Current Staff Openings

Position: Development Director

Reports to: Executive Director

Hours: Full-time with benefits

Salary: $80,800

Close Date: October 21, 2019

About Us
The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) is a coalition of watershed residents, businesses, and local governments. HRWC is the oldest regional river protection organization in Michigan. Our mission is to protect and restore the river for healthy and vibrant communities. We work with a collaborative and inclusive spirit to give all partners the opportunity to become stewards; generate science-based, trustworthy information for decision makers to ensure reliable supplies of clean water and resilient natural systems; and passionately advocate for the health of the river and the lands around it.

HRWC is committed to diversity and inclusion within the workplace. We are committed to prohibiting discrimination against volunteers, clients, and applicants on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental handicap/disability, social economic class, ethical values and/or political beliefs.

Position Description

The Huron River Watershed Council is seeking a Development Director to oversee our donor relations program and manage fundraising initiatives. The Development Director is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic plans to raise funds for the organization. HRWC has an annual operating budget of $2.2 million and 13 staff. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing fundraising campaigns, developing and maintaining relationships with current and prospective donors, and building a strong development team for the organization. This position involves managing individual and non-individual gifts as well as our annual fundraising event and planned and annual giving campaigns. If you have a strong background in non-profit fundraising and development and a passion for environmental protection, we encourage you to apply.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Set and achieve ambitious fundraising goals.
  • Focus on long-range strategic priorities, advance HRWC’s goals, and communicate a broad vision to others.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director, Development Associate, Finance Manager and other staff and the board of directors to establish and meet fundraising goals.
  • Manage the development staff, interns and volunteers.
  • Identify and evaluate prospective donors for specific projects, major gifts, and planned giving gift solicitations and establish a process for cultivating relationships with donors.
  • Maintain strong relationships with existing donors.
  • Manage and oversee individual and business membership prospecting, stewardship, and cultivation.
  • Develop and maintain a significant professional presence throughout the local community.
  • Manage all major-gifts functions, which include planned giving, principal gifts, donor prospecting and research, and special multi-year fundraising campaigns.
  • Establish secondary development mechanisms including investment portfolios, estate planning, endowments, etc.
  • Arrange special events and other activities designed to generate prospect/donor enthusiasm and interest, including our annual Suds on the River event.
  • Ensure the appropriate stewardship of all major-gifts donors, creating annual stewardship plans, in order to strengthen ongoing relationships with major donors.
  • Work collaboratively with marketing and communications team and produce strategic donor messaging and materials.
  • Write compelling and inspiring pieces of communication to convey HRWC’s story, vision, purpose, strengths and successes.

Huron River Watershed Council Functions:

  • Participate in production of a high-quality newsletter, website, and other traditional media and social networking outlets.
  • Assist in developing and implementing any needed procedures to continually improve the effectiveness of the organization.
  • Participate in staff meetings, and other organization events and activities.
  • Contribute to strategic planning and annual planning processes and measuring impact.

Qualified candidates will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 5-8 years of fundraising experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Sound fundraising judgement.
  • Strong record of success asking for and closing major gifts and building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents such as major donors, foundations and corporations.
  • Proven ability to manage, track, and maintain relationships with multiple prospects and donors.
  • Knowledge of current trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of major gifts and Planned-giving.
  • Some knowledge of and strong interest in environmental issues.
  • Experience with Salesforce or similar software, Microsoft Office suite, SharePoint and social media platforms is desirable.

 Additional desired qualifications include:

Problem solving and decision making

  • Ability to design, implement, and direct fundraising initiatives, including individualized cultivation, solicitation and recognition strategies.
  • Experience negotiating complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Experience making connections between ideas and funders.
  • Ability to make strategic decisions based on analysis, wisdom, experience and judgement.

 Communications/interpersonal skills

  • Strong written, communication, and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of HRWC to diverse groups including donors, corporate executives, board members and others who are important to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Experience leading and producing strategic donor messaging and materials.
  • Ability to educate and inform prospective and existing donors about appropriate giving vehicles.
  • Capacity to build constructive and effective relationships with board of directors, staff and volunteers. 


  • Experience developing multi-year fundraising strategies and goals, evaluation and adaptive.
  • Highly organized management of fundraising activities including processing, tracking, follow up.
  • Experience managing staff including goal setting, problem solving, performance reviews and professional development.

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a teammate to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to, stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone.
  • Specific vision abilities required include close vision requirements due to computer work.
  • Light to moderate lifting is required.
  • Event work may entail all-weather physical activity and lifting as much as 30 pounds.
  • Some evening and weekend work required.
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license in the State of Michigan and a vehicle.

Please submit an application, cover letter, resume, and three references to by October 21, 2019.

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Download a pdf of this position announcement:HRWC development director Job Description Oct 2019


HRWC loves interns! We specialize in technical (GIS, HR, Water Chemistry) and field experiences. Please see each announcement for details on compensation. We are happy to work with candidates to secure fellowships and scholarships on a case-by-case basis.

Volunteer Position Overview

HRWC’s summer aquatic field internship program allows undergraduates, recent graduates, and new professionals the opportunity to experience field-based water quality monitoring and public education in the context of a well-rounded internship experience. Interns will visit numerous field locations, in a number of local tributaries to the Huron River, collecting data about benthic macroinvertebrates, in stream and near stream habitat, and water quality parameters such as flow and conductivity. Interns input data and review data for quality assurance. All interns will work on HRWC education program, teaching area residents and students about water quality and water quality testing, including our summer youth snorkeling program and stormdrain awareness campaign. HRWC staff, including interns, are required to participate in general program upkeep tasks. On occasion, interns may utilize existing abilities to work on office projects such as GIS, Human Relations, Volunteer Management, Development and Membership, Landscape Architecture, etc. Internships run full summer or half summer, 1-4 days per week.


  • Consistently utilize proper work methods
  • Safely travel to field sites and conduct field data collection
  • Keep equipment in working order
  • Communicate effectively with general public and supervisors
  • Assist supervisors on other projects as needed


  • Background or strong interest in water quality monitoring
  • Demonstrated ability to work well in a team setting
  • Attention to detail such as data management
  • Fluent in Microsoft Office suite and Google documents and maps


  • Available 1-4 days per week, May through mid-August (or first or second half summer)
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 25 pounds
  • Sign and date Field Internship position agreement


  • Wide array of experience in field monitoring and data collection and public education
  • Learning from network of interns and staff on a daily basis
  • Access to network of water quality professionals

Contact Jason Frenzel if you are interested.

Volunteer Position OverviewHRWC’s summer internship program allows numerous undergraduates and new professionals experience field-based water quality monitoring. The volunteer Team Leader coordinates day-to-day activities, ensuring high-quality work, positive team morale, and strong communication with staff leads.


  • Plan daily outings of intern team to field worksites
  • Ensure proper work methods are utilized
  • Coordinate team’s weekly schedule
  • Evaluate team performance in conjunction with supervisor


  • Background in water quality monitoring, ideally with bachelor’s degree in a related field or comparable experience
  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Ability to work well in a team setting
  • Attention to detail such as data management and complex scheduling
  • Fluent in Microsoft Office suite and Google documents and maps
  • Capacity and strong interest in aquatic field monitoring


  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Available 3-5 days per week, May through August
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds
  • Sign and date Team Leader position agreement


  • Supervision of and education to intern team
  • Experience in field data collection
  • Access to network of water quality professionals

Contact Jason Frenzel if you are interested.

Volunteer Positions

Position Overview

The Volunteer Field Assessment Leader will assist project director in organizing field assessments of natural areas throughout the Huron watershed (parts of 7 counties in Southeast Michigan), as part of HRWC’s Bioreserve Project. Duties will include:

  • Contacting property owners to obtain permission for volunteer team to assess their property
  • Organizing over 100 volunteers into teams of 3 – 4 to perform assessments of natural areas throughout the spring and summer.
  • Accompanying teams when needed as a team member and/or “plant ID expert.” Each assessment takes about 3 – 4 hours.
  • Creating packets for volunteer teams including assessment forms, GIS maps, instructions, directions, etc.
  • Creating GIS maps for each assessment showing preliminary ecosystem boundaries and suggested route through site
  • Inputting data into ACCESS database and creating reports on each assessment using an ACCESS macro that incorporates data and GIS maps


Must have the ability to work independently, a car, excellent interpersonal skills (both email and phone), and have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs (including ACCESS) and ArcGIS. Ability to identify most woody plants, forbs, and grasses of Michigan would be a great benefit.


  • Hours: Part-time (10 hours/week)
  • We are looking for a commitment through the 2015 growing season, with option to return in future years.


The associate will have the following opportunities:

  • networking with and access to professionals
  • technical learning in GIS, volunteer management, database management, ecology, plant identification

Contact Kris Olsson if you are interested.

Do you take your camera with you everywhere you go? Are you constantly capturing moments before they slip away? If you don’t mind getting close to people having fun recreating on or along the Huron River or at local venues then this job is right for you. You may be asked to shoot people and locations both in nature and in the five Trail Towns of the Huron River Water Trail (Milford, Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Flat Rock) or go to specific cultural or HRWC events. Photography skills are required. All applicants must submit a portfolio of 5-10 pictures they have taken. Time commitment: 20 hours May-September, flexible dates/times.

To express your interest, email Pam Labadie with the following:

  • First and last name and cell phone number;
  • Your experience with photography and DSLR equipment;
  • Why you want to help;
  • What river-recreational activities you are involved in
  • AND MOST IMPORTANT a link to an online “portfolio” (Flickr, Tumblr, BlogSpot, etc.) of 5-10 images that demonstrate both technical skill and the ability to shoot events. We would like to see photographs with people, emotions, and action and iconic events/urban locations.

HRWC is looking for a committed volunteer with qualifications and time to help us continue our work in providing field assessments of natural areas as part of our Bioreserve Project.
The Field Assessment Plant Expert would join field assessment teams at least once a week throughout the 2015 field season to perform assessments that each take about 2-4 hours.

HRWC has conducted over 270 field assessments on properties throughout the watershed. So far, HRWC’s Bioreserve Program has helped conservancies and government preservation programs protect over 1000 acres using data provided by the Bioreserve Map and by field assessments.

We are getting ready to begin a partnership with all the conservancies in the watershed in which we provide field assessments to properties they are targeting for arranging for permanent preservation in priority areas along the Huron River corridor.

Contact Kris Olsson if you are interested.

Huron River Watershed Council is committed to diversity and inclusion within the workplace. We are committed to prohibiting discrimination against volunteers, clients, and applicants on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental handicap/disability, social economic class, ethical values and/or political beliefs.