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Chief Philanthropy Officer

Guide Dogs for the Blind
California, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Aug 14, 2021

View more

Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Direct Marketing, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Prospect Research
Animal Protection, Other Fields, Social Services
Employment Type
Full Time
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Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to conduct the search for the Chief Philanthropy Officer at Guide Dogs for the Blind ( This individual would need to be located within commuting distance to GDB’s office in San Rafael, CA and this role is based on-site 100%. Based on performance and requirements of the role, remote work can potentially be explored later.


Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO) is accountable for achieving the fundraising goals of the Philanthropy team by growing institutional and individual contributions and by managing key donor relationships. The CPO assigns goals and responsibilities to team members and coaches, develops, and assesses the team. As a member of the Executive Team the CPO helps to lead the organization. The CPO works collaboratively across the organization to build a culture of philanthropy and ensure GDB’s mission is achieved.


Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has been creating partnerships between people, dogs, and communities. With exceptional client services and a robust network of instructors, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired from throughout the United States and Canada.

All the services for our clients are provided free of charge, including personalized training and extensive post-graduation support, plus financial assistance for veterinary care, if needed. Our work is made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers; we receive no government funding.


Guide Dogs for the Blind empowers lives by creating exceptional partnerships between people, dogs, and communities.


Guide Dogs for the Blind envisions a world with greater inclusion, opportunity, and independence by optimizing the unique capabilities of people and dogs.


Strategic Leadership

  • Lead the creation of a fundraising strategy and create the plans that will ensure that GDB's fundraising goals are achieved through multiple fundraising approaches/channels that reach a diversity of donors including, but not limited to, individual donors, planned giving, foundations, direct mail, online giving and corporate campaigns etc.
  • Build and execute a fund development strategy and plan to support GDB’s 10-Year Strategic Plan.
  • Advise the CEO on relationship building and fundraising opportunities that are strategic and of the highest priority and ensures that the CEO’s time is scheduled effectively in fundraising and donor cultivation processes and events.
  • Evaluate the fundraising activities annually to ensure quality, productivity, and relevance towards meeting goals.
  • Maintain a portfolio of top corporate, foundation, leadership and donor and prospects; develop and implement strategies for engagement in GDB’s activities and increased giving.
  • Work collaboratively with the Board of Directors by involving them in the execution of the fundraising plan.
  • Keep the Board informed of Philanthropy team activities; provide data relevant to tracking fundraising progress and planning. Keep the team informed of Board decisions and involve team members with the Board whenever possible/feasible.
  • Create regular opportunities for the Philanthropy team to meet with other GDB departments to freely share knowledge, strategies, stories of impact and other important information that will enable the organization to successfully reach all its goals in a collaborative, aligned manner.
  • Serve as a passionate and informed advocate for GDB. Clearly communicate the impact of GDB’s work, verbally and in writing, throughout corporate and community networks.
  • Develop and cultivate a culture of Philanthropy within all GDB constituencies including employees, volunteers, clients, and donors.
  • Work collaboratively with Marketing on initiatives, social media and other fundraising support and collateral to be used by the Philanthropy team.
  • Represent GDB community on boards, panels and events that support GDB’s community and fundraising goals.
Team Leadership
  • Accountable for the fundraising performance of the Philanthropy team. Lead the work of the Philanthropy team and ensure that the team is meeting or exceeding fundraising goals.
  • Hire, develop, supervise, coach, and evaluate team members and create a supportive, goal-oriented, and productive work culture based on the organizational values of GDB. Set performance goals for team members and evaluate performance against goals on a regular basis. Effectively coach team members and provide supportive and developmental feedback to enhance performance. Ensure that team members develop the technical, leadership and professional skills to be successful.
  • Develop a high-performance team culture focused on leadership and accountability at all levels, continuous learning, collaboration, measurement, and goal achievement.
  • Ensure that processes, procedures, and assignments of responsibilities are designed to meet fundraising goals in an efficient, manageable, and effective manner.

Financial and Administrative

  • Create and monitor the Philanthropy team budget. Work collaboratively with the Chief Financial Officer and the entire leadership team in creating the organization’s overall budget by providing accurate information and the best forecasts possible.
  • Ensure that accurate and updated records of all communications and donor information are maintained by team in Salesforce and/or other CRM software. Ensure that customized donor data is accurately imported, exported, and edited in a variety of digital platforms and tools.


  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with 20 or more years of relevant experience, preferred. Graduate degree in a relevant field is a plus.
  • Proven history of prior experience should include growing revenue by 15% for multiple years in a row and leading a development team of 10+ managers and individual contributors.
  • Along with this experience, being well entrenched and connected in an extensive national portfolio.
  • Proven experience in leading people and managing systems to achieve fundraising goals and substantial increases in revenue while cultivating a work culture that is high performing, developmental, innovative, creative, inspiring, and fun.
  • Outstanding organizational skills to operationalize a strategic fundraising plan by identifying goals and objectives and specific actions to achieve them, setting priorities, delegating actions to team members, and influencing upward and laterally to ensure that key actions in the plan are executed by all needed stakeholders including the CEO. Ability to evaluate results and adapt plan, as needed, to improve future performance.
  • Comfortable building relationships with corporate and foundation leaders, high net-worth individuals, and community leaders and with making high dollar “asks”.
  • Experience developing and managing departmental budgets.
  • Experience leading organizational and operational change. Ability to prioritize multiple responsibilities simultaneously and delegate appropriately to ensure that all goals are being met.
  • Experienced team player in a high-performing, collaborative leadership team. Demonstrate respect for the contributions of others. Able to build cooperative relationships with peers, share knowledge, learn from others, and contribute to team and organizational goals in addition to individual achievements.
  • History of working effectively with all people irrespective of their history, economic status, challenges, race, gender, educational level, or sexual orientation. Reflect a value for the importance of diversity and have experience in creating and/or working in diverse organizations.
  • Powerful advocate for scaling social change and building an infrastructure of opportunity.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and networking skills with the ability to engage, inspire and educate in personal meetings, group settings and in written form.
  • Energetic, diplomatic, adaptable and with a good sense of humor.
  • Passionate about the mission, vision, and goals of GDB and possess an understanding of how this position contributes to the organization’s success. Brings humility and a deep commitment to philanthropy and empathy for those who struggle to maintain self-sufficiency, personal well-being, and hope.
  • Proficient in MS Office applications; working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or Salesforce software highly desirable.


For this role, GDB offers a competitive annual base salary based on experience plus a robust benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, a 403 (b) retirement plan with employer match, and a generous paid time off program including 11 paid holidays, 14 paid days off, 10 sick days, LOAs, carpool, employee lunch program, employee assistance, employee referral program, school visitation, tuition reimbursement, wellness programs, dog friendly workplace, and service awards after periods of service to the organization.

Relocation assistance can be considered.


Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to lead this search. For immediate consideration please respond to this posting with your resume/curriculum vitae and cover letter in Word.docx or PDF format.


Scion Executive Search is a retained executive search firm connecting executive nonprofit leadership to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions across the country. Cultivated in the nonprofit sector, we provide expert search strategies and leadership for your organization. Our executive candidates are true agents for change, and we are experts at matching their talents, motivations, and passions to your organization’s mission. Scion Executive Search has led hundreds of successful executive searches.

Scion Staffing and Scion Executive Search are listed in Forbes 2021 America's Best Professional Recruiting Firms list and Forbes 2021 America's Best Executive Recruiting Firms list. Additionally, we have been recognized as a recruitment leader by ClearlyRated, as well as a top recruitment firm by The Business Times for over ten years running. More information about Scion Executive Search can be found online at

GDB is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Scion Executive Search is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, age, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, or belief. We are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value, for ourselves, our client companies, and for the candidates we represent.


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