TITLE: Associate Director, California Major Gifts and Communications
CLASSIFICATION: Associate Director II
DEPARTMENT: Advancement
REPORTS TO: Director of Philanthropy, Western Region
LOCATION:Nevada City, California (other northern California locations may be considered)


Named one of the best groups to support in 2017 by “Outside” magazine, American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 275,000 members, supporters and volunteers. American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance. For more information please visit www.americanrivers.org.

American Rivers embraces and celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do. Rivers Connect Us is more than just our tagline. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field. The life experiences, knowledge, innovation, and talent that each individual brings to our work provides perspectives, experiences, and competencies which are critical to our effectiveness in protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature.


The Associate Director, California Major Gifts and Communications assists with the coordination and implementation of California-based activities to both raise the visibility of American Rivers and build financial support. Reporting to the Director of Philanthropy for the Western Region, and working closely with the National Communications Director and the California Director, the successful candidate will be responsible for helping develop a California major donor pipeline, coordinate communications messaging to consistently articulate California program successes to key external audiences, and assist with California River Council and other cultivation events. This is an exciting opportunity to work with a talented, high-energy team of professionals who are making a difference in the field of conservation.


  • Assists with developing and implementing a customized qualification program of California-based major donor prospects via data analysis, prospect research, mail/email contacts, phone calls and visits.
  • Assists in expansion of the California River Council, planning and implementing meetings and coordinating communications with members.
  • Participates in planning and implementing donor cultivation events.
  • Assists with drafting written proposals for support, funding reports, thank you letters and donor cultivation materials.
  • Maintains accurate and timely donor records in the donor database and shared files.
  • Works with the National Communications Director, and California Regional Director to develop and implement a communication and outreach strategy to advance conservation goals and grow our list of supporters in California, and inspire national audiences about California successes.
  • Develops compelling written and visual content to engage audiences via online, email, print materials, social media and earned media.
  • Works closely with program staff to thoroughly understand and expertly articulate American Rivers’ mission, vision and priorities to donors and prospects.


  • Bachelor’s degree with emphasis in English or related communications field, environmental studies, or appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of three years of experience in the communications or conservation field, ideally with environmental, river or water issues.
  • Basic understanding of California river and water issues.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to effectively communicate, maintain confidentiality, and build relationships with high-net worth individuals, agency and legislative representatives and the media.
  • Familiarity with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Experience with donor databases such as ROI, Sales Force, Blackbaud, etc.
  • Video and photography skills, and experience with InDesign or similar graphic design software a plus.
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal skills, a good sense of humor and a sense of adventure.
  • Initiative, coupled with creative and strategic thinking. An insightful, curious, pragmatic, and strategic mind.
  • Willingness to travel throughout Northern California.
  • Personal commitment to American Rivers mission.


This is a grant-dependent position with funding secured for two years. Salary is commensurate with experience. Full‐time employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time.


While it is preferred that the position be located in either the Nevada City or Berkeley office, the successful candidate may reside and work remotely from anywhere in the Northern California Megaregion, including Sacramento and the Tahoe/Truckee/Reno area.


Applications will be considered immediately. Please submit a resume and cover letter addressing required qualifications at https://americanrivers.bamboohr.com/jobs/. No phone calls please.

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.