Director of Development

  • Full Time
  • Remote

Website The Mountain Lion Foundation

A national nonprofit protecting mountain lions and their habitat

Director of Development

The Mountain Lion Foundation is a national organization with a mission to ensure that America’s lion survives and thrives in the wild. With decades of successes and a nationwide support base, the organization is well-positioned to take its fundraising to the next level. Our new Director of Development will be a skilled, organized, creative, and enthusiastic relationship builder and philanthropy professional who sets and leads the strategy for all organizational fundraising efforts. These efforts include the cultivation and stewardship of members and major donors; grant writing and foundation relations; annual giving; planned giving; online fundraising efforts; and more. The Director of Development works closely with our team as a collaborative partner and plays a key role in furthering our mission.

Job Responsibilities

Create and implement a strategic, aggressive, and visionary annual fundraising plan in collaboration with the Foundation’s team, securing ample unrestricted funds to support the organization’s important, mission-focused work. (The organization’s current budget is about $1 million, with plans to grow in the coming years.)
Track and measure the effectiveness and engagement of development efforts, using both qualitative and quantitative data.
Build deep and authentic relationships between the organization and its supporters, using clear and compelling communication about the organization’s work and impact.
Work closely with the Executive Director to create and execute donor-specific plans for major gift solicitation.
Build and manage a comprehensive and proactive planned giving program.
Develop and manage a proactive grants program, including prospect research, applications, tracking, and reporting.
Oversee the management of member and donor data in a way that facilitates timely reporting, transparency, and accurate record-keeping.
Work closely with the Foundation’s team to ensure that every donation is processed and acknowledged quickly and accurately, with a focus on long-term donor stewardship.
Work with the Director of Communications to grow the organization’s membership and to ensure consistent organizational messaging on donor and member communications. Similarly, work with program staff to develop consistent messaging about organizational fundraising efforts.
Leverage the power of storytelling to advance the organization’s philanthropic goals.
Lead the creation and execution of online, multi-channel fundraising content that integrates with broader organizational fundraising and communications efforts.
Work with the Foundation staff, board members, and other volunteers to plan and implement targeted fundraising campaigns.
Perform other duties as needed to achieve our organizational goals, including occasional night and weekend responsibilities.
The Director of Development works closely with all members of the team, especially the Executive Director and the Director of Communications; they report to the Executive Director.


At least five years of direct and donor-centered fundraising experience required, preferably in a fundraising leadership role within a nonprofit.
Solid working knowledge of trends and best practices in philanthropy, as well as recent fundraising research.
Exceptional writing, editing, and verbal communication skills, including public speaking.
Proficient in fundraising software; social media apps; presentation tools such as Zoom; CRM and communications tools such as Network for Good, EveryAction, or ConstantContact; and MS Office.
Ability to center the principles of equity and inclusion: See “About the Mountain Lion Foundation” below for more explanation.
Experience with event planning, promotion, and execution.
Commitment and passion for the mission of the Mountain Lion Foundation; preference for knowledge of healthy ecosystems and predator-prey dynamics.
The ability to take scientific data and technical information and communicate them to members and donors in a way that is clear, compelling, and useful.
Experience developing and implementing fundraising strategies with the ability to manage a variety of initiatives concurrently.
Demonstrated strategic thinking, project-management experience, and a strong skillset in communications and storytelling.
Highly collaborative style with a sincere commitment to work with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, donors, volunteers, program participants, and partner organizations.
Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills; experience working with diverse stakeholders.
Strong servant leadership skills.
Self-starter who can work independently and with the team.
High energy, maturity, and leadership skills, with the ability to position fundraising discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
Enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.
Salary: $80,000 to $85,000 plus benefits for full-time employment, depending on experience

The Foundation’s benefits package for all salaried staff includes a health-care plan, dental and vision coverage, leave time, and flexibility in employee work schedules.


This is a remote position, with a preference for applicants who live in the Western U.S. The office of the Mountain Lion Foundation is in Sacramento, California, and the Director of Development will occasionally be asked to travel to Sacramento or other locations for in-person meetings.

To Apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter and a resume in one PDF to Kathleen Lam, Candidates who move forward will receive a full job posting, and three professional references, work samples, and an initial interview via video will be requested of selected applicants.

Application Timeline

The position is open until filled and we will review applications on an ongoing basis. The initial selection of first round interviewees will likely occur no earlier than February 15th. There will likely be at least two rounds of interviews, taking place via videoconference. These interviews will likely be recorded, for internal use only by the Mountain Lion Foundation. If an in-person interview is deemed necessary, travel arrangements will be made and paid for by the Mountain Lion Foundation.

Please direct your questions about the position or the application process to Kathleen Lam,

About The Mountain Lion Foundation

Formed in 1986 as a volunteer coalition that focused on conserving mountain lions in California, the organization now addresses lion protection across the United States. The Mountain Lion Foundation’s mission is to ensure that America’s lion survives and flourishes in the wild.

The organization’s programming focuses on public education, policies and management strategies that support thriving mountain lion populations, and peaceful coexistence with these amazing and ecologically important animals. The Mountain Lion Foundation relies on the best available science to inform the decisions that guide lion protection. More information about the organization’s programs is available at

The Mountain Lion Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization with a staff of 9 people, including the Director of Development. In the spring of 2023, the organization’s board and staff are working together to identify the key organizational priorities that will guide our work for the next five years.

The Mountain Lion Foundation strives to center the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in our work and in our organization’s culture. Preferred candidates for this position will: demonstrate a commitment that equity is a necessary prerequisite to building a more just and sustainable world; contribute to equity and inclusion work within the organization, including participation in relevant committees and trainings; demonstrate a deep understanding of their own race, culture, and identity, and how it relates to the staff and community landscape, as well as the world at large; model vulnerability and accountability; be comfortable giving and receiving feedback; model sensitivity toward the needs and priorities of diverse communities and individuals with a variety of backgrounds and identities; demonstrate the ability to communicate across power dynamics in a way that fosters learning, understanding, and mutual respect.

Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position. Note that our current office in Sacramento has an elevator and is ADA accessible.

To apply for this job email your details to