Development Officer

Black Swamp Conservancy is an accredited land trust serving northwest Ohio and the Western Lake Erie Basin. The Conservancy is seeking to hire a Development Officer to join our team in protecting the region’s natural communities and family farms.

The Development Officer (Officer) is an integral member of the team responsible for raising annual operating funds to support the mission of the Conservancy. This position works in collaboration with the Executive Director (ED) and Office Manager to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors and members to deeper levels of connection and commitment to the organization. This position works with the Executive Director and Board Members to ensure fundraising goals are met.

The Development Officer works with a portfolio of prospective donors to advance their relationship with the Conservancy. The Officer takes a leadership role in planning special appeals, managing the annual campaign, and increasing planned gifts.

Essential Functions

Major Gift and Annual Campaign Duties (65%):

  • Manage approximately 65-75% of the organization’s portfolio of gift prospects, the bulk of whom have the capacity to give $1,000 or more to the Conservancy.
  • Participate in all aspects of the gift cycle, in close collaboration with Executive Director, Office Manager and Board of Trustees.
  • Manage donor research functions.

Special Appeal Campaigns (20%):

  • Establish and manage campaign schedule, anticipating deadlines and engaging stakeholders.
  • Create materials for online and print use.

Other Duties (15%):

  • Master Abilla FR50 functionality related to donor relations which may include managing engagement plans, establishing data entry protocols, reporting, campaign management, etc.
  • Perform data entry and process donor acknowledgments, as needed.
  • Maintain confidential donor files (paper and digital) e.g. bequests, named endowment funds, etc.
  • Assist with and staff special events, as needed.
  • Willingness to work irregular hours, including some weekends, evenings, and/or holidays.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • A college degree or equivalent work/life experience.
  • Progressive Development experience at a nonprofit. A prior focus in individual giving fundraising is preferred.
  • Experience in the donor-facing aspects of fundraising.
  • Excellent computer skills – ability to use email, Microsoft Office 365 applications, remote work platforms (e.g., Teams, Zoom).
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including public speaking.
  • Experience managing the clerical requirements of donor relations.
  • Experience with conservation organizations is a plus.

Other Requirements

  • Strong organizational and analytical skills with precise attention to detail.
  • Strong verbal communication skills. Experience engaging with board members/donors a plus.
  • Excellent writing and editing abilities. Experience writing donor-centric materials a plus.
  • Experience coordinating events a plus. Experience coordinating external vendors a plus.
  • Ability to work both independently with limited supervision as well as collaboratively in an environment that stresses teamwork.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically.
  • Strong interest in land conservation. A willingness to understand and enthusiastically promote the Conservancy’s mission and programs is essential.

More than anything, Black Swamp Conservancy is looking for …

A highly motivated, creative, organized, and detail-oriented self-starter with a passion to serve our land conservation mission. The Officer must have strong diplomatic skills and the ability to work both independently and and with diverse stakeholders to achieve common goals.


Black Swamp Conservancy’s office is dog-friendly and located on a protected property south of Perrysburg, Ohio, surrounded by woodlands and prairie. The Conservancy offers a competitive compensation package including health insurance and retirement match. Salary commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Please respond by submitting a resume, cover letter with salary requirements, and writing sample (in Word or PDF format) to [email protected]. No phone calls, please.

About Black Swamp Conservancy

Black Swamp Conservancy is an accredited land trust serving northwest Ohio and the Western Lake Erie Basin. The organization currently protects more than 150 properties covering more than 21,000 acres and representing some of our region’s finest family farms, wetlands, woodlands, and other open spaces. Of this, the Conservancy owns eight nature preserves covering 2,100 acres in seven counties.