Director of Development


February 16, 2017

Over the past nine years, we have grown from a single staff person to a staff of nine. Our growth has been intentional and planned, through implementation of a strategic plan and with capacity-building funds secured over the growth period. Continuing to amplify the development needs of the organization is essential for the sustained success of the Water Trust. This is an exciting time for us. For the first time, we are in a position to employ two development team members: one to focus on institutional giving (Grants Specialist, who is already on board) and one to focus on individual giving and donor relations, a Development Director, which is the position we are looking to fill with this search.  


The Development Director, in partnership with and reporting to the Executive Director, will spearhead new fundraising strategies and build upon existing efforts to cultivate, acquire, and steward individual, corporate, institutional, and small business donors. S/he will develop programs, events, and communications to engage these groups. S/he will collaborate with the Executive Director and Grants Specialist, a seasoned fundraiser with two years of experience with Water Trust development activities, to redevelop our comprehensive fundraising program for the organization, helping to integrate all development strategies throughout the organization from the staff to the Board of Directors to our loyal supporters and volunteers. The ideal candidate will share our passion for Western water and healthy rivers and be particularly good at inspiring others to get involved with and support the Water Trust. We also seek someone who is comfortable with the Water Trust’s highly collaborative approach to flow restoration; in our world, everyone is welcome. While knowledge of Western water issues would be helpful, it is not required for this position.


  • Secure financial support from individuals, small businesses, and water providers/users with a focus on unrestricted funds.
  • In coordination with the Executive Director and the Grants Specialist, develop and execute the Water Trust’s annual fundraising plan, including establishing short- and long-range unrestricted fundraising goals.
  • Create and execute acquisition and cultivation strategies for a large sustained base of annual individual and small business donors.
  • Develop and grow a major donor program.
  • Organize special events including our annual fundraiser, RiverBank.
  • Coordinate with the Grants Specialist on institutional fundraising, assisting in the production of proposals and reports and helping ensure that all deadlines and opportunities are met.
  • Coordinate with the Communications Specialist on donor communications, such as email campaigns, printed mailings, and annual reports.
  • Manage the fundraising budget and coordinate with the Director of Finance on financial reporting, budget variance reporting, audit support, and reconciliations.
  • Maintain donor records in SalesForce database and oversee staff responsible for data entry and gift processing.
  • Enlist Water Trust staff and Board of Directors’ support to enhance the Water Trust’s culture of philanthropy.
  • Coordinate and organize the Board Fundraising Committee in partnership with the Committee Chair and the Executive Director, and regularly present fundraising results to the Board
  • As a member of the Water Trust’s leadership team, help develop organization-wide strategies.
  • Be willing to travel to support the Water Trust’s statewide mission.
  • Help to do whatever else it takes for this dynamic and changing nonprofit to be successful and sustainable.


  • Development/Fundraising: More than five years of development experience in the nonprofit sector with a focus on individual giving and/or donor relations, with a history of both developing and implementing strategies to increase donor engagement.
  • Relationship Building: Skilled at establishing and cultivating strong relationships across all levels of an organization and externally.
  • Communications: Skilled in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising. Ability to convey complex ideas through brief, simple materials.  
  • Project Leadership: Experience in planning, leading, and managing development projects, including coordinating staff and a Board of Directors to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking and reporting on progress.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Takes initiative and actively seeks to deepen current donor relationships and to forge new ones. Demonstrated commitment to a results-oriented culture.
  • Collaboration: Effective at working with others to reach common goals and objectives.
  • Wisdom and verve: Knowing the right time to do the right thing in the right way, gained from the melding of knowledge and experience. 
  • Education: Bachelors degree (required), Masters or other graduate degree (a plus).


This is a full-time, 40 hour per week, exempt position. Salary will be commensurate with experience, but is likely to be in the range of $60,000 to $64,000. The Colorado Water Trust offers a competitive benefits package including a comprehensive insurance package that includes health insurance and, as funds permit, long- and short-term disability, life, vision, and dental; an FSA; generous paid time off; other need-based leave; and a retirement fund with employer contributions.

Application Procedure

Please submit a resume and cover letter by March 20 via e-mail to with “Development Director Position” in the e-mail subject line. No calls or drop-ins, please. (We extended the deadline due to staff vacations!)


The Water Trust works statewide, with our office located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.