Development and Communications Director


Environmental Volunteers (EV) seeks a Development and Communications Director who will manage all aspects of the development and communications office: relationship management, publications, newsletters, annual appeals, special events, direct mail, and online giving. The Development and Communications Director reports to and works closely with the Executive Director to create and implement development strategies and practices that will help EV sustain and grow its operations and fulfill its mission.


The Development and Communications Director (DCD) provides both the overall leadership and the hands-on implementation of EV’s comprehensive fundraising and communications platform. Working in collaboration with staff, the DCD will execute the Environmental Volunteers’ fundraising and communications plan and build public awareness of the EV name and mission. The DCD will use her/his strong writing and engagement skills to broaden awareness of and involvement in the work we do, expand our media and key influencers database, and be proactive in promoting and inspiring our target audiences. The DCD will engage in creative planning and creative development of content that is distributed via collateral, social media, and online outlets.

About Environmental Volunteers

Since 1972, the Environmental Volunteers has been sharing the wonders of environmental science with youth, and sparking their interest in lifelong learning through discovery of the natural world. Annually, our classroom-based science education and field trip programs reach 10,000 San Mateo and Santa Clara County students, grades K-6, and assist their 400 teachers in meeting state education standards. The EcoCenter, our headquarters located in the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, is a community resource for environmental learning and a place that inspires a love of nature and stewardship. We seek a Communications Manager who will be part of the management team that supports our exciting organizational growth.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Strategy: Develops and implements EV’s fundraising strategies. Works closely with the Executive Director on our annual communications plan, outlining specific goals for each contributed income program. Monitors a communications budget. Supports strategic planning, outreach, and community engagement at the EcoCenter.
  • Planning: Design and implement a strategic marketing and communications plan that builds the EV’s presence and profile among diverse audiences including local, corporate, education, science, philanthropic, and non-profit communities. Prepare presentations, speeches, and briefing materials
  • Grants: Working closely with Grants Writer to research and submits applications, writes follow-up reports, and develops relationships with grantors.
  • Corporate: Develops corporate sponsorship relationships including possible paid volunteer opportunities.
  • Brand-work: Work with diverse stakeholders to build a vibrant and compelling visual brand for the EV. Develop relationships with local and regional media outlets andand manage earned media and partner marketing. Produce print and digital collateral such as flyers, posters, brochures, fact sheets, invitations, event materials, displays, digital and print ads, videos, podcasts, etc. Manage photography and storytelling that drives awareness and engagement in the organization’s mission.
  • Program Leadership: and attend community outreach events on-site at the EcoCenter and South Bay offsite and off-site including community fairs, corporate events, etc. Conduct public outreach sessions and regularly meet with educators, community groups, and partner organizations.
  • Special Events: Helps to manage our annual Wake Up to Nature (WUTN) breakfast and all other fundraising events.
  • Direct Mail: Help implement our summer and fall appeal campaigns.
  • Board: Guides the board’s work to reach fundraising goals and actively engages the board in fundraising activities, including the identification of new individual and corporate funding prospects. Manages ongoing reporting to the Board of Directors and serves as staff liaison to board development and WUTN committees.
  • Relationships: Develops and maintains relationships with external partners that promote and deepen community connections to the EV.
  • Media: Develop press releases, public service announcements, and media pieces for digital media, newspapers, radio, and television. Implement marketing and outreach activities for the EV’s public programs at the EcoCenter and in the community, ensuring robust program attendance.
  • Admin: Directs timely and accurate communications to donor concerns, requests, and gifts. Work closely with and help manage our Operations Associate, Volunteer and Donor Stewardship Manager, and Grant Writer.
  • Sharing Expertise: Serve as expert of the EV’s brand and messaging, providing training and support to staff, board, and volunteers. Create and manage the development of content and messaging for a variety of outlets including the EV website, Annual Report, e-newsletters, email blasts, social media, collateral, community outreach, and fundraising campaigns.
  • Measurement: For all activities, track analytics and data aligned with tangible measures of success.


  • Proven organizational and prioritization skills necessary to manage a small development and / or communications office to achieve optimal results. Attention to detail a must.
  • Ability to motivate and coordinate individuals and groups to support EV’s mission.
  • Ability to develop winning strategies for donor communications, cultivation, and solicitation
  • Skilled in using a variety of prospect research tools.
  • Great communication skills, both written and oral. Recognizes and uses best practices in donor communications, ethics and confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated ability to function well as an independent worker and self-starter, team builder, problem-solver and strategic thinker.
  • Capital and annual campaign management experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to function well as an independent worker and self-starter, team builder, problem-solver and strategic thinker.

We are looking for:

  • A warm leader who exudes confidence and care for others, and who builds enduring relationships.
  • A person oriented toward the greater good of the organization and the natural environment.
  • Someone with a respectful and accessible leadership style, self-assured and comfortable with situations of ambiguity, and able to easily relate to a wide range of constituencies.
  • A highly competent team player who finds enjoyment in the work place, and who is honest, open and balanced.
  • An entrepreneurial and resourceful leader who is able to recognize and act on new and potential opportunities.
  • A ‘get-it-done’ attitude who will not only provide strategic direction, but do the nitty-gritty work too.


  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, communications, conservation science, or related field. Open to alternative education equivalents in work experience.
  • 4+ years of communications and direct fundraising management experience including annual fund, donor prospecting and cultivation, major gifts, capital campaign, planned giving, grant writing and restricted gift management.
  • Excellent computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office, DonorPerfect, Salesforce or equivalent database, Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat), and Google Suite
  • Detail-oriented with excellent editing/proofreading skills. Ability to produce error-free work
  • Experience with communications planning, development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Familiarity with WordPress, HTML, and web hosting.
  • Experience in nonprofit fundraising communications.
  • Self-sufficiency with ability to prioritize, manage multiple tasks and responsibilities and meet deadlines
  • Skill in respectful and sensitive interaction with people who are diverse in their socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated skill in multitasking, prioritizing workloads, and working independently.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced evolving environment with a high degree of public contact.
  • Experience with planning and executing small and large events.
  • Creative thinker and problem solver.
  • Team player.
  • High integrity.
  • Creative design experience is a bonus, but not required.
  • Ability to attend events and networking opportunities, including some evenings and weekends.


Salary range is competitive and depends on experience. Excellent benefits package including health, dental, 401K match, and life insurance.


Equal Opportunity Employer. EV provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. EV complies with all applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.


Instructions to apply:

  • Electronic submissions emailed only to:
  • Please include a PDF of your cover letter and resume.
  • In the subject line, please reference your last name, followed by “Communications Manager”
  • No phone calls, please.
  • All interested individuals, including people of color, women, LGBT persons are encouraged to apply.