Senior Vice President of Development
Senior Vice President of Development
San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
San Francisco, California
The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) seeks a seasoned and aspirational senior vice president of development (SVP) as it embarks on a groundbreaking strategic plan which represents a new chapter in the organization’s history. For more than 150 years, the SF SPCA has been a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare with a proven track record of innovation in animal care, animal rights, and proactive prevention programs. Reporting to the president, Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, and serving as a collaborative member of the executive team, the SVP joins at a pivotal moment as the organization endeavors to positively impact at least five million animals over the next ten years, a goal for which increased philanthropic support will be critical.
As the fourth oldest humane society in the nation, the SF SPCA has always been at the forefront of animal welfare. In the 1990’s, the organization focused on keeping animals in shelters alive until they were adopted and through those efforts, founded the No-Kill movement. In 2012, the SF SPCA created Vision 2020 – a roadmap to end animal abandonment in San Francisco. By addressing issues of overpopulation, barriers to veterinary care, and pet behavior issues, San Francisco now has one of the lowest euthanasia rate in any major city in the United States and no adoptable dog or cat in the city goes without a home, even if they have medical or other issues. Building on the success of previous and existing coalition partnerships, the SF SPCA has pivoted to expand its scope and national reach to address unmet needs in animal welfare. Through Vision 2030, the SF SPCA pledges to improve the quality of life for all companion animals, not just those in shelters. This next frontier focuses on establishing all shelters in California as safe places for dogs and cats to land; aligning local laws with the best outcomes for animals; and strengthening communities’ access to quality care for their pets. Each of these priorities represents a new and compelling case for support, which the incoming SVP will leverage in elevating the generosity of existing donors while simultaneously identifying new benefactors in support of the SF SPCA’s mission.
This role is an exceptional opportunity for a high-performing and accomplished individual to lead a development program through the implementation of best practices, team and capacity building, and the application of data driven strategies that will create a philanthropic enterprise of unsurpassed effectiveness. The SVP will assess and further define the strategic direction of the development function and both design and implement the necessary infrastructure to support a comprehensive fundraising program to effectively engage diverse, external constituencies of the organization. Success for the next SVP will, in part, be defined by an ability to educate and engage all members of the SF SPCA community in development efforts, and to recruit, lead and motivate a team to meet aggressive goals that include enhancing donor discovery and cultivation efforts, and expanding and strengthening a sustainable infrastructure to support future fundraising endeavors. The SVP will build upon the SF SCPA’s strong planned giving culture to create a program that contributes to a holistic culture of philanthropy. With a particular focus on broadening the major and principal gift donor base, the SVP will serve as a collaborative and strategic partner to the senior vice president of community engagement and chief marketing officer in leveraging the individual giving program as a pipeline for growing donor support from annual to major gift levels.
As Dr. Scarlett’s principal advisor on all development matters, the SVP will be an active participant on behalf of the SF SPCA in the community by playing a central role in enhancing the visibility and fundraising capabilities of the organization. This individual will directly and personally participate in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of principal and major gifts, and will partner with gift officers to determine appropriate strategies and define mutually acceptable annual and multi-year performance goals. The SVP will launch systematic initiatives to identify, engage, and cultivate new donors to the SF SPCA while maintaining and strengthening ties to existing donors, and seeking out new philanthropic opportunities with determination. To that end, the next SVP will bring a thoughtful, proactive, and entrepreneurial approach to leveraging the SF SPCA’s location in the Bay Area and its existing donor relationships to position the president to connect with philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who are not currently engaged with the organization.
In accordance with the SF SPCA’s core values and mission, the SVP will have an interest in and strong passion for animal rights and welfare, and for the critical role that the SF SPCA plays in the broader community. The ideal candidate will possess a minimum of seven to ten years of progressively responsible leadership experience in a comprehensive development operation, ideally in a complex academic or medical environment, and a keen understanding of and ability to implement best practices. The successful candidate will be a seasoned team leader adept at motivating, leveraging, and advocating for staff and facilitating team success. In addition, the SVP will create a high-achieving work environment that recognizes individual and collective success, builds confidence, and promotes diversity in all its forms. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding six- and seven-figure gifts along with engaging, educating, and supporting faculty or physicians; senior leaders; and key volunteers in their respective fundraising efforts. The successful candidate must possess extraordinary communication and listening skills and be an open, achievement-oriented professional. The SVP must also possess a high level of integrity, credibility, resilience, and drive; be good-natured, flexible, and open-minded; and be able to adapt in a dynamic environment. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.
The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has retained Ms. Rachel Ellenport of the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in conducting this important recruitment. For more information, to submit a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit:
The San Francisco SPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a work environment that values diversity and inclusiveness. The organization is committed to equal employment opportunity and fair treatment of all individuals, both applicants and employees, based on job-related qualifications and without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, family care or medical leave status, marital status, domestic partnership status, citizenship, military service status, and or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.