Director, Government Funding

Environmental Defense Fund
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Aug 06

Position description

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.

Overall Function

The Director of Government Funding will lead EDF’s full suite of government fundraising efforts.  The Director will use her/his deep knowledge of the government funding landscape (multilaterals and bilaterals) to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy and set of initiatives to grow EDF’s government funding portfolio, with a focus on international opportunities. The Director will advance EDF’s mission by increasing the reach and impact of the organization’s work: strengthening and/or building relationships with key partners and others, raising the visibility of our leaders and experts, and demonstrating our reputation for excellence and expertise.  The Director will manage a government grants team within the Institutional Giving subgroup of EDF’s Development Department, providing strategic and administrative guidance to ensure team members’ effective performance and success.

Department, Location and Reporting  

The Institutional Giving team sits within EDF’s growing Development Department. The Development Department raises 90% of EDF’s $200M+ budget annually; the Institutional Giving team is responsible for raising about half of the department’s revenue.

This position will be located in EDF’s Washington, DC, New York or London office and will report to the VP of Institutional Giving.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategic plan to build out and grow EDF’s government funding portfolio, focusing in particular on international opportunities.
  • Represent EDF in meetings and other engagement opportunities with government funding staff.
  • Serve as EDF’s lead government funding knowledge expert, keeping apprised of priorities, trends, changes and innovations in the government funding arena.
  • Partner with program, executive and finance staff to secure and skillfully manage six-to eight-figure gifts from government funders to support the work and mission of EDF.
  • Conduct a range of development activities including:
    • Serving as the lead to cultivate and steward a small portfolio of high-level government funders, while leading and coaching direct reports in their donor management efforts.
    • Collaborating effectively with program staff, writers and others to prepare high quality proposals, reports and other communications to government funders.
    • Preparing strategic briefing materials for funder meetings.
    • Ensuring accurate financial projections and donor information.
    • Leveraging the resources of department-wide research and donor engagement (communications/events) teams as appropriate.
  • Directly manage a small Government Funding team:
    • Provide leadership and direction to team members to enhance solicitation, cultivation, stewardship and outreach strategies.
    • Work with team members to develop and implement strategic work plans and communications for current and prospective government funders.
    • Ensure the team has the appropriate resources (i.e. training, support, tools, etc.) to meet fundraising objectives and carry out their responsibilities.
    • Support and mentor staff, including delegating and overseeing work, and, as appropriate, providing guidance to ensure performance expectations are achieved and operations run smoothly.
  • Maintain a strong working knowledge of EDF’s program work to effectively represent, through written and oral communications, a wide array of regional, national, and international environmental programs to inspire government funders to support EDF.
  • Maintain extensive and ongoing internal communication with the Development Department, program staff, finance and administration staff, and at times the executive team, to ensure coordination and smooth execution of government funding opportunities.
  • Draw on extensive experience, sound judgment, and input from program staff and development leadership to make a wide range of independent and collaborative decisions.
  • Work effectively and strategically with staff EDF-wide.



  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • A minimum of 10 years demonstrated success and increasing responsibilities in non-profit government fundraising, including a strong track record of securing gifts from international government funders.
  • Knowledge of and comfort with officials and experts in the government funding arena.
  • Experience successfully leading, managing and mentoring high performing teams.
  • Proven ability to think strategically, work collaboratively and maintain humor and grace under pressure.
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills; well-formed listening and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to work effectively across a growing, dynamic organization and among geographically-dispersed colleagues.
  • Strong computer literacy, including Word, Excel, and donor management databases.
  • The ability to travel as needed, especially for US-based candidates.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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