Photo: Matt Champlin

Employment Opportunity: Director of Development and Communications

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) seeks a strategic and creative leader to serve as its next Director of Development and Communications.

Job Description

Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director, the Director of Development and Communications (DoD) is responsible for the management, oversight, and integration of all fundraising and communications programs including a department of four employees. Fundraising responsibilities include securing public and private sources of funding to support an annual operating budget of over $2 million and frequent project campaigns. The DoD will oversee communications that both promote and raise support for conservation, including managing two websites, a printed newsletter, social media, e-newsletters, press releases, and additional outreach. The DoD is part of a leadership team that includes the Directors of Stewardship, Conservation, and Operations, headed by the Executive Director.


  • Lead the strategic management of a comprehensive development and communications program. Use data to optimize effort and approaches.
  • Build and advance strong relationships with FLLT members and friends that result in philanthropic contributions including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Lead the FLLT’s major gifts program, planned giving, annual fund, and any other special project fundraising.
  • Responsible for a portfolio of major donors.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, relevant board committees, and volunteers in planning and executing strategic initiatives with a focus on the integration of long-term development strategies. Engage the Board of Directors to maximize their impact.
  • Work with staff and volunteers to research and identify individual, business, corporate, and foundation prospects.
  • Coordinate private and public foundation and corporate relations programming, including grant writing and reporting.
  • Supervise a team that includes the Assistant Director of Development and Community Engagement, Assistant Director of Communications, Development Associate, Development Assistant, and consultants.
  • Oversee donor acknowledgment and database systems.
  • Develop and modify, on an ongoing basis, a comprehensive marketing and communications program which currently includes but is not limited to marketing strategies, messaging and branding, social media, events, and website development. Work closely with consultants on communication strategies and web site design and maintenance.
  • Create heightened visibility of the organization with the general public and targeted conservation sector allies.
  • Develop a full understanding of the FLLT’s mission, strategic initiatives, projects, and programs.


  • Strong fundraising, organizational, leadership, interpersonal and communications skills.
  • Demonstrated track record in nonprofit fundraising, especially individual gift fundraising and development program management.
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively.
  • Experience in writing or supervising foundation, government, and corporate grants.
  • Excellent analytical, writing, oral presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a high level of responsibility and work independently.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours and travel throughout the region.
  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of experience in development, individual fundraising, or closely related experience- nonprofit experience a plus.
  • Experience with donor databases, planned giving, appeals, press releases, and print and digital media communications.

Additional Information:

The Finger Lakes Land Trust is a non-profit conservation organization that protects more than 30,000 acres of undeveloped lakeshore, gorges, forests, meadows, and farmlands. The FLLT owns and manages a network of nature preserves that are open to the public and holds conservation easements on properties that remain in private ownership.

The organization focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The FLLT has 20 dedicated staff members and more than 200 active volunteers.

This full-time position salaried position is located in Ithaca, NY with a salary range of $80-110K, commensurate with experience. The Finger Lakes Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other legally protected characteristics. We encourage people of all backgrounds to apply, including (but not limited to) people of color, women, LGBTQ+, veterans, people with differing abilities, and those with lived experience.

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to MeghannWhitaker@FLLT.ORG with the title “Director of Development and Communications” in the subject line.

This position will be open until filled.