Senior Vice President of Development and Business Strategy


The Director, Individual and Major Gifts will develop and execute a long-term fundraising strategy to significantly grow individual, major, and planned giving in support of the Conservancy’s mission to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

As a member of the development team, the director will be responsible for all stages of prospect and donor relationships, including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, and manage a portfolio of 150-200 current and prospective donors.  They will use creative techniques to identify new sources of support, establish new methods for engaging donors, and orchestrate staff and board members to support individual and major gift fundraising efforts in support of priorities to advance our conservation goals.  The focus will be on fundraising for annual, endowment, and capital campaigns with emphasis on major and planned gifts of $10,000 or more.

This position will report to the Senior Vice President of Development and Business Strategy and manage the Development & Annual Fund Coordinator.


  • Working in coordination with the SVP Development and Program team(s), design and execute the annual and long-term fundraising plan for major and planned giving. 
  • Manage and refine the Planned Giving program and related strategies.
  • Supervise and provide mentorship and guidance to the Development & Annual Fund Coordinator to ensure the Annual Fund runs smoothly and meets its goals.
  • Manage relationships with approximately 150-200 prospective and current donors that can make major/planned gifts of $10,000 or more. Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward same.
  • Maintain stewardship contacts with donors; adhere to the highest ethical standards; demonstrate empathetic disposition, and perseverance; reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to needs of the donors.
  • Participate in 20 donor meetings a month with at least two solicitations of a major gift a month. Goal to close $1,500,000 in major and planned gifts in a year.
  • Work collaboratively with other Development staff and other Conservancy staff to achieve the needs of the prospects.
  • Participate in prospect management meetings to ensure coordination of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities. 
  • Knowledge of all charitable gift planning vehicles, including how to determine the appropriate vehicles for specific prospects.
  • Ability to gauge when the donor would be open to a blended gift comprised of a major gift and a planned gift to maximize the potential of the donor to give.
  • Initiate appropriate regional cultivation events and attend other Conservancy events as well as outside events to represent the Conservancy and for continued networking.
  • Ensure plans support the growth of opportunities in identified areas of need: annual, endowment, and capital campaigns. 
  • Work closely and collaboratively with other members of the Development team, as well as the Communications and Administration & Finance teams, to ensure internal processes run smoothly.
  • Work with the SVP and CFO to maintain individual and major donor revenue projections. Oversee data management on individual donor contacts, relationships, and their giving histories in our CRM (DonorPerfect).
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Salary will be determined according to a salary scale which takes into account years’ experience and other factors, but is expected to be $90,000-$105,000.
  • We have a generous benefits package, including health, dental, and vision insurance; employer-paid life and disability insurance; 15 paid vacation days to start, with an increase after five years; 4 weeks of  sick leave per year; 13 paid holidays per year; and participation in and employer contributions to a 403b retirement savings plan.
  • Opportunities for advancement and professional opportunities are also available.


Chesapeake Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, age, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, refusal to submit to a genetic test or to make available genetic test results, or any other legally protected characteristic.  

Chesapeake Conservancy understands that protecting and restoring the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed requires intentional commitment to inclusive practices and narratives within the conservation movement. Through our work we celebrate and elevate the people, places, and cultures of the region, especially by engaging underrepresented communities. Committing to the values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice is critical to achieve our vision of a Chesapeake that is healthy, accessible to everyone, and a place where people and wildlife thrive. To that end, we commit ourselves to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice both in our programmatic priorities and our internal organizational development through inclusive recruitment of staff and board members, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.

  • Minimum 5 years of frontline individual, major, and planned giving fundraising experience;
  • A Bachelor’s degree;
  • Demonstrated experience and success in cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major and planned gifts;
  • Proven track record of successful fundraising and strong relationship-building;
  • Organization, efficiency, and timeliness in project management and delivery, meeting preparation, and facilitation;
  • Ability to communicate complex issues, discuss funding opportunities with donors, and relay information to a variety of stakeholders;
  • Broad-based experience and knowledge in the core areas of fundraising utilized by the Conservancy: Annual Fund, major and planned gifts, endowment, and capital campaign;
  • Experience with DonorPerfect (CRM);
  • A strong understanding of and deep commitment to environmental issues, particularly in the Chesapeake Bay watershed;
  • Existing knowledge and network in philanthropy targeting environmental and social change;
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with a diverse staff;
  • An energetic, enthusiastic, proactive, and inquiring personality;
  • A confident, self-starter with strong entrepreneurial spirit and exceptional communication skills;
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and a thorough appreciation of the power of gratitude as an essential skill to change the world;
  • Ability to travel on occasion to achieve stated objectives when conditions allow.