Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina | Director of Development

  • 204 Avery Ave, Morganton, NC 28655, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

Foothills Conservancy of NC seeks an enthusiastic and innovative professional to manage and grow its fundraising and development program.  The individual must enjoy interacting with others and have a commitment to the organization’s natural resource conservation goals.

 The Organization| Foothills Conservancy of NC

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina (FCNC) is a nationally accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit land trust that inspires conservation in Western North Carolina by permanently protecting land and water resources.  The organization envisions a thriving region to live and visit, with clean water, healthy forests, productive farmland, diverse wildlife, access to outdoor recreation, and communities that value conservation.  FCNC serves eight counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell, and Rutherford, in three major river basins: the Broad, Catawba, and Yadkin.

Since its founding 25 years ago, FCNC has permanently protected over 61,000 acres in Western North Carolina through strong relationships with private landowners, communities, and a vast network of private, local, state and federal natural resource agencies and organizations.  Nearly 52,000 acres has been transferred to public ownership as state, local and national parks, state game lands, and national forests.  FCNC also manages over 5,400 acres in its own preserves, and holds conservation easements on privately-owned farms, wetlands and forested areas.  The land trust’s service area is rich in biodiversity, natural resources and public outdoor recreation areas, including a national forest, national park, national wildlife refuge area, four state parks, three state game lands, and four state-designated trails.  Building on the success of recent projects including the development of the Wilderness Gateway State Trail and the Fonta Flora State Trail, as well as the acquisition of a 652-acre property that the land trust will transform into a community park and forest in Morganton, NC, FCNC is focusing on several strategic goals:

  • Increasing public access to lands FCNC has protected
  • Enhancing and diversifying relationships with its conservation partners
  • Initiating relationships with new community partners
  • Increasing land and water protection
  • Growing FCNC visibility and enhancing its reputation across its eight-county service region
  • Increasing and diversifying funding to enhance the organization’s sustainability

To achieve these goals, FCNC is seeking a strong development leader with the compelling vision to build on its success and move its fundraising and capital acquisition efforts to the next level.  This will enable FCNC to conserve and enhance the region’s most significant landscapes for enjoyment by future generations of people and the protection of all living things. 

Job Description

The Director of Development will oversee FCNC’s current fundraising programs and strategically develop new fundraising opportunities. The primary purpose of the position is to grow donations annually as called for in FCNC’s strategic plan. This position will report to the Executive Director of the organization.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Lead the strategic development and advancement of FCNC's fundraising initiatives and goals.
  • Manage FCNC’s current donor portfolio and identify, cultivate, solicit and steward new FCNC donors, including individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Develop strategies to build donor support over the eight-county region FCNC serves.
  • Expand and shepherd a team-based approach to donor identification and strengthen donor relationships.
  • Develop goals and implement strategies for cultivating major donors.
  • Develop strategies to increase FCNC’s land acquisition fund and its sustaining endowments.
  • Further develop and steward existing FCNC giving programs including Horizon Society and Conservation Ambassador.
  • Lead the development and implementation of Oak Hill Community Park & Forest capital campaign.
  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director and Development Coordinator on advancing FCNC’s communications including website, social media, print materials and e-mail.
  • Develop and lead FCNC fundraising events and annual appeals.
  • Write and submit grant applications.
  • Serve as FCNC’s staff liaison to the Board’s Development Committee.
  • Provide regular reports to the Executive Director and FCNC Board on strategic goals and objectives pertaining to the Development program.


Candidate Expectations:

  • A personal commitment to the mission of Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina.
  • Visionary leader who can lead the creation and implementation of fundraising efforts across a broad range of impacts including tactical programs, annual and legacy giving and capital campaigns.
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience with excellent donor relations skills and ability to build a grassroots donor base and create a prospect pipeline.
  • Experience in land trust work or closely-related conservation activity is desired.
  • Excellent team player– ability to work with others, respect for all team members and ability to foster and maintain an enjoyable, rewarding and productive workplace.
  • Strong people skills – must have an ability to interact with individuals from different backgrounds, ages and socio-economic levels in a manner that positively reflects the values of FCNC.
  • Self-motivation – comfortable working independently on multiple projects simultaneously, strong organizational and time management skills, a commitment to accuracy and integrity in all aspects of the job, and a desire to network within the philanthropic community.
  • Superior communication skills – strong speaking, writing and listening skills, an ability to effectively communicate the importance of FCNC’s work to current and prospective donors, and a high comfort level for speaking in front of large groups.
  • Technical skills – General office and computer skills are required. Understanding of Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and DonorPerfect, website management and social media software.
  • Travel – independent travel within FCNC’s eight-county region is common, overnight travel is rare and limited primarily to conferences and professional development opportunities.

Essential Job Requirements:

  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution required.
  • Experience: Proven fundraising experience in a nonprofit organization, academic institution, public agency or corporate setting.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceive, lead and execute capital and/or major project campaigns.
  • Proven track-record of securing large donor gifts (five-figure or greater).

Additional Information

Foothills has retained Capital Development Services to guide the search.  Candidates should include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references.  All material will be kept confidential.  Additional inquiries may be directed to Jen Tozier at Capital Development Services, 336-747-0133 ext 208.