Development Director

Website Bonsai Leadership Group

Bonsai Leadership Group is excited to support Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project’s search to find their inaugural Development Director.

In 2017, a group of long-time conservation advocates and friends from Las Cruces, New Mexico fed up with feeling tokenized in conservation and outdoor recreation spaces came together to create opportunities for Latinx/Hispanic borderland community members to engage with, access, or learn about public lands and waters.  They wanted to build a sustainable way for historically and deliberately excluded communities to access the outdoors and ensure that their people, history, and values are authentically reflected in public land, water, and conservation management decision making. The team identified a critical gap between mainstream conservation and how non-white groups participate in the outdoors and began hosting events for their community, especially youth, to get outdoors and learn about conservation.

Two years later, the Nuestra Tierra formally established itself as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and spearheaded state and national level policy work that includes but is not limited to; New Mexico Outdoor Equity Fund, leading the national Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E Initiative, co-founding the Monumental Shift Coalition and supporting efforts to permanently protect Boot-heel communities in southern New Mexico and Castner Range in El Paso, Texas.

Nuestra Tierra is a small and growing organization who believes in investing in their team to create a work environment that is challenging, fun, and engaging. They understand without respect, clear and transparent communication, and providing opportunities for growth for their staff, they would not exist.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Development Director is a strategic fundraising professional responsible for the development and oversight of Nuestra Tierra’s $2M fundraising program.  As a member of the leadership team, the Director of Development will work closely with the Executive Director to secure the resources to achieve and expand Nuestra Tierra’s vision in alignment with the strategic plan. The Director will be an innovator with the unique opportunity to create and spearhead fundraising policies and procedures, diversify existing funding streams, and manage relationships with the board of directors, staff, and key stakeholders. The Director of Development will create a fundraising infrastructure to ensure the organization can respond quickly and effectively to short–term financial objectives. In the future, the role will be responsible for building and leading a development team.

The Development Director will be responsible for the following:

  • Raise $2 million in annual support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, create and execute a comprehensive annual fundraising plan that articulates the strategies and actions to sustain a large base of individual donors, foundations, and corporations.
  • Develop sophisticated materials that articulate the case for support to be used by staff and volunteer leadership in the solicitation of major annual gifts.
  • Prepare and submit proposals, grant applications and maintain deadlines to meet goals and reporting requirements.
  • Maintain a portfolio of prospects/donors and identify, cultivate, and successfully solicit prospects and renewing donors.
  • Work with the Executive Director to establish protocols and plans for solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship of individual and institutional funders in partnership with the board Development Committee.
  • Develop and maintain an annual development calendar with relevant dates for solicitations, appeals, applications, renewals, and stewardship reporting.
  • Pull reports from the database to analyze donor trends and to inform fundraising strategies.
  • Manage and oversee appropriate systems for timely execution of donor acknowledgments and fulfillment of donor benefits.
  • Accompany the Executive Director and others in meetings with donors, as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with Operations Director on the preparation of annual operating plans and long-term financial strategy to support strategic activities.
  • Actively participate in the strategic planning and growth of the organization as a member of the leadership team.
  • Inspire, retain, and recruit a small development team, establishing workplans, providing the necessary training and guidance, and reviewing performance objectives and goals.

Ideal candidates will have a background and resume that reflect the following:

  • 5+ years of development experience.
  • Demonstrated experience creating development plans including strategies for individual giving, major giving, institutional support, sponsorship, and events.
  • Proven track record in soliciting and securing five-and six-figure gifts.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a portfolio of donors with target revenue growth year-over-year.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communicator who understands how to align donor passion with programs.
  • Experience managing board committees and crafting materials for meetings.
  • Passion and commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and access within the organization and in the environmental movement.
  • Experience working within a database.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality.


  •  Experience with conservation-related philanthropic institutions and donors.
  • CRM experience with Bloomerang software.
  • Keen knowledge of issues related to disparities in conservation and outdoor spaces, including, but not limited to access, engagement, and historical impact.
  • Familiarity with borderland communities.

Remote (Preferred Las Cruces, NM or within the Southwest United States).

The salary for this position is $85,000 – $95,000 annually. In addition, Nuestra Tierra offers an outstanding benefits package to include:

  • 100% Employer paid health, dental and vision insurance
  • 15 days Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • 12 days Holiday Pay
  • 6 days Sick Leave
  • Family and Bereavement Leave

Bonsai Leadership Group has been exclusively retained for this search. To make recommendations or to express interest in this role, please email and include “NT Development Director” in the subject line. All applications must include a letter of interest, a resume, and grant proposal sample.

This position is open until filled. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. Applications will be screened against the criteria listed in this profile.

All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

To apply for this job please visit

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse