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Director, Individual Philanthropy

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization working to build a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes, where farmers, workers, and communities prosper, and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm. We envision a world where people and nature thrive in harmony. In January 2018, the Rainforest Alliance merged with UTZ, a global program and label for sustainable farming.

Position summary:

The Director, Individual Philanthropy will be responsible for the Rainforest Alliance Major Gifts Program, including management of special events and associated fundraising. S/he will be the organization’s primary front-line fundraiser, leading all prospect identification, cultivation, stewardship, and solicitation strategies. S/he will also be responsible for the operational effectiveness of the major gifts and special events teams – ensuring the skills and leadership development of staff, managing revenue streams, and leading the teams through a successful execution of their strategies. The position requires a highly organized, passionate and creative individual to work directly with the Rainforest Alliance leadership and board on fundraising strategies and efforts, developing relationships with individual donors and executing events to bring the development revenue stream to a new level of success.


Individual Philanthropy

  • Lead the strategic approach to individual philanthropy, developing strategies for identification, cultivation and stewardship of donors;
  • Manage a personal portfolio and act as a senior frontline fundraiser by initiating contacts with potential major donors, developing cultivation strategies, moving potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure, meeting with donors and making solicitations;
  • Manage all aspects of key campaigns. Guide creation of compelling proposals and reports, ensure pledges are fulfilled in a timely manner, a high volume of prospects is identified, and new relationships are developed;
  • Develop and manage annual revenue and expense budgets, managing quarterly fiscal updates and adherence to established budget guidelines.
  • Work with senior leadership and the Board Chair on Board stewardship and giving; and
  • Provide guidance and direction to all development team managers in the preparation of documents, annual plans, quarterly goals and reports to the Board.

Special Events

  • Work closely with Rainforest Alliance leadership and board to strategize, plan, execute and increase revenue, awareness and relationships from events;
  • Lead event associated fundraising;
  • Develop and manage annual revenue and expense budgets, managing quarterly fiscal updates and adherence to established budget guidelines;
  • Oversee events planning to ensure that fundraising and logistics management are executed efficiently and to greatest fundraising advantage.

Team Management

  • Supervise team staff, ensuring roles and responsibilities are clear;
  • Ensure that the work environment enables staff to be as productive as possible while creating opportunity for growth;
  • Maintain open lines of communication with staff about opportunities, challenges and work load;
  • Facilitate good collaboration of team staff in cross-departmental working groups, ensuring that all key participants in the individual philanthropy and/or special events process understand roles and responsibilities; and
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor degree required and Masters’ degree preferred;
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in individual philanthropy with at least 5 years managing special events;
  • Minimum 5 years of team management experience;
  • Documented experience in securing major gifts and increasing revenue;
  • Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills. Experienced, professional and comfortable with in-person, over the phone and electronic solicitations. Confident negotiation skills;
  • Demonstrated experience managing major fundraising and cultivation events;
  • Strong management skills to encourage and guide employees to build their skills;
  • Strong organizational skills to manage multiple priorities in a time sensitive manner;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to interact culturally, linguistically, and diplomatically with diverse internal and external individuals.
  • Dependable and strong attention to detail and deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently and on a team, multi-task and work under pressure;
  • Understanding of non-profit and development operations;
  • Ability to develop budgets, analyze financial reports and create income projections;
  • Dependability and outstanding organizational ability with focused attention to detail and follow through; and
  • Willingness and ability to travel up to 10% of time, nationally and internationally.


Commensurate with experience.


Only applicants authorized to work in the United States will be considered.


Rainforest Alliance has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to Chris Spagnola, Senior Recruiter, at and Jessica Martinez, Senior Recruiter, at