As Director, Special Development Initiatives, you will manage efforts for a fundraising campaign that builds financial resources for a significant expansion of Potomac Conservancy’s programs, accelerating successes for cleaner water and a healthier Potomac River. You will support the activities of multiple volunteer leaders, Potomac Conservancy Board Members, the President, and key staff members.

The ideal candidate will enjoy working towards an ambitious goal and motivating others to take action. While not required, prior experience working with volunteer leaders, managing multiple constituencies, and providing exemplary support will enable the right person to immediately jump in and begin showing results. Potomac Conservancy has a significant fundraising initiative already underway; this role plays a critical part in guiding that effort towards significant benchmarks, including securing major gifts, implementing community fundraising plans and a public announcement.

This position reports to the Vice President of Development and enjoys the teamwork of four development professionals as well as close collaboration with the President. The person in this role will work hand in hand with Potomac Conservancy’s board members and committed donors.

To open this position to as many candidates as possible, including those with other responsibilities or consultative obligations, this is envisioned first as a part-time position* expected to last at least through the end of 2025. There is a possibility that this role will become a full-time position at that time. This can be a remote or hybrid role; the office is in Silver Spring, MD. The expected 20 hours/week on average can be flexible; when necessary to attend meetings in person or online; work time must include regular business hours.

Founded in 1993, Potomac Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust and clean water leader in the Potomac River region. Our mission is to restore the Potomac to full health for the five million people who rely on the river for drinking water and outdoor enjoyment. We improve water quality through land conservation strategies that reduce polluted runoff and strengthen our community’s natural defenses against the climate crisis. Our passionate movement of 30,000 supporters empowers us to protect and restore streamside forests, pass water protection laws, and conserve shoreline habitats. The Conservancy is empowered by community support; 64% of the organization’s funding comes from individuals, including around 3,000 active members.

* Potential for full time position

If you are interested in a full-time position, please see the other part-time role advertised by Potomac Conservancy. These two roles can be put together with duties in both projects if the applicant’s skills and abilities align with both.

Responsibilities and Duties:
Research, preparation for donor meetings, and tracking outcomes of the campaign’s growing  reach is the core responsibility of this role. You will organize regular strategy discussions and will keep pace with changing campaign needs to support the fundraising activities of board members, volunteers, and staff with regular communications, presentations, and reports.

Leadership Support for Campaign Outreach (90%)

  • Support all campaign activities with research, materials, and background material and presentations to prepare Potomac Conservancy President and staff leads for discussions about the plans for and progress toward the campaign’s goals.
  • Lead and prepare materials for weekly strategy calls to maintain campaign momentum.
  • Research and document opportunities to expand the donor community supporting Potomac Conservancy’s mission.
  • Track results, maintaining an established protocol for recording gifts.
  • Provide support for meetings of volunteer leaders, engaging them in progress toward the goals they set together with appropriate materials, and talking points, and running regular checkups with the team to ensure timelines and goals are met.
  • Prepare presentations on Potomac Conservancy’s strategies and progress for several audiences, including Potomac Conservancy’s board of directors.
  • Prepare gift acknowledgement documents and update drafts for donors.

Organization Team Support (10%)

  • Support implementation of the Potomac Conservancy Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice plan by participating in discussions and periodically co-leading whole team learning sessions.
  • Assist with special projects and events as time is available, such as volunteer events, or fundraising events.
  • Attend all-staff gatherings four times a year for strategy discussions, and four board meetings a  year.
  • Co-create messaging for Potomac Conservancy audiences, in partnership with the leads in communications and fundraising.

Qualifying Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities ++

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in education, training, or experience.
  • Experience with nonprofit initiatives and/or fundraising; specific knowledge of the Washington Metro Region and/or fundraising for the environment preferred.
  • At least two years of project management, volunteer management, office management, or customer service management experience, showing progressive responsibilities in coordinating multiple duties.
  • Excellent written communication capabilities.
  • Confident speaking skills and ability to lead groups through a set of discussions or activities.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Aptitude for analyzing a problem, and then formulating and proposing a logical solution.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Prioritization skills and confidence to recognize changes in priorities, think independently, and recommend or make decisions.
  • Proficiency with MS Office programs including MS Word, MS PowerPoint and MS Excel.

Additional – Preferred, not Required Skills and Abilities

  • Database experience. We use EveryAction, a model similar to most donor databases.
  • Passion for our environment and interest in making our community a healthy and rewarding place to live

++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 pay range is $25 to $28/hour, or $27,560 annually.
  • This is a part-time role, averaging 20 hours per week.
  • This position enjoys the potential for hybrid work with in-office work in our Silver Spring, MD office but could also be done with a remote work schedule with the exception of occasional in-person meetings.
  • Potomac Conservancy prioritizes adaptive scheduling to accommodate for work-life balance.
  • Medical or dental benefits are not included, as this is a part-time position. (If you are applying for the full time role that includes additional responsibilities, medical and dental benefits would be included.)
  • Work and learning benefits include outdoor and learning excursions with the full staff team three times a year and summer Friday afternoons off when the office is shut.
  • Travel reimbursement for work-related trips (other than work in the Silver Spring office).
  • 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 Special Development Initiatives” in the subject line. The position will remain open until filled with priority given to applications arriving before October 15. 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.