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Development Officer, Foundations Relations

San Francisco, CA or New York, NY

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, individuals, and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

The Foundation Relations Development Officer is an integral part of an eleven-person foundation relations team, which raises approximately one-quarter of Earthjustice’s contributed revenue. The Foundation Relations Development Officer, who will primarily work on our Climate and Energy portfolio, raises grant support for their designated program areas, managing a portfolio of foundation donors and prospects. The person in this position works closely with the president, vice presidents of litigation, program managers, attorneys, communications staff, board members, and the entire development team to develop and implement effective strategies for meeting revenue goals.

This position can be based in our Headquarters in San Francisco, CA or New York, NY.


Foundation Solicitation and Relationship Development: 50% (writing 30%; research/prospecting 10%; foundation relationship building/stewardship 10%)

  • Achieve foundation revenue goals as specified in the annual work plan.
  • Ensure growth of donor base by identifying, researching, and cultivating potential sources of foundation support.
  • Research foundation guidelines, giving histories, and talk to informed allies to determine best approach for Earthjustice solicitation, when possible. Monitor program developments at relevant foundations.
  • Stay abreast of foundation trends through philanthropic journals and other sources.
  • Engage in personal contact with foundation staff to cultivate, solicit, and steward foundation donors; coordinate appropriate program staff involvement at each stage.
  • Serve as a resource to foundations seeking information about Earthjustice, about the environmental community, or about environmental issues more broadly.
  • Work with program staff to define and articulate broad program vision, goals, objectives, and specific strategies to attain them.
  • Work with program staff to develop and submit the highest quality letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and reports to foundations.
  • Engage foundations and other informed allies in discussions about program direction and gap analysis.
  • Write and submit timely gift acknowledgement letters.
  • Monitor and meet foundation proposal and reporting deadlines in coordination with attorneys’ schedules.
  • Monitor and track foundation commitments or deliverables and communicate these expectations with program staff. Maintain regular communication with program staff on grant management.
  • Identify and develop opportunities for personal communication between foundation contacts and Earthjustice staff and trustees, such as personal meetings, invitations to events, and program update briefings.
  • Write briefings memos and prepare the president, senior leadership, and attorneys for foundation meetings; and participate in such meetings as appropriate.
  • Manage travel and other logistics for funder meetings, in collaboration with foundations associate.

Program Knowledge and Communication 25% (15% research; 10% staff interactions)

  • Follow issues related to Earthjustice litigation and remain conversant in the work of assigned Earthjustice programs, with a focus on climate and energy issues. This includes reading all relevant New Matter Forms, news & communications generated by Earthjustice, and news from external sources such as E&E Publishing and Greenwire.
  • Develop a working knowledge of Earthjustice’s past accomplishments and current programs and budget.
  • Track the status of relevant legal cases and programs through ongoing conversations with program staff, and use of our legal database.
  • Work with the communications team to track media hits and press coverage relevant to foundation relations.

Budget Creation and Financial Reporting: 15%

  • Develop budgets and financial reports in coordination with program and finance staff and occasionally with subcontractors or external partners.
  • Synthesize and analyze program work using database searches and queries to inform budgets.
  • Create and maintain case lists to inform budget construction and financial reporting.
  • Create and maintain list of revenue restricted to particular program areas through use of our database, as well as regular communication with the Finance Department and other teams within the Development Department.
  • Ensure appropriate tracking of cases and grant priorities in our legal database.
  • Define new bodies of work by researching and aggregating cases, creating vision budgets when necessary.
  • Keep program staff abreast of grant-related budget commitments.

General Responsibilities: 10%

  • Participate in the preparation of foundation revenue estimates for the annual budget.
  • Develop and implement an individual work plan to meet revenue goals.
  • Periodically provide revenue re-projections based on actual year-to-date performance.
  • Collaborate with development staff on donor cultivation activities, site visits, solicitations, and special events.
  • Regularly edit mailing lists for events and publications.
  • Support the senior development officer and the foundations team members working on climate and energy as needed.
  • Serve as a resource for program writing for the Development Department.
  • Maintain current and accurate hardcopy and computer database records to track foundation relations. Document interactions with foundations in our relational database.
  • Attend departmental and organizational retreats for shared planning, team building, and professional development.
  • Represent Development Department in legal practice groups.
  • Additional duties as assigned.
  • This position requires occasional travel.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Five years of successful experience in foundation fundraising. Knowledge of foundations that emphasize environmental giving preferred.
  • Background in law, policy, and/or the environment preferred.
  • Excellent creative writing skills, including the ability to develop successful grant proposals, reports, and other materials. Ability to synthesize complex material, to translate it into readable and engaging prose, and to communicate it clearly and succinctly.
  • Ability to build and interpret a program budget and financial reports.
  • Outstanding verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Extraordinary attention to detail.
  • High level of intellectual curiosity.
  • Outstanding commitment to producing high quality work products.
  • Ability to prioritize and to manage work independently; ability to perform effectively and with minimal supervision under pressure of multiple deadlines.
  • Keen ability to troubleshoot complicated projects to their completion.
  • Ability to take initiative in identifying and skillfully solving problems.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a wide range of people, including the public, foundation staff, and in-house staff.
  • Ability to work constructively as a member of a team.
  • Interest in environmental protection and public health issues.
  • Knowledge of climate and energy issues strongly preferred.
  • Legal and/or environmental background preferred.
  • Ability to use relational database systems.
  • An awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Contribution to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

Salary is based on experience and location. Salary range in San Francisco, CA and New York, NY: $95,500 - $106,100.

We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.


Earthjustice has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search. Please submit your resume, an expression of interest, and up to three writing samples to: Jessica Martinez, Senior Recruiter, at

Please, no phone calls, hard copies, or drop-ins. If you're having technical difficulties submitting your application, reach out to

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, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco:  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment-qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

For positions located within the City of Los Angeles:  We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.


If you need reasonable accommodation in order to complete the application, interview or some other portion of the selection process for a job at Earthjustice, please contact Human Resources at

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