Senior Manager, Development, California

Ceres | San Francisco, California


Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses. For more information about Ceres, please visit:

Job Summary

This is a new position responsible for developing and expanding Ceres' individual giving program in California and the Western United States more broadly. Based in Ceres' office in San Francisco, the Senior Manager, Development is responsible for building an active major gifts pipeline and broader base of individual donor prospects for Ceres throughout this geographic region. Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Senior Manager works closely with other California staff and the development team at Ceres' Boston headquarters to develop plans, set goals, and develop and execute specific donor cultivation and solicitation strategies. The Senior Manager is a highly polished ambassador for Ceres with a proven ability to build strong relationships with high-level constituents: business leaders, investors, donors, and funders. 

Reports To

Chief Development Officer


Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

Major Gifts

  • Develop and manage a portfolio of individual major gift prospects capable of making gifts at the $5,000-$100,000 level.
  • Help map out the California and West Coast philanthropic landscape, identify and build a pipeline of major donor prospects, and engage and cultivate prospects.
  • Steward current individual donors to Ceres through in-person meetings, small event engagement, and ongoing personal communication.
  • Collaborate with the Individual Giving team on strategies to expand the donor pipeline and upgrade donors in the Ceres 1000 (annual fund donors of $1,000+).
  • Engage Ceres' program staff, Board and President's Council members as appropriate in donor cultivation and relationship management.
  • Create briefs, proposals, and other communications for major donors and prospects, including drafts for use by the CEO, California Director, and other senior managers.

Development Events

  • Design and oversee development events (including small-venue Sustainability Salons, house parties/dinners, and special events).
  • Contribute to successful strategies to maximize the development potential of the annual Ceres Conference, which is held every other year in San Francisco.

President's Council and Board Stewardship

  • Assist the Chief Development Officer, Ceres CEO/President, and Chair of the Ceres President's Council in identifying and engaging prospective members to the Council.
  • Help steward and support current West Coast-based Board and President's Council members, and help them leverage their networks to build relationships with Ceres.
  • Oversee the execution of President's Council gatherings on the West Coast.


  • Supervise and mentor the California office's Development Associate in her fundraising responsibilities.
  • Work as part of the overall development department to develop and execute strategies to achieve annual departmental goals.
  • Collaborate with the individual giving team in setting and achieving annual targets.
  • Work with the California and Boston-office development teams to set California-specific development plans and quantitative targets.


  • 7-10 years' experience in a front-line annual and/or major gifts fundraising position.
  • Successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting five- and six-figure gifts and stewarding major donors.
  • Ability to assimilate and communicate effectively to donors the mission, goals, and needs of an organization like Ceres.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and demonstrated ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately, and concisely.
  • Creativity and flexibility in adapting to an ever-changing landscape and developing appropriate donor cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Strong organizational, time and project management skills, and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team to accomplish tasks and achieve goals.
  • Passion for Ceres' mission and ability to inspire others to support that mission.
  • Ability to travel in the Western United States up to 20% of the time, and to make quarterly trips to Boston.

How to Apply

We encourage all applicants to review our website to familiarize themselves with Ceres before applying: If you are interested in applying for this position, please go to and submit a resume, cover letter, two writing samples, and a list of three references, as well as complete the additional information as instructed. Ceres is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will not discriminate against any individual based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran status, disability, or any factors prohibited by applicable law.



Organization: Nonprofit Organizations