Website River Heritage Conservancy

River Heritage Conservancy, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit established in 2017, is creating an iconic and
internationally recognized public park system (Origin Park System) on the North Shore of the Ohio
River that honors and embraces the historical, cultural, recreational, and ecological importance of this
unique riverfront. This new urban river landscape will dramatically transform the region’s interaction
with the Ohio River, create an international renowned park and build upon the community’s reputation
as the nation’s leader in creating enduring park systems. It will also fill in the last “gap” of systemic
public landscape development in our region and serve as the final linkage for an unparalleled system
of urban greenspace found nowhere else in the United States.
River Heritage is in the final stages of planning for a comprehensive capital campaign to underwrite
the creation of the system’s first phase, a dramatic reinvention of one of the oldest occupied
landscapes on the entire Ohio River watershed. This initial effort is designed as a 100-acre park,
located on southeast corner of the park system near the Falls of the Ohio. The new Chief
Advancement Officer (CAO) will be an integral part of the Conservancy’s leadership team and will
spearhead the preparation and execution of the campaign along with the eventual build-out of a
comprehensive fundraising program for the Conservancy.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Chief Advancement Officer will lead the fund development efforts of River Heritage and is
expected to plan and execute all aspects of the fundraising program, including but not limited to major
gifts, annual and capital campaigns, grants, reporting, donor recognition, direct mail campaigns, email
communications, fundraising and cultivation events, and board engagement. An important and early
focus of the CAO will be to lead the successful execution of a multi-million-dollar comprehensive
capital campaign described above. Following the successful conclusion of this initiative, the CAO will
also be charged with expanding River Heritage’s annual fundraising program to increase long-term
sustainable support for its mission that will aspire to $500,000 annually after five years. In all of these
efforts, the CAO will look to increase donors and revenue to the organization, while also striving for
broader community engagement. The CAO is the lead fundraising professional for River Heritage and
should expect regular contact with current and potential major contributors in order to cultivate, solicit
and steward gifts. The CAO must be professional in a wide variety of situations and be able to work
closely with the Executive Director to support and guide all fundraising visits. The CAO must also
analyze data to increase support by regularly improving methods for cultivation, solicitation,
stewardship, retention, and increased giving across the region and beyond. This position is the key
senior staff member to serve as liaison to the Board for fundraising. The CAO must be a team player,
flexible in working with varied constituents including board members, donors, local community
leaders, volunteers, and River Heritage staff among others. The CAO reports to the Executive
Director.Candidate Qualifications and Attributes
The successful candidate for Chief Advancement Officer will demonstrate:
• Prior experience as a front-line fundraising professional including experience raising major
gifts for capital campaigns/ annual campaigns with a sizeable nonprofit organization. Prefer
at least 8 years’ experience in progressively more responsible positions that directly relate to
the duties stated above.
• Successful track record with corporate and individual major gift development and planned
giving programs.
• Knowledge of the region and local donor community preferred.
• Experience in a wide range of fund development tactics including annual giving, grant
writing, special events and online giving, as well as capital and comprehensive campaigns.
• Proven management experiences achieving ambitious fundraising goals and adhering to
budgets. Prefer prior fundraising experience aligned to goals of at least $500,000 annually
or more in organizations where public charitable support accounts for half of budget.
• Understanding of conservation financing and environmental fundraising a plus and previous
experience with a similar non-profit or public agency with strong donor engagement
activities preferred.
• Demonstrated commitment to a career in fundraising and to the professional standards and
ethics of fundraising, as well as a demonstrated ability to uphold the professional standards
of confidentiality and workplace ethics.
• Experience in developing, budgeting and implementing annual and strategic development
plans with the ability to analyze, evaluate and prepare reports regarding development
program results.
• Ability to successfully work with all types of volunteers, especially Board-level volunteers.
• Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Bloomerang software.
• Available to work some evenings and weekends.
• Ability to move freely in outdoor settings including guiding walks on uneven and rough
surfaces and some river/creek paddling trips.
• Must possess a valid state driver’s license.
• A completed bachelors’ degree is required.
Candidate Competencies and Characteristics
When we interview candidates and speak with their references, we are looking for demonstrated proof
that the next Chief Advancement Officer can:
• Inspire, engage and influence others to embrace the mission of River Heritage, to give
generously of their time and financial resources, and to ask others to do the same;
• Comfortable working in a small and nimble organization – a start-up entrepreneurial thinker.
• Demonstrate knowledge of and passion for conservation and park systems.
• Strengthen relationships and build trust and respect with key donors;
• Lead through action, keeping the vision of River Heritage at the forefront of fundraising
work; and lead by example, giving staff and volunteers clear direction that affirms the
underlying mission;
• Drive execution by translating strategic goals into operational reality and holding all
accountable to agreed-upon timelines and outcomes;
• Resolve conflicts and build coalitions with intentionality, thoughtfulness, and tangible followthrough.
• Demonstrate humility, humor and heart in interactions with the staff, board, advisors, donors,
volunteers and community;
• Highly organized, detail oriented strategic thinker with the ability to handle multiple tasks;
• Dependable with demonstrated ability to operate in a small team that asks for significant
work to be delivered by board members and recruited community volunteers. CONTACT
Ashley|Rountree and Associates has been retained by River Heritage Conservancy for this search. To
apply for this position please submit a cover letter and resume via email to In
the subject line please reference River Heritage Conservancy. For confidential questions or inquiries,
contact David Cobb at All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.

To apply for this job email your details to