Vice President -- Development

Reports To: 

Executive Vice President


United States - New York, NY

Position Summary: 

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Based in New York City, with offices throughout the United States and worldwide, the Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers.

Working with the development team, the Vice President of Development will be responsible for increasing the Rainforest Alliance’s $25 million annual raised income budget. The Vice President of Development will interface closely with all staff and the Board of Directors.


  1. Overall Departmental Leadership
    1. Develop and implement all long and short-range development strategies to diversify the Rainforest Alliance’s funding base and support its mission, long-term goals, fiscal health, and special projects. Involve President, Executive Vice President, and executive team as appropriate.
    2. Successfully complete the Rainforest Alliance’s comprehensive fundraising campaign.
    3. Partner with the Rainforest Alliance’s marketing and communications staff to create an effective case for support and heighten the visibility of the Rainforest Alliance through consistent, creative, and active messaging. Take a leadership role in strengthening the development and programmatic teams’ coordination and collaboration.
    4. With the Rainforest Alliance’s President, Executive Vice President, and Nominating Committee members, identify, cultivate, and recruit new Board members and steward existing members.
    5. Supervise and motivate Development Department staff. Provide staff with guidance, support, and opportunities for growth.
    6. Perform managerial duties as required, including: preparing Board reports and developing and managing the Development Department’s annual plans and budgets (expense and raised income).
  2. Areas of Focus/Growth
    1. Major Gifts
      1. Develop the strategy and oversee implementation of the Rainforest Alliance’s individual major gifts with particular growth focus on individual major donors. Build alliances with high-net-worth individuals, corporations, foundations, and government (including bilateral and multilateral agencies) to enhance the Rainforest Alliance’s visibility and to develop future and ongoing funding opportunities that support the Rainforest Alliance’s priorities.
      2. Play a leadership role in recruiting appropriate human resources to implement the major gifts campaign, including staff, consultants, and volunteers. Train and empower members in the field to fundraise and act as ambassadors on behalf of the Rainforest Alliance.
      3. Leverage Board and chief staff officers to identify and build relationships with a network of potential major individual donors, foundation officers, and corporate and government philanthropy decision-makers.
      4. Interface with the Board Development Committee to create Board fundraising goals and facilitate the implementation of Board fundraising activities.
      5. Work closely with the special events team to ensure success in this area.
    2. Online Fundraising/Membership
      1. Work closely with the development team delivering online fundraising efforts while exploring the use of existing and emerging digital channels to reach and cultivate donors.

Lead effort to increase and diversify membership base both nationally and internationally. Work with the membership team to ensure strategic cultivation of members to the next level of engagement.


  • The successful candidate is a strategic visionary, a highly entrepreneurial and creative leader who looks for new answers to existing questions and enjoys building programs and organizations;
  • He/she is a high-energy executive with a true passion for the environmental/conservation cause and for working closely with a cohesive, highly collaborative senior management team;
  • This person is a top-notch communicator—someone who can translate and market the Rainforest Alliance’s unique business model in new and compelling ways to major donors—individual, corporate and foundations.He/she is also a tireless advocate for internal communications, freely sharing information with others and helping others share information about their activities and programs with fellow employees;
  • This individual has a clear understanding of – and preferably a demonstrated record of success with – fundraising from governments, including both bilateral and multilateral agencies;
  • The successful candidate has significant experience using modern fundraising tools to support a complex, successful development program.He/she can demonstrate a deep understanding of all aspects of fundraising including direct mail, planned giving, annual and capital campaigns;
  • This person understands how to effectively employ electronic media -- including social media -- in building a brand and support for that brand internationally;
  • He/she is an outstanding leader and skillful manager who is personally invested in hiring, building, mentoring and motivating a strong, flexible and effective development staff.The successful candidate holds him/herself as well as his/her team accountable; he/she sets goals, establishes benchmarks and reviews progress toward those goals regularly;
  • This person is both gifted strategist and innovative tactician -- able to build on the Rainforest Alliance’s past successes, while developing new and creative funding approaches to expand the Alliance’s scope and build a successful future.He/she is a “multi-tasker” who thrives in an environment where priorities can change rapidly.
  • He/she can also effectively enlist the assistance of internal audiences -- particularly program staff --  in fundraising activities, effectively using executives and specialists within the organization to build interest in and financial support for the Rainforest Alliance among major contributors of all kinds.Conversely, this person also understands how to train internal staff to be effective participants in the fundraising process;
  • He/she understands how to develop and maintain strong donor relationships, matching the interests and passions of major donors with the work of the Alliance; and
  • Although a background in conservation or the environment is a plus, a genuine passion for the Alliance’s mission is essential.


Commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits package provided.

The Rainforest Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.

Search form