Parks California – It’s in our nature Donate

Director of Development

Organization Background

Parks California is an ambitious new organization working to ensure that our state’s parks thrive. From redwood groves and desert springs to lighthouses and ghost towns, we’re working with our partners to make California parks more welcoming, accessible, and relevant to all visitors.

Managing these assets for nearly 40 million residents and millions more annual visitors takes collective work. Park managers cannot do it alone. Parks California will harness skills and resources—and California’s renowned ingenuity—to help our state, regional, and local parks thrive and evolve.

Formed after extensive consultation with hundreds of stakeholders, park executives, and philanthropic leaders, Parks California will stimulate and support innovative public-private partnerships that raise the visibility of California’s parks and their partners, inspire passionate support for public lands, and set trends for the future of parks. Parks California will attract new public and private funding, and provide expertise and entrepreneurial approaches to high-priority projects and programs developed and implemented in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Recreation (Department) and other park districts across the state. Parks California will coalesce a diverse set of partners to make this vision a reality. Parks California is committed to supporting and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization and its programs.

Position Overview

This is an exciting time! We are a new organization and are rapidly building our donor constituency.

This is a new position created to increase the organization’s development capacity and to help launch the Founder Campaign. They will be responsible for leading the organization’s advancement program relative to individual giving (including major gifts), and will collaborate on corporate and foundation fundraising, special events, and in- kind donations. Under the direction of the Vice President of Partnerships & Resources, the Director of Development will focus on engaging with and soliciting individual donors and their associated family foundations, where applicable, across California and will work to build relationships that result in increased funding and longstanding donor relationships with Parks California. The successful candidate will be responsible for meeting an annual revenue target by working with an assigned portfolio of donors and prospecting new donors to advance the mission of Parks California.



  • Develops and executes ongoing strategy for qualifying prospects and moving them to donor status using tools such as small cultivation events, research, and community networking, with a goal of 75% of the portfolio having been identified by the Director of Development.
  • Works collaboratively with other departments to create customized solicitation strategies matching the objectives of the organization and interests of the donors.

Fundraising Targets and Portfolio Management

  • Manages a portfolio of donors and prospects. Plans and leads outreach designed to build the organization’s constituency and donor database.
  • Responsible for an assigned annual fundraising revenue goal, including both renewable gifts and new incremental revenue.
  • Solicits assigned donor portfolio and prepares personalized development materials as needed.

Prospect Development

  • Works with the Board Members and other leadership volunteers to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward appropriate donors.
  • Identifies potential prospects and partners with the Vice President of Partnerships & Resources and the President & CEO to solicit those prospects.
  • Implements development programs and activities to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors at the $25,000 level or higher, with an emphasis on maximizing revenue for Parks California.

Relationship Development

  • Develops ongoing relationships with major donors.
  • Accountable for cultivating relationships with individual donors and their associated Family Foundations, where applicable.
  • Supports volunteer leaders in peer-to-peer outreach as appropriate.
  • Updates and tracks donor records in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
  • Works with the Operations and Finance team to ensure accurate gift acceptance and recording.
  • Executes other duties as assigned to drive and fulfill Parks California’s mission.

Desired Experience And Competencies

  • Demonstrated major gifts experience, with a successful track record of securing six and seven figure gifts
  • Demonstrated ability to interact directly and frequently with donors, Board Members, and other constituents at all levels, and able to build and maintain productive working relationships with them
  • Adept at creating and implementing strategic fundraising plans
  • High ethics, integrity, and sound professional judgment
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality with tact and discretion
  • Embraces, supports, and demonstrates commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Comfortable working in a team, as well as independently and thrive in a dynamic work environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong technical skills, including but not limited to CRM, online software platforms, and business applications such as MS 365
  • Ability to reason logically, take initiative, and creatively resolve issues and evaluate alternatives
  • Grant writing experience strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission of Parks California

Other Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Communications, Nonprofit Management, or related field
  • A minimum of 8 years professional, non-profit fundraising experience
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends


A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered based upon experience.

To Apply

Interested candidates should apply via email by sending a cover letter describing their qualifications that match the position criteria and what they will bring to the role, along with a resume, to with the subject line “Parks California, Director of Development Search.”

Additional Information

Parks California is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that our overall effectiveness is enhanced when equity and inclusiveness are practiced and protected throughout our organizational governance, culture, and staffing. We are committed to leadership in and serving as a catalyst for promoting equity and inclusion in parks communities.