Vice President of Development

Reporting to: Executive Vice President
Supporting: ELM and the ELM Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) and the ELM Action Fund (ELM AF) are committed to advocating for policy and building political power in Massachusetts to meet the scale and urgency of our environmental challenges. ELM has created a new Vice President of Development role to position both organizations for growth. The Vice President of Development will be an integral member of a collegial and effective 13-person advocacy team. Read our purpose, mission, vision, and values for ELM and the ELM Action Fund.

We seek a passionate, energetic, and effective senior-level Vice President of Development to be the backbone of their fundraising efforts. The right candidate is motivated by the opportunity to shape organizational strategy and is excited to roll up their sleeves and help implement it. The scope includes strategic elements and significant donor-facing components. The Vice President of Development will recognize that their work is at the very heart of driving equitable environmental progress and will find meaning, purpose, and energy from this essential role.

The Vice President of Development will report to ELM’s Executive Vice President and collaborate closely with ELM’s President and the ELM Action Fund’s Executive Director. They will be initially supported by a development staff member and interns, as well as each organization’s Board and the ELM Advisory Council. There is a budget line-item allocated to add another member to the Development team in 2023.

Strategic Vision & Planning

  • Plan, organize, and direct a comprehensive development and advancement program that utilizes the strengths and networks of the staff and board, and includes major donors, significant institutional gifts, planned gifts, events, and special campaigns
  • Create strategic development plans for ELM, ELM AF, ELM AF PAC and IE PAC, with support from staff and board
    • Enhance and improve current development program with new ideas and innovative strategies
    • Identify and cultivate opportunities to recognize donors and attract new funding
    • Expand and diversify our supporter base, and work to build the Development program to reflect the organization’s values of equity and justice
  • Work in partnership with the Board Development Committee and Chair to develop individual Board and Advisory Council member engagement plans
  • Collaborate with ELM’s EVP to expand the ELM Corporate Council and increase private sector philanthropy and sponsorships
  • Prepare fundraising and development campaign budgets

Direct Fundraising & Stewardship

  • Lead and grow ELM’s individual donor program, in close partnership with the ELM President and the ELM Action Fund Executive Director:
    • Steward a portfolio of existing individual donors, including meeting with donors to build relationships and solicit contributions
    • Direct/Focus the ELM President and ELM Action Fund Executive Director and other staff stewarding donors
    • Identify and prioritize new major donors
    • Launch a Planned Giving program
  • Maintain and grow relationships with current and future foundation partners
  • Oversee staff involved in grant-writing and reporting
  • Oversee staff that are managing development events, including annual Earth Night/Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Awards and house parties

Leadership & Management

  • Foster an understanding of fundraising within ELM staff, and build a culture of philanthropy within the Boards of Directors and ELM’s Advisory Council
  • Serve as a senior team member working on issues and opportunities beyond only fundraising
  • Recruit, hire and mentor a strong cohesive team of development professionals
  • Immediately oversee the work of the current development staff member and manage any contractors or vendors assigned to development tasks
  • Partner with communications staff to coordinate and integrate stewardship, e-mails, direct mail, impact reports, and online fundraising


  • Infectious enthusiasm for ELM’s mission
  • Experience building out a balanced development program
  • Deep development experience in the non-profit and/or political sector
  • Track record of identifying, cultivating, and soliciting significant individual and institutional donors
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills. Ability to develop and deliver successful presentations to engage key stakeholders. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately, and concisely. A deep listener
  • Confident in building relationships with high net worth individuals, and able to tailor funding requests to align with donors’ interests and motivations.
  • Understanding of, or ability to learn quickly about, environmental issues, public policy, politics, and their potential to improve the lives of the people of the Commonwealth
  • Collaborative, “all-hands-on deck” orientation around getting work done
  • Dedication to integrity, honesty, collaboration, and transparency
  • Commitment to integrating racial justice and equity into ELM’s work and to ensuring an inclusive organizational culture


  • Fundraising experience for political candidates or a 501c4 entity
  • Experience with and commitment to developing a racially diverse group of donors

Compensation & Benefits:

$150,000 – $180,000, depending on experience. ELM provides generous paid time off, health and dental insurance, Health Savings Account, and a 403(b) retirement plan with organizational match.

This full-time role requires occasional morning and evening commitments outside of the standard 9-5 office hours. The position is based in Boston, MA and will require periodic travel to meet donors and key stakeholders within Massachusetts. ELM supports a hybrid work environment.

The Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to the following Recruiters.

Kay Linder, Partner

Heather Campbell, Partner