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Job posting: Director of the Advocates and Special Gifts Program, Ct. Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound


Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE) is a leading non-profit environmental advocacy organization based in New Haven, Connecticut. Save the Sound, a program of CFE, also has an office in Mamaroneck, New York for its Western Long Island Sound program.


We are seeking an experienced professional to join our team as Director of the Advocates and Special Gifts Program. Reporting to the Director of Development, the Director of the Advocates and Special Gifts Program is responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major donors (designated as “Advocates” or “Champions”) who support CFE and Save the Sound. In particular, s/he will work with the President, Save the Sound Executive Director and Director of Development to: a) develop organizational goals for major donor income; b) act as primary relationship manager for individual donors and prospects of $10,000 or more per year to reach or exceed annual funding goals; c) develop cultivation plans for major donors and new prospects; and d) establish personal benchmarks for and report regularly on donor phone calls, meetings and other contacts. Based in New Haven, where administrative support staff are located, the Director of the Advocates and Special Gifts Program will also be expected to spend one day a week the Mamaroneck office and to make personal visits to donors or prospects in Connecticut, Westchester and potentially New York City and Long Island. S/he will also work with development and program staff and the Board of Directors Development Committee to plan, prepare and implement major donor cultivation and stewardship events.


Responsibilities include:


Cultivate, solicit and steward existing major donors

  • Ensure that there is a timeline established for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of each major donor.

  • Strategize the approach for each major donor with the Director of Development, President, Executive Director of Save the Sound and/or the Western Long Island Sound Director.

  • Plan and carry out timely visits and phone calls with major donors. When necessary, recruit program/management staff and/or Board members for donor visits to solicit gifts.

  • Prepare updates, proposals and other stewardship materials when necessary.

  • Coordinate all necessary post-visit follow up and ensure that all major donor activities – visits, phone calls and site visits – are entered into the donor’s record in CFE’s database.

  • With the Director of Development, develop the major donor revenue projection for the annual organizational budget. Track and report progress to goal, including gifts, pledges and cash-flow projections, to senior management.

 Identify and cultivate new prospects

  • Work with the President, Save the Sound Executive Director, Western Long Island Sound Director, Development Director, Board members and use other possible avenues to identify, develop and pursue new prospects for CFE and Save the Sound.

  • Call new prospects and arrange meetings, tours, and/or special invitations to forums and other events.

  • Coordinate all necessary post-visit follow up and ensure that all activities – visits, phone calls and site visits – are entered into the donor’s record in CFE’s database.

  • Identify existing donors who have the capacity to become major donors and arrange meetings or personalized communications with them in coordination with Board or senior staff.


Manage the Adopt-a-Donor Program (In order to encourage more Board involvement in fundraising, CFE Board members each have several donors whom they are assigned to cultivate through invitations to events, phone calls, personal thank notes and other communications.)

  • Monitor and update assignments of donors to Board members; notify Board members of any lapsed donors.

  • Communicate with Board members to track their activities with donors.

  • Ensure that staff members communicate receipt of donor gifts to their assigned Board members.

  • On a regular basis, suggest activities for Board members and their donors; provide other assistance as needed.  

  • Report on the program at Board Development Committee meetings; identify “success stories” for the Committee and the Board to encourage more activity.


Develop, plan, prepare and execute at least four small events each year in Connecticut and Westchester County as opportunities to engage donors and prospects

  • Working with administrative staff in New Haven, Board members and/or interested donors, develop and plan strategic fundraising events and manage their coordination; develop the list of invitees; ensure that invitations go out in a timely fashion, and, when possible, that personal invitations are extended by the hosts or staff.

  • Plan strategy for prospective donors pre- and post-event. Assign key board/staff to individual donors; ensure that follow up for new and prospective donors is in place before the event and carried out in a timely manner.

  • Manage reporting on events to Board and to host(s).


Coordinate Advocate and Special Gift Mail Programs

  • Ensure that appropriately personalized thank you letters go out promptly.

  • Manage a regular mail program that includes “snail mail” appeals and quarterly email updates.

  • For high-level donors, provide at least two personalized letters/updates per year.

  • Coordinate the year-end update/mailing to major donors and strong prospects.


Desired Qualifications

We are looking for a motivated individual with a high level of energy and enthusiasm for the work of CFE and Save the Sound, excellent writing and presentation skills and the sensitivity to preserve confidentiality appropriately. Willingness to make cold calls to potential donors and an interest in relationship-building are essential, as are strong organizational skills, attention to detail and the ability to both work independently and as a team player. A bachelor’s degree and at least three years of relevant nonprofit experience are required.  Applicants must have access to a car and a current driver’s license.


Background and Program

Founded in 1978, Connecticut Fund for the Environment merged in 2004 with Save the Sound, a respected voice for the protection of Long Island Sound’s shoreline, marine habitat and water quality since 1972. Linking CFE’s legal, scientific and policy expertise with Save the Sound’s proven stewardship, restoration, and community outreach capability has created one of the region’s leading environmental organizations. Our mission is to protect and improve the land, air and water of Connecticut and Long Island Sound. We work with thousands of partners and stakeholders, including elected officials and community leaders, individual citizen activists (9,900), volunteers (2,500), and members (5,500). Save the Sound operates as a distinct program within CFE.


Connecticut Fund for the Environment is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on any basis when considering applicants. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. The generous benefits package offered with this position includes medical insurance, long-term disability and term life insurance, a competitive 403(b) retirement plan and travel reimbursement.


To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume describing your interest and qualifications for this

position and your current salary range by COB on March 28, 2014. Please submit your materials electronically to: Ms. Valerie Wormely-Radford: No phone calls, please.


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