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Development Director

Job Details

  • Company: Western Resource Advocates
  • Address: 87501 Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
  • Salary: $100,000 – $145,000 / YEAR

Development Director at Western Resource Advocates

Locations: Boulder, Carson City, Denver, Phoenix, Remote, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe

Requisition ID: 1005

Salary Range:

$100,000.00 To 145,000.00 Annually

Position Summary

Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is hiring an enthusiastic and strategic leader to join our development team! The Development Director will lead and manage WRA’s fundraising activities to secure significant financial resources from individuals, foundations, and corporations. This role will lead the vision for the development department, identifiy key strategies, develop and undertake a plan of action, and evaluate and adjust as needed to deliver targeted outcomes. 

Development functions include annual giving, principal and major gifts, planned giving, prospecting, and foundation relations and grants. The Development Director will work closely with the Vice President of Development and Communications and the President on the principal gifts team to secure increased philanthropic revenue to support a new three-year strategic plan. The Development Director is accountable for an annual fundraising goal in the range of $15 million. 

This role will contribute to strategic and annual plans, effectively allocate resources, drive outcome-oriented collaboration and the evolution of the development team and its functions. To do this, the Development Director will lead, manage, and work closely with a growing team of eight development staff, five of which are direct reports, to set and meet specific objectives and financial goals. The Development Director will also responsible for a select group of prospects and donors. The size of the portfolio will be determined with consideration of the leadership and supervisory responsibilities of this position. This is a great opportunity to join a growing and meaningful nonprofit!

About Western Resource Advocates

WRA fights climate change and its impacts to sustain the environment, economy, and people of the West. We respect the different needs of diverse people and partner with them to develop a shared vision for progress—one that advances communities while protecting biodiversity.

Our team of experts has three decades of experience of working where decisions are made, sweating the details, creating evidence-based solutions, and holding decisionmakers accountable. This on-the-ground work with policymakers and other advocates advances clean energy, protects air, land, water, and wildlife — and preserves the lives and livelihoods of the West.


This position may work remotely in our seven-state region, in one of our six offices, or a hybrid of the two. Our seven-state region includes Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. WRA has offices located in Boulder, CO; Carson City, NV; Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; and Santa Fe, NM. Access to a major airport required, as travel (25% or more depending on location) is required. 

Responsibilities & Activities


  • Work with the President and Vice President of Development and Communications to shape and achieve the fundraising growth necessary to meet the objectives of a new three-year strategic plan and secure principal gifts for its implementation.
  • Drive the evolution and growth of a comprehensive development program, leading core functions to secure increased financial resources consistent with WRA’s needs and goals.
  • Work with and support the fundraising activities of the Board of Directors, including the Development Committee of the board.
  • Serve as a critical member of the Senior Leadership Team to guide and implement organizational culture, systems, and processes.
  • Work closely with the Finance Team to set and meet annual fundraising revenue goals, including projecting, reporting, and managing philanthropic revenue for the annual budget as well as for special projects and grants.
  • Work closely with the Marketing and Communications Director to engage and communicate with a constituency of donors and prospects and promote a culture of philanthropy across the organization. 
  • Ensure that philanthropic commitments, policies and procedures, financial standards and budgets, and legal requirements are managed and met.


  • Integrate and support the fundraising activities of the Vice President of Development and Communications and the President.
  • Manage a growing team of eight development staff to set and meet goals, execute work plans, and achieve performance expectations.
  • Provide guidance and decision-making that builds clarity and consensus around goals, informs the growth and management of the department and development staff, and establishes and monitors benchmarks and measures of success.
  • Develop and implement systems, functions, work plans, projects, and metrics consistent with goals and best practices for philanthropy.
  • Ensure that philanthropic commitments, policies and procedures, financial standards, and legal requirements are managed and met.
  • Design and direct complex and diversified projects and ensure quality project management.


  • Manage WRA’s full development program to engage, solicit, and cultivate all types of donors, including principal and major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, grants and foundations, and sponsorships.
  • Grow WRA’s donor base, design strategies for meaningful prospecting and donor engagement, and build infrastructure to identify and cultivate individual and foundation donors.
  • Manage a select portfolio of principal and major gift donors/prospects and associated revenue goals.


  • Provide direction, guidance, professional development, and support to ensure the development department and individual staff are highly functioning and impactful.
  • Recruit, interview, hire, onboard, and train new staff.
  • Oversee the daily workflow of the department and manage staffing of key functions, including through vacations, sabbaticals, and parental leave, as needed.
  • Provide constructive feedback and timely performance evaluations. 
  • Handle discipline and termination of employees in accordance with organizational policy.


  • Travel is required, generally within WRA’s region, for retreats, trainings, and other job specific meetings (approximately 25% depending on location of work).

Qualifications & Competencies

  • Experience managing multiple staff and multiple projects with deadline pressures.
  • History of progressively responsible experience in leading a team to drive fundraising results and meet financial goals.
  • Effective management skills, marked by the ability to motivate, develop, lead, and manage the performance of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing a wide range of core departmental functions, with strong project management skills and the capacity to use data analytics and analysis to set strategy, execute plans, and deliver financial outcomes.
  • Experience working with and supporting Board and Executive leaders in fundraising activities. 
  • Proven success in asking for and closing gifts and building and maintaining long-term relationships with individuals and foundations.
  • Exceptional written, verbal, interpersonal, and presentation skills, including the ability to communicate with varied audiences articulately, persuasively, and effectively.
  • Understanding of best practices of fundraising and non-profit management, and knowledge of current and evolving trends in philanthropy, including major gifts, planned giving, and fundraising campaigns.
  • Experience working across departments/teams to engage, solicit, and steward donors.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
  • Experience using technology and applications such as Zoom, Asana, Microsoft Word, Excel, Raiser’s Edge, etc.

Salary & Benefits

The salary range is $100,000 – $145,000 annually; salary depends on relevant experience and new staff rarely start at the top of the range. WRA’s excellent benefits package includes a 401 (k) retirement plan with up to 5% matching and health, dental, vision, and life & disability insurance with 100% of premiums paid by WRA. Annually, staff receive three weeks paid vacation leave, twelve paid sick days, one paid volunteer day, one paid birthday off, twelve paid holidays, and WRA is closed for Winter Break between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for additional paid time off. 

After one year, employees are eligible for up to twelve weeks of parental leave with the first six weeks paid, and after five years, staff are eligible for up to twelve weeks of paid sabbatical leave. Position is full-time exempt.

Deadline To Apply: Open until filled, with priority review starting on Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Thank you for your interest in the Development Director position with Western Resource Advocates. You will need to upload the following:

  • Cover letter describing your relevant qualifications and the reason for your interest in WRA and this position; and
  • Resume.

Please direct any questions about this position or application process to [email protected].

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