Director of Donor Relations

Posted Date: August 16, 2018
Location: San Francisco, California
Department: Philanthropy
Position Summary:

The Director of Donor Relations is responsible for designing, implementing and coordinating an organization-wide, comprehensive donor relations program and for the overall management of the Donor Relations Team. The Donor Relations program should foment a seamless and rewarding donor experience across the donor continuum, with an emphasis on major- and principal-gift level donors. The scope of the work includes proposal writing, high-level donor stewardship, and related communications.

The position must sustain positive and mutually-rewarding relations between the organization and its donors; actively lead by example by maintaining a portfolio of written work; partner with Philanthropy relationship managers, executive staff, volunteer leadership, and others to implement best practices for effective donor relations; and advise on the facilitation of donor recognition opportunities.

Organizational Relationships:

The Director of Donor Relations reports to the Vice President, Philanthropy Programs, who reports to the Chief Philanthropy Officer, who reports to the President and CEO of The Trust for Public Land.

To effectively fulfill the responsibilities of the position, the Director must lead a team of staff members (currently three) to interact closely with others on the Philanthropy Programs team (including Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Corporate Giving, and Foundation Relations), the Director of Field Philanthropy and associated Field Philanthropy team members, and Marketing and Philanthropy Operations staff. The Director will also interact with organizational leadership and staff, state directors, and volunteer leadership as needed.

  • Donor Relations Program Management: Fosters and promotes donor relations best practices, strengthening the culture of effective strategic donor communication and stewardship among staff across the organization. Leads a team of professionals that designs, documents, and implements a systematic and integrated donor relations program for all donors to The Trust for Public Land, with particular emphasis on providing timely narrative reports to donors of $50,000 or more describing the programmatic and institutional impact of their philanthropic support. Generates strategic and creative solutions for enhancing donor relationships to improve fundraising performance and advance the organization’s mission. Proactively supports the donor relations responsibilities of key philanthropy staff by assisting them in establishing and coordinating individualized plans for managed donors. Facilitates public recognition of major donors to the organization.
  • Portfolio Management: The Director of Donor Relations is a practitioner and serves as project manager, editor, and/or principal writer for select print and electronic projects, including funding proposals for individuals and foundations; annual stewardship reports for select donors; and project summaries for a diverse array of fundraising goals.
  • Donor Relations Operations: Establishes and manages information-tracking processes for proposal development, acknowledgement, recognition, on-going communications and continued cultivation of major prospects and donors to enhance their relationship with The Trust for Public Land in order to increase the likelihood of a lifetime commitment to the organization. Maintains and assesses policies and procedures across the Philanthropy department that are essential to a comprehensive donor relations program, such as Donor Recognition Policies. Collaborates with Special Events personnel in developing and implementing an array of donor stewardship events, often involving leadership, board members, and other VIPs.
  • Annual Stewardship Publications: With Philanthropy and Marketing colleagues, oversees or supports the development and production of personalized as well as broad stewardship publications and content, such as donor impact reports, the Annual Report and Year-in-Review Reports.
  • Knowledge and ability to create, execute, and oversee a comprehensive organization-wide donor relations program that includes initial proposal development to comprehensive stewardship reporting, and associated donor outreach.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are essential.
  • Ability to develop strategic, creative solutions to cultivate and steward donors and advance the organization’s capacity to maintain and strengthen high-quality individual relationships with donors and prospects.
  • Excellent social skills, with large groups as well as with individuals, are required.
  • Proven skills and ability to manage multi-phase projects from inception to completion, including the ability to build consensus among team members and balance multiple concurrent priorities.
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team. Being detail oriented, well organized, focused and goal-oriented, with a high level of initiative and energy, is essential.
  • Adept at problem-solving and using judgment in situations requiring independent initiative and tact.
A bachelor’s degree is required with a minimum of 5 to 7 years’ experience, preferably in a large, complex national organization, in development, donor relations, advancement services or related field. Previous experience interacting with donors is essential.