Chief Development Officer at Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

San Francisco, CA
Full Time
Senior Executive


About Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Since 1981, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (Parks Conservancy) has served as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, collaborating with the Presidio Trust, partners, donors, and the community to support the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The GGNRA stretches across three Bay Area counties, north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge, and includes iconic places such as Muir Woods National Monument, Fort Point National Historic Site, Alcatraz Island, Crissy Field, Mori Point, Lands End, and the Presidio of San Francisco.    

The Parks Conservancy engages at the intersection of national park sites, local communities, social justice, and climate resilience. Collaborating with partners, our staff are dedicated to enhancing public awareness and providing volunteer and educational opportunities in the parks. We are park builders, caretakers, ambassadors and educators, all working to connect people to parks, in support of our vision Parks for All Forever. Join us.   

About the Opportunity

The Parks Conservancy has approximately 300 employees dedicated to connecting people to these incredible resources by enhancing the public’s awareness and providing opportunities for enjoyment and stewardship of these incredible places. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the incoming Chief Development Officer (CDO) will have the exciting opportunity to lead the Development and MembershipBranch of the organization, currently 20 people, bringing strategic visioning, system and process development, and equity-centered leadership to build a thriving, collaborative, and effective development function. The wide range of Parks Conservancy programs and projects means fundraising for an exciting portfolio of opportunities – from youth and community programs to the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and the One Tam Collaborative, as well as capital projects in a variety of locations at over three dozen national park locations in the Bay Area. This is an ideal role for a leader who is eager to contribute to a key pillar of our strategic plan, which is to develop a resilient financial model for the Parks Conservancy and seek funding sources that best align with our mission and strategic focus, doubling our philanthropic revenue in the next ten years.

Our ideal candidate brings strength in leading fundraising for medium to large nonprofit organizations, developing and executing a diverse portfolio of funding sources such as individual donors, membership programs, major gifts, legacy gifts and grants that may include foundation, corporate and government sources. Our ideal candidate will have a demonstrated history of people-centered leadership, as well as a track record of building out and implementing the foundational systems and processes that underpin a thriving development function.

Areas of Leadership

Mission & Values Alignment: Bring a mission- and equity-centered lens to all decisions, both at the organizational and functional level. As an executive leader, model and embody the Parks Conservancy’s values. Serve as a trusted representative to, and collaborator with, the Parks Conservancy’s partner organizations.

  • Key qualifications:
    • Alignment with the values of Community Care, Create Belonging, Learning and Growth, and Working with Purpose
    • Belief in the Parks Conservancy’s vision of “Parks for All Forever”  
    • Commitment to, and an understanding of, concepts of equity, justice, and inclusion in the workplace and a demonstrated ability to effectively work and collaborate across differences at all levels 
    • Knowledge and understanding of the ways implicit bias, personal identity, and power and privilege impact individuals, organizations, systems, policies, and structures
    • Track record of demonstrating personal and professional commitment to leading positive change for equity and inclusion, and a commitment to engage and work collaboratively with staff at all levels within the Development and Membership
    • Experience partnering strategically with external collaborators and organizations to advance shared goals 

Executive & Organizational Leadership: Serve as a member of the Executive Management Team, responsible for the Parks Conservancy’s Development and Membership Branch, including: Philanthropy; Events & Outreach; Planned Giving and Park Partnership; and Membership and Operations. Collaborate with the CEO, Executive Team, Board of Trustees, development team members, and partners to envision, develop, and implement a long-range, equity-centered development strategy that is aligned with our organizational goals and priorities, and charts a path to doubling our philanthropic revenue in the next ten years. 

  • Key qualifications: 
    • Track record of successful, people-centered development leadership in highly complex organizations, ideally of a parallel size or larger than the Parks Conservancy
    • Track record of serving as a thought partner and strategic advisor to executive leaders, board members, and team members at all levels of an organization
    • Proven ability to envision, develop, implement, and modify long- and short-term strategy at the organizational level
    • History of effectively leading change throughout career at various levels of leadership and throughout the organization, including successfully proposing and introducing new systems and processes to advance efficiency within a development function  
    • Outstanding communication skills, both internally and externally, and ability to connect and communicate effectively with diverse audiences, at all levels, in order to rally teams and individuals around a shared goal
    • Effective public speaking skills, confident and effective in front of audiences as large as 500 people and as small as one or two major civic and community leaders, inspiring them to support

Development Leadership, Strategy, and Implementation: Build upon the Parks Conservancy’s strong foundation of philanthropy, continuing to engage existing supporters, and bringing in new supporters, partners, and members. Diversify both funders and types of fundraising activities, in partnership with the Development and Membership Branch and in collaboration with all branches of the organization. Build strong relationships with the Board of Trustees and its Development Committee, partnering with them to drive fundraising for new and existing programs, and establishing a more donor-centric and streamlined fundraising approach. Bring an operational lens to the function, evaluating development systems, processes, and procedures, and proposing and implementing updates. Build out and drive a strategy to assertively grow the membership base. Partner with the head of IT to identify opportunities to leverage technology to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the team.

  • Key qualifications: 
    • Understanding of advancing and building brand awareness to support donor and membership growth.
    • Ability to effectively partner with the Board and internal development team to raise significant funds through a combination of individual donors, foundations, events, memberships, sponsorships, partnerships, and government sources
    • Ability to partner across a wide variety of functions and levels to build and implement effective and efficient development systems, including collaborating with Finance to develop data-informed budgets and collaborating with Communications on membership and digital fundraising strategies.
    • Experiencing evaluating and diversifying donor bases and circles of supporters
    • Demonstrable track record as a front-line fundraising professional with a history of substantially growing annual supporter base
    • Ability to leverage fundraising technology and data analytics to identify prospects, upgrade donors, simplify gift processing, and maximize donor communications, including ability to put in place digital membership tools such as electronic membership cards
    • Experience with development/philanthropy in the Bay Area is a strong plus
    • Breadth of experience across key revenue streams: major donor fundraising, events, membership programs and government grants
    • Experience and expertise overseeing evaluating systems such as Raiser's Edge, including software, and making recommendations to shifts or updates

Team Development & Management: As the leader of the Development and Membership Branch, weave all aspects of development under a shared team vision, goals, and strategy, creating a sense of unity, and an understanding of the vital and concrete role that development plays in realizing organizational goals. Cascade team goals from the strategic plan, rallying the team around a shared vision for development that is built upon the goals outlined in the strategic plan. Recruit, hire, and develop team members across functional areas, while simultaneously nurturing and developing a culture of trust, collaboration, kindness, care, and team and individual growth. Promote cohesive interdependence with existing staff and across branches. Center equity in all people-related decisions. Work closely with the Executive Management Team to support organizational culture and capabilities that emphasize our staff and strategy, and deliver impact. 

  • Key qualifications
    • Experience leading multi-layered teams of a parallel size to the team at the Parks Conservancy 
    • Proven history of leading, inspiring, and developing cohesive and high-functioning teams with diverse identities to effectively deliver outcomes while centering an organization’s mission and values
    • Outstanding interpersonal and relationship management skills, including the ability to identify and work through challenges, underscored by strong judgment and emotional intelligence
    • Astute driver of strategy, including managing teams through strategic pivots and changes, and interdependent systems and processes 
    • Outstanding manager of individuals, with an orientation toward mentoring and coaching, and a history of developing professionals to career advancement and new opportunities, empowering direct reports to effectively lead both people and change
    • Track record of leading inclusive teams where individuals and groups feel valued, supported, and heard, and goals are clearly defined and communicated – at the Parks Conservancy we believe that how we work is as important as what we do
    • Proven ability to simultaneously manage, develop, and mentor multiple, thriving teams of professionals at various levels of career and skill sets

Physical Requirements & Work Environments

This position is located at the Parks Conservancy’s headquarters in Fort Mason, San Francisco.  Work is performed mostly in an office setting, including a mix of telework and on-site. This position requires a minimum of two days per week on-site, and many weeks will require more.  In order to meet the essential requirements of this position, this includes a combination of duties in-office, visiting park sites, and participating in park events which may include evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Work is primarily performed sitting and standing

  • Regularly sits or stands at a desk 6-8 hours per day
  • Walking 

Ability to travel to work locations across the San Francisco Bay Area, including Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods, Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field,  Lands End, Presidio, Fort Point, and other workplaces, both indoors and outdoors. 

Salary for this position is $250,000 annually. Parks Conservancy will hire at the salary posted for the position and will not make an offer above this level. Comprehensive benefits package includes paid vacation/personal/sick days, medical/dental/vision plans, 403(B), Employee Assistance Program, employer-matched Commuter Program, employee discounts, and more.

 Health and Safety
It is the goal of the Parks Conservancy to create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace. We work to mitigate hazards and risks that may cause harm to employees, consistent with state and federal laws. Employees play an active role in creating a safe and healthy workplace and are expected to comply with all applicable health and safety rules.
Based on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parks Conservancy requires all employees to be vaccinated and to provide proof of such vaccination as a condition of employment.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All employees may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Recruitment, placement and promotions are conducted without regard to an individual's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical disabilities, veteran status or sexual orientation, or any other classification protected by Federal, State, and local laws & ordinances.  We will consider qualified candidates with criminal history in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.


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