Claire Birney, CFRE

Director of Development

Claire Birney

Claire Birney, CFRE is the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s Director of Development. She leads a three-person team working to attain the funding needed to restore the tidal Delaware River and Bay in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Birney has been a leader in nonprofit fundraising across the Delaware Valley for over 25 years. Most recently she was the director of philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy’s Pennsylvania chapter. Before that she was Director of Development at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. Other employers have included the West Chester University Foundation, Stroud Water Research Center, Upland Country Day School, Delaware Symphony, and Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.

Birney served for 12 years as a board member at the Brandywine Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She was the chapter’s 2007 Fund Raising Executive of the Year. Other board memberships have included the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls and Lehigh University’s College of Education Advisory Committee.

Birney received her B.A. in communications from West Chester University. Since 2002, she has maintained her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification.

When she is not working to protect nature, Birney likes to enjoy nature. She enjoys taking daily walks with her terriers, Rusty and Crickette, in West Grove, Pennsylvania where she lives. She also enjoys long hikes with her husband and friends, or walking the beach with her daughter.

To contact Birney, please call (302) 655-4990, extension 120, or email

(Image credit: Shaun Bailey)