Employment Opportunity: Director of Institutional Advancement and Major Gifts

1024 768 Stroud Water Research Center

Category: Full-time
Reports to: Executive Director
Location: Avondale, Pa.


An independent nonprofit, the Stroud Center’s mission is to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration. Located in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, and with a research facility in Costa Rica, our research spans the globe. We are solutions-oriented and apply our research to watershed restoration and education to deliver streams and rivers with clean fresh water to sustain people and nature. Our team is dedicated, welcoming, and warm. Respected throughout the fields of freshwater research, watershed restoration, and environmental education we welcome the new perspectives that strengthen our work.

Position Description

The Director of Institutional Advancement and Major Gifts will secure strategic partnerships and support from individuals, foundations, and corporations to advance the Stroud Center’s mission and vision. The successful candidate will create and implement major gifts fundraising strategies, cultivate new prospects, secure new major gifts, increase giving levels from existing donors, and help steward donors through various meetings and events. The Director will manage the portfolio of major donors and prospects with a philanthropic capacity of $50,000 or more. The Director will work closely with the development and communications/marketing teams, as well as the executive director and programmatic senior staff throughout the organization, to build a strategy to secure investments that will advance institutional priorities needed to support our research, education, and watershed restoration efforts.

As part of a small but mighty team of passionate, dedicated, and purpose-driven professionals, the Director will play an instrumental role in catalyzing local, national, and international awareness and support for the Stroud Center — expanding its impact and ensuring smart, sustainable solutions for freshwater conservation and preservation around the world.

Ideal candidates will share evidence of a track record of securing major gifts. Candidates with experience in nonprofit development or business development are encouraged to apply. Candidates should have strong relationship management and communications skills.

This in-person position is located at our headquarters in Avondale, Pennsylvania, although limited remote work may be accommodated. The salary range for the Director of Institutional Advancement and Major Gifts is anticipated to be $110,000 to $150,000 per year, dependent on demonstrated experience. Compensation at the Stroud Center includes a pension, medical and dental insurance, access to a 403(b) plan, and paid leave.

Primary Responsibilities

Strategy and Operations (~20%)

  • Works collaboratively with development team members and Stroud Center leadership to determine strategy and set goals.
  • Works closely with the Director of Development who is accountable for our Annual Fund goals and event planning.
  • Tracks and communicates progress towards goals to staff and board.
  • Identifies cross-departmental opportunities for increased collaboration and process improvements.
  • Participates in development and communication functions at board meetings (but shares reporting responsibilities with the Director of Development and Director of Marketing and Communications).

Development (~70%)

  • Works closely with the Director of Development and Director of Marketing & Communications to develop and execute a successful fundraising and communications/marketing program, as well as drive integrated fundraising campaigns and promotions to meet revenue and engagement goals.
  • Accountable for major gifts fundraising targets and securing funding for operational support, endowment, capital projects, and other large-scale institutional advancements.
  • Leads strategy, planning, and execution of major gift campaigns.
  • Works with the development team and leadership to ensure the internal frameworks for successful fundraising are in place; for example, maintaining high rankings in relevant external charity rating websites.
  • Create, direct, and execute strategic partnerships with high-capacity HNWIs, foundations, and corporations.
  • Works closely with science, watershed restoration, and education team leaders to craft compelling value propositions and strategic programmatic grant proposals for funders.

Brand, Marketing and Communications (~10%)

  • Works closely with the Directors of Development and Marketing and Communications to identify key audiences and establish or refine organizational and campaign messaging.
  • Supports the Director of Marketing and Communication in developing a strategic marketing plan and content calendar to drive donations and engagement.
  • Guides the establishment of priority collateral needs to develop and steward major donors.
  • Supports the marketing team in setting and ensuring consistent brand execution, internally and externally.
  • Working with leadership across the organization, contributes to an annual plan to further the Stroud Center as a thought leader among influential audiences and to help shape the national and international agenda on fresh water and related impacts.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Understands and appreciates the value of nature and the importance of generating and disseminating new knowledge to sustain our freshwater resources and ecosystems for future generations.
  • B.S. or B.A. (M.S, MBA preferred) related to nonprofit or business development. Interest or educational background including environmental science, education, or related fields is a plus.
  • Strong, current knowledge of nonprofit fundraising best practices. Familiarity with national and international issues in the environmental sector.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in the nonprofit or business development fields with experience working in either the nonprofit or the commercial sectors.
  • Strong computer and software skills, with prior experience with customer relationship management databases (Raiser’s Edge NXT experience preferred).
  • Superb communication skills (written and verbal) or public relations expertise.
  • Works independently and also contributes effectively to a team effort. Effectively engages with a board of directors.
  • Demonstrated ability to forge meaningful and lasting shared-valued partnerships across a wide variety of external stakeholders.
  • Is mission-focused.
  • Consistent, demonstrated record of success in grant writing to foundations and other philanthropic entities.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.

Application Procedures

To apply, use the application form below to submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae or résumé, and the names and contact details of three professional references, preferably as a single attachment.

Application review will begin the week of August 12, 2024. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

About Stroud Water Research Center

Since 1967, Stroud Water Research Center has focused on the science of rivers and streams. No one else studies these systems and how to protect them like we do — collaboratively, independently, and across decades of environmental changes. In our mission to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration, we produce the trusted science needed for successful stream and river conservation while fostering people’s passion for the water in their lives.

Education staff interpret research findings and build education programs about freshwater ecology, management, and stewardship for a wide audience.

Watershed restoration staff develop and implement programs that connect landowners, stakeholders, and the general public with best management practices for conserving, restoring, and protecting watersheds. While we work in watersheds all over the world, most of our ideas are generated and pilot-tested at the Stroud Center’s main campus in the White Clay Creek experimental watershed, where the Stroud Center has a 50-year research and monitoring record within a unique facility that includes indoor wet labs and streamside flumes fed by flowing water pumped in from the creek on our property.

In 2012, the Stroud Center expanded its campus to 50 acres and constructed the LEED Platinum-certified Moorhead Environmental Complex for education and public outreach.

Stroud Water Research Center is an independent, non-advocacy, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and an Equal Opportunity Employer.