The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) supports local governments to implement bold change in pursuit of equitable and sustainable communities. It does this by building the capacity of local governments to act, scaling promising practices and solutions, and harnessing data and insights to advance and influence the field. The heart of USDN’s work is a network of local government sustainability professionals from over 250 cities and counties across the United States and Canada dedicated to creating a healthy environment, advancing racial equity, and building thriving and resilient communities. USDN is powered by a distributed team of 20 people that work together across the United States, and a robust network of trusted partners and collaborators.
USDN believes that a diverse, inclusive, and equity-centered climate movement is essential to achieving our ambitious goals for just, resilient, carbon neutral communities. Our work prioritizes those who experience the most vulnerability to climate change, disproportionate exposure to environmental injustice, and the biggest barriers to benefiting from climate solutions.
The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) is a collaborative community that develops solutions to the South’s unique sustainability challenges. SSDN’s membership includes sustainability and resilience staff from across the South, who build knowledge and learn from colleagues in other areas about best practices to meet their community’s needs. Communities located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia working in all stages of sustainability implementation join the network to scale, accelerate, and implement sustainable best practices so that our region’s communities are equipped to adapt to and mitigate climate change. For more information please visit www.southeastsdn.org.
USDN fiscally sponsors SSDN and the organizations’ missions, programs, and business models are intricately connected. The Development Director will jointly support both organizations’ individual and collective fundraising strategies and activities.
Reporting to the USDN Strategic Development Director and SSDN Executive Director, the Development Director will be a key contributor to the ongoing evolution of each organizations’ business model and revenue strategies while leading successful grantseeking and fundraising initiatives. This includes participating in strategic decision-making and championing implementation of diverse revenue strategies, working in collaboration with each organization’s leadership to cultivate new donor relationships; hone the articulation of their missions, programs, and impacts; and explore new revenue models.
The Development Director will hold primary responsibility for fundraising and revenue development activities, including managing progress toward short- and long-term revenue goals. This includes maintaining efficient and effective practices needed to grow and diversify USDN and SSDN’ revenue through a possible combination of foundation support, federal and state grants, membership dues, direct services, special events, and partnership support, among others.
To that end, the Development Director helps forge new relationships and reinforce existing relationships to build visibility, deepen impact, and grow financial resources. The Development Director will inform the organizations’ overall partnership strategies by identifying key external alliances and opportunities to cultivate strategic collaborations. This includes aligning development activities with other efforts aimed at elevating the profile and influence of each organization as thought leaders and catalysts for actualizing an equity-centered response to climate change from local governments. The successful candidate will therefore be highly motivated by the organizations’ missions, including embedding equity in climate change and sustainability policy and investments, and able to advise on courses of action that accelerate impact while positioning the organizations for continued contribution.
Leadership & Strategy
- Actively work with each organization’s leadership to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy for long-term financial sustainability through revenue growth and diversification.
- In collaboration with the SSDN ED and USDN Strategic Development Director, identify, analyze, and recommend new mission-aligned models for revenue growth, including for example: direct services, corporate partnerships, competitive bids, federal grantseeking, private donors and other innovative approaches
- Support the funder relationship-building and other development activities of Board members and staff leadership, as requested, by advising on funder engagement strategies, facilitating outreach, preparing briefings, recommending talking points, designing funder meeting agendas and content, and ensuring follow-through.
- Develop and manage progress toward short- and long-term revenue objectives
- Engage with the development and leadership teams by attending staff meetings, serving on special task forces, and otherwise understanding and contributing to the ongoing evolution and implementation of strategy and overall mission.
- Work collaboratively with program teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of SSDN and USDN work, develop strong working relationships with program leaders, and understand funding needs and opportunities.
- Cultivate new funder prospects, identifying, qualifying, soliciting and stewarding a portfolio of new and prospective foundation accounts with the capacity to make gifts (from $25,000 to $1,000,000 or more).
- Advance foundation relationships that result in large philanthropic contributions for USDN and SSDN through strategic engagement, in-person and virtual visits, email correspondence, and telephone conversations with prospects and donors.
- Steward existing donor relationship by ensuring timely and compelling grant reporting, facilitating funder engagement initiatives, and supporting donor relationship management
- Maintain primary responsibility for development and execution of all proposals and grant reports; write and archive all documents with a long-term relationship-management approach
- Develop and implement strategies to communicate SSDN’s and USDN’s value, activities, and impact to members, donors, and partners
- Collaborate with USDN’s Events Manager, Network Program Director, and SSDN’s Executive Director on the design and execution of a corporate sponsorship program.
Tracking & Analysis
- Oversee tracking of proposal and grant reporting timelines to ensure timely delivery of all development outputs.
- Gather data on prospective funders and develop strategies to realize the current and lifetime giving potential of prospects.
- Oversee research related to funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position USDN and SSDN ahead of major funding changes or trends
- Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to Board and staff leadership
- Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the development program
- Support each organization’s financial strategy, modeling, and revenue projections, in collaboration with SSDN’s ED and USDN ED, Strategic Development Director, and Operations Director
Qualifications & Experience
- A bachelor’s degree and five or more years development and/or fundraising experience in the non-profit sector
- A proven track record of successful philanthropic fundraising. Experience with public or private sector development a plus.
- Applied knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relationship management with foundations, individuals, corporations, and other sources
- Detail-oriented, with strong organizational abilities to meet deadlines across multiple parallel activities.
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to engage and influence a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships by articulating a clear value proposition and progress toward desired impacts.
- Collaborative, flexible, team-oriented individual with strong interpersonal skills
- A creative strategic thinker with a passion for managing implementation of both strategic and tactical initiatives
- Experience working in sustainability, climate, and equity-related fields strongly desired.
- Experience or familiarity with local government sustainability work
- A commitment to the mission and vision of USDN and SSDN
- Ability to travel up to 10-25% of the time if needed
- Management skills to oversee, and mentor, a grants coordinator
- Full time position for 12 months, with possibility of extension
- Reports to SSDN Executive Director and USDN Strategic Development Director.
- Compensation: Expected range is $90,000-100,000 annually, commensurate with qualifications. Robust benefits package, including health, dental, disability, and life insurance, flexible leave policy, and 401(k) program
- Location: this is a fully remote, work-from-home position. Neither USDN nor SSDN have a central office, but staff collaborate extensively via video call meetings. Candidates must furnish their own quiet office space for conference calls. USDN provides a computer, smartphone, and IT stipend to cover internet and phone, software, and other home office supplies
- Work hours: 9am-5 pm Eastern, Central, or Pacific Standard Times (flexible); 40 hours/week
Urban Sustainability Directors Network is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equal treatment of all employees without regard to race, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, physical or mental disability or other basis protected by law.