Note: Two Development Officer positions are currently available; hiring with preference for summer 2021 start dates.
The Development Officer (DO) cultivates, solicits, and stewards a portfolio of major gifts ($100,000+) and leadership annual fund ($2,500+) prospects and donors in support of the school’s mission and goals. The DO manages and leads strategic development donor acquisition efforts for cultivation and support from newly identified prospects. This position understands and applies the key principles of creating loyal and generous donors and focuses the bulk of their energies on this “out-the-door” work. They must be motivated to learn and be able to work collaboratively with colleagues, donors, board members and other volunteer leaders across the organization. They are experienced in designing and executing strategies to move new – or annual fund level donors to a major gift level. They will be responsible for direct solicitations to meet funding needs and will listen for opportunities to secure gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, such as planned gifts. They have demonstrated success in developing substantive donor relationships and engaging/supporting natural partners in executing donor strategy.
The DO provides opportunities for donors to receive recognition and increase future giving. They are a passionate advocate and spokesperson for NOLS and can communicate about the various programs in detailed terms and can confidently discuss legacy giving opportunities. The DO will be required to use the NOLS donor database, to participate in the development of proposals, and will lead or assist in donor events. The DO understands and complies with all NOLS gift-related policies and procedures and ensures ethical compliance, as defined by the organization and the Association for Fundraising Professionals.
Bachelor’s degree preferred and a proven fundraising track record, with 3-6 years’ experience and demonstrated success securing major gifts. Consideration may be given for related experience in customer-facing sales, financial and estate planning, or marketing.
Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents to help our donors accomplish their philanthropic goals and ambitions.
Demonstrated experience in developing comprehensive donor strategies that include a variety of ways of giving.
Detailed and in-depth knowledge of major and planned gift fundraising and associated tax laws. Capital and endowment campaign experience preferred.
Experience in actively asking for and closing planned giving and has good understanding of different giving vehicles, and related laws and tax benefits, preferred.
Ability to energetically and accurately represent NOLS to a variety of constituents including alumni, major and leadership annual donors, board, staff, parents and other friends of the school.
Expert project management skills, initiative, flexibility, discretion, and thoughtful decision-making to achieve ambitious performance objectives for outreach to constituents, personal visits (including virtual visits), gift solicitations, gift closures, and stewardship.
Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to build rapport, identify donor interests, and write customized giving proposals and provide pertinent materials to donors and prospective donors.
Experience researching and analyzing large groups of data to uncover prospects.
Ability to thrive in an environment where fundraising metrics play an essential role in annual performance evaluations.
Strong interpersonal, organizational, and teamwork skills.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Suite, plus advancement CRM software, such as Raiser’s Edge.
Ability and willingness to travel across the U.S., and occasionally internationally, approximately 30%-40% of the time.
Ability and willingness to work outside of normal business hours frequently, participating regularly in fundraising dinners, community events, conferences, and after-hours or weekend meetings with high-net-worth individuals.
Ability to act independently and in supervisor’s stead as needed, exercise independent judgment to identify and solve problems.
Ability to sensitively handle confidential information.
Leadership or Supervisory Duties
Manages a donor and prospect portfolio, requiring individual visits (in-person and virtually) to cultivate, steward and solicit support to meet combined department goals for endowed scholarship fundraising, NOLS Fund, and other identified projects. Active leadership regarding campaign planning and execution, managing volunteers, developing and implementing strategies for cultivation, solicitations and stewardship of donors. Establishes cooperative working relationships with development and other staff members to increase understanding and support of development efforts. Stays current on NOLS programs and projects across the world. Limited field work opportunity for NOLS qualified field instructors.
Funds and/or Property
Tracks traveling expenses and maintains accurate donor reports.
Major Giving (70%)
Effectively researches, cultivates, solicits, and stewards a large portfolio of prospective donors (initially 250-400 individuals) with the ability to secure major gift commitments ($100,000 over several years) in support of identified philanthropic objectives.
Cultivates major gift prospects, building relationships and understanding the donors’/prospects’ goals with the expressed purpose of building comprehensive donor strategies to align donor interests and organizational goals. Meets outreach and personal visit metrics as established by Chief Advancement Officer.
Moves prospective major donors along the donor pipeline preparing them to receive an appropriate ask based upon donor intent and interest.
Solicits major gifts through meetings via face-to-face meetings, or when needed, telephone and video conferences.
Employs high-volume email, phone, social media messaging, and personalized mail outreach to secure first-time personal visits with major gifts prospects, and increased leadership annual gifts.
Ensures necessary tracking and regular communication with prospects. Tracks fundraising progress and manages relationships to increase donor gift amounts.
Design highly customized donor engagement plans for assigned donors.
Prepares and distributes reports on progress toward goals, prospect strategies and prospect contacts.
Works in concert with Stewardship and Foundation Relations Coordinator to produce and deliver stewardship materials for donors.
Leadership Annual Giving (20%)
Works in concert with NOLS Fund manager to present a coordinated fundraising effort to all donors.
Solicits annual fund gifts, especially at $2,500 and above, from donors and prospects to help reach annual goal for unrestricted support. Encourages leadership annual fund donors to commit to a five-year NOLS Fund pledge.
Stewards NOLS Fund donors through personal communication and adheres to thank you protocols.
General Advancement Leadership and Support (10%)
Other duties as assigned to support the organization and changing needs of the Advancement Department. Development Officer will maintain professional affiliations and expand skills by keeping abreast of the latest information and trends in major gift fundraising, including deferred giving techniques, estate planning and tax laws.
Equal Employment Opportunity
NOLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission requirements, or status as a protected veteran. The school’s nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.
Criminal Background Check: A criminal background check is required from all NOLS employees.
E-verify: NOLS participates in E-verify
Motor Vehicle Record: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the position start date and possess a valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving history and be able to meet the criteria for NOLS vehicle insurance coverage.
Work Location: Preference for a remote development officer based in California, New York, Washington, or Colorado. Candidates living in any of the following U.S. States may apply:
Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Starting Date: Preference for candidates who can start in summer 2021.
Full-time, benefited position:
The starting pay range for this position is between $55K - $65K per year dependent on experience. Other benefits include: 403 B, 403 B contribution, Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Flexible Spending account, Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Long Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program, Paid Time off.
Thank you for your interest in NOLS. Please consider providing some optional, anonymous information by visiting this link.
2 openings. Telecommuting is allowed.
Additional Salary Information: For seasoned fundraisers, the starting salary may be higher.
Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Lander, Wyoming, NOLS is an international nonprofit organization that teaches wilderness-based skills with a mission to be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment.
NOLS is administratively based in Lander, Wyoming, in the foothills of the Wind River Range. With a population of around 7,500, Lander is located on territory traditionally used by indigenous people, including the Northern Arapaho, Eastern Shoshone, Cheyenne, Bannock, and Crow. Public lands within a short drive of town provide access to hiking, biking, skiing, and rock climbing. NOLS supports the realistic needs of remote work, and this role can potentially be based remotely, although Lander-based is preferred.
The mission and impact of NOLS reaches far and wide, with 14 locations worldwide and operations in all 50 states. In pre-COVID times, NOLS enrolled more than 28,000 students and employed nearly 1,400 full-time and part-time staff with an annual budget of approximately $40 million. With COVID-related shutdowns, the school is operating in limited domestic and very limited international capacity, and is on a re...turn trajectory from a dramatic downsizing in April, 2020. We are in a rebuilding phase of both programs and personnel, and are examining the opportunities presented to re-evaluate long-standing structures and personnel policies to align with our current realities and forward looking goals.
Today, there are 360,000 active alumni all over the world who have completed NOLS courses. A student’s experience ranges anywhere from four hours to several months in classroom and/or wilderness settings. Curriculum varies by course type and may include outdoor skills, wilderness medicine, applied leadership, and risk management.
NOLS is at an exciting inflection point as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. With a new President who joined the organization in 2020, the organization is currently having thoughtful and intentional conversations about the evolution of this influential organization. NOLS has carefully re-opened its operations and is running courses in a responsible manner, and there has been a growth in engagement from potential students who have a renewed interest in the empowerment that comes from a skill mastered, a peak summited, and a barrier overcome.
Central to NOLS’ mission is an explicit commitment to growing our understanding and practice of diversity, equity and inclusion. This commitment is always evolving as a result of feedback and input of engaged alumni and staff worldwide. Today, the NOLS Executive Team is in the final phases of selecting an external consultant to begin guiding us towards more effective strategies and engagement of traditionally underrepresented voices and identities within both NOLS and the outdoor education industry.
As an organization, NOLS is constantly evolving and changing, and while it began as an outdoor skills school in a small cabin in Sinks Canyon, Wyoming, today the organization encompasses a wide range of programming:
NOLS offers hundreds of expeditions at locations around the world each year, with options for gap year programs, study abroad programs, adult expeditions, and affinity courses for women, POC, military and LGBTQ+ identifying individuals. The curriculum for these courses has been carefully designed to foster leadership, wilderness skills, risk management, environmental studies and goal-setting abilities for every student.
NOLS Wilderness Medicine is the world’s largest provider of remote medical certification. In its history, NOLS Wilderness Medicine has run courses in 50 US states and 46 countries. In a typical year, NOLS Wilderness Medicine will run over 1,000 courses. NOLS wilderness medicine courses are taught by highly qualified and intentional educators and prepare students to recognize, treat and prevent injuries common in wilderness contexts. Wilderness Medicine students come from diverse backgrounds ranging from federal agencies to outdoor recreationalists and military contractors to wilderness therapy professionals.
Custom Education at NOLS are courses customized for a team or organization with their respective desired skills, goals and core values in mind. These courses have been utilized by corporate teams, educational institutions, military units and travel providers all over the world.
NOLS offers programming in risk management for outdoor leaders, travel companies, guide companies, service learning organizations, scientist groups and more. Through training, consulting, the annual Wilderness Risk Management Conference or the NOLS/REI outdoor enthusiast trainings, individuals build a skill set for managing risk grounded in best practices.
To learn more about the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), visit www.nols.edu.