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Senior Manager for External Relations

American Farmland Trust
Massachusetts, United States
$75,000.00 - $80,000.00
Posted Date
Oct 24, 2022

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American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and helped thousands of farm families make a go of it (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture's most pressing needs and opportunities.

Programing across the country, but especially within New England has grown exponentially. That growth has been focused on supporting, building relationships with and more deeply connecting to farmers, thought leaders, and policy makers across the region as we seek transformative change to our agricultural systems within the region.

We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day. Please see AFT's statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, expression or identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which we have facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

AFT is seeking its first Senior Manager for External Relations in the New England region to elevate and focus our communications with high level program and funding partners. The Sr. manager will generate high impact communication strategies and materials as they help build on our strong growth momentum and stable foundation of programming. An exceptional catalyst and a key externally facing leader, this individual will have two primary roles: 1. Helping to forge new relationships to build AFT's reputation, visibility, and impact; and 2. Helping to articulate the impact of AFT's work clearly and concisely in a manner that motivates allies and supporters. The Sr. Manager will build on our work to develop a comprehensive plan for securing key external alliances by cultivating institutional and individual relationships.

They will expand and diversify AFT's reputation and relationships with allied organizations and thought leaders, work closely with other team members. This role drives AFT's externally facing brand and visibility by expanding our presence and relationships with foundations, researchers, influencers, policy makers, corporate partners, the broader philanthropic sector, and other stakeholders. In parallel, this work will support development staff in helping to build a pipeline of highly engaged members of the public, potential donors, and citizen advocates. The Sr. Manager will engage with and work hand in hand with dedicated communication and fundraising staff, both supporting them, and being supported by them.

What You'll Be Working On

  • Work with regional leadership and programming staff to fully understand the strategies and tactics used, as well as the goals and objectives of the major programs within the region.
  • Work with regional communications staff to craft highly impactful communications (written and spoke communications) that capture the environmental, economic and human impact of the work to motivate the intended audiences.
  • Proactively support a positive public image, brand, and reputation for the organization.
  • Maintain brand relevance and consistent high-level messaging both within and outside of the core conservation community
  • Create thought-leadership opportunities for AFT staff through media coverage, speaking engagements, conference appearances, podcasts, and formal presentations.
  • Support and occasionally serve as a stand-in for the Regional Director or other leaders for public appearances and responses to media or stakeholder inquiries.
  • Develop, lead, and manage effective strategies for creating engagement opportunities with institutional and individual philanthropic leaders for regional staff and national development staff that advance AFT's goals, priorities, and financial stability.
  • Collaborate closely with national development staff to support prospecting and pipeline management.
  • Be attune to the regional landscape of funders and partners while helping to position AFT ahead of major funding changes or trends.
  • Lead the planning and implementation of a right-sized communications and cultivation strategy that builds on, deepens, and expands upon our existing portfolio of allies, citizen advocates and philanthropic support.

We are seeking an experienced communicator and strategist who has the energy and drive for catalyzing the external relations functions at AFT within the New England Region. A strong candidate for this role is a dynamic public speaker, a persuasive writer and a resourceful, entrepreneurial leader that loves to build and foster relationships with others. This dynamic person will be a self-starter with a proven track record of success in nonprofit fundraising, advocacy, public relations, or business development.

Knowledge, Approach and Know-how

  • You are a creative thinker who deeply understands people, both in terms of our audiences and our internal team. You're excited by the opportunity to invite key though leaders and stakeholders to engage with us and collectively be part of our solution.
  • You are a consummate team player who knows that a rising tide lifts all boats and that our individual success depends on our teammates, and our team mate's success depends on us.
  • You enjoy working to solve problems. You are excited by the challenge of navigating the (sometimes) unknown and willing to experiment until you find the right mix. You want to leverage on the ground conservation work, public policy, and communications to calibrate our communication and development strategies in a way that builds support for the ongoing work.
  • You can't wait to shout AFT's bold vision and energizing mission from the rooftops. Funders and influencers will have serious AFT FOMO if they're not in on the action. And you're getting them to see the light.
  • You are a generalist who knows external relations and development top to bottom, learn what you don't know, and roll up your sleeves to get things done. You understand impact communications and relationship building fundamentals but thrive in a startup environment where initiative, creativity, and adaptation is key. You have figured out how to manage multiple tasks and projects with ease and calm.

Nuts and Bolts Experience:

  • You have demonstrated success managing and forging relationships with multiple stakeholder sources.
  • You have proven experience significantly growing an organization's reputation and revenue.
  • You have at least five years' experience in a senior-level development and/or external affairs/impact communications/advocacy position.
  • You have strong knowledge of best practices in fundraising/institutional development principles with a primary focus on corporate and foundation giving, but also skilled at major gifts, annual giving, donor communications and prospect research

Why you should apply

  • Be a part of a purpose-driven, committed, knowledgeable, high-performing, experienced and fun team
  • A diverse and inclusive work environment
  • A cause and mission you can be proud of
  • Competitive compensation & Benefits
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling


American Farmland Trust offers excellent vacation, medical, retirement and other benefits. Salary range for this position is from $75,000 to $80,000, based upon experience.

Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the 'apply' button below. While applications will be accepted until the position is filled, applicants who apply with a resume and cover letter prior to November 1st will be given primary consideration.


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