Director of Major Gifts at Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute, also DBA Carbon War Room, is a global nonprofit with a mission to change global energy use to ensure a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.

Rocky Mountain Institute was founded 33 years ago by Amory Lovins and has a strong track record as a leading global energy think-and-do tank. Sir Richard Branson started Carbon War Room with a team of like-minded entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale and advance the low-carbon economy. The two organizations came together at the end of 2014, creating a formidable force to drive the global change to a low-carbon economy.

With a budget of $25M and a staff of 110, the combined organization is poised to catalyze an energy revolution that will unlock the greatest wealth-creating opportunity in modern history.


Rocky Mountain Institute/Carbon War Room (RMI/CWR) is building the best fundraising team in the country and seeks a Director of Major Gifts to raise funds toward the organization’s ambitious fundraising goals. The Director of Major Gifts will be expert at creating and executing development strategies, directly soliciting gifts, and managing others to achieve strong fundraising results. The Director of Major Gifts will be a key member of the growing development team, serving as a “right hand” to Keely Henderson, Managing Director of Development.

The location of this position is flexible however Boulder, CO is preferred.


  • Advance individual and organizational relationships that result in large philanthropic contributions for Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon War Room, or both through personal visits, email correspondence, and telephone conversations with prospects and donors.
  • Participate in solicitations with members of the RMI/CWR board and/or leadership team.
    Work with the Managing Director of Development to create and implement the Major Gift strategy for RMI/CWR.
  • Identify, qualify, and manage a portfolio of approximately 25-50 prospects (individuals, foundations, corporations) with capacity to make substantial gifts ($10,000 and more).
  • Manage a growing team of development professionals to ensure progress toward individual and team goals.
    Work with the development team to create compelling proposals, cultivate new prospects, and steward existing donors. Use database to document moves management process.
  • Work collaboratively with the program team to gain a comprehensive understanding of RMI/CWR’s work and build strong working relationships with program leaders.
  • Translate highly technical information into accessible written and verbal language that will compel donors to support key programs and projects.
  • Represent RMI /CWR at events in order to expand the organization’s network and cultivate donors.
    Oversee the development team in preparing communications and materials, designing meeting content, and coordinating activities with program colleagues.
  • Serve as an active member of the development team; support the implementation of the development team’s short- and long-term objectives; engage with the development team by attending staff meetings, serving on special task forces, participating in development-program meetings, and understanding and contributing to RMI/CWR’s development strategy and overall mission.
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to the Managing Director of Development and support the development team as an unwavering team player who is willing to jump in and help for the benefit of RMI/CWR.
    Perform other duties as required or assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree and ten years of experience in a professional development role, including at least five years of experience in direct solicitation of gifts. Candidates with similar experience in corporate business development or sales will also be considered.
  • Extensive experience managing a team of development professionals.
    Demonstrated commitment to contributing to and being a part of a dynamic team.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written. Strong ability to build trusted relationships.
  • Proven track record and talent for building and managing a pipeline of high-net-worth donors and supporters. Comfortable opening doors and soliciting grants.
  • Strong aptitude for fundraising and building long-term donor relationships.
  • Self-starter. Entrepreneurial approach, with ability to work independently and as part of a team dedicated to the overall mission of RMI/CWR.
  • Clear and demonstrated passion for sustainability and for transforming global energy use toward a clean, prosperous and secure low-carbon future.
  • Understanding of energy transformation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, climate-change science, and sustainable finance.
  • Understanding of the energy economy, market based change, innovation and business as a force for good.
  • Willingness to travel and occasionally work evenings or weekends as part of development activities.


Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive
benefits package is included.


Send a resume and brief cover letter to: Sarah Samarasinghe:

All applications will be reviewed carefully. If you are identified to move forward in the process, you will be contacted by the PBR team, who will outline the next steps of the process.

RMI is an equal opportunity employer.

No phone calls please.

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