Western Reserve Land Conservancy
Western Reserve Land Conservancy provides the people of our region with essential natural assets through land conservation and restoration. Headquartered in Moreland Hills, Ohio, we are the largest land conservancy in Ohio, employing over 40 people in offices throughout northern and eastern portions of the state. Our land protection team has now conserved more than 50,000 acres of natural area and working farms in 23 Ohio counties. Thriving Communities, our urban revitalization program, is nationally recognized for thought leadership on removing blight; creating land banks to find productive uses for vacant properties; and revitalizing communities through greening strategies. Our mission is funded through a combination of program revenue, government grants and philanthropic gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.
The Conservation Funding Associate (CFA) assists with efforts to secure public funding for strategic land acquisitions and conservation easement purchases, as well as other related projects for the Conservation and Thriving Communities teams. This includes identifying, writing and submitting grant applications to local, state, federal and public-private partnership sources and coordinating with partnering organizations. The highest priority for the associate will be in proposal preparation (research and writing). In addition, the CFA will assist with researching and identifying new sources of funding and may also be responsible for grant management for funded projects, which includes tracking grant requirements, maintaining accurate records, and coordinating activities across multiple projects. Finally, the CFA may be called upon to fulfill additional land protection-related duties. The CFA is a member of the Conservation team, but at times may work between departments as instructed by the Conservation Funding Manager, in helping to coordinate with the Development team on specific land protection projects requiring fundraising assistance and/or other grant applications.
Key Areas of Responsibility
The Land Conservancy secures land protection grants from local, state, federal and public-private partnership sources to support conservation acquisition and restoration efforts as well as selected facets of the Thriving Communities program. The CFA supports the entire process of obtaining conservation funding for land protection projects, with involvement in all aspects of the Conservation team’s efforts to secure grants from public sources. As such, the CFA’s daily workload may include these responsibilities:
- Research aimed at the identification of prospective new funding sources;
- Writing, including the development of detailed proposal content as well as supporting documentation;
- Coordination of application documents including forms, proposals, and required attachments in preparation for submission;
- Collaboration with internal field and project management staff and external partners in order to prepare and submit eligible grant applications;
- Completion of both online and hard copy funding requests that are essential to the conservation funding process.
- In addition, the CFA may occasionally be called upon to assist with Conservation-related duties in the field.
Along with all staff members, the CFA is responsible for contributing to a positive organizational culture by providing strong communications, demonstrating a willingness to collaborate, learn, and develop, and to assist with Land Conservancy activities, initiatives and programs as requested. The CFA is also responsible for performing in a manner that is professional, collaborative, timely, and of high quality.
Required Education, Experience, Capabilities
This individual must have at least two years of work experience, preferably in the grant writing, conservation, or non-profit areas. Ideally, the person should have experience in preparing proposals for, and securing grants from, state and/or Federal grant funding sources. This person must have strong organizational, writing, research, interpersonal, and teamwork skills, as well as a demonstrated ability to effectively manage time, work in a fast-paced environment, and multi-task. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required. A background in natural resources is preferred, but not required. Demonstrated commitment to the Land Conservancy’s mission is essential.