Our team is small but highly impactful

Are you passionate about working towards a healthy planet that will sustain humans in harmony with the complex ecosystems we depend on? Do you like working with remote teams of impassioned individuals and partner organizations to achieve world-changing goals?

We will post open positions on this page when they arise. 

Open Positions

Development Director

  • Location: San Francisco (or Marin), but will also consider residents of Washington state, Oregon, or Montana.
  • Please send resume, LinkedIn profile, and two writing samples of proposals or reports to contributions@biomimicry.org.
  • Salary: non-profit competitive; dependent upon experience.


Founded in 2006, the Biomimicry Institute is a 501(c)(3) that empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. We believe that biomimicry – an approach to innovation that taps into nature’s time-tested designs and processes in order to solve human-scale problems – can be a catalyst for radically sustainable solutions. 


Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director (ED), the Development Director (Director) will spearhead development efforts as the Biomimicry Institute continues to grow.

This position — or two, if it is deemed necessary to separate the key responsibilities into two part-time jobs — plays a central role in driving progress towards the organization’s mission. The Director of Development is responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating the strategy and activities to drive growth across all fundraising programs while diversifying revenue streams and expanding the opportunity for major giving. This includes grants, donor management, corporate giving and sponsorships, planned giving, membership, strategic partnerships, and recruitment of high net-worth individuals.  If the position is divided, one person would focus on external relations (outreach, cultivation, writing, and speaking) while the other focused on internal needs (managing Salesforce and the donation process, project management, and writing).

Job Requirements

Key Responsibilities:

  • Establish and maintain positive and constructive relationships with board members and constituents, conveying the organization’s mission and values while facilitating revenue generation.
  • Be a strong staff partner to the Executive Director and to the Board Development Committee in support of fundraising goals and objectives.
  • Speak and attend networking events on behalf of the Institute, cultivating new relationships.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, create a fundraising plan for development that aligns with the organization’s fundraising goals and strategic plan.
  • Research and identify grant opportunities and sponsors aligned with the organization’s mission; coordinate timely and comprehensive applications to target grant programs; communicate to appropriate staff the terms and conditions of awarded grants in conjunction with the granting organization’s agreements.
  • Work with ED and staff to write all grant application proposals, Letters of Interest, and grant reports. Staff to provide core content in advance.
  • Partner with the Executive Director, Board, Director of Communications, and Program Directors to develop messages and content for development program initiatives, fundraising appeals, and communications.
  • Ensure all sponsor and donor benefits are executed consistent with the terms and conditions negotiated in their agreement.
  • Establish and document standard operating procedures for development programs, processes, and systems, updating as needed.
  • Develop, implement, and manage a robust fundraising platform such as Salesforce on par with other top non-profit organizations. Includes records management for all prospects and donors, coordinating activities of all staff engaged in maintaining our electronic and paper records of contributions, and corresponding acknowledgment letters and pledge commitments.
  • Ensure accuracy of donation gift recording and financial accounting of all income and sources, working closely with the Director of Finance and Accounting. Provide management with concise, meaningful, and up-to-date activity reports. 
  • Work with the Communications Director and Finance Director to manage the ongoing membership campaign. This includes developing messaging approaches, updating content, leading appeal drives such as the end-of-year campaign, and ensuring membership functionality on the website.
  • Create an ongoing stewardship program that proactively identifies and cultivates board members and prospects, strengthens donor relationships, and increases donor loyalty through renewed and/or increased giving.
  • Develop a major donor engagement program (mailings, meetings, events, etc.) that identifies, cultivates, solicits, stewards, and retains qualified donor prospects, to meet or exceed budget goals.
  • Work with Executive Director and Board Development Committee to manage multiple fundraising events each year. Events may be in conjunction with other programmatic goals (eg: Biomimicry Global Design Challenge events) or stand-alone events hosted by Board members.

Ideal Experience:

  • 5+ years of progressive non-profit fundraising/development experience.
  • Familiarity with Salesforce for non-profits.
  • Proven track record in setting and achieving revenue targets.
  • Demonstrated ability to write clearly and persuasively.
  • Demonstrated ability to prospect, cultivate and manage portfolio of accounts.
  • Thorough understanding of all components of a diversified funding base.
  • Strong evaluation, planning, coordination, organization, and problem-solving skills.
  • Effective communicator, skilled at both public speaking and straightforward individual conversations.
  • Comfortable working on a virtual team.
  • Familiarity with state and federal funding a plus.
  • Familiarity with new/ emerging fundraising schemes and strategies such as crowd-sourcing, fundraising on social media platforms, prize give-aways, or creating campaigns that members can lead.
  • Able and willing to travel as needed.
  • Knowledge of the social impact or environmental funding space, or education and entrepreneurship domain expertise.

Join us, wherever you are:

We believe that the widespread adoption of nature-inspired solutions will catalyze a new era in design and business that benefits both people and the planet. Let’s make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing. We hope you will join us.
Chameleon image via Shutterstock.

Tap into nature anywhere: