Director of Advancement

Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation | Santa Rosa, California


The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation seeks a dynamic and accomplished fundraiser, communicator, and leader yearning to make a difference in the vast Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed where two-thirds of Sonoma County residents reside. Are you an enthusiastic and experienced leader who can help to grow our resources in order to make a difference locally in climate change, water quality, wildlife habitat, and inspiring others to steward our natural environment?

The Laguna Foundation is offering an opportunity to build upon the organization’s respected reputation and achievements during its first 30 years in the Laguna watershed. Working closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors, the Director of Advancement will inspire others to support the work of the Laguna Foundation and grow our financial capacity to implement our strategic plan.

Job Summary

In partnership with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors, the Director of Advancement will provide leadership in designing and implementing a comprehensive, results-oriented fund development plan that includes annual fundraising, major campaigns, and special events. The Director of Advancement will secure funding from diverse sources to sustain and advance the Laguna Foundation’s restoration, conservation, and education programs. The Director of Advancement will take a lead role in establishing and executing annual work plans for fundraising including goals, strategies, benchmarks, and timetables in order to identify new donors including individuals, businesses, and foundations, and deepen relationships with long-standing donors. The Director will oversee the overall marketing and promotion efforts that enhance the Laguna Foundation’s image and impact.

Reports To

Executive Director


Job Duties include but are not limited to the following:

Strategic Leadership

  • Serves as a key leadership team member and active participant in making strategic decisions affecting the Laguna Foundation.
  • Formulates the content, implements, and refines a multi-year strategic development plan and associated annual work plans that align with Laguna Foundation’s overall strategic plan and budget for all philanthropic revenue.
  • Stewards a culture of philanthropy throughout all levels of the organization that is aligned with the organization’s values, vision, and mission.
  • Keeps abreast of the latest research on fundraising strategies and implementation while ensuring best practices are in place.
  • Represent the Laguna Foundation externally as a visible member of the community at meetings and speaking engagements. 


  • Ensures a diverse donor base of individual, corporate, foundation, and public segments.
    • Assesses and elevates major gift and corporate partnership programs.
    • Ensures robust planned and deferred giving programs.
    • Designs and implements campaigns, including capital campaigns.
    • Implements strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and retain donors, including appreciation events.
    • Develops and implements strategies for expanding the donor base, including planning and executing special events. 
  • Oversees the development and implementation of policies and procedures for gift processing and donor acknowledgment, database management, and financial reporting.
  • Establishes and monitors key metrics to evaluate ongoing performance, and to make forecasts ensuring the department will meet or exceed annual fundraising goals aligned with organizational and programmatic priorities.
  • Ensures the integrity of donor relationships and philanthropic agreements. 

Staff and Board Engagement

  • Supervises the advancement support staff and program volunteers.
  • Facilitates communication of relevant information and ideas across the organization, ensuring integrated and successful operation.
  • Manages and oversees content produced in publications, press releases, grant submissions, reports, social media posts, and other outreach materials and venues.
  • Inspires and provides support to the Executive Director and Board of Directors by engaging members in the fundraising process, overseeing their ongoing training, leveraging their knowledge in the identification, qualification, and cultivation of strategic, high-value prospects.
  • Provides leadership to the Board of Director’s Advancement Committee
  • Effectively manages his/her time and Advancement Department’s time and resources to meet budgets.


Education / Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in fundraising, nonprofit administration, or public administration and/or Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) or similar credential desired.
  • Five years of experience in direct fundraising or philanthropy management, including successful major gift fundraising, special event management, or a related field.
  • Prior experience with environmental organizations and/or land trusts is highly desired.
  • Familiarity with the philanthropic community of Sonoma County and/or the greater San Francisco Bay Area is preferred.

Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge

  • Significant knowledge and experience leading and growing successful development departments including building major gifts, foundations, campaigns, and corporate partnership strategies.
  • Strong knowledge of budget preparation and administration. 
  • Ability to effectively utilize database systems with data-driven and evidence-based organization; experience with GiftWorks software is useful but not required; proficient in Microsoft Office programs including Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and Outlook.  
  • Strong knowledge of people-management principles and best practices, with an ability to inspire staff and board.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively while executing tactically; strong project management and execution skills. 
  • Demonstrated ability in effective and inspiring public speaking. 
  • Superior organizational and communication skills. 
  • Strong solicitation, cultivation, and relationship building skills.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.

Personal Characteristics and Work Style

  • Ability to develop a sincere passion for, and understanding of, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation’s mission to restore and conserve the Laguna de Santa Rosa, and to inspire public appreciation of this Wetland of International Importance. 
  • Creative, self-starter attitude.
  • Ability to be flexible and balance multiple priorities in a complex and multi-faceted organization.
  • Ability to be a compelling ambassador for the organization’s values and mission.
  • Collaborative and engaging communication style in working with people of many backgrounds, including staff, volunteers, Board members, donors, community leaders, elected officials, and the general public.


This is a salaried, exempt position.

Salary Range: To commensurate with experience.

Hours: Full-time (40 hours per week). Some evenings and weekends may be required. General office hours are 9:00am-5:30pm. Flexible scheduling may be arranged.

Benefit Package: The Laguna Foundation provides a competitive benefits package that includes employer-sponsored health, dental and vision insurance; paid time off including vacation, sick time, and select holidays; and optional participation in a 403(b) retirement plan.


The work environment is representative of those an employee encounters while working in a shared workspace, indoor office environment. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit at a desk/computer for several hours, some bending, lifting and/or moving up to 25 lbs., grasping. It requires capacity to navigate a two-story building via stairs. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

How to Apply

Application deadline: 5:00 PM, April 24, 2020.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application. If we would like to speak with you further, we will contact you by email. We apologize that we are unable to communicate personally with each applicant as to why they are not chosen for an interview. Principals only. No phone calls, please.

Please submit a résumé and cover letter outlining your experience, why the position is of interest to you, and what you would bring to the position. References may be contacted following an interview. Email your application to with “Director of Advancement” in the subject line. Do not submit a photo.

Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation


Organization: Grantmaking Public Charities