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Director of Donor Relations

San Francisco, CA
Department:  Development
Job Type: 
Full Time

The Director of Donor Relations is responsible for the creation and management of a strategic, well-coordinated and compelling individual giving fundraising and stewardship program with the goal of increasing overall donor engagement, retention and support for Earthjustice programs. Reporting directly to the Vice President of Development, this position creates and oversees strategies to sustain donor loyalty, increase donor investment and distinguish Earthjustice from other environmental organizations.  This position pays particular attention to developing an enhanced mid-level giving program and identifying other ways to improve our fundraising and donor stewardship efforts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • In coordination with the VP, develop and implement an individual giving program, designed to cultivate and solicit support from a broad base of individual donors.
  • Manage a team five and supervise two staff members directly, Senior Manager of Direct Response and Donor Relations and Engagement Manager.
  • In coordination with the Online fundraising team, oversees the development, implementation and evaluation of donor-centric fundraising strategies for donor acquisition and solicitation in a variety of media, with direct oversight of mail and phone engagement.
  • Oversee a high quality donor relations protocol and capacity, including ensuring Development staff are informed of donor issues and trends and trained to handle donor requests and interactions.
  • Ensure Development Operations is well-informed of solicitation plans and tactics to maximize the efficiency of work flows and effectiveness.
  • Work closely with the Directors of Major Gifts and Planned Giving to ensure individual giving program is successful in informing donors of other giving opportunities and creating an effective pipeline for other giving opportunities.
  • Oversee and manage the design and creation of compelling and effective print and electronic collateral, including the Annual Report and other materials.
  • Oversee the development, management and implementation of an individual donor recognition plan, including ensuring that all donors are appropriately thanked in a timely and meaningful way.
  • Lead the development and execution of a creative events program to maximize donor engagement, including teleconferences, program receptions, field trips and hosted donor gatherings.
  • Ensure communications, cultivation programs, and donor interactions with Earthjustice are of the highest quality possible. 
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development Operations to interpret, utilize and report on fundraising performance information and to inform improvements in the program.
  • Conduct research on best practices and individual giving trends and advise Development team on opportunities to enhance efforts.
  • Oversee staff’s work with finance department to ensure compliance with state fundraising regulations and institutional policies.
  • Collaborate effectively with Litigation, PAL and Communications teams to ensure that fundraising messages are aligned with program and that the organization’s legal work is accurately represented in communications with donors.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree optional.
  • Minimum seven years’ experience in donor development and stewardship programs.
  • Direct experience with individual giving strategies, leading events programs, donor relations, and developing donor pipelines for other giving opportunities.
  • Individual donor relationship experience, either through major or mid-level giving is strongly preferred.
  • Supervisory experience required. 
  • Must be creative and able to develop and improve upon donor relations strategies that lead to greater donor loyalty and engagement.
  • Ability to juggle many responsibilities at once and to lead others in the same fashion.
  • Excellent interpersonal, collaboration and partnership skills.
  • Highly adept at developing successful, cross-functional teams, characterized by effective communications, a positive attitude and shared goals.
  • Ability to understand and empathize with donor experiences and leverage that skill into more effective donor programs.
  • Outstanding management skills with the ability to delegate and support the development of team members.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally, demonstrating tact, diplomacy and persuasiveness.
  • Solid understanding of fundraising mechanics.
  • Demonstrated experience with responsible budget managemen.t
  • Ability to set well-founded goals and targets and to hold self and others accountable for same.
  • Demonstrated ability to be relationship rather than transaction focused.
  • Proficient in core computer skills, including Word, Excel, Internet, and donor databases
  • Effective vendor management skills.
  • Commitment to Earthjustice mission and the ability to easily assimilate environmental and legal issues and communicate them to others.

We offer a mission and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package including excellent benefits.  Diversity is highly valued. 

To Apply

Please send your resume and cover letter to:

Chris Spagnola, Senior Recruiting Associate
ThinkingAhead Executive Search 

Our Values

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.

About Earthjustice

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters and citizens to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.