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Advocates and Special Gifts Officer
Connecticut Fund for the Environment - Save the Sound in New Haven, Connecticut
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Date Posted 06/09/2018
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Connecticut Fund for the Environment/

Save the Sound



Do you have a passion for the environment? Would you like an opportunity to connect with donors who have an interest in our mission to protect and improve the land, air and water of Connecticut and Long Island Sound? If so, you may be the ideal candidate for our Advocates and Special Gifts Officer position opening at our region’s pre-eminent environmental non-profit organization. Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound is seeking a senior fundraising professional to expand on our proven record in major gift development.


Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Advocates and Special Gifs Officer is responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major donors (designated as “Advocates” or “Champions”) who support CFE and Save the Sound. In particular, s/he will work with the President, and Chief Development Officer to: a) develop organizational goals for major donor income; b) act as primary relationship manager for individual donors and prospects (referred to as “donors”)  of $1,000 to $20,000 per year to reach or exceed annual funding goals; c) develop and execute cultivation and stewardship plans for donors and new prospects; and d) establish personal benchmarks for and report regularly on donor phone calls, meetings and other contacts. Based in New Haven, where administrative support staff are located, the Advocates and Special Gifts Officer will also be expected to spend one day a week at the Mamaroneck office and to make personal visits to donors or prospects in Connecticut, Westchester and potentially New York City and Long Island. S/he will also work with development and program staff and the Board of Directors Development Committee to plan, prepare and implement donor cultivation and stewardship events.


Responsibilities include:


Cultivate, solicit and steward existing donors

  • Ensure that there is a timeline established for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of larger donors.
  • Strategize the approach for each donor with the Chief Development Officer and the President.
  • Plan and carry out timely visits and phone calls with donors. When necessary, recruit program/management staff and/or Board members for donor visits to solicit gifts.
  • Prepare updates, proposals and other stewardship materials when necessary.
  • Coordinate all necessary post-visit follow up and ensure that all donor activities – visits, phone calls and site visits – are entered into the donor’s record in CFE’s database, Every Action.
  • With the Chief Development Officer, develop the major donor revenue projection for the annual organizational budget. Track and report progress to goal, including gifts, pledges and cash-flow projections to senior management.


Identify and cultivate new prospects

  • Work with the President, Chief Development Officer, Board members and use other possible avenues to identify, develop and pursue new donor prospects for CFE and Save the Sound.
  • Call new prospects and arrange meetings, tours, and/or special invitations to forums and other events.
  • Coordinate all necessary post-visit follow up and ensure that all activities – visits, phone calls and site visits – are entered into the donor’s record in CFE’s database.
  • Identify existing donors who have the capacity to increase their giving and arrange meetings or personalized communications with them in coordination with Board or senior staff.


Support at least four small events each year in Connecticut and New York as opportunities to engage donors and prospects

  • Support the Membership team and administrative staff in New Haven, Board members to develop and plan strategic fundraising events and help manage their coordination; develop the list of invitees; ensure that invitations go out in a timely fashion, and, when possible, that personal invitations are extended by the hosts or staff.
  • Plan strategy for prospective donors pre- and post-event. Assign key board/staff to individual donors; ensure that follow up for new and prospective donors is in place before the event and carried out in a timely manner.
  • Manage reporting on events to Board and to host(s).


Coordinate Advocate and Special Gift Mail Programs

  • Ensure that appropriately personalized thank you letters go out promptly.
  • Manage a regular mail program that includes “snail mail” appeals and quarterly email updates.
  • For high-level donors, provide at least two personalized letters/updates per year.
  • Coordinate the year-end update/mailing to major donors and strong prospects.




Desired Qualifications

We are looking for a motivated individual with a high level of energy and enthusiasm for the work of CFE and Save the Sound, excellent writing and presentation skills and the sensitivity to preserve confidentiality appropriately. Willingness to make cold calls to potential donors and an interest in relationship-building are essential, as are strong organizational skills, attention to detail and the ability to both work independently and as a team player. A bachelor’s degree and at least three years of relevant nonprofit experience are required.  Applicants must have access to a car and a current driver’s license.


The Organization

Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound is a New Haven-based environmental non-profit with an office in Mamaroneck, NY dedicated to protecting, improving, and restoring the natural resources of Connecticut and Long Island Sound. Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE) opened in 1978 with a focus on the legal aspects of environmental protection. In 2004, CFE merged with Save the Sound, which also had a three-decade history. Save the Sound is a bi-state program of CFE, focused on the restoration, protection, and appreciation of Long Island Sound.  Over the past decade, Save the Sound has engaged hundreds of volunteers in monitoring water quality, and identified and stopped pollution using a data-driven approach that combines community advocacy and legal enforcement.

In 2018, CFE/Save the Sound is merging with Soundkeeper, another organization with a long history of protecting Long Island Sound. We have launched a full time, boat-based Soundkeeper who brings us a visible Long Island Sound presence to raise awareness, identify problems, inspire action and advocate for restoring and protecting the Sound to our leaders in Hartford, Albany and Washington, D.C.

With a budget of $5 million, nearly 5,000 members, 15,000 online activists and a full- and part-time staff of 29, CFE/Save the Sound has offices in New Haven, CT and Mamaroneck, NY


To Apply

Please submit a cover letter, three writing samples, salary requirements and a resume describing your interest and qualifications for this position by COB on January 22, 2018. Please use a subject line: Advocates and Special Gifts Officer Position when you submit the materials to: vwormely-radford@ . No phone calls, please.

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