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Delaware Nature Society

PO Box 700
Hockessin, DE 19707


Development Manager

Opportunity Type: Full Time, Exempt


Ashland Nature Center, Hockessin, DE

Organization Description

Delaware Nature Society’s (DelNature) mission is to connect people with the natural world to improve our environment through education, conservation, and advocacy. We envision a healthy and sustainable environment.  Founded in 1964, DelNature, a state affiliate for the National Wildlife Federation, is renowned for our educational programming, conservation, and advocacy. We provide the tools for communities to take action and promote the health of the environment through land preservation, wildlife protection, and watershed stewardship.

We manage over 2,000 acres of land, including four nature preserves, and operates four educational sites: Ashland Nature Center, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, DuPont Environmental Education Center, and Coverdale Farm Preserve. Our organizational priorities are comprised of three pillars of engagement focused on:  Working & Natural Lands, Healthy Waters, and Protecting Habitats and Wildlife.

DelNature aspires to be inclusive multicultural organization that celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity and is committed to understanding and addressing where we fall short. Diversity creates an awareness of and acknowledges respect for differences and translates into understanding and valuing of each other’s perspectives. We are committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourage all who are qualified to apply.

Job Description

The Development Manager is a lead team member of the development office, implementing and overseeing a variety of fundraising initiatives in support of our mission. This position actively works to meet and exceed annual fundraising goals including contributed giving and membership. Fundraising activities include: Annual Fund, Membership, Grants, and Sponsorship. Working closely with the Chief Development Officer, the Development Manager is one of the public faces of the fundraising team. They engage with our constituents and in our communities to generate interest, funding, and support for our work. The ideal candidate will exude confidence and enthusiasm for our mission, be articulate in describing our programs and offerings, and will proactively work with the team to achieve and exceed our annual fundraising goals in Annual Fund, Membership, Grants, and Events.

This position reports to: Deputy Director/Chief Development Officer

Schedule is Monday – Friday, including some evenings and weekends.


Annual Fund and Membership

  • Oversees successful implementation of the Annual Fund working collaboratively with the Fund Development Chair and CDO on strategies to identify, steward, and solicit individual donors.
  • Works with the Development Coordinator to manage solicitation lists for all solicitors/donors and prepares appropriate mailing lists for appeal segmentation.
  • Provides strategy and direction in our direct mail appeals which include Annual Fund and Membership.
  • Oversees Development Coordinator in gift processing, membership renewal, fulfillment and data entry. Reconciles revenue with Development Coordinator, and accounting as needed, and on a monthly /recurring basis.
  • Works with Database Administrator and Development Coordinator to generate fundraising reports and donor and prospect reports/ lists for review with CDO, ED, Site Directors, and Board Development Committee.
  • Provides input on strategies for stewardship, cultivation, solicitation of donors.
  • Develops and maintains a list of donors for personal cultivation /stewardship/solicitation.

Grants and Sponsorships

  • Proactively manages a schedule of grant and sponsorship solicitations. Researches, develops, writes, and solicits grants and sponsorships for program, operation, and event support. Works with the CDO on the identification and pursuit of new grant opportunities.
  • Manages and writes grant and sponsorship reports. Works with the department and site staff on development and reporting of the metrics and outcomes provided in those reports.


  • Oversees Events & Outreach Coordinator, collaborating with the team on planning and executing successful donor cultivation and fundraising events.
  • Provides direct support in the events including: serving on event planning committee(s); promotion and attendance of event; securing funding; and event follow-up.


  • Develops communications strategies for the development office, overseeing the creation of content and messaging for appeals, membership, and events. Works proactively with the development team and marketing team on delivery and execution of donor communication pieces including, but not limited to:  Appeal Letters, Donor Acknowledgments, Membership Promotions/Brochures, Donor Newsletters, Ads, and Invitations.
  • Oversees and maintains costs expenditures for department projects and direct reports including: Appeals, Collateral, Mailings, and Events.
  • Utilizes software systems required including: Altru (donor/member/events), SGA (accounting), and PayCom.
  • Manages 2 full-time, exempt employees: Development Coordinator and Events & Outreach Coordinator. Provides leadership, oversight, and evaluation of their duties and job performance.
  • Ensures all DelNature policies and procedures, including health and safety protocols, are implemented, and always enforced.
  • Promotes and supports DelNature’s mission, values, goals, activities, and membership to a wide array of program audiences.
  • Performs other duties as requested by supervisor or leadership staff.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Commitment to and passion for the mission of DelNature.
  • 5+ years fundraising or sales experience with demonstrated success in securing and soliciting gifts/sponsorships.
  • Degree in Business, Marketing, English, Communications, or related field.
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives.
  • Proven ability to manage a staff to reach fundraising goals.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office and computer skills including: word processing, spread sheet, and database management (Altru preferred!).
  • Must possess the following traits and skills: flexibility, dependability, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making skills, and works as part of a team.


Work Environment and Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The employee frequently is required to sit and reach and must be able to move around the work environment.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and be able to carry, move, and setup necessary supplies and equipment.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • Ability to plan, lead, and participate in program activities in a variety of indoor and/or outdoor settings, weather, and terrains.

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience. Eligible for full benefits package.

Applicants Must Submit