European Donor Relations Associate

About the Organization

The Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI or the Initiative) is a new organization funded and launched by some of the largest donors to climate-focused philanthropy. CLI aims to rapidly and exponentially increase climate philanthropy to restore our planet. The Initiative does this by connecting potential donors—whether individuals, families, or established foundations—to peer climate donors, climate experts, and solutions in need of support. We also work with existing climate donors to reach out to their networks and make it simple to learn more about climate solutions and philanthropy. The founding CLI funders include the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Oak Foundation, SeaChange Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. These foundations, as well as other leading climate donors, make their trustees and program experts available to CLI and the new funders we advise.

Since CLI does not raise money for itself, the Initiative will work with and across organizational lines in a manner that is focused on impact, but not tied to one way or organization achieving it. This model frees CLI to provide trusted and objective advice for philanthropists. CLI has knowledge of and access to the full suite of existing, cutting-edge work, making it capable of working with donors in ways tailored to their specific interests. CLI will foster new forms of partnership with an array of organizations, including environmental, health, and regional NGOs, and other entities capable of executing global climate solutions; facilitate entry for donors who are new to climate-focused philanthropy; and promote learning and sharing among donors.

Job Summary

The Donor Relations Associate is a new position developed to support the Climate Leadership Initiative. The Donor Relations Associate will help ensure the smooth and effective completion of a wide range of fundraising and administrative tasks and functions associated with the CLI team, primarily by supporting two CLI philanthropy leads (based in Geneva and London) in donor support, events, volunteer support, and overall administrative/workflow support.

The FTE breakdown is estimated as follows:

  • Donor support: (25%)
  • Event project management and vendor oversight: (25%)
  • Priority material development (briefings and materials for donors): (25%)
  • Administration, process improvement, and workflow: (25%)

Major Responsibilities

Donor Support (25%)

  • Supporting and assisting in developing and recommending strategies for development activities, solicitations, and monitoring progress
  • Working with Senior Analyst of Prospect Development and others to identify next steps for deepening donor engagement as they consider a gift
  • Ensuring that donor and event activities in Salesforce are regularly updated by proactively tracking and managing the process
  • Supporting philanthropy leads with Salesforce entry and trend analysis as needed
  • Maintaining and updating dashboard results on fundraising progress for assigned philanthropy lead on a monthly basis
  • Tracking referrals (including new and active) and reviewing monthly with philanthropy leads
  • Working with philanthropy leads to clean and update portfolio twice a year
  • Conducting development research in partnership with CLI’s staff as needed

Events: (25%)

  • Identifying guests for CLI events
  • Managing event logistics for European CLI events, or, for larger events, managing the event vendors (e.g. tracking RSVPs, registration, name tags, speaker prep and briefings, food and beverage, and other tasks as needed)
  • Supporting philanthropy leads in event follow-up activities
  • Tracking return on investment and results for CLI events
  • Identifying and maintaining dynamic calendar of climate events and moments in Europe, and potentially beyond, for CLI engagement
  • Develop and maintain database of European climate experts across academia, non-profit, grassroots, and donor communities for events, briefings, or meetings

Material Development: (25%)

  • Prepare high quality, strategic briefs and support preparation of other donor materials (including decks, advisory materials, funding opportunities, etc.) for meetings with donors, ambassadors, volunteers, and partners
  • Support content curation for CLI events, including session descriptions, speaker briefings, and any other event materials in coordination with the advisory, content, and communication teams
  • Work with teammates to help prepare briefings on attendees and speakers, as well as executive summaries and meetings notes as needed

Administration/Process Improvement/Workflow: (25%)

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Summarizing and taking responsibility for key action items, distributing information and managing follow up with appropriate internal and external staff
  • Documenting information gathered from various visits and discussions and preparing materials to respond to donor requests, including proactive pipeline management (reports, reminders of activity)
  • Staying informed on current climate change news and circulate relevant articles
  • Calendaring complex meetings for the Donor Relations team


The successful candidate will be a self-starter and self-disciplined, driven by CLI’s mission and a demonstrated passion for breaking new ground in the fight against climate change. Experience in the philanthropic and the NGO sectors is desirable but not required. A positive attitude and flexibility is a MUST.

Additional skills required:

  • Bachelor’s degree and at least three years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience
  • Demonstrated ability with Microsoft Office suite, especially Word and Excel
  • Knowledge of database systems, such as Microsoft Access and Salesforce
  • Fundraising experience preferred
  • Ability to work efficiently, juggle tasks simultaneously, meet deadlines, achieve goals, and prioritize projects
  • Ability to work effectively in an entrepreneurial, flexible environment
  • Fluency in English and a second language (German or French preferred)
  • Excellent research, writing, and editing skills with proven ability to translate complex concepts into succinct, clear, accessible language for multiple audiences
  • Comfort working with flexible and dynamic teams across different time zones. May require working flexible hours, including nights and weekends. Periodic (mostly European and some international) travel may be required
  • Ability to work independently without need for significant direction
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and ability to interact with a wide range of people across cultures and locations
  • Outstanding communication skills and exceptional attention to detail and follow-through
  • Ability to effectively communicate with both internal and external constituents

Compensation and Location

CLI offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. This position will be located in either Geneva or London. CLI is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

To Apply

CLI is a an is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. It recognizes diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing its work and views diversity as encompassing differences in race and gender, as well as age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, job skills, education, and geographic location. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To be considered, please submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role to by March 15, 2020.