Director Of Advancement Operations

The League just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and has gone through a strategic planning process, establishing goals and metrics through 2016. The very first priority is to “strengthen fund development and our culture of philanthropy.” An incoming Director of Advancement Operations will have the opportunity to work with a team committed to building a culture of philanthropy and is bought into the value proposition inherent in a solid development enterprise.

Ultimately, the incoming Director of Advancement Operations will play a significant role in the mission of the Alaska Wilderness League – to impact the future of this extraordinary treasure trove of lands, set aside decades ago to be protected now and in the future for the benefit of the American people. The incoming Director’s work, dedication and strategic partnership with the staff and Board of Directors will create a long-lasting legacy in the preservation of Alaska’s amazing public lands.

Position Description

Reporting to the Deputy Director, the Director of Advancement Operations will be responsible for organizing and managing advancement operations in support of the overall fundraising strategy.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan Implementation for Advancement – Manage and monitor the implementation of the advancement plan. This entails regularly reviewing outcomes and success measures, communicating them with the team, and facilitating action steps.
  • Supervise Gift Processing, Gift Acknowledgement, and Data Management (including reconciliation and reporting) – Ensure that gift records are accurate and well organized. Ensure that processing and acknowledgement are appropriate and timely.
  • Budgeting, Reporting, and Evaluation – Facilitate the development of the annual advancement budget and track monthly through the year.
  • Annual Leadership Giving – Implement an effective strategy to grow annual leadership giving through growth in average size of donor’s gifts and the recruitment of new donors annually.
  • Direct Appeal and Membership – Ensure that the annual giving and membership campaigns are strategic and well managed. Ensure that all mailings are planned well in advance and coordinated. Ensure that deliberate decisions are made about to whom, about what, and when. Ensure that strategies exist for the inclusion or exclusion of prospects and donors from annual giving and membership.
  • Corporate Relations – Develop the corporate giving program to include sponsorships and cause-related marketing strategies. Increase the support through recruitment of new corporate donors and the development of strategies that increase average contributions and grants.
  • Events- Ensure that all advancement events are well planned and managed; and that they donor-centered—use to strengthen the fundraising program through identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Communications and Publications – Organize and manage communications in order to effectively communicate target messages to key audiences; integrate messages and calendar with direct appeal.
  • Advancement Communications and Publications – Collaborate with the Director of Communications and her team to develop stories of the newsletter and other publications for fundraising purposes. Ensure that donor stewardship communications are robust and donor-centered, ensuring that all donors feel connected and appreciated.
  • Planning- Participate in the preparation of an annual plan, which includes a review of the year’s activities and sets specific goals and objectives for the next and future fiscal years.
  • Reports – Generate reports that track and/or demonstrate progress toward goals. This includes fundraising reports for the board, prospect tracking reports for management, and reports on progress against plan for management.
  • Work to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and ownership of the values, vision, and mission of the organization to reinforce a common sense of purpose among the team.
  • Work and travel as necessary to successfully meet established goals and objectives.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Desired Experience and Personal Characteristics

  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in nonprofit development operations, with a demonstrated understanding of how to grow and maintain the critical, “behind the scenes” aspects of a results-driven development shop, including: annual leadership giving, direct appeal, membership, corporate relations, event management, advancement communications, budget and reporting management, prospect tracking, database management, gift processing and acknowledgement;
  • Demonstrated ability to fundraise within an advocacy organization;
  • Ability to work with and optimize Raiser’s Edge;
  • Understands the purpose and core values of the League; is invested in the mission and vision of the organization;
  • Takes time to listen and respond; tunes into people;
  • Aware of self and others, handles criticism, accepts mistakes, possesses strong self-esteem;
  • Honest, forthright, possesses positive values;
  • Manages stress and workload, treats others without rancor, maintains composure and is polite;
  • Sensible, realistic, deploys practical solutions and resources economically and effectively;
  • Exhibits strong organizational skills- plans, schedules, prioritizes, anticipates, and builds scenarios.

The Alaska Wilderness League has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search. Please send your resume, expression of interest, and salary history to:

Chris Spagnola, Senior Recruiting Associate
ThinkingAhead Executive Search

Senior Campaign Director

Position Summary
Alaska Wilderness League is seeking a Senior Campaign Director to oversee several of the League’s federal land and water protection campaigns. This person will help guide the overall strategic direction of the campaigns, will coordinate the efforts of staff, and will act as lobbyist and spokesperson for the program on the hill, in the administration and to the press. The Senior Campaign Director reports to the Director of Conservation Programs and will be based in DC. Some travel is required.


  • Provide Campaign Leadership – Must have a working knowledge of all League
    issues and in-depth knowledge on lead campaigns. Continually engage in and monitor
    relevant issues and advise on the strategic direction of campaigns, determining League
    strategies in the context of broader conservation community efforts.
  • Coordinate Campaign Staff – Inspire and facilitate staff across the League to
    develop and execute successful conservation campaigns. Encourage communication
    between staff and manage campaign workflow.
  • Campaign Representative – Lead and facilitate the League’s campaigns within
    the broader conservation community. Act as spokesperson on the Hill, with the
    administration and with the media.
  • Staff Management – Directly manage support staff and campaign interns.


Primary Qualifications/Skills/Expertise/Experience Required:

  • Technical skills – BA or BS, 10-plus years of experience participating in and/or
    leading multi-dimensional advocacy or political campaigns with working knowledge of
    direct advocacy, media, grassroots, collaboration, coalition-building and negotiation.
    Knowledge of the legislative and administrative process. Strong communications,
    leadership and motivational skills. Ability to work and react in a busy, fast-paced
  • Strategic Leadership – Learn and track multiple issues at once. Able to see the whole picture and how the pieces fit together among multiple issues. Have a strategic vision and gain staff support for that vision. Prioritize efforts to generate the greatest net value to the organization. Experienced and comfortable at all levels of campaigns, from leading at administration meetings to engaging in local grassroots efforts.
  • Approachable and Available Manner – Maintain effective working relationships with people internal and external to the organization.
  • Hard Working, Committed and Willing to Have Fun – Creative, innovative, opportunistic and persistent. Willing to perform your own administrative tasks such as copying, filing, etc. Interested in exploring ways to do things better. Strong preference to work in a team.

To Apply
Send resume and cover letter, including salary history to, by September 15. Please send two examples of your work that we might find useful. Your cover letter should answer the following questions:

1. What are the strengths that you bring to this job and evidence of them?
2. Describe a challenge you have overcome.
3. Why is this the ideal job for you?

Salary and benefits commensurate with experience. Health and retirement benefits.
Alaska Wilderness League is an equal opportunity employer.


Communications Intern

Alaska Wilderness League is looking for an unpaid communications intern for the summer to assist our communications team in Washington, DC. Interns can expect to gain a comprehensive introduction into the communications of political advocacy at the federal level. Specific tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Generating and updating online content
  • Keeping the League’s social media outlets up-to-date and engaging with members
  • Organizing the League’s media libraries, including online and hard copy resources
  • Assisting with public relations, correspondence, and general office tasks as they arise
  • Some administrative tasks including database updating and printing outreach materials

Upperclassmen or recent college graduates with degrees in Political Science, Communications, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, or other relevant fields are encouraged to apply. Graduate students are also strongly encouraged to apply. Flexible scheduling is available.

Application Instructions:
Candidates should e-mail resume and writing sample to Brian McLane at Brian[at]

Government Affairs Intern

Alaska Wilderness League is looking for unpaid government affairs interns for both spring and fall semesters as well as the summer to assist our government relations team in Washington. Interns can expect to gain a comprehensive introduction into political advocacy at the federal level. Specific tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Conduct research on and analyze federal legislation, state and federal public law and conservation strategies
  • Prepare written memos and other documents
  • Attend weekly strategy meetings
  • Attend meetings and hearings on Capitol Hill
  • Congressional outreach through information drops, phone calls, and e-mails
  • Prepare weekly newsletters on upcoming Hill activities
  • Some administrative tasks including database updating and printing outreach materials
  • Additionally, interns are encouraged to attend Senate and House committee hearings of interest.

Upperclassmen or recent college graduates with degrees in Political Science, Communications, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, or other relevant fields are encouraged to apply. Graduate students and law students are also strongly encouraged to apply. Flexible scheduling is available.

Application Instructions:
Candidates should e-mail resume to Brian McLane at Brian[at]