Position announcement: Individual Gifts Officer [Filled]

This position has been filled. Please see the top of our staff page current openings.


The Mississippi River is one of the world’s great rivers, a natural resource of global significance. In the Twin Cities region, the Mississippi provides recreation and a sense of place for millions of residents and visitors. Unfortunately, the river is losing much of its ecological vitality.

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) protects, restores, and enhances the river and its watershed along the Twin Cities’ 72-mile stretch; improving water quality; conserving riverfront land; and protecting the river's unique natural, scenic, cultural and recreational qualities.

The organization has an annual budget of $2.6 million and employs a dedicated professional staff of 21 who work on land conservation, water quality, land use policy, and other related areas. FMR’s offices overlook the river as it flows through downtown St. Paul.

For a quarter of a century, FMR has established deep relationships and credibility with thousands of residents, landowners, neighborhood organizations, volunteers, and elected officials. The organization has become a national model for conservation and watershed protection. The Mississippi River belongs to everyone, and a commitment to social and environmental justice undergirds all of the organization’s work.

Friends of the Mississippi River is seeking an individual gifts officer, a development professional whose primary strategic focus will be growing and sustaining the organization’s leadership gifts program. (Leadership gifts start at the $500 level.)

The job entails responsibility for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting prospective donors and stewarding and soliciting current donors. The individual gifts officer is an integral member of a four-person development team, reports to the development director, and works closely with the executive director and board.

Candidate profile

The 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 FMR’s impact. The ideal candidate will have outstanding interpersonal skills, excellent verbal and written communication skills, a collaborative mindset, and an ability to work with and inspire trust with a broad range of donors. They will be goal oriented and will think and act strategically in order to meet goals.

Areas of responsibility

The individual gifts officer is qualified and responsible for the following:
• Active participation in shaping fundraising priorities and meeting fundraising goals
• Managing and growing a portfolio of leadership donors:
 - Identifying 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
• Overseeing the Mississippi Riverkeepers program, which is designed for donors of $1,000 and above.
• Engaging the board of directors in advancing FMR’s fundraising efforts
• Working with program and communications staff to understand program information
• Managing and growing FMR’s planned giving program
• Managing special campaigns as opportunities arise
• Overseeing the processing, acknowledgment, and tracking of leadership gifts and pledges
• Creating and monitoring budgets for the leadership donor program
• Participating in planning of fundraising events
• Generating reports for tracking and forecasting

Desired qualifications

The ideal candidate will possess the following experience and qualifications:
• Commitment to and passion for the mission of Friends of the Mississippi River
• A three to five-year successful track record working with and obtaining contributions from leadership donors  
• Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships, design solicitation materials and strategies, secure leadership gifts, and steward donors with a genuine spirit of gratitude
• Proficiency in database management, Microsoft Office suite, and other computer skills as required
• 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 and benefits

The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. There is a generous benefits package.

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 résumé; and the names, titles and phone numbers of three professional references (or two professional and one personal reference). Please include your last name in the file name and email it as an attachment with “Individual Gifts Officer” as the subject line to sdekok@fmr.org.

Application deadline

The deadline has been extended. Interviews will begin in early February 2019.

For more information about Friends of the Mississippi River please visit www.fmr.org.

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