Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park seeks Development Director

Monday, April 1, 2024

Job Title and Description: Development Director
FLSA Status: Full-time, Salaried Exempt
Supervisor: President and CEO
Work Location: Winter Harbor, Maine. Hybrid schedule with flexibility for partial work from home. This position requires a regular physical presence on our campus in Winter Harbor and at community events throughout the year as well as regular local and regional travel to meet with donors and funders.

Primary responsibilities

The Development Director is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive fundraising program to help achieve Schoodic Institute’s overall mission and goals in the areas of climate adaptation science, citizen science, outdoor education, and campus infrastructure.

The Development Director works closely with the President & CEO, Board of Directors, staff, and partners to lead on fundraising initiatives and campaigns encompassing individual donors, foundations, and corporations. They must be able to think strategically and practically to implement a results-oriented development plan that includes traditional and innovative fundraising strategies. The Director will supervise the Development Manager and work with them to ensure successful donor communications, appeals, campaigns, events, cultivation, and stewardship of our growing donor base.

Our desired candidate is an experienced, highly collaborative, master strategist and teambuilder. They are creative, energetic, well organized, and can build consensus among diverse teams with multiple priorities. They will bring experience and a track record of fundraising success.

We are actively expanding our reach and impact in the areas of science, learning, and community. We are mission driven and passionate about creating a better future for parks, people, and the planet. We work hard, have fun, and are a great team. Join us.


Strategy and Annual Work Plan: Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan to secure financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Based on past performance and budget, our 2024 philanthropic support goal is $1.5 million, with additional fundraising requirements in future years to support infrastructure and program needs.

Collaboration and Supervision: Collaborate closely with President and CEO, Board, Development Manager, Marketing and Design Manager, and program staff to align fundraising efforts with the organization's strategic goals and program needs. Act as the Development Manager’s direct supervisor and serve as the lead staff liaison on the Board Development Committee.

Campaign Management: Work with Board, staff, and external consultants to lead on the development of major multi-year campaigns to support campus infrastructure, science and education programs, fellowships, and endowment. Oversee campaign activities, timelines, events, and communications and marketing collateral.

Major Gift Fundraising: Develop and implement major gift fundraising strategy to secure substantial financial support. Research and identify prospective donors and maintain a robust pipeline to solicit major and planned gifts, grants, corporate, foundation, and individual support with the capacity to contribute more than $5,000 annually.

Annual Campaign: Work with the Development Manager to implement a robust set of activities to maintain and grow our base of annual support including annual Spring and Fall Appeals, events, marketing, and communications to current and prospective donors.

Planned Giving: Oversee the development of a planned giving strategy to build support through legacy gifts.

Grants and Proposals: Support staff with grant writing and packaging. Create case statements, proposals, or other collateral for major gifts and grants.

Cultivation, Engagement, and Stewardship: Build strong and lasting relationships with current and potential major donors through personalized communication, meetings, events, and other engagement activities.

Communications: Serve as point of contact for donor inquiries and maintain a high level of donor satisfaction. Support the writing and distribution of development emails, newsletters and other development communications to engage with donors in collaboration with the Development Manager and Marketing and Design Manager.

Event and Community Participation: Represent Schoodic Institute at events and conferences to engage with potential major donors and funders.

Leadership: Serve as a member of Schoodic Institute’s Leadership Team to help guide organizational strategy and policy, and provide guidance in the areas of development and nonprofit management. Provide staff with guidance on fundraising strategies and tactics applicable to their work.

Continuous Learning: Stay informed about trends in philanthropy and nonprofit management to enhance development strategies and organizational best practices.

Required skills and knowledge

  • 10+ years in nonprofit work with a strong background in a fundraising capacity; experience in major gifts and in endowment and capital campaigns
  • Excellent track record in managing fundraising programs and initiatives; history of securing six-figure+ gifts
  • Proficiency in using DonorPerfect or similar CRMs
  • Proactive relationship management with donors, grantors, board, staff, volunteers
  • Superior verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills and ability to establish meaningful rapport with a wide range of constituents
  • Ability to serve as an enthusiastic spokesperson for the organization and exhibits a high level of comfort with public speaking
  • Excellent organizational skills, along with demonstrated success managing multiple tasks and deadlines
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and new responsibilities within a growing program
  • A “get it done” spirit and creative problem solver at heart
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills to address challenges and find effective solutions
  • A commitment and adherence to ethical fundraising practices including maintaining a high level of discretion and donor confidentiality
  • Ability to work under deadline pressure as well as some evenings or weekends at events
  • Familiarity with grant application processes, including writing proposals, preparing budgets, and reporting requirements
  • Computer skills required: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and GSuite
  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) or equivalent from a four-year college or university or combined education and work experience

Preferred skills and knowledge

  • Understanding of conservation science, climate adaptation, national parks or other protected areas, and fundraising for this work
  • Passion for K-12 environmental and outdoor education programs as well as early-career pathways such as internships and fellowships for researchers, science communicators, and educators
  • Familiarity with Acadia National Park and/or experience working with conserved lands
  • History of partnering with federal agencies, foundations, and universities
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification or equivalent

About the employer

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is a science and education partner of the National Park Service. Our mission is to inspire science, learning, and community for a changing world. We conduct and support science to understand and respond to rapid environmental change in Acadia and beyond. Our goal is to be a national leader in research and education that inspires environmental stewardship and fosters bright futures for parks, people, and the planet. From our campus located within the Schoodic District of Acadia National Park in Downeast Maine, we engage people of all ages in the science and solutions to a rapidly changing environment. Our year-round campus includes classrooms, laboratories, meeting spaces, and a modern 124-seat auditorium surrounded by protected shorelines and thousands of acres of spruce-fir forest. Campus infrastructure enables us to convene and host public events, and provides an inspirational setting for education and art programs, workshops, and conferences.

Schoodic Institute is committed to increasing diversity in environmental science, education, and conservation. We are highly collaborative and inclusive, and the team environment is safe and free from bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Team members are encouraged to bring their full selves to their work.

Physical effort

This position requires the ability to work on a computer for long periods of time and to move back and forth around the Schoodic Institute campus in a timely manner for meetings, tours, and events.

Salary and benefits

This is a full-time position with Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park in Winter Harbor, Maine. Starting pay is commensurate with experience ($90,000 - $120,000) with potential for an annual bonus. Schoodic Institute offers a generous employee compensation package including: health insurance, retirement savings with up to a 3% match, paid vacation (starting at 120 hours per year), 11 paid holidays, and personal/sick leave (96 hours per year), employer-paid basic life insurance, monthly cell phone allowance, and professional development opportunities.

How to apply

Please send a resume and cover letter to For priority consideration, please apply by April 12, 2024. Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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