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Environment and Conservation, Fundraising and Advancement, Nonprofit and Social Impact

Chief Development Officer

  • Resources Legacy Fund
  • Remote | Sacramento, CA
About Resources Legacy Fund

Resources Legacy Fund (RLF) builds alliances that advance bold solutions to secure a just and resilient world for people and nature. RLF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with leaders in philanthropy, communities, government, science, and business to promote smart policies and secure equitable public funding for the environment, climate change resilience, and healthy communities. Across the American West and internationally, the organization manages large, multiyear grantmaking programs and fiscally sponsored projects that advance enduring outcomes. RLF believes strategic philanthropy, thoughtful partnerships, and equitable program and project design is essential to accelerating change on the urgent environmental and social challenges we face.

RLF is a team of approximately 55 program staff based in California, Montana, Hawai‘i, and Washington, D.C. RLF employs approximately 75 additional staff who work on fiscally sponsored projects that span the globe. The team consists of experts in environmental policymaking, law, campaigns, constituency building, and on-the-ground project implementation. RLF strives for excellence, prioritizing creativity and high standards of quality in everything we do, with a reputation for consistently delivering significant and enduring results.

Each year, RLF works closely with hundreds of grantee organizations and consultants, mobilizing influence, knowledge, and expertise to protect nature for the health of people and the planet. RLF believes the key to achieving meaningful results is our ability to build effective relationships, listen deeply, and respect different perspectives.

RLF works closely with two affiliated but distinct organizations that offer additional flexibility to donors and partners. Fund for a Better Future (FBF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, created in 2016, that allows donors to invest quickly and engage in various advocacy and political activities that support a wide range of causes. FBF helps advance climate action, voting rights, immigrant rights, reproductive rights, access to healthcare, and environmental protection, while ensuring impact, accountability, and legal compliance. Learn more at fundforabetterfuture.org. Additionally, RLF partners with the Shared Ascent Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) created in 2019 to address growing threats to our democracy and foster collective action for a better world. Learn more at sharedascentfund.org.

The Opportunity

Since its founding, RLF has not had a formal development function nor any designated development staff. Instead, its founder and former President Michael Mantell worked with donors, program staff, and partners to develop initiatives organically. Program Directors and other program staff have long maintained direct relationships with the program officers of institutions funding their specific programs.  While RLF’s relationships with current funders remain strong, the organization is now undertaking a more strategic, formalized, and coordinated organization-wide approach to fundraising under the leadership of new President Avi Garbow, appointed in January 2022. This investment is an important next step in the evolution of the organization and intended to marshal increased, more diversified, and sustainable philanthropic support critical to fueling RLF’s continued excellence.

RLF seeks candidates to serve as its first-ever Chief Development Officer (CDO). Reporting directly to the President, the CDO is responsible for conceiving and establishing a formal development program for RLF, and the oversight, planning, and implementation of all fundraising activities across the organization, including those pertaining to the affiliated Fund for a Better Future and Shared Ascent Fund. RLF fundraising will continue its focus on partnering with foundations and high-net-worth individuals capable of major and principal gifts, and expand into governmental funding, leveraging the deep expertise and existing relationships of administrative, programmatic, and Board colleagues. The CDO will work hand-in-hand as a thought partner and philanthropic advisor to the President and other organizational leaders to strengthen fundraising capabilities.

The CDO is charged with building development infrastructure that positions programmatic staff at the fore of donor engagement. The CDO will expand and diversify the donor base/pipeline, working in close partnership with the President and program directors to align philanthropic and programmatic strategies. As the base of support expands, this leader will also help to build and grow RLF’s portfolio of programs actively managed by the organization in alignment with its mission and core expertise, in contrast to those undertaken via fiscal sponsorships. In addition, the CDO will work closely with Board members to align on fundraising strategies.

Required Qualifications and Experience

While RLF will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:

–          Passion for the work of Resources Legacy Fund and enthusiasm for developing a working knowledge of corresponding issues related to the environment, climate change resilience, and healthy communities.

–          Eight years or more in nonprofit fundraising with increasingly responsible experience in the creation and execution of development strategy and programs, and an established track record of increasing philanthropic revenue. Broad knowledge of individual and institutional major gift fundraising, stewardship, and development operations, and leadership in a major fundraising campaign. Prior experience in the field of environmental conservation would be considered a plus.

–          Knowledge of and fundamental adherence to the principles, ethics, and best practices of modern fundraising.

–          Adaptive, non-hierarchical leadership style in partnering with executive and programmatic staff. Comfort leading from behind and deploying programmatic staff from all levels of the organization, including positioning such at the fore of donor engagement, as appropriate, while capable of developing and maintaining strong personal relationships with donors.

–          Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of how to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in the development function; culturally competent with respect to issues such as racial, cultural, religious, sexual, and gender identity. Skilled at delivering solutions in evolving, multi-cultural environments.

–          Demonstrated strength in prospect discovery, developing the case for support, building effective strategies to compel new major donor investment and grow fundraising. Experience collaborating with executives, senior staff, and board and other volunteer leaders on development-related activities, providing them with quality support and intelligence and increasing their comfort with and success in fundraising.

–          Proven ability to personally cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts from institutional and individual donors at six and seven-figure levels or greater.

–          Understanding of the players, strategies, and trends in giving in California, and a preference for demonstrated fundraising success therein. The successful candidate must possess the ability to access these networks seamlessly and with aplomb.

–          Demonstrated analytical orientation and the ability to integrate data into decision-making and strategy development.

–          Experience leveraging modern data management practices and technology for relationship management, prospecting, and streamlining development processes.

–          Ability to recruit, lead, evaluate, and develop staff and contribute to the ongoing fostering of a results-oriented development team. Track record of maintaining clear goals and shared accountability, as well as working cross-departmentally when necessary to achieve results. Experience managing budgets and revenue forecasts.

–          Flexibility to travel on a national scale.

RLF is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment free from discrimination, where all team members feel valued, respected, and included. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all qualified candidates, whatever their race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, religious or political affiliation, marital status, or any other dimension of diversity. We know that our work is enriched by the varied voices and perspectives of every staff and board member, so we are committed to making an earnest effort to recruit, welcome, train, develop, and retain talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. We believe that a diverse and inclusive culture expands our creative capacity to do our work and achieve greater outcomes for people and the natural world. We invite you to learn more about RLF’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on our website: https://resourceslegacyfund.org.

Resources Legacy Fund has retained the Diversified Search Group for this engagement. Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr. is leading the search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed via email to gerard.cattie@divsearch.com.

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