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Director of development and operations

Jobs Available
Expiration Date: 

The Foundation for Geauga Parks (the “Foundation”) is a grass roots, independent, non-profit organization founded in 1990. Our philanthropic mission is to raise money to fund community engagement with nature through education, preservation, conservation and appreciation of the unique natural character of Geauga County. We help to preserve and conserve green spaces. We help enhance parks for passive recreation and enjoyment. We help educate youth to care for and appreciate the environment. We are the Foundation for all parks in Geauga County.

Our efforts represented the primary source of funding for a variety of Geauga County's signature parks: The West Woods, The Rookery, and Observatory Park. We are also the primary source of funding for Nature Scopes, of which all of Geauga County's 5th grade public and parochial school students participate. In recent years we have expanded the scope of our mission to also support Geauga County’s township parks. Our core belief is for park visitors to experience the natural environment on nature’s terms which is not only good for us as individuals, but also helps build and maintain a strong community.

Summary Position Description

A new position, the role of the Director shall be to lead the Foundation to advance its mission through development, programming, management, marketing, public relations and planning. This individual is responsible for initiating and developing strategic relationships and networks with Northeast Ohio organizations and individuals to support the Foundation’s philanthropic work and further its mission. S/he positively engages and inspires people to support the Foundation. The Director will also serve as the external face of the Foundation on a day-to-day basis.

Reporting Relationship

Reports to the Board of Trustees (the “Board”). Performs duties and responsibilities directed by the Board. Carries out the responsibilities of the position working in partnership with the Board. The Director shall report directly to the Board President and the Board’s Executive Committee.


Serves as Development Director, raising funds to support our programs. Establishes fundraising goals with the Board and monitors progress against these goals. Develops fresh strategies to encourage new or increased gift as well as increase community outreach and donor engagement. Identifies and builds relationships with potential donors: Major donors, individuals, corporate sponsors, grant-making organizations, and foundations. Secures commitments of participation or donation from donors. Directs fundraising efforts in partnership with the Board. Designs and manages fundraising activities with the support of committees, volunteers, and the Board. Writes grant applications. Coordinates events such as our Twilight Soiree and others.

Organizational Management

Manages the day-to-day office functions. Supervises staff: Part time Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper. Leads and coordinates volunteer activities. Supports committee activities. Creates, maintains, and updates fundraising and donor databases. Oversees Foundation projects and grants to ensure our investments meet the mission and goals of the Foundation. Works with the Board to ensure the Foundation is operating legally, ethically and efficiently. Carries out duties and responsibilities with the support of a part-time Administrative Assistant; supports him/herself administratively as well. Performs duties and responsibilities directed by the Board.

Strategic Planning

Works closely with the Board on strategic planning. Develops and executes a 3-year strategic plan. Maintains a solid working knowledge of significant developments and trends in nature and parks-related non-profit domains. Advises the Board on these development and trends. Convenes advisory groups and taskforces as needed to support the Foundation’s mission.

Communications: Marketing and Public Relations

Builds awareness of the Foundation through marketing, the Foundation website, public and media relations, social media, community events, and public speaking. Establishes positive and productive working relationships with relevant community organizations and individuals. Craft messaging and publicize the work of the Foundation. Supervises and/or produces all marketing and public relations messaging including press releases, website design and content, newsletters, web posting, advertising, among other media. Builds brand recognition of the Foundation.

Relationship building

Builds relationships with:

  • Beneficiaries and grantees of our programs including Geauga Park District, Township Parks, and Geauga County school districts
  • The Foundation’s partner organizations including Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Chagrin Watershed Partners, Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society, Protect Geauga Parks, and others as appropriate
  • Actively solicits and listens to input from Foundation and park stakeholders, involving them in planning, activities, and program management

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Possess a visible passion for the Foundation’s mission and nature
  • Demonstrates highly ethical standards, proven integrity
  • Displays optimism and sensitivity to the need of donors
  • Demonstrates strong analytical and strategic thinking abilities
  • Energetic and driven by environmental or park-related initiatives
  • Experience planning and executing successful development efforts; meets deadlines
  • Proven effective public speaking, presentation, influence, and writing skills; possess a professional presence at all times, adapting to one’s audience effectively
  • Past professional or volunteer work connected to the environment, education, natural science, or other programs the Foundation supports
  • Motivated and able to collaborate and work with other groups and organizations that either share or overlap with the mission of the Foundation to gain support for our work
  • Knowledge of:
    • NE Ohio park and conservancy efforts
    • Community involvement in these efforts
    • Relevant regional influences on environmental and nature initiatives
  • Experience successfully managing budgets and projects
  • Able to work independently while demonstrating the ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Willing and able to drive across NE Ohio to meet with donors, corporations, partner organizations, and sponsors
  • Must be willing to work some nights and weekends
  • Proficient in use of social media and MS Office

Preferred Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience working for non-profits preferred
  • Experience in a “start-up” organization
  • Successful creative approaches to fundraising
  • Reside in or have resided in Geauga County or neighboring counties
  • Grant writing experience
  • Experience with fund-raising or working with fund-raising tools like Raisers Edge or Salesforce

Rewards package

  • Salary around $50,000.00
  • Expenses including mileage, entertainment, cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Personal time off

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and list of references to The deadline for accepting applications is April 15, 2019. No phone calls please. The Foundation for Geauga Parks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.