Founded in 1978, Wilderness Inquiry (WI) connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to the natural world and each other through shared outdoor adventures. With an annual budget of $4.5 million, Wilderness Inquiry relies on development efforts to provide more than 50% of revenues through a combination of individual donations, corporate and foundation grants, and government grants. Our generous philanthropic community allows Wilderness Inquiry to provide scholarships for individuals, families, and youth with financial need and support services for people with disabilities.
The Development Director provides strategic direction and day-to-day leadership to grow Wilderness Inquiry’s development efforts. Overseeing a team of two, this position works collaboratively throughout the organization to align program needs with resources. This position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer, works very closely with the Chief Executive Officer, and serves as a member of the organization’s senior leadership team. Wilderness Inquiry’s dedicated staff share a common goal of service to the diverse groups of people who participate in Wilderness Inquiry programs.
A tremendous opportunity exists for our Development Director to strategically grow and secure funding both locally in Minnesota and in targeted cities experiencing program growth, including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.
Shared values among staff include:
- A passion for WI’s mission of social integration through adventure. Working at WI is more than just a job for full-time staff.
- A vision, belief, and ethic on the ideals of Servant Leadership. WI staff practice “we” thinking rather than “me” thinking.
- An entrepreneurial spirit of continuous improvement, both in systems and in one’s self.
- A “whatever it takes” attitude toward every job. While the organization believes in applying people to their highest and best ability, they cannot afford to hire people who are highly selective in what they are willing to do.
Overall the Development Director plans, directs, and implements a comprehensive development program, building upon existing efforts that raise more than $2.5 million annually to fulfill Wilderness Inquiry’s mission. The Development Director provides dynamic leadership to all aspects of Wilderness Inquiry’s development efforts by setting goals, organizing and directing staff, and evaluating activities to exceed identified goals. This individual works collaboratively with the leadership team to grow our revenues as we grow as an organization.
1) Enterprise Leadership: Assumes executive leadership accountability for WI.
- Co-leads with CEO and COO on determining top priorities for the organization and executing against important strategic initiatives.
- Takes a big picture perspective and stays abreast of activity and issues that may be occurring throughout all parts of the company.
- Actively works to bridge outside, externally-facing activity with internal operations; be the communication link that anticipates potential risk and capitalizes on opportunities.
- Financial Viability: Drives measurable growth from funding sources, year over year.
2) Philanthropic Revenues: Designs and leads a fund development program in collaboration with CEO and COO.
- Creates and executes an annual development plan.
- Leads successful fundraising campaigns, seeking individual donations, foundation and corporate gifts, government grants, special events, and workplace giving.
- Oversees annual individual donor campaigns, including year-end requests and special appeals.
- Practices ethical development with thorough knowledge of principles, ethics, and practices of successful fundraising.
- Initiates and drives capital campaigns with CEO.
- Secures sponsorships for special events and fundraisers.
3) Relationship / Business Development: Implements strategies to grow annual revenue to fulfill WI’s mission by maintaining current and acquiring new sources of revenue.
- Capitalizes on CEO relationships and supports CEO in opening doors in the community.
- Researches and identifies new sources of support. Develops and owns a repeatable, sustainable system and tracking mechanism for prospecting that generates a predictable number of new leads each year.
- Oversees annual grants calendar, including timely communication with donors to provide updates and impact.
- Collaborates with communications and outreach team to craft messages that inspire and grow donor relationships.
- Manages and updates portfolio of major donors and prospects.
- Builds relationships, write proposals, and oversees ongoing relationships with foundation officers, corporate staff, and individual donors.
- Grows endowment funds through donor relations.
- Facilitates donor meetings, recognition, and events.
- Identifies new sources and creates winning strategies to gain support.
- Leverages existing network to continuously develop relationships with potential significant donors across the U.S.
- Works closely with CEO to build shared network and gain credibility across the not-for-profit and outdoor adventure arenas.
4) Performance Management and Process Improvement: Directs multiple projects simultaneously with internal and external team, while updating systems to increase effectiveness.
- Supervises staff development team to reach goals.
- Collaborates with program, outreach, and communication teams to ensure consistent messaging and program execution.
- Inspires, motivates, and trains Board of Directors as WI’s key fundraisers.
- Facilitates activities with Development Committee of the Board of Directors.
- Ensures accurate donor information is kept in an extensive fundraising database.
- Assists in the production and distribution of development materials, including donor-related website content.
- Develops and updates practices and policies related to gifts and giving.
- BA/BS degree
- Ten years or more experience in development or related field and five years or more experience in staff management and supervision
- Demonstrated success in securing major and annual gifts from foundations, corporations, and individuals
- Personable and flexible, enabling success in a team-based, customer service framework
- Builds culture of high performance
- Able to think strategically and execute tactically
- Possesses refined and well-organized multi-tasking skills
- Demonstrates high energy and the ability to motivate others to action through a positive, can-do attitude
- Passion for WI’s mission and a sense of ownership for the organization
- Outstanding communication and writing skills
- Flexible, persistent, and attentive to detail
- Works both independently and collaboratively
Wilderness Inquiry offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package.
Wilderness Inquiry is an equal opportunity employer.Apply Now