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Position Title: Director of Philanthropy
Reports To: Executive Director

Position Summary
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Philanthropy (Director) will be responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and management of all fundraising and communications for Sonoma Land Trust. As a member of the Executive Team, the Director will work closely with the ED, Board of Directors and key management across the organization to facilitate a culture of fundraising and brand building. The Director will be responsible for increasing recognition of Sonoma Land Trust’s conservation contributions, crafting effective messages regarding organizational priorities and needs, strengthening research and developing strategies for cultivating new prospects, facilitating the preparation and solicitation of gifts, major gift fundraising including establishing a planned giving program, and effective cultivation and stewardship of supporters, members and donors. Building upon their history of successful fundraising, the Director will increase the rigor and measurements around fundraising activities and effectively engage leadership at all levels of the organization in fundraising with the goal of creating sustainable annual fundraising levels of $3-4 million.

Director of Philanthropy

The Director is a strategic partner for the executive team and the board in all areas of fundraising. He/she will be an active and effective individual fundraiser personally cultivating relationships, as well as developing and managing a well-defined strategy for growing support while meeting current operating needs. As the chief evangelist of the organization, this role is expected to make a significant contribution to growing the visibility of the organization as well as be a savvy and strategic manager building a professional department prepared to secure significant, long-term support for their work.

Specific Duties
Leadership & Strategy

  • Assess the current fundraising programs, staffing and operations of the department; establish a strategy for increased giving to a sustainable $3-4 million annually; create, monitor and report benchmarks to ensure progress toward that plan;
  • Become knowledgeable and conversant in all aspects of Sonoma Land Trust’s mission, strategic plan, acquisitions, programs, and methods of conservation; work closely with the Executive Team to embed fundraising strategy into daily decision making and operations;
  • Represent Sonoma Land Trust throughout the county and raise its profile and visibility to funders, partners , policymakers and the public;
  • Partner with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to ensure they are prepared and supported in all their fundraising efforts.


  • Hire, mentor, motivate and evaluate a high-caliber team; ensure each team member is prepared to contribute what is required to reach individual and collective goals; hold each member accountable for their efforts;
  • Review membership levels and annual fund programs; propose any changes necessary to increase contributions and ensure resources are used wisely;
  • Direct an effective fundraising operation; ensure eTapestry, the donor database, is accurate and appropriately managed; promote best practices including list management, prospect research standards, and timely and appropriate stewardship and reporting;
  • Oversee the communications (print, web and social media) required for effective fundraising and propose any changes to the current messages and methods;
  • Establish a systematic, robust planned giving program and provide benchmarks for judging its success;
  • Work closely with the acquisitions and program teams to facilitate successful corporate and foundation proposals and ensure appropriate reporting;
  • Ensure the integrity of donor relationships and philanthropic agreements;
  • Manage the planning and development of cultivation and appreciation events; effectively manage staff time and resources to meet budgets.

Individual Contribution

  • Develop and maintain a personal prospect portfolio; cultivate and solicit major donors and foundations;
  • Craft and execute solicitation strategies for individual donors including those in your own portfolio and others – prepare briefings, set meetings, make the ask (or designate an appropriate solicitor), ensure follow up of all solicitations and steward the donation and the ongoing relationship;
  • Be a visible member of the community; represent the Sonoma Land Trust at events including the organization’s own fundraising and membership events and at events where prospective donors are likely to congregate.


A successful candidate will likely have:

  • A genuine passion for conserving land and enthusiasm for connecting people to land;
  • Demonstrated track record of successful fundraising in an environment of similar complexity;
  • Strong leadership skills, with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong management skills; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, donors, and potential partners;
  • Success developing and executing fundraising strategies for building unrestricted support;
  • Experience identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual donors at the $50K+ level;
  • Experience integrating marketing/communications strategies and tactics with fund development activities;
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and agility in building rapport with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing multiple projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners;
  • Exceptional communication skills; articulate, with proven ability to write effectively and speak persuasively;
  • Understanding of information management systems and moves management principles;
  • Knowledge of planned giving instruments;
  • Superior organizational skills, with a strong sense of detail-orientation and expertise with computers, business software and other tools needed to build an effective fundraising organization;
  • A Bachelor’s degree.


  • Genuinely enjoys engaging donors and the fundraising process;
  • Comfort interacting with high-level donors and patrons;
  • Inspires confidence and trust; demonstrates an affinity to the mission;
  • Ambitious and focused on success;
  • High integrity and commitment to goals;
  • Possesses a high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness; gravitas;
  • Demonstrates strong problem-solving attributes—drive, energy and creativity;
  • Enjoys and deploys an appropriate sense of humor.

Download a more detailed job description.

For additional information or to be considered for this role contact:

Nancy Painter
(415) 202- 6240

For 37 years, the Sonoma Land Trust has been a vehicle for people with passion, persistence and a love of the land to come together to protect forever one of the most beautiful counties in America.


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