We're Hiring: Vice President for Philanthropic Advancement

About Community Foundation Sonoma County

At Community Foundation Sonoma County, the Board and staff believe in the power of connecting people, ideas, and resources to benefit all who live in Sonoma County. Established in 1983 by a group of local community leaders, CFSC fosters philanthropic growth and supports the long-term sustainability for its nonprofit partners. As a public 501(c)3 nonprofit, CFSC invests in the promise of Sonoma County through its local knowledge, leveraged philanthropic resources, and its legacy inspiration and planning.

In meeting its core mission, CFSC brings three key strengths:

  • Personalized service for donors;
  • Expertise in local organizations and programs; and
  • The ability to function as a catalyst in addressing community

As an organization deeply connected to this place and the people who call it home, CFSC is acutely aware of what makes Sonoma County special. It is also sharply cognizant of the disparities in who has access to what they need to thrive. Each day the foundation strives to close the gap in those disparities, through its work with donors, its grantmaking, and by taking leadership in larger initiatives to tackle complex community issues.

The foundation’s work is guided by its Values Statement. Community Foundation Sonoma County:

  • Knows that in order to create a fair and just community, some may need more to achieve the
  • Embraces community differences and the community common
  • Cultivates leaders, supporting them to advocate for their communities and empowering them to create change.
  • Promises to tackle tough issues with compassion and courage, choosing humbly to take a step forward instead of resting in the comfort of where it is.

Organizational Structure and Finance

CFSC has assets of over $207 million in more than 400 charitable funds created by individuals, families, community-based organizations, and businesses. These assets are governed by the Board of Directors and an Investment Advisory Committee representing a cross section of Sonoma County’s business, civic and philanthropic leaders, as well as by the President & CEO. Since inception, CFSC has awarded grants totaling more than $300 million to organizations across all corners of the county and beyond.

CFSC has a volunteer Board of 15 community, business, and nonprofit leaders. There is a talented staff of 17 dedicated, mission-driven professionals. The Board and staff benefit from organizational governance comprised of a robust structure of support from committees working in investment management, finance, audit, grantmaking, governance, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additional ad hoc committees are created as needed.

CFSC has a $3.5 million annual operating budget.

The Position

The Vice President for Philanthropic Advancement (“VPPA”) is a key member of CFSC’s senior leadership team. The VPPA’s professional objective is to identify, educate, inform, and attract new donors to CFSC to facilitate and empower their philanthropic engagement in the Sonoma County community. They will build, maintain, and expand an exceptional donor outreach, cultivation and engagement fundraising program that is successful in attracting philanthropic support from a diverse set of donors (next generation, new-to-community, under-the-radar, emerging) who are potentially able to increase their philanthropic support of the community over time.

Reporting directly to the President and CEO (“CEO”), the VPPA is responsible for the strategic direction and daily tactical implementation and management of CFSC’s donor fundraising. The VPPA and their staff are responsible for fundraising from individuals, families, businesses, and foundations for CFSC’s programs and specific projects, as well as for unrestricted use. Collaborative relationships are also essential with the CEO of the Foundation, the Board of Directors, and other members of the Foundation’s senior leadership team to increase the amount of donor assets under management, resulting in increased annual funding to support the Foundation’s work.

In addition to partnering with the CEO on fundraising efforts, the VPPA will collaborate as a strategic thought partner to the Foundation’s leadership team and work in tandem with the Vice President for Community Impact, whose team is responsible for matching donor’s philanthropic intent with community needs and nonprofit organizations. The VPPA also works closely with the Vice President for Finance and Operations, whose team provides financial and investment information to current and prospective donors.

As a direct report to the CEO and a key member of the senior leadership team, the VPPA works with their colleagues in strategic planning, organizational development, staff training and development, and providing overall leadership to the organization.


Leadership and Strategy for Donor Attraction

  • Provide leadership in developing private fundraising goals and strategies to expand CFSC’s donor base and increase assets under management for the benefit of philanthropic funding to address community needs in partnership with donors’ objectives.
  • Develop and implement creative strategies and plans to identify, inform, cultivate, and solicit new and existing private donors, including individuals, families, businesses and foundations, at all levels of financial support, with particular emphasis on unrestricted gifts, estate planning / planned
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the Foundation and a key liaison to important internal and external constituent groups, including the Board of Directors, President and CEO, and other advisory
  • As part of the Foundation’s leadership team, work with others to establish policies, review budget priorities, and ensure the execution of the CEO’s strategic decisions and Foundation-wide

External Relations

  • Represent CFSC very publicly. Increase CFSC’s name recognition by the public and community through consistent and effective messaging regarding the Foundation’s work.
  • Articulate the value proposition of CFSC. Establish CFSC as the trusted donor-advised-fund sponsor for preserving a legacy and making a lasting impact in the Sonoma County community.
  • Ensure strategic marketing and communications efforts are consistently messaged and effectively raising the level of awareness and knowledge of CFSC’s work as well as informing external and internal audiences appropriately.
  • Represent the Foundation by being in and of community, establish relationships with community leaders, nonprofit organizations, business leaders, estate attorneys, and elected officials.

 Organizational Development

  • Ensure that staff understand the Foundation’s donor identification, cultivation, engagement, branding, marketing and communications strategy, and their roles and responsibilities in executing this strategy.
  • In conjunction with the CEO and the leadership team, participate in organizational development efforts and process re-design projects within the Foundation.
  • Provide leadership and support to all Foundation staff to ensure a productive and collaborative work environment.
  • Work to maximize inter-departmental communication, collaboration, and coordinated efforts, ensuring work is not siloed.

 Staff and Budget Management and Development

  • Develop department staff through continuing education, mentoring and ongoing professional development opportunities.
  • Infuse a customer service mindset for community partners and prospective and current
  • Provide feedback and professional development to staff through regular performance reviews, goal setting, and work plans, as well as holding them accountable to agreed-upon goals.
  • Develop and manage the operating budget for the Philanthropic Advancement function, including forecasting and reforecasting.
  • Provides direct oversight of the Philanthropic Planning Department including performance evaluation and role designation.

Candidate Qualifications/Experience

Experience:  Minimum of ten years of progressively responsible development experience in the private, public, or nonprofit sectors. Prior experience with a community foundation, including knowledge of donor advised funds, is a strong positive.

  • Minimum of ten years of fundraising experience, with demonstrated success in private fundraising, including cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding private donors (individuals, families, businesses, foundations);
  • Demonstrated track record leading a team in successfully engaging with existing and emerging philanthropists, as well as their philanthropic advisors (financial advisors, tax advisors, estate planners, attorneys, wealth managers), to raise significant organizational support that includes six – and seven-figure gifts;
  • Well experienced with donor tracking and servicing operations, including database systems and fundraising resources;
  • Maintains an up-to-date level of knowledge on best practices in nonprofit fundraising, especially compliance and disclosure requirements and regulations, tax law and other IRS rulings as they relate to charitable giving.
  • Experience setting personal and team benchmarks, regularly measuring success against goals, and being accountable for personal and team outcomes;
  • Track record of collegial, collaborative work style with a record of success in building consensus and support; has built and maintained close working relationships with internal audiences for mutually beneficial outcomes; and
  • Demonstrated ability to translate the complex work of an organization into value propositions that private donors find compelling.

Education:  A Bachelor’s degree is required. Additional credentials, such as a CFRE designation or a degree from a recognized fundraising program (e.g., Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University), or a graduate degree in organizational development or a behavioral science is preferred.


The successful professional will have or be: 

  • Passionate about CFSC’s mission and the power of community
  • An appreciation of and commitment to CFSC’s mission, an interest in the substance of its programs, and a grasp of the complexities and nuances of its work;
  • Able to represent the CEO and the Foundation with a high degree of professionalism;
  • A proactive mindset, brings a track record of success in thoughtfully seeking out new opportunities and donor relationships.
  • Inspirational to prospective donors by making a compelling case for the Foundation’s priorities, bringing energy, charisma, and creativity to the experience;
  • Highly skilled and adept at relationship building;
  • Creative at identifying and pursuing new opportunities to increase and diversify the types of donors, including innovative ways to access and approach individuals, families, businesses, and foundation donors;
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, bringing adaptability and flexibility as CFSC continues its organizational evolution;
  • Excitement and enthusiasm for team building and defining a functional role;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and communication skills; exemplary listening skills;
  • Well experienced in different aspects, modes, and traditions of private philanthropy;
  • Excellent writing skills, including the ability to compose, edit, and develop proposals and documents in collaboration with colleagues in program areas and executive staff;
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit, enjoys charting new territory and building new programs, systems, and processes;
  • Possess tact and diplomacy;
  • Possess an exceptional work ethic;
  • Unquestionable professional ethics and personal integrity;
  • A sense of humor and a containable ego.


A competitive compensation package, including an annual salary in the range of $155,000 to $175,000, depending on experience, and a comprehensive benefits package.

Contact Information

CFSC is an equal opportunity employer and encourages the candidacy of all professionals.

For additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact:

Sally Carlson, Managing Partner
415.203.5259 mobile

Heidi Holzhauer, Partner
707.963.1250 direct

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