Posted On: 2018-11-21
Closing On: 2018-12-14
Location: Atlantic Region
Employment Type: Full-Time
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Job Description


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s largest land conservation organization. We work with communities, individuals, foundations, corporations, governments and other partners to protect native animals and ecologically significant lands through the purchase, donation or placing of conservation easements. Our conservation success is built upon four essential components: conservation science, land securement, ongoing land stewardship, and community engagement. The science-based long term approach is what makes NCC unique. 

We are seeking a Senior Development Officer, Atlantic Region to focus exclusively on building a prospect pipeline and securing major gifts which further the mission of the NCC. This is a crucial role in ensuring the future of nature conservation in Canada.

The SDO will have the unique opportunity to visit with, and bring prospects and donors to our project sites, ensuring a strong first-hand relationship to NCC and our work.

This is an exciting time to join NCC! With the launch of the Landmark Campaign, we are making a significant investment in growing our Development team across the country. This is NCC’s largest fundraising campaign in its 50-plus year history.

This position will be located at one of NCC’s Atlantic regional offices in Halifax, Moncton, Saint John or Fredericton.



Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have protected 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) of land across Canada of the highest ecological value, and conducted on-site stewardship to protect the species it sustains.

NCC takes a collaborative, science-based approach to achieve conservation success. With a national office in Toronto and regional offices across the country, NCC delivers results you can walk on.

Vision: We envision a world in which Canadians conserve nature in all its diversity, and safeguard the lands and waters that sustain life.

Mission: The Nature Conservancy of Canada leads and inspires others to join us in creating a legacy for future generations by conserving important natural areas and biological diversity across all regions of Canada.

Values: Wherever we work across Canada, we share and apply the following values:

  • Durable conservation outcomes. While respecting nature’s processes, we manage lands and waters for their natural values today and for the long term. We believe future generations deserve to inherit a biologically rich world.
  • Evidence-based decision-making. We are guided by the best available conservation science. We are committed to continuous learning, and to finding practical, resourceful and innovative solutions to conservation challenges.
  • Respect for nature and people. We respect the needs, values and culture of local communities. We seek conservation solutions that meet the needs of nature and people. Conservation supports prosperous and sustainable communities.
  • Integrity first. We work to the highest ethical and professional standards. We are transparent and accountable to our supporters. We earn trust by living up to our commitments.
  • Conservation through collaboration and cooperation. Our commitment to community and to partners makes us strong. We strive to be open to the ideas of others so that together we can achieve conservation outcomes that benefit all. We work in the spirit of collaboration. We celebrate each other’s successes.

Our conservation process has been fine-tuned over decades of on-the-ground work, and continues to evolve to meet our changing needs. NCC’s on-the-ground work is led by a team of conservation science professionals who work to identify, plan and execute the protection of the best of Canada’s natural spaces and manage and restore them for the long term. This process ensures that our conservation actions (like buying land, managing invasive species or mapping the location of rare species) are efficient and effective.

Through our conservation process, NCC has identified close to 100 natural areas that are critical for the protection of Canada’s natural habitats and species. Our goal is to advance conservation within these priority areas, which guides our work from year to year.


Highlights from the Past Year:

  • NCC continued to make progress against its long-term goals, with 62 additional properties acquired, totalling 22,186 acres, plus important investments made for the future.
  • Recognition of the need to expand our fundraising capacity to ensure that the financial resources are available to meet our ambitious goals.
  • NCC has further increased its Stewardship and Science Endowment Funds to more than $123 million, in addition to maintaining prudent operational reserves.
  • Significant progress realized in making NCC properties more widely available to Canadians.
  • Expanding our direct conservation goals to set more targets for collaborating with partners, working with Indigenous communities, providing tools and training to the land trust movement and expanding our focus to cover northern Canada. We are also launching new initiatives to encourage more Canadians to visit our properties, always respecting that conservation comes first.
  • We have updated NCC’s five-year strategic plan, which outlines short-term (annual) and longer-term goals against which we can measure our performance. By reporting against these goals or key performance indicators on a quarterly basis to our Board of Directors, we keep watch over the course we are steering, correcting as necessary to stay on target.



NCC has launched the Landmark Campaign with a goal of $750 million. It is the largest fundraising campaign in NCC’s 50 plus year history.  Donor investment is vital in enabling NCC to:

1) Conserve more land faster.

2) Connect more Canadians to nature.

3) Inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.

Through these three pillars, donor dollars will enable NCC to:


Conserve Canada’s Lands and Waters

  • Conserve an additional 3.2 million acres and the species they sustain, more than doubling NCC’s total lands conserved.
  • Eliminate or control invasive species, restore rare habitats, assist in the recovery of species at risk and improve the quality of fresh water
  • Advance conservation in Canada’s north
  • Fund three urban/near-urban projects in the Atlantic region so that once completed, 1 in 3 Atlantic Canadians will have an NCC reserve where they live.  Conserving critical habitat in and near cities also contributes to the quality of life of the citizens forever, ensuring green space will be there even as the city expands and grows:
  • Freshwater Bay, NL:  A 243 acre land donation by the Crosbie Group at the next harbour south of St. John’s – just 10 minutes from the downtown core. The land is incredibly important forest and buffer for seabird colonies – however the land is currently zoned industrial. The famous East Coast Trail passes through the property.
  • Halifax Wilderness Park:  A partner project between NCC, The Shaw Group, and the Halifax Regional Municipality to establish a 379 ac wilderness park. Minutes away from the city centre and on the bus route. The area is home over 40 species of breeding birds and has extremely rare habitat – jack pine and broom-crowberry barrens.
  • Musquash Estuary Reserve:  Over the last ten years, NCC has protected over 5,000 acres at the Musquash Estuary reserve – Making it NCC’s original ‘urban/near urban’ project in Atlantic Canada. NCC’s largest nature reserve in Atlantic Canada, and New Brunswick’s only Maritime Protected Area, we have the opportunity to continue expanding this reserve by conserving an additional 400 acres of forest and cobble beach.


Connect Canadians to Nature

  • Provide Canadians with opportunities to spend more time in nature, so that they may appreciate its value and commit to its conservation.
  • Launch our Nature Destinations program, enabling Canadians to access 50 of NCC’s properties across Canada by 2020, representing our most significant remaining forests, grasslands, mountains, lakes, rivers and coasts.
  • Engage 3,000 volunteers annually across the country through our Conservation Volunteers program.


Inspire the Next Generation

  • Double the size of the Conservation Interns program, providing hands-on paid opportunities for 100 post-secondary students and recent graduates per year in conservation biology and related fields.
  • Establish a conservation academy to deliver professional training and development to the next generation of conservation leaders, and a thought-leadership hub for global experts.
  • Implement a national conservation research initiative to engage key academics and scientists.


Financial Goals

  • The average annual goal for the Atlantic Regional Office is $4.5 million, with a campaign goal of $50 million to support:
  • Property acquisitions in priority natural areas in all 4 Atlantic provinces, resulting in the conservation of an additional 20,000acres of forest, coastal, and wetland habitats.
  • Developing a Freshwater Resource tool with over 75 partner groups to assess, identify priorities and manage our freshwater resources in eastern QC, NB, NS and PEI.
  • Establishing and promoting 10 Nature destinations in the region.
  • Providing more than a dozen opportunities for community members to contribute, hands on, to conservation in the regional through the conservation volunteer program. Establishing an expanded volunteer program within the region for those that may not be able to access an NCC reserve but still want to make a difference.
  • Mentoring the leaders of tomorrow through annual, seasonal internships.





NCC is responding to a need – conservation – that continues to grow. Recognizing the urgency of that need, we are driven to do more, better, and faster, to keep pace with the world around us. This means we must connect with and inspire new audiences with our stories of success. We must also engage with more people and more organizations that have the willingness and capacity to help us achieve even greater levels of conservation.

Ultimately, the approach NCC takes to raising funds to support its mission is not about the numbers alone, but about the passion that guides NCC in what we do. Our true success will be evident not by our progress against annual targets, but by the level of trust and commitment we achieve among Canadians, and others around the world, who choose to invest in us.

Here are some of the fundraising initiatives and support projects we have launched:

  • We are making significant investments in fundraising infrastructure to improve fundraising capacity, including hiring additional fundraisers and support staff across the country.
  • Increasing access to technology support.
  • Continuing to grow and develop NCC’s Landmark campaign.
  • Increasing the visibility of core NCC giving programs, such as the nature legacy society, to increase awareness of NCC’s charitable giving opportunities.
  • Continuing to evolve Nature Talks, our nation-wide speakers’ series; and
  • Increasing NCC’s visibility among various social media channels to reach new donors.

Last year, overall revenue was $76.9 million, with 79 per cent of that revenue invested directly in core program areas of land securement, stewardship and science.

Revenue sources were:

  • Donations and grants: $58.5 million
  • Donations of conservation lands and agreements: $8.5 million 
  • Proceeds from property sales: $1 million
  • Other (e.g. investment income): $8.7 million



The SDOs are responsible for working in collaboration with the development teams to build and execute strategic, long-range cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans for current and prospective major donors. The successful incumbents will:

  • Identify, cultivate and solicit individuals, foundations and corporations for gifts of $10,000 (minimum), with a focus on securing gifts of $100,000+.
  • Actively build and manage a regional portfolio of 125-150 prospects and donors.
  • Commit to key performance targets of 100-125 face-to-face calls and 30-45 solicitations annually.
  • Develop annual work plans and budgets in keeping with NCC’s annual targets.
  • Create proposals, gift and sponsorship agreements, and related materials in collaboration with Marketing and Communications colleagues to ensure the highest standard of communications.
  • Document information related to major prospects and donors in Raiser’s Edge, including inputting, updating, reporting and moves management tracking.
  • Ensure that proper recognition and stewardship practices are implemented based on the level of donation and gift direction.
  • Support the execution of and attend major donor events and cultivate and steward attendees.
  • Work with Regional Board members, and identify and attract new fundraising volunteers to assist with prospect identification and solicitation.
  • Work with regional and national colleagues on common prospects and joint initiatives.
  • Work in collaboration with senior science, stewardship and securement staff to develop, track and report on funding proposals.
  • Contribute to the strategic direction of the department and advise on industry best practises.
  • Be knowledgeable and/or have awareness of conservation issues.
  • Provide expertise and serve as a role model for colleagues relative to best practices for relationship development and management.
  • Be passionate about the role and mission of NCC.



  • Demonstrated track record of cultivating, soliciting and closing five and six figure gifts.
  • Proven track record building a donor pipeline, and determining appropriate approach/strategies, including timing, giving interests, and request amount.
  • Exceptional communications skills in English.  Ability to communicate in both of Canada’s official languages will be considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience developing meaningful relationships with people from all walks of life.
  • Self-directed, motivated and a proactive thinker with an action-oriented mindset 
  • Excellent writing skills, including a demonstrated ability to generate accurately-researched and persuasive proposals, gift agreements, business correspondence and donor acknowledgements.
  • Flexible, adaptable and tolerant of ambiguity with the ability to excel in an evolving organization.
  • Highly analytical and detail-oriented with superior time management skills and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Work well within a team structure.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Raiser’s Edge and a demonstrated ability to learn new software applications efficiently.
  • Ability to work within a flexible schedule, including travel and occasional weekends and evenings.
  • Adept at conflict resolution and problem solving.
  • Related university degree or comparable combination of education and work experience.
  • A CFRE designation is considered an asset.
  • A valid driver’s license is required for travel within the local region.



To learn more about these opportunities at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, please contact Sylvie Battisti, Vice President, Search Practice at 438-820-3496 or via email at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. To apply, please send a resume and letter of interest, to the email address listed above by December 14, 2018. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis so early submission is encouraged.

To view the full Position Brief, please visit:

NCC is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.