earthjustice by establishing strong internal relationships with program staff, helping to develop the program visions that drive fundraising, and inspiring program staff to actively participate in the donor cultivation process.
- Collaborates with VP of Communications and Communications team to heighten the visibility of Earthjustice and create effective institutional marketing and donor and constituent engagement strategies that resonate with supporters.
- As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, participates in decision-making that guides the entire organization including: risk assessment, development and implementation of organizational strategic plans, development of organizational budgets, implementation of major initiatives.
- Provides advice and support to the President and senior staff on organizational matters, particularly as these may affect the organization’s fundraising effort. Identifies and manages risks associated with fundraising and contributed revenue.
- Maintains professional relationships with counterparts in other non-profit organizations, and keeps abreast of latest developments in fundraising rules and regulations, best practices and demographic changes.
- Bachelor’s Degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
- 10+ years of leadership level fundraising experience in non-profit settings; experience in advocacy organizations preferred.
- Experience launching and concluding successful fundraising campaigns.
- Demonstrated success in raising significant gifts from institutions and individual donors.
- Superior written and oral communications, interpersonal and presentation skills.
- Willingness to work evenings and weekends, as well as to travel as needed.
Leadership & Management Behavioral Competencies
- Exemplary leadership and staff management experience and a track record of successfully collaborating with colleagues.
- Demonstrated success in working with a Board of Trustees.
- Demonstrated mastery of a wide range of fundraising techniques (foundations, major gifts, planned gifts, special events, marketing).
- Serve as an internal ambassador and champion for private fundraising and its importance to the organization by building understanding of, support for, and excitement about fundraising efforts. Establish strong internal relationships with the program leaders and other program staff, work with program leaders in developing the program vision that drives fundraising, and inspire program staff to actively participate in the donor cultivation process.
- Collaborate with VP of Communications and others to heighten the visibility of Earthjustice and create an effective case for support that distills the organization’s work in a way that resonates with donors.
- Assess the current fundraising operation, identify priorities, and build a highly efficient and effective department by mentoring, motivating, and empowering the team.
- Able to inspire prospective donors by making a compelling case for Earthjustice’s priorities; experience with communications and marketing.
- Adept at identifying and pursuing new opportunities to expand and diversify funding sources and increase the revenue base, as well as developing new ideas and approaches to cultivate major gifts from individuals and foundations.
- Sets benchmarks for him/herself and the development team, regularly measures success against goals, and holds him/herself responsible for development outcomes.
- Continually improve the development function to create a top-notch fundraising operation that employs best practices and utilizes up-to-date strategies, tools, and techniques.
- Has an appreciation of Earthjustice’s mission as well as an interest in and grasp of the nuances of its work.
- Possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, enjoys charting new territory and prefers building new programs, systems, and processes over maintaining the status quo.
- Collegial, collaborative, and a team player who leads by example in building consensus and support.
- Ability to think strategically and creatively.
- Highest personal and professional integrity.
- Grace under pressure.
- Resilient, politically savvy, and assertive without being confrontational.
- Commitment to and knowledge of environmental and conservation issues.
If you are interested in being considered for this role or would like to learn more, please contact:
Gianna Shepard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidrick & Struggles
Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.