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Southern California Director of Philanthropy

Pasadena, CA
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, the Trust for Public Land has preserved more than 4 million acres, created or transformed 5,364 parks, playgrounds, and gardens, and developed more than 2,000 miles of trails across the United States. The Trust for Public Land has also helped states and local communities generate over $93 billion in new public funds for parks and open space. With over thirty offices across the country, the Trust for Public Land’s vision is an America where every community can connect with nature near and far. For cities throughout the United States, the organization’s goal is to ensure that everyone in America has access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home. www.tpl.org

Position Summary:
The Director of Philanthropy, Southern California, collaborates with senior philanthropy and programmatic leadership to help direct strategy and implementation for fundraising activities in support of the Trust for Public Land’s annual operating and programmatic needs throughout California. The Director of Philanthropy, Southern California, should be an entrepreneurial and results-oriented individual who is self-motivated, committed to working at the highest level of quality, able to work both independently and in collaboration, manage multiple priorities, and thrive within a fast-paced results-oriented office. The DOP must be adept at working with philanthropy and programmatic leadership across the organization, leveraging national resources to elevate the Trust for Public Land at the local level, as well as to promote and advocate for work taking place in other regions and across the country. The position carries a mixed portfolio to include corporate and foundation funders, with an emphasis on individual major gift prospects.

This new position will ideally be based out of the Trust for Public Land office in Pasadena (with in-office/work-from-home flexibility) and the selected candidate will join a seven-person philanthropy team in California, working collaboratively as a part of the national fundraising team at TPL. The position works closely with philanthropy staff and program leadership in Southern California to create unique engagement and stewardship opportunities and communication that demonstrates the value and impact of philanthropic investment, increases revenue, and drives philanthropy results. The Director of Philanthropy, Southern California, reports to the California Senior Director of Philanthropy.


25%       Southern California Program Development & Delivery:
  • Design – Use experience to design a full spectrum fundraising plan and attain agreed upon annual and long-term (3-5 years) goals, including identification and prioritization of prospects, cultivation events, solicitation meetings, and stewardship outreach.  
  • Strategy – With California philanthropy, program leadership and the CA State Director, create strategies for a) messaging of California state priorities (including strategic plan and legislative priorities) and b) consistent and effective outreach to top 25 donors/prospects (“moves management”).
  • Implementation – Oversee implementation of donor strategies in southern California under supervision of the Sr. Director of Philanthropy, directing and coordinating the involvement of State Director and program staff. Lead donor communications and recognition, coordinating with regional and national marketing and donor relations departments.
  • Reporting – Assist in the tracking and reporting progress toward revenue and programmatic goals, providing regular updates to California philanthropy staff and program leadership.

70%       Relationship Manager:
  • Manage, identify, and build relationships with a mixed portfolio of approximately 120 individual, foundation, and corporate donors and prospects at various stages of engagement with the organization. Emphasis will be on individual major gift donors and prospects and include donor identification, qualification, strategy development, cultivation, solicitation and ongoing stewardship.
  • Maintain accurate donor records and track “actions” and “moves management” in Clearview CRM, TPL’s donor database.
  • Conduct donor visits regularly and often with a goal of 100 visits per year, including qualification visits, direct solicitations, and closing gifts.
  • Write solicitation letters and proposals, utilizing the support of philanthropy writing staff, when/as appropriate.
  • Coordinate and implement donor field trips, project visits, events, and recognition as needed.
  • Engage other staff members and volunteers in fundraising efforts as appropriate and to maximize effectiveness.
5%         Other duties as assigned or required.

The Director of Philanthropy, Southern California is expected to:
  • Carry a balanced portfolio of ~120 prospects with the capacity to make 5-figure+ gifts and effectively move them through the four stages of giving (qualification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship).
  • Make at least 100 visits (aspire to 120 visits) with donors and prospects annually.
  • Contribute to Philanthropy’s (California and National) overall success by assuring budget and goals are met and exceeded.
  • Participate in development and implementation of annual and long-range State Philanthropy strategic plan.

  • 3-5 years of fundraising experience, including successful major gift ($100k+) solicitations.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the Los Angeles, Southern California, and/or California statewide philanthropic communities.
  • Experience working with and managing volunteers and board members to cultivate donors, resulting in new/increased gifts.
  • Self-motivated; able to multi-task with excellent attention to detail and deadlines; and can perform successfully without regular supervision.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, with multiple initiatives and projects and multiple stakeholders.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills (including grant writing) and interpersonal skills ranging from one-on-one interactions to formal group presentations.
  • Computer proficiency with various Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Understands the Trust for Public Land’s gift acceptance policies and ensures ethical compliance with fundraising best practices, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals.
  • Interest and commitment to the Trust for Public Land’s mission.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours and available for donor-related travel (avg of 30%) mostly within the state, but with some regional or national travel requested to meet job requirements.

As a full-time exempt employee, selected applicant will be eligible for the Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental and vision insurance, three weeks of vacation annually plus ten holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience. The range for this position is $110,000 to $125,000 annually.

The Trust for Public Land’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities, we welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skillsets. We are open to the possibility that a great candidate may not precisely meet all of the above criteria. If you believe you are the right person for this job and can persuasively make the case—we encourage you to apply.

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