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External Relations Officer, Pacific Coast

Department: Development
Reports to: Vice President
Location: Flexible within the Pacific Coast area (CA, OR and WA)


The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization whose mission is to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance works with Congress to pass tax incentives and funding that help landowners to choose conservation over development. The Alliance serves as a university for land conservation that trains the people who do the work to conserve cherished farms, forests, parks and trails. It strengthens community-based land trusts by providing workshops, online learning, research, standards, and accreditation services. The Alliance’s conservation defense program helps land trusts ensure that conserved land stays protected forever. The Alliance works with the media to promote land conservation and engage more Americans in saving the lands that give meaning to our lives.

The Alliance is implementing a bold new fundraising vision to support its five-year strategic plan to increase the pace, quality and permanence of land conservation in America.  With dramatic early success, the Alliance now seeks to add two experienced, high impact professional major gift professionals to its team.  This position is based on the West Coast and the other will be based in the Mid-Atlantic area.  These two senior positions will join two other such officers already in place.

Summary Description

The External Relations Officer reports directly to the Vice President with a dotted line reporting relationship with the Director of Individual Giving. The Officer also works closely with other Alliance staff, especially colleagues in Development and the Western Program Field Staff working with land trusts in the Pacific Coast area (CA, OR and WA).  

The Officer is a key player in the organization’s strategic goal to increase the individual membership base of the Alliance and to complete the organization’s current major donor campaign, raising funds to support the wide array of services, tools, and trainings available to land trusts across the nation. As such, the incumbent’s primary responsibility is to manage the relationships for a group (150+/-) of donors and prospective donors in the Pacific Coast area who contribute or have the potential to make major gifts to the Alliance.  Performance goals will include both acquisition of new donors as well as cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of existing donors.  Specific annual metrics will focus on direct solicitation of gifts between $10,000 and $100,000 but also management of donor relationships with potential for gifts up to seven-figures.

The Alliance’s network of staff and volunteers in the Pacific Coast region will be partners with the Officer.  These individuals already have extensive networks of relationships within the land trust community and can provide history, background, and very importantly, stories of the Alliance’s programmatic impact which will help the Officer make the case to donors/prospects.  The Officer will be able to draw on support from the development team and regional staff to successfully plan and execute cultivation activities in the Pacific Coast for Alliance donors and prospective donors.  The Alliance’s Together Campaign will provide structure for volunteer engagement and key donor outreach through December 2015.  The Officer will play a lead role with the campaign in coordination with the campaign’s volunteer and staff leadership.

Like all Alliance staff, the Officer will be respectful of the relationship between the Alliance and its members.  Most donors to the Alliance also have affiliations with and provide support to their local land trust(s).  The Alliance encourages this support and celebrates the fundraising successes of its member organizations.  Alliance staff are sensitive to this dynamic even as they work to secure the organization’s own funding.


  • Proactively cultivate, solicit, and upgrade donors and prospects into the Guardians of the Land Society ($1,000+) and manage (cultivate, solicit, steward) a portfolio of 150 donors with $10,000 plus capacity to meet annual fundraising goals.
  • Manage Alliance volunteers including Board members, members of the National Council and others to advance the Alliance’s fundraising goals.
  • Serve in a lead role with the Alliance’s Together campaign in the Pacific Coast region including staff support for the regional volunteer committee and other lead donor activity in the geographic area.
  • Assist in research and preparation of donor and prospect briefings for senior volunteers and staff solicitors working with donors and prospects in the Pacific Coast.
  • Work with volunteers, Development, Western Regional, and other Alliance staff to coordinate events and other cultivation activities for donors/prospective donors.
  • Work with the Western Regional staff to help them achieve their individual fundraising goals, including strategy development and major gifts coaching/training as needed.
  • Meet regularly with staff and Board members of land trusts within the Pacific Coast to build collaborative, mutually supportive relationships.  Coordinating with field staff, serve as an ambassador for the Alliance with its member organizations.
  • Participate in all Alliance, general development, individual giving, and Western Regional meetings as assigned.
  • Input into iMIS database all relevant information related to individual portfolio.

Key Metrics

  • Donor engagement: number of personal meetings with prospects and volunteers; number of individuals engaged through events and activities; and portfolio development.
  • Revenue: Value of unrestricted, restricted and campaign gifts; number of solicitations; and success rate of solicitations.


  • Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of six years development experience in individual major gifts fundraising, including significant experience with face-to-face solicitations and demonstrated success in securing five- and six-figure gifts from individuals.  Experience with seven-figure gifts a plus.
  • Significant experience working with boards and/or other leadership groups.
  • Superb verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively without daily supervision and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work quickly, meet deadlines and multi-task.
  • Organized and attentive to details.
  • Willingness to travel extensively.
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule including occasional weekends.
  • Experienced with prospect research.
  • Computer proficiency, especially with Microsoft Office and database programs.
  • Passion for saving land a must.  Knowledge of private land conservation techniques and/or land trusts highly desirable.
  • An understanding of the landscape and culture of the west is strongly preferred.


Competitive salary and benefits provided commensurate with experience.


Send resume, cover letter and three references via email to If email is not an option, applications will be accepted by mail to Human Resources Manager, Land Trust Alliance, 1660 L Street NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036.

The Land Trust Alliance’s mission is to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America.  The Land Trust Alliance is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or marital status.

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