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Director of Development

Reno NV

Sierra Nevada Journeys (SNJ) is seeking a Development Director based in our Reno, Nev. office to lead a committed and successfully growing development team to fund important learning experiences for our community’s youth. Sierra Nevada Journeys has grown rapidly in our 11-year history, now serving over 30,000 kids annually. The next phase of our growth over the next three years will focus on launching a capital campaign this summer to purchase the Grizzly Creek Ranch that we have leased and run for eight years, and growing donor support for programs accessible to all kids across the regions we serve. The Development Director will be responsible for developing and implementing aggressive fundraising plans to successfully achieve these two growth goals. As a member of the SNJ Staff Leadership team, the Development Director is responsible programs including the Campaign and Annual Fundraising Goals. A successful candidate should be able to identify and develop supporters in the Sacramento and Reno areas. Having the ability to work closely with the CEO and SNJ’s board is also critical to the candidate’s success.The Development Director will lead a team comprised of program support team members attuned to fundraising, and a staff including a California Gifts Officer, Grant Writer, and Development Coordinator. As the Development Director, you have the opportunity to lead a successful team to new heights, all while working within a compelling mission and strong culture of accountability and quality.



Sierra Nevada Journeys is built on a simple premise: Science education is a necessity, and nature’s classroom is a great place to teach it. Our full mission statement is to deliver innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. To achieve this mission, Sierra Nevada Journeys offers a range of programming, serving more than 30,000 kids annually:

Our credentialed teachers create innovative, engaging curriculum for 1st - 6th graders, teach in the classroom, and lead field expeditions.

We host students, teachers, and families at our Outdoor School located at Grizzly Creek Ranch, near Portola, CA, and run an epic summer camp for 8 - 17 year olds.

We train teachers on how to bring engaging STEM lessons to their classrooms as well as how to utilize the outdoor classroom.

Through our Family Science/STEM Nights, we involve families to reinforce classroom concepts.

Here at Sierra Nevada Journeys we believe that outdoor science education is not just a luxury but a necessity. More than 55 percent of the students we serve are from low-income families, and building capacity to fundraise enables us to help under-served students across our region.



Our program participants reflect the diversity within our communities, and we value the same on our staff. Whether you’re an urbanite or mountain (wo)man, from the east coast, west coast, North Pole or Mars, you’ll fit right in. Though we come from all sorts of places, what bonds the Sierra Nevada Journeys’ family is a deep commitment to our mission and the professional skillset to execute it.

Sierra Nevada Journeys does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. We proactively seek a diverse workplace to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve, and therefore members of ethnic minorities and other protected classes are encouraged to apply.



Sierra Nevada Journeys has three locations: Grizzly Creek Ranch (science camp) in Portola, CA, and two offices for education delivery and fundraising in Reno, NV and Sacramento, CA. We serve students along the I-80 corridor from Davis, CA to Fallon, NV, with the majority of students clustered around our three locations.



Develop and manage SNJ’s annual fundraising objectives, development policies, and budgets and forecasts.

Manage a successful Capital Campaign in close coordination with a campaign consultant, campaign committees, and CEO. The Feasibility Study and initial planning for the Campaign is currently being conducted and projected to be completed this July.

Develop and execute the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for individuals, foundations, and corporations above the $10,000 level. Personally steward a portfolio of donors and prospects; schedule and conduct prospective calls to drive increased major donor engagement in SNJ’s work.

Conduct engagement and outreach to high net worth individuals engaged in SNJ programs.

Maintain deep knowledge of SNJ programs and fiscal needs in order to identify donor engagement opportunities; work with the management team to maintain a current list of program and capital needs and project priorities.

Work with Marketing staff to develop and oversee strategies and tactics for stewardship, communications and mass solicitations, web-based fundraising, monthly giving, and program alumni engagement.

Ensure development strategies and philanthropic philosophies are embedded throughout the organization, including training, coaching and inspiring staff, board members and other interested parties towards the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors.

Lead and coordinate the work plan for Development programs; assign projects; monitor work flow; review and evaluate work products, policies, methods and procedures.

Supervise SNJ’s proposal and grant submission efforts by ensuring the development team has efficient systems, well designed templates, and effective coordination with the programs team.



A minimum of five+ years in a fundraising management or major gifts role, demonstrating success in donor cultivation and stewardship, as well as knowledge of development techniques, principles, and ethics.

Demonstrated record of accomplishment meeting and exceeding fundraising growth goals using both grants and major gifts.

Management experience required.

Experience working directly in a successful capital campaign preferred.

This job will require travel to Sacramento and Portola, CA, rarely overnight.



Competitive salary depends on experience. Includes comprehensive benefits package.

Great team, dynamic culture, meaningful impacts.

Innovative organization focused on building the next generation of leaders, scientists and stewards.



Please send a your resume and cover letter to jobs@sierranevadajourneys.org with the subject line “LAST NAME, Development.” Please mention how you learned of this opening.

We are proud to be a 2014-2017 finalist for Best Places to Work, and a GuideStar Gold Rated non-profit.

Posted June 5, 2018

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