Director of Development

Location Brooklyn, NY 11201
Date Posted November 21, 2022
Job ID 9099
Employment Type Retained

Scion Executive Search has been retained to conduct the search for a Director of Development for the Rainforest Foundation US; one of the largest NGOs working to support indigenous and traditional peoples of the world’s rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights. This full-time, flexible hybrid opportunity is available immediately!



For over 30 years, Rainforest Foundation US (RFUS) has worked to address climate change and safeguard biodiversity by promoting the rights of indigenous peoples and supporting their efforts to protect and defend their rainforests. Scientists tell us that protecting forests is as essential as reducing greenhouse emissions if we hope to stem the tide of ecological collapse. Science shows that forests managed by indigenous peoples are healthier, suffer less deforestation, capture more carbon, and contain more biodiversity than forests managed by private or public entities--including nationally protected areas.


RFUS works in partnership with indigenous communities and their representative organizations to protect tropical rainforests by supporting their efforts to secure rights to their lands, strengthen monitoring and land security, influence laws and policies that protect their resources, and build strong and sustainable community leadership. By investing directly in indigenous communities, RFUS connects the people rooted in the land with the tools, training, and resources to become effective advocates and protectors of the forests they call home. RFUS currently operates four country programs in Brazil, Guyana, Panama, and Peru and hosts several regional partnerships in Central America, the Amazon Basin, and across the tropical belt.



The Director of Development will manage RFUS’ overall development strategy, oversee its implementation, and guide a growing team of dedicated development professionals. This newly created role is an exciting opportunity to work with a talented, high-energy team of professionals making a difference at a local level for global impact. This role reports to the Executive Director and collaborates with the leads of the Communications and Programs departments and with the Board of Directors.


The ideal candidate for this position will have a history of success in cultivating, soliciting, and closing major gifts from individuals, developing portfolios of individual, foundation, and corporate donor prospects; and managing a team to achieve ambitious fundraising goals. They will possess a deep understanding of best practices in philanthropy and the ability to see the big picture and translate strategy into targeted goals and actions.



  • Develop and implement a robust strategy covering all fundraising aspects of the organization to include major and individual giving, corporate and foundation giving, annual giving, donor communications, and prospect research.
  • Set short and long-term fundraising goals and establish appropriate metrics to measure performance and progress towards those goals; monitor and report on the progress of the comprehensive development strategy on a regular basis.
  • Continually build, monitor, and manage a diverse prospect pipeline.
  • Oversee, support, and mentor the current development staff, and create clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each member of the team.
  • Streamline and enhance communications within the development team and cross departmentally to ensure current fundraising stats and program updates are accessible by all.
  • Learn from and collaborate with internal parties to effectively communicate the importance and full scope of the organization’s work to key external audiences.
  • Work in partnership with the Operations Manager to ensure policies and procedures are adhered to in a timely manner by the development department.
  • Establish close working relationships with a wide variety of partners, including program leads, existing donors, and volunteers to successfully cultivate, solicit, and steward donors.
  • Identify trends in fundraising and explore alternate avenues for giving, such as cryptocurrency and NFTs.
  • Establish overall fundraising and engagement event strategy. Organize events to engage existing donors and identify new prospects.
  • Work in partnership with the Executive Director to develop the organization’s annual revenue budget.
  • Create the annual expense budget for the development department and manage team expenditures based on the established budget.
  • Develop metrics around prospect pools and pipelines to understand to-date engagement and to ultimately ensure current year and future year fiscal goals are achieved.
  • Support and partner with the RFUS Board and volunteers to maximize their participation to build support around advancing the fundraising goals of RFUS.
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson for the mission of RFUS and the variety of programs being developed through verbal and written communication.
  • Maintain advanced knowledge and understanding of development approaches and best practices in fundraising to effectively engage with donors and their funding representatives around charitable gifts.
  • Build the development team over time as the organization requires.
  • Contribute to RFUS’ evolving and inclusive work culture.



  • Genuine passion for RFUS’ mission is required and previous experience working for an organization focused on tropical forest conservation, indigenous rights and/or climate change is preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of 10+ years of significant fundraising experience.
  • 5+ years’ experience leading a development team of 2 or more.
  • Proven experience significantly growing an organization’s revenue as the primary development leader of an organization with $15M+ in revenue.
  • History of soliciting and securing six-figure gifts.
  • Demonstrated experience with designing and implementing fundraising strategies, systems, and campaigns.
  • Ability to effectively evaluate, qualify, and move prospects through the identification, cultivation, and solicitation cycle.
  • Experience interacting with high-net-worth individuals and the ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated experience translating complex organizational or program information into easily digestible content for a wide variety of audiences.
  • Equally skilled at being entrepreneurial, independent, and deeply collaborative.
  • Excellent communication skills coupled with strong writing and presentation skills.
  • Proficiency with donor database/CRM applications.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google Workspace.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, as well as the ability to prioritize and manage time efficiently.
  • Ability to travel and work outside of regular business hours to meet donors and attend events.
  • Full professional proficiency in English is required; professional working proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese is highly preferred.



This full-time flexible hybrid position offers a competitive base salary of $125,000-$130,000 (DOE) as well as a full benefits plan including health, vision, and dental insurance and 20 days of paid time off annually, closed offices from Christmas to New Year's Day (inclusive), and 10 additional federal holidays. Beyond this, employees are entitled to 10 days per year of sick leave, 2 days per year of personal days, up to 12 weeks of parental leave, and more!



Rainforest Foundation US  has retained the services of Scion Executive, a national executive search firm specializing in corporate recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your resume and cover letter, formatted in Microsoft Word, via:


Please address applications to:


Chelsea Zimmer, Executive Recruiter

Scion Executive Search


Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.


Rainforest Foundation US prides itself on providing a flexible, equitable, family-friendly, and inclusive work environment that values work-life balance. Offices are pet friendly and located in a historic downtown Brooklyn neighborhood that is easily accessible by public transit and boasts many restaurants and services. Since the pandemic, employees can come into the office as they wish or negotiate with their supervisors to work from home or remotely.




Scion Executive Search is an award-winning, retained executive search firm! Through innovative team building and recruitment solutions, Scion Executive Search seamlessly bridges the gap in interim and executive searches. Our track record and recruitment process have made us one of the top recruitment firms in the nation.


We are proud to be part of the Forbes lists of the Best Recruitment Firms and the Best Executive Search Firms in America. Additionally, Scion has been recognized as a ClearlyRated Best of Staffing firm as well as a top recruitment firm by The Business Times. Additional information about our firm and our practices can be found online.


Scion Executive Search is an equal opportunity employer and service provider and does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected class. We are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value, for ourselves, our client companies, and the candidates we represent. 


For opportunities located in a region that has enacted fair chance, arrest, or conviction-based employment ordinances, Scion Executive Search proactively follows the enacted guidance and considers for employment all qualified applications with arrest and conviction records. We engage in socially conscious business practices and believe that diverse, equitable, inclusive, and non-biased talent and recruitment processes are foundational to the success of Scion as well as every client organization with whom we partner.

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