Parks California’s first Vice President (VP) of Partnerships and Development will be responsible not only for raising the funds needed to achieve the organization’s vision, but also for developing innovative public-private partnerships that support California’s parks. The position will require an entrepreneur able to envision new ways to partner with parks and deliver the funding needed to do so. The VP will also play a vital and foundational role on the executive team of this start-up nonprofit organization, participating directly in developing and refining the organizational strategy needed to meet its vision. The VP will enhance the organization’s existing fundraising capacity by bringing to the team knowledge of and experience with fundraising in California, with a special emphasis on Southern California. The organization’s revenue and responsibilities are expected to grow significantly in coming years.

The VP of Partnerships and Development role will include significant travel throughout the state. The position will report directly into the President and CEO of Parks California and will eventually manage a team of 1–2 people.


Secure funding required to reach the organization’s vision

  • Establish a development plan for raising funds from public agencies, foundations, corporations and significant individual donors
  • Lead annual fundraising planning process
  • Build a diverse funding base through activities that include
    • Researching background information on potential donors and developing materials, marketing plans, and events to cultivate, solicit, and steward donor prospects
    • Meeting with prospective donors and supporters on a regular, strategic basis
    • Soliciting and securing major gifts from individual donors
    • Leveraging and expanding project funding and grants from government sources
    • Seeking and securing grants from private foundations through outreach and proposals
    • Building relationships and identifying areas of collaboration with potential corporate donors
  • Monitor fundraising performance on a monthly basis in relation to year-end projections
  • Report to the CEO and board on fundraising performance

Develop and manage strategic cross-sector partnerships that support California’s parks

  • Build and maintain working relationships with park constituencies, important local organizations, the Department and other government agencies to identify opportunities for potential collaboration with private sector partners
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with corporations and other private sector partners interested in working with the Department and Parks California
  • Secure funding for and support the implementation of innovative projects and initiatives that advance the priorities of the Department and Parks California through cross-sector partnerships
  • Monitor progress of cross-sector partnerships in reaching defined objectives
  • Report to the CEO and board on the impact of cross-sector partnerships

Participate in shaping and executing the organization's vision, strategy, and projects

  • Assist the CEO in the development and refinement of the organization’s strategic plan
  • Establish and implement short- and long-range resource development objectives in coordination with the CEO and Board
  • Advise the CEO and board of current resources, trends, obstacles, and developments in corporate partner and donor relations
  • Define priorities for corporate partnerships with guidance from the Department
  • Support other staff in the initiation and execution of projects and strategic initiatives


The ideal candidate may come from a variety of career pathways. Critical to success will be a passion for the mission of the organization and a capacity to leverage initial foundation and Department support into a diverse base of funders and partners. Experience with and leadership of start-up organizations, philanthropies, and nonprofits is important. The VP of Partnerships and Development must have the ability to develop strategic relationships with individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies to advance the vision of Parks California.

The following are desired qualities:

  • Demonstrated fundraising experience and success involving growing and managing a major gift portfolio, including knowledge of proven cultivation and solicitation techniques for gifts of six figures or higher
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience with private philanthropy, corporate donations, and government grants
  • Knowledge of a variety of gift vehicles including in-kind gifts, gifts of securities, life income gifts, and deferred gifts
  • Experience managing complex campaigns or initiatives with multiple stakeholders
  • Experience managing a complex budget with multiple funding sources
  • Established relationships with relevant, significant donors, and experience navigating the funding landscape throughout California, with special emphasis on Southern California
  • Demonstrated staff leadership and development experience
  • Experience with state and federal government agencies
  • Adaptability and flexibility in the face of changing conditions; tolerance for adversity and uncertainty
  • Experience working collaboratively with a large group of influential board members and stakeholders
  • Proven leadership skills and the ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Strong project management skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to resolve conflicts and find common ground
  • Demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as an organizational priority
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and comfort with public speaking
  • Diplomatic approach and the ability to be sensitive to and inclusive of various perspectives
  • Flexibility, sense of humor, humility, and confidence
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