Associate Director Position Description 

The Tennessee River Gorge Trust is currently recruiting for an Associate Director.  The position is a full-time permanent member of the staff.  The salary will commensurate with experience and qualifications, and will range from $45,000 and $60,000.  The position comes with a suite of employee benefits such as health insurance, health savings plan, 403b retirement match, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, paid vacation, paid sick leave and paid holidays.

Minimum qualifications requirements:

  • Bachelors Degree
  • A minimum of five years experience in the non-profit sector or a corporate setting with leadership and managerial experience
  • A proven track record of fund raising and capital campaign experience
  • Excellent communication and public speaking skills
  • Significant event planning experience
  • Proven collaborator and team builder


The Tennessee River Gorge Trust is a local conservation non-profit located in Chattanooga, TN.  The Trust was formed in 1981 through a grassroots effort intent on protecting the iconic Tennessee River Gorge.  Today, the Trust is protecting over 17,000 of the 27,000 acres through ownership, conservation easements and Memorandums of Understanding with our State and Federal partners.  We have an array of active programs focusing on land acquisition, education, scientific research, access, and community engagement. 


The Trust has four permanent staff members, several seasonal/temporary employees and a 26-member Board of Directors.  We are a growing and well respected organization within Chattanooga and the surrounding area.  Our financial stability comes from multiple sources including incredible historic support from our community.  We are a tight knit family that works collectively with our volunteers, staff and Board to create healthy land and healthy people for a stronger community.  In essence we are protecting, connecting, inspiring.


If interested, please send a one-page resume including your contact information and a one-page cover letter to by December 22nd 2017, 4:00 pm eastern time.  We will send you a confirmation e-mail letting you know we have received your resume.  Applicants who make to the interview phase will be notified in early January.  We have a flexible reporting date of early February 2018.

Position Summary:


The primary role of the Associate Director is developing and implementing fundraising plans, overseeing donor cultivation, special events, community engagement, marketing and public relations for the organization.


The Associate Director also serves as the proxy leader for the Executive Director when needed, representing the Trust at speaking engagements, community activities, day-to-day operations and priorities of work.  He/she will work closely with the Trust team to make sure best practices are followed and that the organization is operating efficiently and effectively.


The Associate Director will be instrumental in assisting the Executive Director with planning, decision making and building/maintaining a strong cohesive team within the organization.

Position Duties:

Development: 60%


  • Work with the Executive Director, Development Committee, Staff & Board to prepare & implement a Strategic Plan/Needs Assessment Survey to enhance fundraising & friend-raising, plan special events, as well as building networks within the community.
  • Stay up-to-date on fundraising best practices through professional organizations such as the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
  • Lead, manage, carry out, and evaluate the Trust’s fundraising initiatives, including major donor, corporate, foundation, membership, and planned giving programs to support the annual operational needs of the organization.
  • Identify and engage individuals in an active and systematic giving program.
  • Cultivate relationships with donor prospects, donors, Board members and others who may be instrumental in helping the Trust.
  • Organize recruitment, cultivation, and appreciation events for donors.
  • Conduct capital campaigns and endowment campaigns with a specific focus on major gift solicitation and cultivation.
  • Design and develop relevant materials (solicitation letters, thank you letters, grants, progress reports, etc.).
  • Responsible for leading and coordinating one major fund raising dinner for approximately 500 supporters annually.
  • Incorporate branding and community relations into development program. Increase name recognition of the organization.
  • Provide annual revenue estimates for the budget from contributions and grants and annual projected expenses for the fundraising program. Prepare periodic fundraising and donor reports, analyses, evaluations and recommendations for the benefit of the Board, the Fundraising Committee, and other staff.
  • Manage the donor database and donor files, ensuring effective utilization. Understand and implement donor prospect research strategies and techniques.  Current donor database is Abila with plans for a transition to a new donor data base.
  • Serve as liaison with partner conservation groups to ensure representation for the Trust and to help with cooperative solicitations, as needed.


Community Engagement and Marketing: 25%


  •  Work with the staff and board to coordinate and conduct community engagement activities (including scheduling, coordinating, and implementing events).
  • Oversee the e-mail database. Currently MailChimp.
  • Produce and coordinate the publicity for all Trust events and activities including press releases, invitations, fliers, news articles, e-mail and electronic announcements.
  • Provide leadership for the development of the Trust’s special communications and social media.
  • Prepare the organization’s Annual Report or other form of an annual update for donors.
  • Help oversee interns who work with the Trust.
  • Collaborate with partnering organizations and educational institutions that can help the Trust convey, implement, and strengthen its conservation mission.



Leadership and Administration: 15%

  • Serve as proxy leader in the absence of the Executive Director.
  • Assist with planning, priorities, day-to-day operations, and decision making.
  • Serve as staff liaison to various committees including Outreach and Education, Development, and Special Events.   
  • Assist Accountant, staff, and board to prepare an annual budget.
  • Assist Accountant, Business Director, and auditors with year-end audit. 


Other tasks within the above categories will be assigned as needed.