Philanthropy and Communications Specialist

Philanthropy and Communications Specialist

Applications will be reviewed beginning January 14th with a closing date of January 31st. 

The McKenzie River Trust (MRT), an Accredited Land Trust based in Eugene, Oregon, seeks a full-time Philanthropy and Communications Specialist. This new role supports the Philanthropy and Communications activities of MRT. If you have a passion for land and water conservation, have a strong commitment to teamwork, and are hungry for a wide range of administrative responsibilities, we encourage you to apply. 

As the Philanthropy and Communications Specialist, you will help the Philanthropy Team  achieve annual fundraising goals for capital campaign gifts, major gifts, planned gifts, and membership growth. You will produce fundraising appeals and acknowledgement letters, manage membership drives, generate mailing lists and reports, and coordinate with design, print, and mailing contractors. You will collaborate with Conservation Team members to create stories, photos and video projects that convey our work to MRT members and members‐to‐be.  

To Apply: Please review the full job description and then send a cover letter
of interest and resume in PDF or MS Word format via email to In the email’s subject line, please note “Philanthropy and Communications Specialist”
Applications will be reviewed beginning January 14th with a closing date of Monday, January 31st 2022.

Download the full position description by clicking the button below, or read further for details. 

Position Title: Philanthropy and Communications Specialist

Reports to: Director of Philanthropy

Status: Full-time, exempt

Compensation: $41,000 – $50,000 annual salary

Benefits: SIMPLE IRA plan with up to 3% matching employer contribution, employer paid medical and dental, 10 paid holidays, 10 vacation days (first year, increasing annually)

Organizational Background:

Since 1989, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has helped people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon. From the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, MRT envisions a future in which conservation lands are at the core of community efforts to sustain clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and diverse natural resource economies. We work at the intersection of ecological systems and human community needs to ensure the health of both in the face of changes in climate and land use. MRT protects over 7,000 acres of land through purchase and conservation easement. Grounded in science, we work collaboratively to heal, restore, and enhance regionally important natural systems, and connect people to places they care about. MRT is based in Eugene, and in 2021 we will open our first field office on the central Oregon coast.

Key Responsibilities: Role of the Philanthropy and Communications Specialist

The Philanthropy and Communications Specialist Supports MRT’s Philanthropy and Communications programs. The Specialist will carry out a range of philanthropy activities including, production of appeals and acknowledgement letters, management of membership drives, generation of mailing lists and reports, coordination with design, print, and mailing contractors, and direct contact with MRT members and members‐to‐be. The Specialist executes systems that offer administrative support for the Philanthropy Team’s annual fundraising work; this includes database support for solicitation of capital campaign gifts, major gifts, planned gifts, and donor outreach.

The Specialist supports and implements communication activities and has responsibility for creating written and visual content and telling the story of MRT. The position ensures that timely, relevant stories, photos and videos relating directly to the mission of MRT are consistently produced and are available for a multichannel communication approach.

Key Responsibilities:


  1. Support annual giving (membership) goals and coordinate planning to achieve those goals.
  2. Support and document systems and processes for renewing, upgrading, and appealing to individual and business members at all levels (75% overall renewal rate, 45% first year renewal rate).
  3. Coordinate Living River Circle and Annual Giving Leader membership renewals with other staff and Board members (85% renewal rate).
  4. Coordinate Business membership renewals with other staff and Board members (80% renewal rate).
  5. Ensure data entry of gifts and transactions at all levels and coordinate the appropriate acknowledgement and recognition protocols in a timely manner.
  6. Support and write content for grant requests.
  7. Identify and contract with vendors for print/mail needs.
  8. Monitor, printing and mailing budgets.
  9. Supervise volunteers and support staff working to administer membership programs.
  10. Ensure donor privacy policy compliance for MRT.
  11. Compile and provide donor lists for use in MRT publications and event invitations.
  12. Represent McKenzie River Trust and conduct in-person outreach at events, one-on-one meetings and other opportunities as needed. May include evening and weekend events.


  1. Create content for appeal letters, newsletters, blog posts, and other MRT publications.
  2. Work with graphic design and print contractors to produce high-quality organizational materials.
  3. Works collaboratively to execute the Strategic Communications Plan and Integrated Calendar.
  4. Serve as a storyteller: create compelling content for our audiences, including writing short, medium and long form stories about land protection projects, stewardship and natural area updates, events, and member profiles and and testimonials.
  5. Provide content for social media, website, email blasts, and press releases, including photos and video; works closely with MRT staff to coordinate all sharing.
  6. Assist with media inquiries and press releases.
  7. Assist in managing the editorial calendar and integrated fund development and communications calendar.
  8. Monitor social media channels, and under the advisement of the Executive Director and Director of Philanthropy, monitor and respond to social media comments/messages.
  9. In coordination with and web developers, provide content and edit website, keeping site fresh and up to date.
  10. Maintain photo storage and digital asset management.
  11. Assist with signage updates, including ordering and content creation.
  12. Assist with writing, planning, and photo/video for other marketing and communications-related projects, and business partnerships.
  13. Coordinate with partner organizations and businesses as assigned; help to manage marketing agreement requests from business partners.
  14. Participate in Philanthropy Team meetings and Conservation Team meetings.
  15. Other duties as assigned by the Director of Philanthropy.


Required Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

  1. A Bachelor’s degree and 2 years of experience, or, equivalent work experience in fundraising and/or communications in a professional setting. 
  2. A genuine passion for land conservation and an interest in land trusts.
  3. Exceptional customer service, both internal and external, recognizing the importance of end-user satisfaction.
  4. A high level of individual initiative and creativity.
  5. The ability to work with limited supervision and successfully within a team.
  6. Attention to detail, high standards, and a passion for accuracy, especially error-free data entry and writing.
  7. Clear and accurate writing, editing, and verbal communication.
  8. The ability to maintain strict confidentiality of donor and organization information.
  9. A strong working knowledge and experience using donor database systems (MRT currently uses Salesforce) and creating associated data queries, reports, templates, and forms.
  10. Excellent skills in word processing and spreadsheet management using MS Word and Excel.
  11. Familiarity with nonprofit fundraising and membership best practices, tools, and techniques.
  12. The ability to stay ‘on message’ in alignment with the MRT brand and marketing goals.
  13. A genuine interest in keeping abreast of trends in nonprofit fundraising and membership tools and techniques.
  14. Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  15. The ability to meet daily, weekly and monthly deadlines consistently.
  16. The ability to rapidly learn and use new software and technologies.
  17. The ability to deal effectively and tactfully with a wide variety of people in correspondence, on the telephone, and in person.
  18. A natural lean toward getting to know people and communicating with them.
  19. The ability to make decisions and resolve practical problems independently.

Exceptional Candidates will have some or all of the following work experience:

  1. Experience working for a land trust.
  2. Previous professional DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice) training or lived experience.
  3. Experience managing membership programs.
  4. Experience with Salesforce.
  5. Experience managing social media channels on behalf of a brand, particularly Facebook and Instagram.
  6. Email and website management. MRT currently uses Constant Contact and WordPress.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

This position will work from the McKenzie River Trust office in Eugene, OR with occasional time in the field, primarily in Lane County.  All McKenzie River Trust staff are currently encouraged to work from home due to covid-19. This work requires occasional physical exertion and/or strain. The work environment involves occasional exposure to disagreeable elements such as rainy weather and extremely hot or cold weather. Work is often fast-paced, demanding of time, and requiring attention to multiple projects with deadlines. A valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and good driving record is expected.  Occasional weekend and/or evening work will be necessary.  

We have a commitment to cultivating an inclusive work environment and provide equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law. In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or which impose undue hardships on the organization. The McKenzie Trust maintains its status as an at-will employer.  

On Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice:

Having invested in staff training in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) for several years, we are currently crafting a DEIJ commitment statement and plan. For over 30 years, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has pursued our mission by focusing on habitat diversity and health, river dynamism, and wild landscapes. But we need to more explicitly acknowledge that people and communities have been and continue to be part of these ecosystems, and that the helping people part of our mission compels us to ensure that our work benefits and engages all people, not just some. Bringing DEIJ values to bear in our work will support us in maintaining the landscape-scale vision required to address climate resilience and community resilience as we work to maintain the ecological integrity of western Oregon’s landscapes. We have work to do. We encourage all candidates, particularly those with diverse backgrounds in culture, education, and professional experience, to apply for this position.