Tennessee Director of Philanthropy

Posted Date: January 24, 2022
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Position Summary:
The Director of Philanthropy (DoP) is an integral member of the Tennessee and Southeast philanthropy team. The DoP will design, coordinate, and implement all fundraising activities to support The Trust for Public Land’s activities in Tennessee. The DoP will work closely with the Tennessee State Director and the philanthropy team to lead a comprehensive fundraising program that maximizes support for the organization and its activities. The DoP will help the team leverage national resources to elevate The Trust for Public Land at the state level as well as promote and advocate work taking place in the field within its national programs. The DoP will carry a portfolio with an emphasis on individual major gift prospects and donors.
The DoP is an entrepreneurial and results-oriented individual who thrives in a fast-paced, results-oriented office. The position will manage independent and collaborative projects that support the creation of parks, trails, and public lands. The DoP is adept in working with leadership throughout an organization, and will work closely with colleagues across multiple geographies, volunteers, and with the Southeast philanthropy team. Together, staff identify gift opportunities, create donor strategies, and close gifts by working effectively with volunteers.

The Trust for Public Land:
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 on the conviction that all people need and deserve access to nature and the outdoors, close to home, in the cities and communities where they live, as a matter of health, equity, and justice. While many conservation organizations set aside wildlands for biodiversity or habitat restoration, The Trust's founders sought to bring the benefits of parks and nature to the places, people, and communities that needed them most. The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.5 million acres of land, developed more than 2,000 miles of trails, and completed more than 5,400 projects across America. The Trust for Public Land has also helped states and local communities generate more than $80 billion in new public funds for parks and open space.

The Trust for Public Land’s Tennessee Program has protected 22,150 acres and brought a park within a 10-minute walk of home for nearly 30,000 residents, completing 72 projects to date. With The Trust’s belief that everyone, regardless of race, income, or zip code, deserves access to a great park or open space, the Tennessee Program is prioritized neighborhoods in Chattanooga and Nashville where neighborhood parks and trails are needed most.

Reporting Relationship:
The Director of Philanthropy (DoP), Tennessee will report to the Director of Philanthropy, Southeast. In partnership with the Tennessee State Director, the DoP will help recruit and manage the Tennessee Volunteer Leadership Committee and direct their fundraising efforts.

Primary Responsibilities:

Program and Advisory Board Oversight:
The Director of Philanthropy will

  • oversee all fundraising activities in the Tennessee Program, in partnership with the State Director and Director of Philanthropy, Southeast (DoP, Southeast); this includes designing and implementing annual and long-range plans, developing and realizing annual revenue goals, and setting the priorities and focus for the philanthropy program as part of the broader Southeast philanthropy team;
  • collaborate with philanthropy team members to monitor progress and meet revenue goals and communicate shared vision for the program and expectations of each position in shared success;
  • work with the State Director and DoP, Southeast to identify operating and capital needs in order to integrate and direct fundraising efforts;
  • track and report progress toward revenue and programmatic goals;
  • oversee donor communications and recognition, coordinating with regional and national marketing departments;
  • oversee donor events and tours;
  •  direct and coordinate the involvement of leadership and program staff with donors and in overall fundraising; and
  • work with the State Director and Tennessee Volunteer Leadership Committee Chair to develop the Tennessee Advisory Board, including identifying and recruiting new members, directing the fundraising knowledge and efforts, and overseeing the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual board members to ensure giving metrics are achieved.

Relationship Management: 

The Director of Philanthropy will

  • manage a portfolio of approximately 100 donors and prospects with an emphasis on individual major gift donors and prospects, including donor identification, strategy development, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship;
  • make at least 100 visits (aspire to 120 visits) with donors and prospects, annually;
  • create comprehensive engagement strategies, lead cultivation teams, and lead in the creation and delivery of final solicitation and stewardship materials and activity; and
  • promote blended gifts, planned giving, and involve peer volunteers, leadership, senior management, and project staff in cultivation as needed.

Preferred Competencies and Qualifications:

The Trust for Public Land seeks an Director of Philanthropy with

  • a commitment to The Trust for Public Land's mission to create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come;
  • knowledge of and experience with Tennessee’s philanthropic communities, especially the greater Chattanooga and Nashville areas;
  • experience with recruiting and liaising with volunteer boards, as well as working with volunteers to drive greater engagement and successful fundraising;
  • management experience and an ability to function effectively as a member of a team, ensuring close coordination and integration with other staff members;
  • self-motivation with an ability to work autonomously;
  • an ability to multi-task with exceptional organizational and planning skills and excellent attention to detail and deadlines;
  • excellent written communication and editing skills (including grant writing), and interpersonal skills ranging from one-on-one interactions to formal group presentations;
  • an entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to thrive in a small, dynamic, busy office; 
  • an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations; and
  • proficiency with databases or donor management software.

A bachelor's degree is preferred for this position as is at least seven years of fundraising
experience, including making major gift solicitations with significant institutional impact.

As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for The Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation pay, sick pay, holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with a 5.5% company matching. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience.