Chief Development Officer (GGNPC)

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

San Francisco, CA



At the Bay Area’s doorstep are some of the most beautiful and diverse parklands anywhere. The Golden Gate National Parks have become one of the world’s largest urban park systems and is now the most popular national park in America, visited by over 17 million people each year.

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (Conservancy) is the nonprofit organization that has worked for 35 years to help preserve these parks and enhance the public’s awareness and enjoyment of these areas. The Conservancy works hand-in-hand with the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, and other partners to revitalize park sites, preserve landmark sites and natural habitats, provide world class interpretive experiences, enlist volunteers, operate educational and youth leadership programs and offer services to park visitors.

The Conservancy

The Conservancy is recognized as one of the largest, most successful and innovative nonprofits supporting any park system in America – and is acknowledged worldwide for its pioneering work. Consistently, the Conservancy has forged new ways of serving the community, new models of sustainability, and new programs engaging art, health, youth and conservation. Additionally, the Conservancy has achieved national acclaim for converting historic military posts to national parks – and advancing high standards of park design and programming.

The Board and staff culture is one of optimism, collegiality and good will – and the working environment encompasses some of the most beautiful landscapes and landmarks anywhere.

Providing Support to the Parks 

A unique mission of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is to galvanize community vision and generosity toward the benefit of the parks – and maximize the benefits of the parks to visitors and the Bay Area community. With annual budgets ranging up to $65 million, the Conservancy has developed an extensive program of earned and contributed income as well as volunteer efforts to support the parks. Its unique model of earned and contributed income sets it apart many other nonprofits and provides a firm foundation of sustainability.

Since its establishment, the Conservancy has provided nearly $.5 billion of support to the national parklands at the Golden Gate. These funds have supported major park improvement and restoration efforts, educational programs, natural and historical restoration projects, and ongoing stewardship programs.



The Conservancy is looking for an experienced and strategic Development professional with the ability to imagine and execute both proven and new models of philanthropy. As the Conservancy continues to leverage its strengths, the Chief Development Officer will help plan and implement a new chapter of philanthropy maximizing and increasing all avenues of public support. 

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Development Officer serves as a key leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting the Conservancy.  In partnership with the President and CEO, this position is responsible for all fundraising and development activities. The Chief Development Officer stewards existing relationships and helps forge new relationships to build the Conservancy’s visibility, impact and financial resources. The Chief Development Officer designs and implements a comprehensive plan to increase funding through the cultivation and delivery of individual and organizational philanthropic support. 

The Chief Development Officer expands and diversifies the Conservancy’s donor base and works closely with other team members to secure funding for current and new initiatives. In addition, the Chief Development Officer works closely with the board of trustees and supports board committees and members as they take an active role as Conservancy advocates and ambassadors.

Currently, the Conservancy’s Development Department raises $10M+ annually in operating, project and program support, plus capital gifts. The Chief Development Officer supervises a professional staff that includes Directors of Major Gifts, Membership, Foundation Grants, Planned Giving, Events, Special Philanthropic Programs and Capital Giving. The team also includes 5 program and support staff. 


  • Manage all aspects of the Conservancy’s fundraising program, which includes individual, foundation and corporate giving.
  • Develop long range plans, strategies and implementation plans to continue to grow the range, depth and scale of Conservancy giving opportunities and results.
  • Provide strategic planning and direction to staff and trustees regarding development goals, action plans, and new opportunities.
  • Serve staff leadership role in future Conservancy capital campaign activity (campaigns have ranged from $30M to almost $100M).
  • Maintain contacts with all key donors and ensure appropriate progress reports and financial management of grants and other gifts.
  • Serve as primary staff support to the Conservancy Board’s Development Committee, and along with the Campaign Director, to the Campaign Committee.
  • Stay current with evolving philanthropic trends, new audiences and methods of giving and applies them to the Conservancy’s development strategy.
  • Serve on the Conservancy’s executive team, and as such, help set strategic direction and annual goals of the organization. Work in close partnership with the National Park Service and Presidio Trust – and other partner entities.


Desired qualifications include:

  • A minimum of ten to fifteen years of experience in directly related positions that have included primary responsibility for a comprehensive development program of a nonprofit organization. Significant experience in strategic, managerial and “nuts and bolts” elements of development work.
  • Ability to think strategically and develop and guide a multi-year program of fundraising growth and development.
  • Proven experience and knowledge of the key elements of nonprofit development functions including annual fund, membership acquisition and development, capital campaign, foundation and corporate giving, planned giving, stewardship.
  • Successful track record in working with all aspects of fundraising. In particular, experience with a capital campaign, major gifts, and donor cultivation.
  • Knowledge of fundraising best practices, trends, and donor proclivities across multiple donor demographic groups. Experience with new forms of philanthropy whether social media, “venture philanthropy,” etc.
  • Significant experience in working directly with a Board of Trustees, Development Committee, and fundraising committees. Proven skill at motivating fundraising volunteers.
  • Skilled at establishing and cultivating strong relationships with donors, volunteers and with peers.
  • Ability to work with partner organizations and demonstrated skills of collaboration.
  • Experience or passion for parks, nature and the environmental field desirable.
  • Knowledge of legal and ethical framework for fundraising.
  • Excellent communication, both written and verbal. Skilled in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising. 
  • Proven ability to supervise staff and work in a team environment.

Please send letters of interest to Todd Blatt, Vice President of Human Resources, [email protected].


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