The Director of Development will play a key role in expanding Potomac Conservancy engagement with a growing community of leadership supporters and their family foundations. In this key new position for the organization, the Director of Development will have the opportunity to execute on a multi-faceted donor acquisition, cultivation, and stewardship strategy with individuals giving $1,000 to $100,000, to support Potomac Conservancy’s mission to protect the Potomac River and ensure clean water for all.

This position reports to the Vice President of Development and enjoys the teamwork of three development professionals and collaboration with the President. You will be joining a passionate and growing team of 14. A strategic plan is in place and accelerated programs are supporting the growth of programmatic impact. The Conservancy’s income has grown over 100% in the last 5 years with most of this growth coming from individuals and family foundations; 64% of the organization’s financial support comes from individuals.

Potomac Conservancy is the region’s leading clean water advocate. Founded in 1993, we believe the foundation of healthy, sustainable, and vibrant communities starts with clean water. We shape the broader effort for water protection in the Potomac River watershed, from the highlands of Virginia and West Virginia to Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Responsibilities and Duties: 

You will help to fuel the organization’s work for clean water by expanding the financial commitment of our leadership donor community, focusing on donors giving 4-figure to 6-figure gifts, and by identifying and cultivating those for whom this level of giving is possible.

Fundraising & Donor Stewardship (80%) 

  • Lead fundraising with a portfolio of between 150 – 175 donors with a focus on leadership giving levels of $1,000 to $100,000.
  • Current donors make up 75% of the portfolio.
  • Identified but not-yet-engaged prospective donors make up 25% of the portfolio.
  • Develop, refine, and implement strategies for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual donors.
  • Collaborate with current committed donors to network and bring new donors to the Potomac Conservancy community through introductions and an established, robust calendar of events.
  • Craft fresh and compelling messaging on programs and impacts for letters, emails, and talking points in collaboration with program and communications teams.
  • Design and lead a donor appreciation reception and collaborate on a signature fundraising event.
  • Maintain high standards of accuracy with donor data to facilitate timely follow-up.
  • Use CRM database functions for donor data analysis. Monitor and report on fundraising progress.

Team Engagement (20%)

  • Mentor others on the team, sharing your knowledge and skills in fundraising and other areas of expertise to continually enrich the whole organization’s donor stewardship skills.
  • Implement the Potomac Conservancy’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice plan by actively expanding our fundraising and donor-facing learning events to include new communities.
  • Participate in preparation of mailings for donors in your portfolio.
  • Attend all-staff gatherings four times a year for organization strategy discussions.


  • Bachelor’s degree and three to five years of active fundraising experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience adding to three to five years.
  • Demonstrated success with fundraising, gaining commitments from donors for a mission, project, or cause (the way you approach fundraising is more important than the dollars you have raised

Qualifying Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Comfort in making a fundraising ask, including preparing a donor to be asked.
  • Confident speaking skills when communicating about a project, cause, or mission.
  • Proven ability to create and nurture donor relationships, learning a donor’s interests and perspectives while maintaining a focus on and delivering on your agenda.
  • Ability to manage the competing demands and timelines of projects while also being flexible enough to respond to new priorities.
  • Strong writing skills in letters and emails, as well as in more structured reports and proposals.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, but also operate as a team player.
  • Willingness to travel throughout DC, Montgomery County in Maryland, Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria communities in Virginia. Availability and willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends, including four board meetings a year, and five donor evening events a year.

Additional Skills and Abilities Preferred, not Required

  • Event development and management experience.
  • Database experience. We use EveryAction, a model similar to most donor databases.
  • Knowledge of and passion for environmental conservation.
  • Fluency in a second language.

*This position uses a wide variety of skills. We encourage you to apply if you think you would be a good fit, even if you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications. 

Compensation, Benefits, and Location 

  • The salary range is $60,000-$70,000.
  • This position is full-time and enjoys a hybrid work environment with in-office work in our Silver Spring, Maryland office several days a week balanced with the option of remote work. Meetings with donors must be in person as much as possible.
  • Flexible work schedule including responsible flexibility for life needs and work-life balance.
  • Benefits include medical & dental coverage, with 80% of premiums covered by the Conservancy.
  • 18 days paid time off and 11 holidays per year. Three additional personal holidays per year.
  • Summer Friday afternoons and one week in January also offered as paid time off.
  • Travel reimbursement for work-related trips.
  • Working with bright, fun coworkers and interacting with a supportive board of directors.

To Apply

Email a cover letter and resume to Mary Vasse at with “Director of Development” in the subject line. The position will remain open until filled. Applications submitted before June 1, 2023 will be given first consideration. Potomac Conservancy is an equal-opportunity employer.

We recognize the environmental movement has not been an inclusive one and has a history of excluding historically discriminated communities — including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. We encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other communities that have been historically excluded from the environmental movement.  

For the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, all Potomac Conservancy staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandatory vaccine requirement applies to all staff working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site. Effective June 2, 2022, new hires will be required to provide proof of full vaccination with a government-approved vaccine as a condition for employment. Requests for reasonable accommodation or exceptions (medical or religious reasons) will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.