Development Manager – Grants and Adventure Fundraising

About Big City Mountaineers

At Big City Mountaineers, we work alongside the transformative powers of nature to foster a lasting impact in the lives of youth from disinvested communities. BCM creates opportunities for 12 to 18 year-olds to connect with nature and uncover their own sources of strength, resilience, confidence, serenity and joy by providing free, fully outfitted, and professionally led outdoor experiences. BCM’s programming culminates in a weeklong backcountry trip, which is often the first time the youth we serve experience the outdoors in such a way. The BCM experience enables youth to take on healthy and relevant challenges and cultivate a connection to themselves, their community, to nature, and to joy.

For over thirty years, BCM’s programming has shown staying power beyond the norm, and has come to be a recognized and highly regarded national nonprofit that is supported by a stable operating budget.  BCM is at an exciting point in its history, one that holds great potential and opportunity to reimagine how the organization can best deliver on its mission. Our team includes a dedicated staff, seasonal trip instructors, and volunteers.

Though we are headquartered in Colorado, Big City Mountaineers’ regional hubs touch both coasts, and several locations in between. We are located on the ancestral territories the Ute, (Denver, CO), the Sioux and Anishinibawaki (Minneapolis, MN), the Ohlone, Ramaytush, Chochenyo, and Muwekma (San Francisco Bay Area), the Duwamish (Seattle, WA), the Cowlitz and Chinook (Portland, OR), and the Massachusett and Pawtucket (Boston, MA).

Position Overview

The Development Manager (DM) is a new position at BCM.  Reporting to the Director of Development, the DM will join BCM’s high capacity three person fundraising team charged with ensuring the financial sustainability and growth of the organization.  The DM will play an integral role in ensuring BCM continues to thrive by owning and stewarding two of the organization’s most important revenue streams: grants and adventure fundraising.  

The Development Manager will be BCM’s staff primarily responsible for all things grants. This includes prospecting, outreach and relationship management, composing LOIs and applications, coordinating site visits, and reporting. BCM has historically secured grants targeting youth development and outdoor education, and we are interested in having our incoming DM help us expand our reach to include grants focused on health (physical, mental, emotional), and social-emotional learning (SEL).  

The Development Manager will additionally oversee BCM’s adventure fundraising program: Adventure for Someone.  The DM can expect to have frequent contact with BCM’s community of adventure supporters via phone, email, and potentially in person, and will often be responsible for maintaining relationships, resourcing, acknowledging, and stewarding the people interested in engaging with BCM in this way. 

Additionally, the Development Manager can expect to support with other fundraising functions on an as-needed and as-requested basis. This may include events, individual donor campaigns, corporate giving initiatives, and related communications projects.

This position is an excellent opportunity for an enterprising fundraising and development professional who has a desire to meaningfully contribute to the growth of a nationally recognized nonprofit at a crucial and high potential stage in its existence. The incumbent will have a passion for youth development, equity, and outdoor access, and a track record of exceeding fundraising goals in these or similar areas of focus. 

The Development Manager’s specific essential duties include:


  • Prospecting foundations and public grant opportunities and vetting such opportunities
  • Building and maintaining a grants pipeline and calendar
  • Composing LOIs and grant applications, including creation of project budgets
  • Maintaining relationships with granting institutions
  • Managing grant reports and relevant impact data
  • Expanding BCM’s funding base to new areas of funding interest (health, SEL)

Adventure Fundraising

  • Create and hold to BCM’s Adventure for Someone (AFS) annual calendar and deadlines
  • Work with the Director of Development and Executive Director to secure participant incentives from corporate and brand supporters
  • Manage BCM’s online AFS campaign platform (Classy)
  • Serve as a resource and inspiration for individuals and companies interested in participating in AFS
  • Acknowledge and celebrate AFS participants’ accomplishments

Additional Development Support and Administration

  • Collaborate closely with the Executive Director and Director of Development to execute other fundraising and development initiatives on an as-needed or as-requested basis
  • Meet with the Development team weekly and the Board of Directors Development committee monthly
  • Participate in setting annual revenue goals and building the organization’s fundraising strategy

Data Administration

  • Collaborate with program staff to collect, organize, and keep qualitative and quantitative evidence for BCM programs’ success.
  • Track all donation and fundraising related information in Salesforce, ensure that development related reports and dashboards are accurate and up to date.
  • Prepare executive summaries and reports on fundraising activities for the Executive Director and Board of Directors as needed.
  • Stay closely connected to the organization’s finance and accounting functions.
  • Exercise discretion and confidentiality with regard to financial information.

Role Requirements

  • Personal and professional values consistent with BCM’s mission, values, and principles, including principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Unwavering belief in the power of nature-based experiences to help youth strengthen life skills and build community, and high degree of motivation to increase access to the outdoors for youth from disinvested communities
  • Significant experience and/or demonstrated capacity personally managing a nonprofit organization’s relationships with grantmaking institutions and/or grant writing activities
  • A track record of surpassing fundraising goals in excess of $1M 
  • Familiarity and comfort with the full life cycle of development work, including donor prospecting, identification, relationship building, cultivation, and stewardship for individuals and, foundations
  • Knowledge of and connections to the philanthropic communities that support – or might support – BCM’s work that operate in our current service regions and nationally.
  • Impeccable communication and compelling storytelling skills, both verbal and written.
  • Aptitude for fastidious data management, detail orientation, and organization.
  • Comfort working with financial information and making data-informed decisions.
  • Capacity to work collaboratively and efficiently within a small team and flat organizational hierarchy
  • Demonstrated ability to make meaningful, authentic connections with people across various lines of difference

Additional Qualifications

  • Personal passion for youth development, outdoor recreation, and experiences in nature
  • Familiarity with the regions and local communities BCM serves
  • Experience working with youth who hold traditionally marginalized identities or who come from traditionally disinvested communities, and/or the organizations that serve them.
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently, and to know when each is required
  • Interpersonal awareness, ability to cultivate trusting interpersonal relationships and connect with people across lines of difference
  • Comfort giving and receiving feedback up and across a supervisory hierarchy
  • Ability to set priorities and manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Willingness to hold self and others accountable for all organizational policies
  • Experience working with technology platforms that enable effective remote collaboration (Google Workspace, Slack, Salesforce, Zoom)
  • Residence in or near Denver, CO (preferred), or one of BCM’s other program regions
  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in relevant or related field (preferred)

Employment & Compensation

This is a full-time exempt position, with a starting annual salary range of $55,000 – $70,000/year. The Development Manager will be eligible to receive medical, dental, and vision insurance within one month of hire.  Big City Mountaineers employees enjoy a generous paid time off policy (over 30 paid days off per calendar year) and flexibility in terms of work schedule and location. Employees have access to additional benefits after an initial period of employment.

Expected start date for this position is June 1, 2022. 


How to Apply & Timeline

Please submit a current resume and thoughtful cover letter detailing why you believe your experience, capacity, and passions align with BCM’s needs to Bailey Denmark, Director of Development, at In your cover letter, be sure to address the following:

  • What compelled you to apply to this specific position with Big City Mountaineers?
  • What prior experience has prepared you for this role?
  • How does your personal identity and/or lived experience play a role in your motivation to do this work?

Combining both documents into a single PDF is preferred.

All applications must be received no later than Sunday, April 24, 2022. If we feel you might be a good potential fit for the role, we will be in touch to schedule an interview; first round interviews will occur on a rolling basis and take place, at latest, by May 6.

Big City Mountaineers is invested in cultivating a diverse candidate pool and is interested in connecting with candidates whose identities and/or lived experiences are similar to the youth we work with. We understand that our next Development Manager may not have taken a traditional professional path, and we encourage interested individuals to apply even if you don’t meet every one of our qualifications listed.


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