Position announcement: Development Officer

About us

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) is a leading and growing nonprofit organization working to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region. FMR's goals are to improve water quality; conserve important lands; inspire widespread commitment to this natural wonder flowing through our community; and protect the river's unique scenic, natural, cultural and recreational qualities. The organization has an annual budget of $2.4M and employs a professional staff of 21 employees who enjoy a beautiful new office space overlooking the river in downtown St. Paul. The workplace culture at FMR is collaborative and fun and staff share a common love of the river and dedication to the mission of the organization.

FMR believes the Mississippi River belongs to all of us and its gifts should flow equally to everyone in our community. We strive to be culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive of all people. We are working toward greater social and environmental justice, using our resources and influence to redress structural inequality in our own organization and where it intersects with the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. We encourage interested applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

Position description

The development officer is an integral member of a four-person development team and leads FMR’s efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward leadership donors (donors who contribute $500+ annually). The development officer reports to the development director, and works closely with the executive director and board of directors.

This position is right for an experienced development professional with a passion for protecting and restoring the natural environment — a person who wants to use their experience and energy to grow and deepen the organization’s impact. The ideal candidate will have outstanding interpersonal skills and an ability to work with and inspire trust with a broad range of donors.  


• Work with the development team to thoroughly understand, help shape, and meet the organization’s fundraising priorities and goals.
• Manage and grow the support of leadership donors (donors who contribute $500+ annually), including:
   - Identifying leadership donor prospects.
   - Defining goals and cultivation strategies for each individual or family.
   - Cultivating and soliciting leadership gifts.
   - Stewarding current and potential leadership donors.
   - Maintaining detailed profiles of current and potential leadership donors.
• Engage the board of directors in advancing our fundraising efforts.
• Work with program and communications staff to understand program information and craft solicitations to for leadership gifts.
• Manage and grow FMR’s planned giving program, including:
   - Identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding planned giving prospects and donors.
   - Developing planned giving materials and strategies.
• Coordinate, support and administer special campaigns as opportunities arise.
• Process, acknowledge, and track leadership gifts and pledges.
• Budget for leadership donor revenue and expenses.
• Help plan fundraising events.
• Generate reports for tracking and forecasting.

Desired qualifications

• Commitment to and passion for the mission of Friends of the Mississippi River.
• A minimum of five years related experience working with leadership donors.
• Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships, design solicitation materials and strategies, secure leadership gifts, and steward donors with a genuine spirit of gratitude.
• Experience tracking and managing donor data in a database.
• Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
• Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to balance multiple projects and meet deadlines.
• Self-motivation and initiative, as well as an ability and eagerness to work as part of a team.
• Knowledge of current trends in fundraising and philanthropy, and a commitment to fundraising ethics.
• Ability to work a flexible schedule, including occasionally long hours, some evenings and occasional weekends.
• Ability to travel throughout the metro area.

Salary & benefits

Competitive salary, commensurate with experience. Benefits include health and dental insurance, retirement match, parking/transit allowance and generous paid vacation, sick and holiday leave.

To Apply

Please consolidate your application into one PDF document that includes: a cover letter summarizing your interest in and qualifications for the position; a 2-3 page résumé; and the names, titles and phone numbers of three professional references (or two professional and one personal reference). Links to writing samples are welcome. Please include your last name in the file name and email it as an attachment with “Development Officer” as the subject line to sdekok@fmr.org.

Application deadline

The position will remain open until filled. 

(Please note: FMR is also hiring a Finance Director. Applications for that positions are due November 26.)

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