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Chief of Philanthropy, Animal Welfare Industry

Austin Pets Alive!
Texas, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Mar 20, 2024

APA! BACKGROUND: Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) is one of Austin’s most dynamic and best-loved nonprofits. The organization is the leader in the no-kill movement nationally and is considered a national thought leader in animal welfare. APA! locally rescues, treats, and adopts out over 10,000 homeless dogs and cats each year, providing the safety net for Austin’s most at-risk shelter pets, which helps Austin to be a no-kill city, while also assisting other communities in saving homeless animals. The organization is distinguished by the scrappiness of its grassroots, non-traditional community-based animal rescue work. The organization continues to innovate best practices to save sheltered lives and teaches its renowned no-kill lifesaving model across the nation. 



The Chief of Philanthropy is a key member of the executive team at Austin Pets Alive! and is responsible for fueling a dynamic and growing non-profit with national renown and revenues now approaching $20 million annually, about 75% of which is from philanthropic support. The Chief of Philanthropy is an individual with demonstrated success in high-level strategic fund planning, a fearless, scrappy, entrepreneurial spirit, and the ability to think creatively to solve problems and embrace challenges as they arise. 

APA!’s operations are somewhat unorthodox as the organization strives to always be on the leading edge of innovation in animal welfare and has a powerful commitment to responding to the frequent crises that threaten animals’ lives. This requires that the Chief of Philanthropy bring an ability to apply creative, critical thinking and to step outside traditional fundraising practices to provide the means for responding to crises and opportunities for innovation as the norm rather than the exception. APA!’s greatest source of support is from individual giving, and this role must be able to activate philanthropic investment and galvanize public support at all donor levels to meet these challenges. The Chief of Philanthropy thrives in a collaborative, growth-oriented atmosphere and will put to use exceptional relationship-building and communications skills toward creating a better world for animals and the people who love them.  

APA! values the effect diversity of thought, experience, and identity has on our organization.



Strategy and Implementation

    Accountable for reaching goals set by the CEO to fuel an ambitious operational growth strategy Lead a multi-year capital campaign for new facilities  Collaborate with leadership to set out a funding plan, including the integration of operations and capital campaign funding Produce an annual funding strategy narrative for the CEO and board of directors Develop a projected annual revenue budget, and coordinate and track its implementation throughout the year Work collaboratively throughout the year with the Philanthropy and Marketing teams to ensure monthly and annual revenue goals are met, course-correcting as needed Strive for a team of organizational experts, knowledgeably sharing programs, impact and individual stories across all audiences, and connecting donors to their individual impact at all levels Leverage all types of philanthropic support, from volunteer opportunities for donor families to legacy giving Study the strategies of other nonprofits within and outside of animal welfare that raise more than APA! to understand  what works and incorporate it into APA!’s approach Study and understand what drives the APA! base to donate time and find parallels in possible programming to fundraise Connect animal welfare holistically to human welfare and strategize giving opportunities Respond as needed to solve funding challenges around crisis response  Use data analytics to drive decisions, project revenues, set the direction for fundraising, and oversee the structure and development of the donor management system Work with Accounting to reconcile revenue tracking between the Philanthropy and Accounting Teams Daily review and analysis of incoming donations to understand the flow and nature of our revenues throughout the year


      The Deputy Chief of Philanthropy The Director of Philanthropy, Individual Giving The Director of Philanthropy, Partnerships The Director of Philanthropy, Communications
    Assess needs for staffing and fundraising tools Set performance measures and monitor results for a team of 15 Monitor the effectiveness of funding activities and plan implementation Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws and maintain accountability standards to donors; ensure ethical practices in fundraising Guide the career development of philanthropy team members  Have the knowledge to manage and cultivate complex gifts


    Orchestrate the activities of staff responsible for supporting the cultivation of resources, including the Senior Director of Strategic Communications, who leads the Marketing and Communications team and provides an integrated communications plan for all stakeholders; and of directors cultivating funders for APA!’s national activities.   Work in continuous collaboration with the organization’s leadership team Participate in forming and carrying out the organization's strategic plan

Donor Engagement

    Use a thorough understanding of APA!’s programs and distinctiveness to maintain fluency in promoting the organization Use outstanding writing ability and verbal communication to inspire a deep sense of engagement among our many and varied supporters and drive philanthropy Manage a portfolio of up to 50 top-level major donors Attend events and actively steward donors attending Engage with donors at every opportunity to understand what is resonating and what is not

Board Engagement

    Lead on board engagement, guiding board members in how they can participate in inspiring financial support Provide monthly board reports on philanthropy  Participate in the Board Governance Committee, and act as staff liaison for fundraising-related committees that may form

Culture of Philanthropy

    Lead on instilling a vibrant culture of philanthropy across the organization for staff and volunteers


    Provide project support to the CEO  Mentor/advise philanthropy staff at other shelters upon request Other duties as needed


    A love of animals and a passion for the mission to save them is essential   At least seven (7) years of experience in nonprofit philanthropy, with substantial experience as a senior management executive  Intellectual agility; the ability to analyze, think critically, and solve problems creatively   A “doer” with a high degree of initiative and energy; productive and results-oriented Outstanding communication skills Confidence, creativity, and maturity to establish credibility with and influence donors at all levels Excellent organizational skills with a proven ability to prioritize work, manage time and multiple priorities, and meet deadlines with attention to detail and accuracy Deeply relational; a good listener who is inquisitive, reflective, and interested in developing meaningful professional relationships with colleagues, donors, and other stakeholders  Commitment to open communication, teamwork and collaboration, accountability and professionalism Ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines while maintaining a positive and professional attitude Ability to anticipate problems and use judgment appropriately to plan solutions and manage obstacles as they arise Proven experience in motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing the performance of a team Proven success in major gift cultivation and stewardship Broad experience in the solicitation, stewardship and cultivation of all levels of individual gifts and the creation of donor pipelines Familiarity with institutional funding, especially from corporate sources Knowledge of complex gifts through DAFs, qualified charitable deductions, planned giving, stock gifts, and in-kind donations Committed to keeping up to date with new trends and best practices in philanthropy The highest levels of personal and professional integrity and confidentiality; a commitment to the privacy of donors



    Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer Must be able to access and navigate each department at the organization’s facilities



    When onsite, may have possible exposure to potential hazards including animal waste, disinfectants, high levels of noise, animal bites and scratches and diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people



    This is a full-time, exempt position



    This position reports directly to the CEO This position has four direct reports: Deputy Chief of Philanthropy, Director of Philanthropy, Communications; Director of Philanthropy, Individual Giving; and Director of Philanthropy, Partnerships This position works in close collaboration with the Senior Director of Strategic Communications on the Marketing and Communications Team



    Hybrid — may work from home but must be located in the Austin area and available for in-person meetings and events Regular local travel required for capital campaign site visits and donor tours, events, and Board of Directors, Executive Team, and Philanthropy Team meetings



Austin Pets Alive! is proud to offer a competitive benefits package for full-time employees, including up to 95% subsidy on employer-sponsored medical coverage, up to 2% match on 401(K) retirement plan, subsidized and voluntary life insurance, voluntary dental, vision and short term disability options, all effective the first day of employment. We also offer voluntary wellness and emergency sick plans, supplemental benefits, subsidized pet insurance, flexible spending accounts and additional life coverage. Full-time employees receive 6 paid holidays and accrue 10 days paid time off during the first year of employment, with a third week of  PTO accrual upon completion of 12 months of employment.  Employees will also receive professional development opportunities through APA!’s ongoing mission to advance our animal welfare professionals in our lifesaving work.



Austin Pets Alive! is an equal employment opportunity employer, and we value having staff who come from communities that are most impacted by the issues we engage in. We especially encourage people of color, LGBTQ people, women, transgender and gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities to apply. 

Austin Pets Alive! does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Austin Pets Alive! is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that values diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity, community focus, and innovation.

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