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Job Posting: Capital Campaign Manager for Common Ground

Organization Overview


Common Ground is a center for environmental learning and leadership in New Haven, Connecticut where a diverse community of children, young people, and adults cultivate habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice. Farm meets forest meets city on Common Ground at the base of West Rock Ridge. The site abuts the 1500 acre West Rock State Park, sharing hiking trails, wildlife, and diverse natural habitats with the surrounding forests. Common Ground delivers mission impact through three tightly knit programs that it operates on site:
  • The nation’s first environmental charter high school, preparing students for college success and environmental leadership. For four straight years, our students have made some of the state's largest test score gains, and more than 90% of our students have moved on to college
  • An environmental education center, offering summer camps, children’s programs, weekend workshops, festivals, youth employment, and other programs.  This year, more than 8,000 community members join in our programs.         
  • An urban farm and 20-acre site, modeling sustainability and contributing 5,000 pounds of fresh, local produce to the community. 

For more information on Common Ground, see

The Campaign for Common Ground

Common Ground recently completed a 10-year Master Site Plan and updated its strategic plan to set clear, measurable goals for the next three years. Through this planning process Common Ground identified a number of strategic investments we must make in our site and facilities to grow and strengthen the impact of our work. Common Ground is now planning to launch the Campaign for Common Ground to raise the funds necessary to make these investments. We have already been awarded a $1.5 million construction grant from the State Department of Education toward construction of a multipurpose facility and 3 additional classrooms for its high school. We have hired an outstanding architecture firm and the design process for these new facilities is well under way. We also plan to make over 30 additional improvements to our site and facilities that have been identified in the Master Plan. When completed, these improvements would allow us to safely accommodate thousands of additional program participants on our site each year.

In order to complete construction of the planned new facility and make the essential site improvements identified in the Master Plan, Common Ground will need to raise $2 million in individual donations on top of approximately $5 million from other sources (including the $1.5 million SDE construction grant already received). To this end, Common Ground will launch the Campaign for Common Ground, a three year campaign to raise the necessary funds. In addition to raising $2 million dollars in individual donations in the short term, this campaign will also be used to build the foundation of a robust major gifts program that will continue to provide significant funding for Common Ground programs in the years to come.

Job Description

Working directly with the Executive Director, the Director of Development and Community Engagement and the Campaign Committee, the Campaign Manager will be responsible for running the Campaign for Common Ground, a campaign to raise approximately $2 million in individual donations over 3 years.

The Campaign Manager will:

  • Implement and manage Campaign activities from silent phase (present) through campaign completion (January 2014)
  • Work with the Campaign Committee, Board of Directors, Development Director, and Executive Director to refine overall Campaign strategy.
  • Support the ongoing development and work of the campaign working, advisory, and event committees.
  • Manage the donor cultivation process: establishing solicitation priorities, managing prospect lists and research, developing specific donor cultivation strategies, preparing staff and volunteers for solicitations.
  • Work with campaign administrative staff to ensure that data related to prospects and donors is recorded and tracked in electronic and hard copy file; manage campaign record keeping, evaluate progress towards goals, and prepare periodic reports
  • Manage the writing and development of campaign print and electronic collateral materials and coordinate their design and production.
  • Ensure donor acknowledgement, stewardship, and public recognition, as appropriate.
  • Organize donor cultivation and recognition events.
  • Provide support to both the Executive Director and the Director of Development related to their campaign activities.
  • Directly engage in donor cultivation and solicitation as appropriate.


Qualifications and Compensation

Minimum qualifications for this position are:

  • Campaign and/or major gifts experience with an established non-profit
  • Demonstrated ability to raise funds through major gifts
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • A strong work ethic and the ability to work independently with minimal oversight
  • Proficiency in Office applications and online research tools
  • A flexible work schedule

 Additional skill areas  (not required as minimum qualifications, but highly desired in a strong applicant):

  • Passion and experience related to education and/or  environment
  • Familiarity with the greater New Haven philanthropic community
  • Familiarity with Giftworks, WealthEngine, and/or other donor research and management tools

Compensation:  Commensurate with experience

Position Type:  Full time with benefits

Position Length:  One year renewable basis


Application deadline: Open until filled


Email a resume and a cover letter describing your relevant experience to Joel Tolman at


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