Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary

Development Director

Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary


Job Summary

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary (OHNS) is seeking an experienced fundraiser who has a passion for environmental education and the conservation of wild places that renew the human spirit to join our team as Development Director. Reporting to the Executive Director, this is a permanent, full-time, exempt (salaried) positon with an immediate start date.

The Development Director manages all aspects of OHNS’s fundraising, focusing on grant writing, face-to-face fundraising, direct mail appeals, special events, and identifying new funding opportunities for increased support of OHNS operations, programs and events. The ideal candidate is goal-oriented, dynamic, collaborative, a self-starter and eager to take Owl’s Hill to the next level.

OHNS provides a protected home for 2,000+ species of local flora and fauna that thrive in the hills, forests, creek, ponds and meadows of our private 300-acre nature preserve. The Nature Sanctuary typically attracts 10,000 visitors annually through year-round programming that encourages school groups, families and visitors of all ages to explore the great outdoors, learn about our native flora and fauna, and connect with nature. Curriculum is hands-on and geared toward fostering a deeper awareness, understanding and appreciation for the natural world.

The Director of Development is expected to build upon our reputation as a beloved environmental education destination while growing financial support and deepening donor engagement. The Development Director is a core member of the OHNS team, engaged in strategic planning, annual operational goals, and budget objectives.

OHNS has a 15-member Board of Directors, 300+ volunteers, and a staff of six (4 FT and 2 PT). Average annual revenue is ~ $400,000.

Job Responsibilities


  • Develop and implement strategies for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual, corporate, and foundation donors, with the goal of diversifying the organization’s funding base to secure support for operations, programs and initiatives. Strategies include annual gifts, major gifts, planned giving and corporate and foundation solicitation.
  • Principal writer of foundation and corporate grant proposals.
  • Develop and maintain annual calendar of grant deadlines including proposal due dates, notification dates, mid-cycle check-ins and final report dates.
  • Oversee entire grant cycle for funded projects. Coordinate with staff to track progress and use of funds.  Oversee promised benefits and reporting to ensure that OHNS fulfills requirements of each funder.
  • Maintain CRM database, ensuring all donations are accurately entered and acknowledged in a timely manner.
  • Identify new funding opportunities (individual, corporate, foundation, and/or government) to support the organization’s operations, programs, events and initiatives.
  • Attend and participate in board meetings. Identify and prioritize key actions for the Executive Director and Board of Directors to take in engaging with current and potential donors. Manage and support associated meetings, events and correspondence, etc.
  • Create and execute an annual fundraising plan, including developing annual revenue goals and budgets for contributions, grants and events. Monitor and regularly report on progress.
  • Execute annual fundraising events, including the Dinner in the Forest annual dinner, BeerQuest, Music in the Meadow and Great Horned Owl Society events.
  • Attend relevant community meetings and trainings as may be required to support fundraising efforts.
  • Serve as OHNS representative at foundation and government events as needed.
  • Contribute and serve as an example of organizational culture – constant focus on safe workplace practices, personally commit to organizational policies and procedures, assist team members as needed, and positively represent the organization at all times.

Marketing and Communications:

  • Manage sanctuary website and social media.
  • Manage OHNS external communications including monthly newsletter, annual report and other communications.
  • Submit OHNS events and happenings to community calendars in a timely manner.



  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum of 3+ years of success in donor cultivation, grant writing and special events at a nonprofit organization required.
  • Excellent presentation, verbal and written communication skills.
  • A knack for building and maintaining donor relationships. Experience working with Middle Tennessee philanthropic community a plus.
  • Detail oriented. Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and/or concurrent tasks simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • CRM software experience required, MatchMaker a plus.
  • Proven record of setting and achieving ambitious goals.
  • High level of professionalism, tact and confidentiality a must.
  • Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills.
  • Dynamic, energetic, flexible and adaptable.
  • Ability to work with diverse internal and external constituents.
  • Proficient in MSOffice (Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher), Google Apps, Adobe Creative Suite, and social media.
  • Valid TN driver’s license and personal transportation is required.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends is required.

Additional Information


Benefits include generous paid time-off, healthcare stipend, workers compensation, and savings incentive match plan (SIMPLE IRA) option.

How to Apply

Send resume, letter of interest (tell us why you are the right candidate for this position) and writing sample to info@owlshill.org. Electronic submission required for all materials. Please reference the position title in the subject line of your message. Review begins immediately; open until filled.

Top candidates will be contacted for interviews. Employment is conditional upon a satisfactory background check. 

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is an equal opportunity employer.


  • Date Posted: July 26, 2021
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Fundraising / Revenue Development
  • Service Area: Children / Youth
  • Working Hours: M-F, 8:30am - 4:30pm. Occasional evenings and special event weekends.