Region Director of Philanthropy, California - open to location

In January 2020, Trust for Public Land launched The Power of Land for People (2020-2025) strategic plan to fulfill our vision that every American should have close-to-home access to the benefits of nature. We could not have anticipated the impending COVID-19 pandemic, but it highlighted that our land-for-people solutions are more needed now than at any point in recent memory. Quality parks and natural spaces are a fundamental requirement for sustaining healthy, equitable communities that are resilient and prepared for change. In this moment of polarization and increasing social turmoil, parks and public land reweave our country’s frayed social fabric, reconnecting us to each other and the places and experiences that bind us together as a nation. Today, on the heels of The Trust for Public Land’s most successful fundraising year and our 50th anniversary, we have much to celebrate and even more promising work to pursue. Join us to advance “land for people” and grow our philanthropic partnerships to ensure healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  - Pat Watson, Chief Philanthropy Officer
Position Summary:
Reporting directly to the Vice President, Philanthropy, the California Region Director of Philanthropy will be responsible for leading an eight-person team and the fundraising strategy for the California Program which also serves Nevada. We are seeking an entrepreneurial and results-oriented individual who is self-motivated with proven leadership experience, committed to working at the highest level of quality, able to work both independently and in collaboration, manage multiple priorities, and thrive within a fast-paced, results-oriented team.

The Region Director of Philanthropy will work closely with philanthropy and programmatic leadership throughout the organization, especially with the Pacific Region Vice President. The Region Director of Philanthropy will help the team leverage resources across the organization to elevate Trust for Public Land at the local level as well as promote and advocate work taking place across the organization. The position is responsible for directly overseeing the development and implementation of short- and long-term fundraising strategies, a mixed portfolio of individuals, corporate, and foundations, with an emphasis on individual major and principal gift prospects and donors and works closely with the Pacific Region Vice President to oversee the California Advisory Board.

This position will serve as a member of the Philanthropy Management Team and is expected to work closely with a variety of internal partners including the National Programs, Finance, Marketing, Philanthropy Operations, Philanthropy Programs, and Planned Giving teams to drive the integration of an organization-wide philanthropy program.
40%     Leadership and Program Oversight:  Oversee all fundraising activities and performance of the philanthropy staff directly reporting to the position. Ensures the program has developed an annual Philanthropy work plan, moves management plans, revenue, and expense budgets, and annual and long-range (3-5 years) fundraising goals. Works with Pacific Region Vice President and program leadership and staff to provide philanthropy leadership on strategy, budgeting, marketing, and other shared priorities as well as to identify blended and/or national gift opportunities. Direct and coordinates the involvement of the State Director and program staff with donors. Facilitate collaboration between the California Philanthropy team and all areas of philanthropy, national programs, and marketing.

            The Region Director of Philanthropy will help to establish annual plans, monitor progress and consult/coach on effective strategies and areas for improvement. Train and mentor staff on best practices. Identify and advocate for needed resources for the program. Resolve disputes and make decisions to insure efficient, effective, and cohesive team. Deliver annual performance assessment.

10%     Advisory Board Oversight: Work with Pacific Region Vice President and local Advisory Board Co-Chairs to sustain and grow program’s Advisory Board, including identifying and recruiting new members, directing the fundraising knowledge and efforts of the Advisory Board, and overseeing the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual board members and ensuring giving metrics are achieved.

50%    Relationship Manager:  Manage a mixed portfolio of approximately 75 donors and prospects with an emphasis on individual major ($50K+) and principal gift ($1M+) donor prospects.  Includes donor visits, cultivation and stewardship activities, and solicitations. Creates comprehensive engagement strategies, leads cultivation teams, and leads in the creation and delivery of final solicitation and stewardship materials. Promotes blended gifts, planned giving, and involves peer volunteers, leadership, senior management, and project staff in cultivation and stewardship as needed.


The Region Director of Philanthropy is expected to:
  • Carry a portfolio of 75 prospects with the capacity to make 6-figure+ gifts and effectively move them thru the four stages (qualification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship).
  • Make at least 60-80 visits with donors and prospects, annually
  • Contribute to Philanthropy’s overall success by assuring budget and goals are met or exceeded for the California Region. 
  • Develop, implement, and follow up on the fulfillment of annual and long-range state strategic plans
  • Model TPL’s shared values (Belonging, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Hope) to effectively work across the organization.
Experience, Education, and Skills Required
  • Minimum eight+ years of fundraising experience, including direct major gift solicitations
  • Experience supervising philanthropy staff, ideally in multiple geographies
  • Ability to organize and motivate others, including direct reports, peers, and volunteers
  • Demonstrated understanding of best practices across all disciplines of fundraising (institutional giving, working with volunteers, major gifts, planned giving, etc.)
  • Experience in planning, leading, and managing action plans, campaigns, and projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, tracking and reporting on progress to management.
  • Demonstrated ability to build a team with a variety of disciplines and departments.
  • The ability to focus efforts and train non-philanthropy staff in the discipline of fundraising as appropriate.
  • Strong skills in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising. The ability to convey complex ideas via presentations, e-mails and face to face communications.
  • The ability to work with others to reach common goals and objectives.
  • Experience establishing and cultivating strong relationships with staff and ability to use good judgment, take initiative, and make recommendations
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, along with organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to utilize database tools to manage donors and build fundraising strategies.
  • Available for significant, independent travel (up to 30%)


Trust for Public Land is a hybrid work environment; the California Region Director of Philanthropy will ideally be in the greater Los Angeles, Central Coast, or Bay Area. As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, sick leave, and holidays. We also offer a 403(b)-retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience; the hiring range for this position is $165,000 - $185,000.

Trust for Public Land’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities it welcomes candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skillsets. We are open to the possibility that a great candidate for this job may not precisely meet all of the above criteria; if you believe you are the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.