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Executive Lead, Philanthropy

This job is no longer available

Saint Paul, MN

Executive Lead, Philanthropy

Duration: FTE

Salary Range: $117,000-$138,000

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota


Job overview and requirements

Climate change is a defining issue of our time and Fresh Energy has proven that action in the Midwest is possible – and crucial — in a swift, equitable transition to clean energy.  Individuals, foundations, and other institutions are recognizing that we must act now.

In this spirit of urgency on climate action, Fresh Energy seeks a highly experienced philanthropic leader to bring Fresh Energy’s work to a new level as Executive Lead of Philanthropy.

The Executive Lead of Philanthropy will become the driving force behind Fresh Energy’s overall fundraising efforts, leading our team in building and executing an ambitious philanthropic growth strategy to meet annual revenue needs and build financial resilience for the future. This position has responsibility for all Fresh Energy revenue, supervising a mature and effective individual giving department and providing leadership in maintaining and growing Fresh Energy’s strong network of foundation and institutional partners and supporters.

A key executive-level leader, the Executive Lead of Philanthropy will ensure clarity and collaboration between the development team, programmatic leaders, and the finance department. This position is also actively engaged in communications initiatives to elevate the profile of Fresh Energy, articulate our mission and impact, and provide key updates to individual supporters and funding partners. The Executive Lead of Philanthropy will also support the expansion of a donor community and fundraising approach that aligns with our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

Fresh Energy’s office is in downtown Saint Paul, and our primary geographic scope is Minnesota and the Midwest, recognizing our region’s lynchpin role in the transition to clean energy. Fresh Energy is currently functioning as a hybrid office and we would prefer a candidate who is in the Twin Cities and able to adapt to a fluid work environment. However, we will consider a fully remote candidate if they possess exceptional experience in energy- and climate-related philanthropy. are committed to our mission and region, and will travel for occasional in-person meetings.

Fresh Energy works to co-create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplace.  Our learning continues with our commitment to be an anti-racist organization:

Our leadership is accountable to all communities, customers, partners, vendors including but not limited to women, individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+, veterans, persons with disabilities, religiously affiliated, and/or neurodivergent.


Our story

A 30-year leader on energy and climate in Minnesota, Fresh Energy’s mission is to shape and drive bold policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies.

With a recently-updated strategic framework guiding our work, Fresh Energy is taking action to decarbonize our electric system; transition our entire economy, including buildings and transportation, away from fossil fuel; ensure that the transition to clean energy reduces racial and economic disparities; build a shared commitment among interests across the political spectrum; and strengthen public resolve for change.

Our staff of policy experts, attorneys, engineers, and scientists is respected well beyond our borders and Fresh Energy has grown steadily through support from a variety of local, regional, and national foundations and a rapidly-increasing community of committed individual donors. We have strong effective systems and a committed team. We are looking to the new Executive Lead of Philanthropy to accelerate our development efforts to power the expanded work on climate and energy needed at this definitive moment.


Reports to: Deputy Executive Director

Supervises: Individual giving team including Individual Giving Director who supervises a Senior Development/Grants Manager and Development Associate.


Before you read further, check our video link overview of this role:

Areas of Responsibility: 

Essential responsibilities

  1. Advancement, development, and fundraising.
  • Set and meet ambitious annual revenue goals, steering Fresh Energy’s overall strategy and collaborative leadership across fundraising activities to secure and maintain diverse funding sources of support annually and for long-term organizational resilience.
  • Take an entrepreneurial approach to Fresh Energy’s fundraising, identifying new strategies and areas of emphasis, based in up-to-the moment awareness of the national funding landscape and opportunities, demographic and giving trends, best practices, and emerging data.
  • Lead and hold direct responsibility for foundation and institutional fundraising, working closely with the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, Senior Development Manager and programmatic staff to identify, cultivate, and steward relationships with and support from a growing portfolio of institutional donors, from smaller local foundations to six- and seven-figure grants from national philanthropies.
  • Actively work with Fresh Energy’s Board of Directors to maximize fundraising systems, communications, and initiatives for optimal results; in collaboration with Individual Giving Director, craft and secure Board approval of annual fund development plans; in collaboration Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, and Senior Operations and Finance Director, shape and present an ambitious revenue budget for Board approval.
  • Oversee grants management, proposal, and report writing by development and program staff, engaging directly as needed on messaging and content.
  • Actively work with the Individual Giving Director, supporting and advising on highly effective current fundraising work led by this team, including an annual fund, which has grown to $1million in 2022; effective and growing major donor program; events, including our signature Benefit Breakfast; 2030 Acceleration Fund campaign; Fresh Future League planned giving circle; and other initiatives.
  • Working with the Fresh Energy Communications and Engagement Director and staff, shape our overall profile in the landscape, ensure top-quality donor communications, and represent Fresh Energy in donor forums, effectively communicating our work in a way that is both accurate and compelling.
  • Effectively connect revenue to overall budgeting through active collaboration with finance staff and hold responsibility for securing the revenue side of the budget.
  • Effectively coordinate with programmatic leaders, including other executive leaders, to craft effective programmatic pitches and ensure fundraising is directed where it is needed most and united with our mission of ambitious and equitable action on climate and the transition to clean energy.
  • Obtain and maintain general fluency in Fresh Energy’s energy and climate policy change work to the point of being able to represent Fresh Energy in key forums, effectively communicate programmatic priorities effectively, shape grant proposals and pitches with programmatic leads, and collaborate on new areas of programmatic need and funding.
  • Stay abreast of trends and changes in clean energy philanthropy, ensuring that Fresh Energy’s development work is nimble, innovative, and effective within our rapidly-changing landscape.  


  1. Organizational leadership
  • Contribute to the organization-wide advancement of Fresh Energy’s Strategic Framework, actively shaping and driving the connection between our programs, finances, and fundraising.
  • Set the strategic agenda for the fundraising department, including the development, execution, and progress reporting of three-year goals and one-year targets that dovetail with overall organization priorities.
  • Serve on relevant teams overseeing organizational strategy and management.
  • Function as a leader within the Fresh Energy “coach community,” advocating for and embodying our leadership model emphasizing a supportive work environment, work-life balance, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping other staff informed of all critical issues, maintaining confidentiality as appropriate. 
  • Propagate an organizational culture and model behavior that is consistent with Fresh Energy’s core values; a critical part of achieving our mission is by living the values we endorse. 
  • Provide leadership in Fresh Energy’s efforts to build a diverse staff, board, and partnership network, seeking out, welcoming, and providing a supportive environment for diverse voices and backgrounds.  
  • Inspire and engage in efforts that ensure continuous improvement of the organization overall. 
  • Represent the interests of the staff in your portfolio area within broader organization-wide decision making. 
  • Direct the development and execution of the annual program budget, in coordination with other development staff and in consultation with finance staff.
  • Monitor actual operating expenses compared to planned budget, communicate discrepancies, and work to bring actual assigned resource allocations and associated spending into line with budget and actual resources available. 
  • Maintain a high level of performance, meeting or exceeding performance expectations,


  • Ten years of relevant nonprofit development/advancement or foundation philanthropy experience, background in energy and climate or related field is ideal though not required.  
  • Demonstrated expertise in nonprofit fundraising systems and best practices with deep and current knowledge of the overall philanthropic field and how strategies fit together.
  • Excellent oral and written communication abilities including experience in effectively crafting pitches, including both written and in person “asks.”
  • Expertise in donor communications, including donor acquisition, “moves management” for both individual and institutional donors, and strategies for maintaining optimal contact to maintain and build support.
  • Substantial direct experience working with large foundation program officers and grantors.
  • Experience managing people, with an emphasis on collaboration and a coach approach to supervision.
  • Experience and knowledge of equity-centered fundraising principles.
  • Experience in organization-wide management settings and/or board governance.
  • Capacity to oversee complex systems and steer collaboration within and outside of organizations.
  • Aptitude for synthesizing technical information and creating compelling narratives.
  • Capacity to work with financial experts and data.
  • Relevant undergraduate degree in communications, nonprofit management, business, or other field.

·Salary Range $117,000-$138,000 based on experience and specific expertise.

  • Full-time, exempt position, working 32-40 hours per week. We believe in caring for others at work and at home. Fresh Energy is committed to keeping the workload in alignment with the true hours worked and respecting the space needed to take personal time to care for your wellbeing.
  • 24 days of Personal Time Off (increases each year of employment), 15 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule; plus summer Fridays where the office closes at noon.
  • We provide medical and dental plans, additional voluntary vision, short- and long-term disability, life, AD&D insurance, and 5 percent of annual salary contribution to 403(b) retirement plan starting on the first day of employment, with an optional 1:1 match of up to 3 percent. In addition, we incentivize transit, biking, and walking, offering a dollar-for-dollar bus pass match, $1 for each trip to and from work by bike or walk, and an indoor bike storage area, as well as gym, and showers available for Fresh Energy staff as part of being a tenant of the Historic Hamm Building.
  • We foster a respectful, collaborative, and fun work environment. Learn more about working at Fresh Energy here:
  • Generous parental leave after one-year of full-time employment. Eligible employees are entitled to up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave under this policy. Fresh Energy will pay an eligible employee for the first six (6) weeks of leave with the rest of the leave being unpaid or being paid through the use of Personal Time Off.
  • We promote and sponsor individual and joint professional workshops and trainings.
  • Moving allowance of up to $1,500 for a candidate who is relocating from outside of Minnesota.
  • An organizational culture that seeks, integrates, and nurtures self-direction, collaboration, diversity, equity and inclusion with all employees.
How to Apply: 

To apply

  • At your earliest convenience: Please submit a resume and brief (one page) cover letter including where/how you first found out about this position in one PDF to our hiring team at [email protected]. No phone calls, please.
  • We look forward to your application!
Additional Information: 

Hiring process and timeline

We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled; preference given to applicants submitting prior to March 9, 2022. Applications will still be accepted until March 21, 2022.

  • Our hiring team will select finalists to begin interviews in late March.
  • Finalists will be invited to a second-round interview; at that time, we will ask for three professional references and two work samples relevant to this position, e.g., a foundation or individual donor pitch or communication.
  • Ideally the selected candidate would begin work in late April 2022.

Organization Info

Fresh Energy

Saint Paul, MN, USA
About Us
Areas of Focus: 

Fresh Energy’s mission is to shape and drive bold policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies. Together we are working toward a vision of a just, prosperous, and resilient future powered by a shared commitment to a carbon-neutral economy.


Our work takes place through seven major program areas:

  • Clean Electricity: Speeding the transition to a zero-carbon electric grid through effective, innovative, and data-driven policy solutions. 
  • Energy Access and Equity: Ensuring equity in both process and outcomes as we advance clean energy solutions for all Minnesotans.
  • Energy News Network: Shining a light on energy-decision making and elevating diverse stories in the transition to a zero-carbon economy. 
  • Energy Transition: Creating a carbon-neutral economy through strategies that blend energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, innovation, and more across Minnesota’s industrial, transportation, agricultural, and building economies. 
  • Public Affairs: Building a shared commitment to a zero-carbon future and driving ambitious policy change at multiple levels of government.   
Connect With Us

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Feb 18 2022
Active Until: 
Mar 18 2022
Hiring Organization: 
Fresh Energy