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Southwest Director of Philanthropy

Denver, CO

In January 2020, Trust for Public Land launched The Power of Land for People (2020-2025) strategic plan to fulfill our vision that every American should have close-to-home access to the benefits of nature. We could not have anticipated the impending COVID-19 pandemic, but it highlighted that our land-for-people solutions are more needed now than at any point in recent memory. Quality parks and natural spaces are a fundamental requirement for sustaining healthy, equitable communities that are resilient and prepared for change. In this moment of polarization and increasing social turmoil, parks and public land reweave our country’s frayed social fabric, reconnecting us to each other and the places and experiences that bind us together as a nation. Today, on the heels of Trust for Public Land’s most successful fundraising year and our 50th anniversary, we have much to celebrate and even more promising work to pursue. Join us to advance “land for people” and grow our philanthropic partnerships to ensure healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  - Pat Watson, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Position Summary:

The Southwest Director of Philanthropy (DoP) is responsible for the design, coordination, and implementation of all fundraising activities to support Trust for Public Land’s work in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. The DoP should be an entrepreneurial and results-oriented individual who is self-motivated, committed to working at the highest level of quality, able to work both independently and in collaboration, manage multiple priorities, and thrive within a fast-paced, results-oriented office. The DoP must be adept in working with philanthropy and programmatic leadership throughout the organization, especially working closely with the Mountain West Region Vice President and the Southwest program teams to lead a comprehensive fundraising program that maximizes support for the organization and its activities in the Southwest, with an emphasis in Colorado.  

The DoP leverages national resources to elevate Trust for Public Land at the local level as well as promote and advocate for work taking place across the entire organization. The position carries a mixed portfolio with an emphasis on individual major gift prospects and donors. The position manages two direct reports, including an Associate Director of Philanthropy and a Philanthropy Associate. The Southwest DoP reports to the West Region Director of Philanthropy.


40%      Program and Advisory Board Oversight: Oversee and accountable for all fundraising activities in the Southwest, including design and implementation of annual and long-range plans, development and realization of annual revenue goals, and setting the priorities and focus for the philanthropy program. Lead, supervise, and collaborate with two philanthropy team members to communicate shared vision and expectations, monitor progress, meet revenue goals, and ensure shared success. Work with the Region Vice President and program teams to identify operating and capital needs in order to integrate and direct fundraising efforts. Track and report progress toward revenue and programmatic goals. Monitor philanthropy associated expenses ensuring appropriate investment of resources. Oversee donor communications and recognition, coordinating with regional and national marketing departments. Provide oversight of donor events and site visits. Direct and coordinate the involvement of leadership and program staff with donors and in overall fundraising.

Work with the Region Vice President and Colorado/Southwest Advisory Board Chair to sustain and grow the Advisory Board, including identifying and recruiting new members, directing the fundraising knowledge and efforts of the Advisory Board, and overseeing the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual board members and ensuring giving metrics are achieved.

60%      Relationship Manager: Manage a mixed 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. Creates comprehensive engagement strategies, leads cultivation teams, and leads in the creation and delivery of final solicitation and stewardship materials and activity. Promotes blended gifts, planned giving, and involves peer volunteers, leadership, senior management, and project staff in cultivation as needed.

The Director of Philanthropy is expected to:

  • Carry a balanced portfolio of 100 prospects with the capacity to make 5, 6, and 7-figure gifts and effectively move them through the four stages (qualification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship).

  • Make at least 100 visits with donors and prospects, annually.

  • Contribute to Philanthropy’s overall success by assuring budget and goals are met or exceeded. 

  • Develop and implement well-crafted annual and long-range regional philanthropy strategic plans.


  • Eight+ years of fundraising experience, including making major gift solicitations of $100K and above.

  • Knowledge of and experience with Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona’s philanthropic communities, with an emphasis in Colorado.

  • Experience building meaningful relationships with donors, staff, and volunteers.

  • Experience recruiting and managing volunteer boards, as well as working with volunteers to fundraise.

  • Self-motivated with a proven ability to work autonomously, able to multi-task with exceptional organizational and planning skills and excellent attention to detail and deadlines.

  • Management experience required and demonstrated ability to function effectively as a member of a team, ensuring close coordination and integration with other staff members.

  • Excellent written communication skills (including grant writing) and interpersonal skills ranging from one-on-one interactions to formal group presentations.

  • Computer proficiency with various Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and with complex databases or donor management software.

  • Commitment to learning Trust for Public Land’s gift acceptance policies and ensure ethical compliance with fundraising best practices, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals.

  • Interest in and commitment to Trust for Public Land’s mission.

  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.

  • Willingness to work flexible hours and available for donor related travel (avg of 30%) mostly within the region and some national.

  • Trust for Public Land’s Southwest office is located in Denver, CO.


As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, ten+ holidays, and a 403(b)-retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience; the range for this position is $100,000-$115,000 annually.

Trust for Public Land is committed to cultivating a diverse staff that is representative of the communities in which we live and work.  Applications from individuals having diverse backgrounds and life experiences are strongly encouraged.  We are open to the possibility that a great candidate for this job may not precisely meet all of the above criteria; if you believe you’re the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.

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