Fundraising Manager, Climate Program

Development Washington, District of Columbia

Program Overview

Climate change is an urgent threat to humanity that demands swift, decisive action. Climate impacts are being felt all around the world already, and on track to get much worse. Facing this challenge requires dramatic changes, yet countries, businesses, states and cities have yet to make the deep structural economic and societal shifts that are needed.

WRI’s Global Climate Program helps businesses, policymakers and civil society at the local, national and international levels advance the deep structural shifts necessary to mitigate the future impacts of climate change, and address the unavoidable consequences already underway. We focus on ensuring near-term decisions align with long-term goals so all people can benefit from a safer world and thriving economies.

Our International Climate Action Initiative uses analysis, innovation and partnerships to advance the Paris Agreement on climate change. Our offices and partner organizations around the world work at all levels of government and with businesses to identify and promote cost-effective solutions to reduce emissions. Climate Watch offers open data, visualizations and analysis to help policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders gather insights on countries' climate progress. Through Science Based Targets, WRI and partners help hundreds of the world’s largest companies set ambitious climate targets. And the Greenhouse Gas Protocol helps companies, cities and countries measure, manage, and report their greenhouse gas emissions.  Finally, WRI is committed to helping countries achieve their stated emissions reductions through collaboration and capacity building with the NDC Partnership. The Climate Program works closely with WRI’s Economics Center, and this role would also support fundraising for The New Climate Economy, which helps governments and decisionmakers unlock the economic benefits of bold Climate Action.

Job Summary

WRI seeks an experienced Fundraising Manager to lead major fundraising initiatives in support of a large and rapidly-growing Climate Change portfolio. You will be directly responsible for all donor relations managed through the Global Climate Program. In coordination with our Global Development team, you will guide engagement with foreign governments, foundations, corporations, and major individual donors to advance our Climate goals and objectives, and work with directors and project leads in developing and implementing fundraising strategies.  Along with other Development staff, you will oversee prospect research, donor stewardship, proposal writing, and internal project framing. You will lead/participate in joint fundraising-efforts across the organization to produce compelling multi-faceted proposals for major awards, and enhance individual project and international office development strategies and proposals related to climate. You will serve as Climate program point person to the Global Development team and work with other Programs, Centers, and International Offices whose work also addresses climate change issues.

The Development Manager will report to the Chief of Staff for Climate and Economics and the Head of Foundation Relations.

The position will be based in Washington, D.C. and some international travel may be required.

Job Responsibilities

Funding Strategy Development & Donor Stewardship (60%)

  • Develop and implement strategies to achieve continuous, sustainable funding that scales to the ambition and opportunities of WRI’s Climate mission and objectives
  • Proactively manage a portfolio of high value global prospects including 30+ annual grants, as well as multi-year and multi-million-dollar awards
  • In partnership with Climate Leadership and the core Development team, develop and manage a robust donor pipeline of prospects and proposals, and fundraising contacts and engagement in Salesforce database
  • Support Climate and Economics Leadership in donor cultivation efforts, to include: developing contacts and relationships with current and prospective donors, arranging meetings, leading preparation efforts for key meetings, and tracking donor engagement with an emphasis on enhancing relationship-building efforts
  • Identify and research new major prospective donors in the six- and seven-figure range
  • Engage in direct fundraising and proposal pitches, meetings, and donor cultivation efforts
  • Provide expert advice and assistance, including training and strategy development, to managers across WRI’s Climate Change and Economics teams, and support Climate fundraising strategies in the International Offices
  • Coordinate, develop and maintain regular outreach and communications with current and prospective program donors and partners, including writing and editing of funder reports
  • Ensure appropriate and timely Climate Program follow-up on donor requests

Proposal Development and Internal Coordination (40%)

  • Lead and track the development of proposals in all WRI program and centers that address climate change across the Institute to identify possible synergies and avoid overlaps.
  • Play a leadership role in coordination, writing, and editing of multi-team proposals in the seven-figure range.
  • Work closely with Climate directors and managers to develop and secure 2-3 seven figure proposals annually.
  • Draft strategic briefs and presentations to inform and guide key interactions and dialogues with prospective donors.
  • Support Climate leadership to represent Climate in key donor interactions.
  • Lend expertise in development training materials and presentations for Climate staff on fundraising best practices, prospect research, proposal development and donor stewardship.
  • Support annual and multi-year project planning efforts to ensure the development of aligned projects, compelling offers, and early engagement on fundraising priorities and opportunities.
  • Be the point person for the Climate Program with the Global Development Department
  • Liaise across peer organizations to identify opportunities, avoid conflicts, and seek best practice guidance.
  • Oversee Climate staff across WRI to maintain up-to-date contacts and engagement tracking in Salesforce to monitor prospect progress, capture synergy opportunities, and avoid any institutional conflicts.
  • Manage and cultivate other professional Development staff within the Climate Program

Job Qualifications

  • Master's degree required
  • Minimum 5+ years of external fundraising experience, preferably in a large, international organization
  • Prior engagement on environmental or climate change focus and with foundations is desirable.
  • Proven track record of securing 6-figure grants from foundations, foreign governments or multi-lateral organizations
  • Exceptional writing and proofreading skills; ability to translate technical information into lay language; experience in developing and organizing proposals for varying audiences
  • Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills; a demonstrated ability to diplomatically and effectively guide peers and directors though strategy conception to concrete proposed deliverables focused on impact at global scale
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently, and be flexible on changing priorities
  • Experience working in international team environment a plus; must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, with a diverse staff, across multiple time zones, and within tight and often parallel deadlines
  • US work authorization is required for all WRI US opportunities. WRI cannot offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.  Resume and cover letter required. Previous grant writing or other writing sample welcome.

WRI Overview 

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. 

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect. 

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact. 

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $120 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 900+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices inAfrica, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexicoand theUnited States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.  

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.