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Director of Philanthropy

Company: San Diego Humane Society
Date Posted: May 13, 2016

SUMMARY: Director of Philanthropy oversees the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts of $50,000 and more from individuals, foundations, and corporations.  This position is focused on maximizing gift revenue from the Society’s sizable constituency of prospects who have the capacity and interest to increase their giving to the major gift level, and who are likely to make multi-year pledges to SDHS. 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:  Include the following, however, other duties may be assigned.

  • Work in tandem with the Chief Philanthropy Officer to create and implement a major giving program to support SDHS’s strategic plan and budgeted funding needs.  Develop an annual revenue and expense budget for the program.
  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 150 prospects capable of giving $25,000 or more, moving them from identification through solicitation.  Design and implement personalized strategies for each prospect.
  • Educate and inform prospects and donors about giving vehicles appropriate to their personal circumstances.
  • Oversee the work of the Grants Officer to manage SDHS’s grants program including identification of potential funders, stewardship of existing funders and the development of proposals.
  •  Oversee the work of the Stewardship Officer in identifying, cultivating and soliciting major gifts in support of SDHS.
  • Work collaboratively with Chief Philanthropy Officer to train staff and volunteers to assist with major gifts cultivation and solicitation. 
  • Develop proposals, solicitation scripts, and other materials needed to effectively communicate/solicit donors.
  • Oversee stewardship of current donors through developing and implementing a stewardship plan. 
  • Coordinate with Grants Officer and Stewardship Officer in the preparation of customized thank-you letters as well as written stewardship reports.. 
  • Prepare weekly, monthly, and annual program performance reports, implementing timely adjustments in the programs as needed to ensure maximum net gift revenue.
  • In collaboration with Chief Philanthropy Officer and the Director of Annual Giving, develop “mini-campaigns” around compelling SDHS funding priorities for marketing to major gift prospects. In addition, develop and maintain an ongoing inventory of specific giving opportunities ($25,000 or more) within SDHS’s operating budget, capital budget, and special projects.
  • Work with the Director of Donor Support Services to extract and analyze data to help identify and qualify major gift prospects.
  • Conduct one-on-one prospecting sessions with high-level donors, board members, staff, and others to identify and qualify major gift prospects.
  • Supervise, evaluate, and direct the performance of the Grants Officer and Stewardship Officer.  Prepare and conduct job performance reviews.  Ensure that direct reports have the appropriate tools, skills, and knowledge to perform his/her job.

General Philanthropy Department activities:

  • Be thoroughly knowledgeable about the history, philosophy, programs, and services of the San Diego Humane Society.  Accurately and professionally articulate this information to donors and prospects, aligning it appropriately with the individual’s philanthropic interests and goals.
  • Understand and comply with all SDHS gift-related policies and procedures, and ensure full ethical compliance as defined by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
  • Actively participate in community outreach efforts as needed, including on-campus activities and outside speaking engagements.
  • Participate fully as a member of the Philanthropy team.
  • Utilize donor database to add and extract information about donors and prospects.
  • When requested or assigned, represent the Philanthropy Department on SDHS’s management team.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: Supervises the Grants Officer and Stewardship Officer.



EDUCATION, SKILL, EXPERIENCE:  Bachelor’s degree and minimum eight (8) years of successful professional fundraising experience, or a combination of relevant experience and education.  Major gift fundraising experience required, with experience in asking for and closing major gifts. Experience, coursework, or other training in comprehensive/capital campaigns and planned giving is preferred.  Must be a self-starter with ability to plan, supervise and evaluate an ambitious major gift program; strong interpersonal skills and proven ability to work effectively with a diverse population of donors and prospects, board members/other volunteers, staff, and community leaders; ability to manage and track multiple prospects and donors simultaneously; ability to effectively communicate a compelling and inspiring vision of SDHS’s mission and programs; comfortable interacting with high net worth individuals;; demonstrated success in working both independently and as a team member to create and implement fundraising strategies at the major gifts level; excellent written, verbal, and listening skills, including ability to make effective presentations to individuals as well as groups of people; strong sense of organization and planning, and able to manage time well; successful experience at recruiting, leading, and managing staff; discretion in handling confidential information relating to the giving history and backgrounds of donors/prospects; knowledge of donor software programs, preferably Raiser’s Edge; proficiency in Microsoft Office products; must be able to work evenings and weekends as needed.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  Individual will frequently be required to stand, walk, sit, talk, hear, stoop, and reach above and below shoulder level, lift and/or carry up to 25 pounds and push and pull up to 35 pounds for situations of moving materials or supplies.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Standard office environment, with exposure to environmental conditions that include working near and potentially caring for animals.  Regular automobile travel required during workdays. The principal office for this position will be at Gaines Street; however, we recognize that some time will be spent at other campuses as necessary.