Raising money to save nature
What does a Conservation Fundraiser do?
One way to have an impact in your career is to raise the vital funds needed to make things happen. Often termed ‘development’, fundraising can mean many different things – from running a stand at a country fair, to writing multi-million dollar proposals to governments. One thing’s for sure, if you’re a good fundraiser, then you’ll be in demand as every conservation charity wants to raise more money. Always.
Typical Conservation Fundraiser duties
Fundraiser roles often include the following duties:
- Writing grant applications and reports.
- Supporting members and donors.
- Organising appeals, campaigns and fundraising drives.
- Developing projects and programmes.
Conservation Fundraiser employer types
Types of conservation employers that hire Fundraisers include:
Conservation Fundraiser sub roles
Fundraisers can raise money from a variety of sources, including:
- Grants / Institutional giving / Trusts & Foundations
- Individual donors / Major gifts
- Sales & services
…using methods such as:
- Grant writing
- Donor engagement
- Events / Campaigns / Crowdfunding
Conservation Fundraiser context
Conservation Fundraiser salaries
Conservation Fundraiser requirements
We analysed 29,767 conservation jobs, from over 100 countries, to find out what skills employers want.
Using our Career Explorer database (a searchable database of all the conservation jobs ever posted on Conservation Careers, which is part of our Conservation Careers Academy membership), we focussed in on entry level Fundraiser positions.
We looked for repetitive requirements, skills and patterns in job advertisements. Here’s what we found:
Most wanted skills
- Relationship management
- Budget management
- Organisational skills
- Research new opportunities
- Proposal development
- Course development
Specialist skills: Microsoft Office, Database management, Budgeting, Negotiating
Learn more about the skills employers want in our Top Conservation Skills Ultimate Guide.
Typical job titles for Conservation Fundraisers
Examples of Early Career Fundraiser job titles include:
Examples of Mid and Senior Fundraiser job titles include:
Conservation Fundraiser resources
Nick Bubb is the Business Development Director at Fauna & Flora International (FFI) where he raises funds for major conservation projects and programmes across 40 countries and 300 partners. Listen here.
Example Conservation Fundraiser jobs
To help illustrate Conservation Fundraiser roles, here are three job descriptions that represent (real) entry level Fundraiser jobs. Pay particular attention to the selection criteria (specifications) to learn more about what conservation employers are looking for when they hire Fundraisers.
Fundraising Coordinator | Nature-Based Solutions Foundation | Remote, Canada
The Nature-Based Solutions Foundation (NBSF) is a new national organization with a mission of protecting endangered ecosystems across Canada. To this end, we fill key conservation funding gaps that are vital for securing new parks and other protected areas.
The Nature-Based Solutions Foundation is looking for a person with exceptional people skills, specifically related to fundraising and donor engagement, and who has detail-oriented research abilities. Working directly with the National Coordinator, the Fundraising Coordinator will provide the necessary support to quickly advance the organization’s fundraising goals by targeting and securing large-scale donations. We are looking for someone who has exceptional research skills and an aptitude for understanding diverse funders and donors with a special focus on the private sector. The Fundraising Coordinator will be responsible for identifying and monitoring funding sources and participating in the creation of strategic fundraising initiatives. This person will also focus on conducting in-depth research into prospective funders’ values and goals to ensure highly tailored communications. The ideal candidate will also have a passion for nature and must have a demonstrated commitment to and deep understanding of conservation issues.
Skills and experience:
- Exceptional people skills
- Demonstrated successful experience with fundraising for good causes
- Detail-oriented, organized, accurate, flexible, and reliable
- Exceptional research abilities with an eagerness to dive deep to find information
- Excellent written communication skills
- Experience with grant writing and application processes
- Familiarity with the private sector, specifically as it relates to business sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility
- Experience with database management and development (e.g. Constituent Relationship Management CRM systems, Donor Prospecting software, etc.)
- Work and/or volunteer experience with environmental organization(s)
- Bonus: familiarity with carbon offset markets and issues
- Apply research to successfully engage funders and secure donations
- Identify new funding opportunities (private funds, grants, etc.)
- Conduct research on donor prospects and other key stakeholders leading to funding opportunities
- Brief team on key research findings
- Monitor and maintain fundraising databases and softwares
- Participate in the development of strategic fundraising outreach initiatives
- Analyze and assess outreach efforts; troubleshoot where necessary
- Draft personalized and targeted messaging for diverse funders
- Support presentations, hikes, fundraisers, and other donor events
- Facilitate grant development (organize, prepare, write first drafts and reports)
- Assist with administrative tasks
Development Assistant | Conserving Carolina | North Carolina, USA
The Development Assistant’s primary responsibility is to support the fundraising/development work of the organization by managing our donor database and gift acknowledgement practices, providing administrative support to Development Director and Donor Relations Manager.
- Management and oversight of donor database including but not limited to:
- Gift and data entry and correction, pledge management, etc.
- Update information on current and past donors as needed
- Train and coordinate other staff, interns and volunteers on using best practices and procedures for donor database
- Work closely with Development and Finance staff to ensure efficient and appropriate
processes for gift entry and management
- Produce gift, donor and membership reports for other staff as needed
- Compile and maintain various mailing lists including mass mailings and smaller segmented
mailings using database
- Seek out new functions of database that would benefit fundraising efforts
Support membership recruitment and retention by:
- Production of regular membership communication through gift acknowledgements & member mailings (membership renewals, appeals, programmatic postcards, etc.), may include writing acknowledgement letters and other correspondence
Manage membership benefits for example:
- Make sure tote bags and other perks are ordered
- Work with other staff to organize members-only hikes twice a year
- Manage monthly giving program
- Plan and host the annual holiday party
- Support fundraising and donor stewardship events:
- Work closely with Donor Relations Manager to plan and execute annual Conservation
- Experience with and the ability to learn how to input information into a database with thought about how the information will be used and reported
- Skilled with Microsoft Office Suite (especially Excel), Adobe, and mail-merge required
- Strong attention to detail required
- Familiarity with DonorPerfect database a plus
- Strong verbal communication skills and experience engaging with donors
- Advanced office skills
Programme Development Officer, Statutory Funding | Fauna & Flora International | Cambridge, UK
Founded in 1903, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is the world’s longest established international conservation organisation. Our vision is to create a sustainable future for the planet where biodiversity is conserved by the people living closest to it. We aim to do this through the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and take account of human needs. We have become a trusted entity in the world of conservation. Today FFI is active in over 40 countries.
FFI is seeking an experienced professional to support FFI’s funding from statutory (government and multilateral) donors.
Programme Development Officer, Statutory Funding
Salary: circa £25,000 per annum
Start Date: As soon as possible
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Fauna & Flora International, Cambridge, UK. Current policy offers partial remote working within the UK.
You will support colleagues and partners to develop high-quality proposal packages and reports for priority donors and ensure their timely submission. You will work across the statutory funding portfolio, critiquing proposals, providing editing and formatting support, and ensuring that all documents produced for donors meet their criteria, as well as follow FFI approval and submission procedures. You will lead on researching in-country funding opportunities from statutory sources, and will produce and maintain up-to-date briefs on priority donor strategies in FFI programme countries.
There is a strong knowledge-sharing element to this work, and you will share examples of learning and best practice across FFI to maximise FFI’s success rate and support colleagues as they build productive relationships with donors. You will have excellent data management skills, and monitor FFI’s activities in statutory fundraising and fund management, to support the statutory funding team’s operations as well as internal decision-making and strategy development.
Strong relationship-management and communications skills are essential to the role, to develop positive, collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including regional teams, non-governmental partners, and government agencies. You will be as tenacious as you are persuasive, and your excellent interpersonal skills will enable you to extract information to meet timelines. You will be a strong team player and enjoy working in a dynamic environment where the ability to respond swiftly to changing organisational and team needs is paramount. With a proactive and pre-emptive approach to your work, you will seek to add value and work with minimal supervision.
Fluency in written and spoken English is essential. Skills in languages relevant to FFI’s programme are highly desirable. Sensitivity to the different working environments and capacities of colleagues around the world is also essential.
In return, the role offers the opportunity to work within a ground-breaking and entrepreneurial organisation, at the forefront of global conservation, with opportunity to apply your skills and expertise where appropriate. In addition, FFI offers a generous pension contribution, attractive annual leave allowance and life insurance.
Fundraising for Conservation Projects | Online training
To have an impact as a conservationist, you need fundraising skills in order to turn your ideas into reality.
In a sector dominated by charities, the majority of conservation projects are funded by donors. These can include large grants secured from governments and foundations to smaller donations via public campaigns, appeals, events and membership drives.
The more skilled you are as a fundraiser, the more money you’ll secure, and the more conservation you’ll get done. But few professional and aspiring conservationists have any formal training in fundraising.
If you want to succeed as a professional conservationist, you need fundraising skills.
Fundraising for Conservation Projects is an online training programme brought to you by the team at Conservation Careers and is taught by multi-award-winning conservationist, and CEO of Elephants for Africa, Dr Kate Evans. The course will guide you through the process of searching for, applying for, and securing funds for conservation work.
During the training you’ll learn how to:
- Match your project to the right funder.
- Write a funding application for a medium-sized conservation grant.
- Use Logical Frameworks in grant writing.
- Budget and report on finances secured.
- Diversify your income streams.
- Build and maintain good donor relationships.
- Develop a fundraising strategy.
After completing this training you’ll understand how to secure more funding for your conservation projects. Making you more employable and impactful as an aspiring or professional conservationist. Learn more about Fundraising for Conservation Projects here.
Search live Conservation Fundraiser jobs
Useful links & free stuff
- You want to work in conservation but you’re feeling lost, disillusioned or confused?!? Check out our Kick-Starter training designed to help you understand the job market, to navigate your career options, and to get hired more quickly. It’s designed for students, graduates, job-seekers and career-switchers. We’re proud to say it also has 100% satisfaction and recommendation ratings. We know you’ll love it. Find out more about our Kick-Starter – Online Course.
- You need answers to top questions about working in conservation? Check out our free Ultimate Guides covering topics like the Top Conservation Skills, Top Conservation Internships | Paid or Free and Marine Conservation Jobs, and answering questions like How to Switch Careers into Conservation, Do I need a Master’s Degree? and much more! Or download our free guides to keep and read later!
- You feel ready to be applying for jobs in conservation? Check out our membership packages for job seekers which provide access to the world’s biggest conservation job board – with over 15,000 conservation jobs shared each year – plus a range of other benefits. Check out our monthly memberships here.
- You’re submitting applications, but failing to get many interviews? Check out our FREE eBook Conservation Jobs: The Step-by-Step System to Get Hired as a Wildlife Conservationist – available on Kindle, EPUB and PDF. We can also review your applications, and provide 1:1 advice on how to improve them. Check out our application support here.
- You’ve got an interview (well done!) and would like our help to prepare for it? We know what employers want, and have helped many people prepare for and deliver successful interviews. Check out our interview preparation here.
- You’re feeling stuck, struggling with a career decision or something’s holding you back from pursuing the career of your dreams? Our 1:1 career coaching can help you gain clarity about your next steps and form a plan of action. Check out our career coaching here.