We Are Hiring

Senior Portfolio Manager, Foundations & Government


Ocean Conservancy educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, Ocean Conservancy brings people together to find solutions for our water planet. We engage on a range of issues from fisheries recovery to marine wildlife protection to ecosystem conservation and more. Informed by science, our work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife for future generations.


The Foundation and Government Support team has enjoyed great success and currently manages approximately $20 million in revenue from foundation and government donors. Ocean Conservancy is increasingly global in nature, with this portfolio being a mix of U.S.-based and international funding that contributes to both restricted and unrestricted support from family foundations and government agencies (including bilateral and multilateral donors). The Foundation and Government Support team is a fast-paced, mission-driven group of professionals with expertise in all aspects of portfolio management and new business generation. They work in close coordination with Ocean Conservancy staff from across the organization, harnessing the talents of program, executive office, communications and finance colleagues, among others, to ensure strong and healthy relationships with the organization’s foundation and government partners. They also work together closely with Ocean Conservancy’s other revenue units — Individual Giving, Planned Giving, Corporate and Membership — to maximize opportunities and ensure high-quality, donor-centered approaches to fundraising.


Ocean Conservancy is adding a Senior Portfolio Manager for Foundations and Government Support to its growing team of six. The position advances Ocean Conservancy’s philanthropic partnerships with foundations and government agencies, playing a collaborative role in managing approximately $20 million annually in revenue. The Senior Portfolio Manager will provide comprehensive management for a docket of U.S.-based and international foundation and government donors, including assembling and submitting grant proposals and reports, establishing and maintaining relationships with donors, conducting prospect research, and maintaining donor records. Reporting to the Director of Foundations and Government Support, the Senior Portfolio Manager will work across Ocean Conservancy’s fundraising, programmatic, finance, and communications teams to meet tight document submission deadlines and facilitate direct communication between funders and program staff. In both document preparation and staff guidance, s/he ensures that science and policy language is translated into accessible, compelling, and informative material for target audiences.


Portfolio Management

  • Lead all aspects of portfolio management for a robust docket of foundation and government (including bilateral and multilateral) donors, including the adoption of effective cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies.
  • Work with the Director of Foundations and Government Support to develop comprehensive fundraising strategies to meet the annual revenue goal and expand and diversify the current donor base, including researching and identifying new U.S. and international foundation and government funding opportunities.
  • Provide support in oversee grant agreements, contracts and other revenue-generating arrangements.
  • Develop compelling cases for support in ways that convey the impact and imperative of Ocean Conservancy’s programmatic initiatives using a variety of writing styles, from the technical to the more personal. This includes but is not limited to preparing proposals, letters of inquiry, grant reports, email correspondence, presentations, and acknowledgment letters; responsibilities include drafting original copy, copyediting and proofreading, and formatting documents.
  • Manage the production calendar and the development and submission of customized documents to foundation and government funders, including document preparation and the assignment and tracking of document components to Ocean Conservancy staff.
  • Ensure continuity in and accountability for relationship management by tracking funder contacts, funder profiles, proposal and reporting deadlines, and philanthropic commitments, using both Raisers Edge and hard-copy files.

Collaboration with Ocean Conservancy Staff

  • Plan and facilitate interdepartmental meetings with senior program staff to identify and prioritize project needs and key messages for funders.
  • Develop research briefs and talking points that prepare senior staff for meetings and phone calls with government officials and foundation representatives.
  • Work with finance staff and program staff to prepare project budgets and financial reports and ensure compliance with requirements for various government grants; includes working with financial staff to track and manage project budgets and to monitor expenditures of grant funds.
  • Work with Ocean Conservancy staff to identify and establish relationships with additional prospects and to deepen their involvement in fundraising.

The Candidate

To succeed at Ocean Conservancy, the Senior Portfolio Manager must have exceptional writing and project management skills and be diligent about meeting hard deadlines. The strongest candidates will have the demonstrated ability to stay current on a dynamic body of work and to synthesize and communicate core program areas as well as specific impacts and results. Experience working with or writing about global or domestic policy advocacy is helpful. The Senior Portfolio Manager should be able to conduct research and outreach for new donor partnership development and to design effective stewardship strategies for existing donors. S/he will be internally motivated, able to build productive relationships with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders, and be successful at bringing hustle and discipline to a multi-tasking work environment.


  • Experience in a non-profit development department is preferred, especially nonprofits that work domestically and internationally.
  • Prior experience within an organization conducting scientific research and/or public policy advocacy is helpful. 

Education / Training

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field (degree in English a plus) or equivalent related experience.
  • Minimum of five years of experience writing for multiple concurrent projects on strict deadlines and according to specified guidelines.

Required Skills / Qualifications/ Additional Experience

  • Exceptional written communication skills in all dimensions, from the capacity to compellingly articulate complex ideas to a variety of audiences to the ability to edit for fine questions of grammar; knowledge of AP style is a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a complex production, editing, and submission process for proposals and reports that coordinates the contributions of multiple teams across an organization.
  • Experience working collaboratively with senior management and program staff to translate technical subject matter knowledge into readable and compelling messages for a general audience.
  • Experience preparing budgets, reviewing financial reports, and incorporating financial information into proposals and reports.
  • Strong computer skills; experience with prospect research tools and funder databases (including Raiser’s Edge) is preferable.
  • Basic familiarity with environmental issues and policy is useful; international fundraising experience is a plus.

Personal Characteristics and Work Style

  • Commitment to continuous learning and to comprehending and discussing research in a policy-driven environment.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and strict adherence to deadlines and guidelines.
  • Comfort organizing and dividing time across multiple competing priorities.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends as demanded by a deadline-driven environment.
  • Highly collaborative, with an appreciation of the benefit of a multi-disciplinary team approach.
  • Personable and passionate in a mission-driven organization.


If you think you have what it takes to join Ocean Conservancy’s team, please apply here.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.

  • Washington, DC, currently remote during Covid-19
  • Government Support
  • Full Time

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