Deputy Chief of Development (YBCA)

Deputy Chief of Development


YBCA is one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary art centers.​Founded in 1993 as the cultural anchor of the Yerba Buena Gardens development, we serve the diverse and ever-evolving community that surrounds us. From our leading edge exhibitions, performances, and films, to our groundbreaking civic initiatives and community partnerships, YBCA is where creativity, people, and new ideas collide.

YBCA is a new kind of art center.​ One that expands and extends its impact beyond its walls. A center that convenes creative souls from all walks of life to instigate actions and spur movement that transform our cities and our lives. A center that’s in constant, conscious evolution, on the front lines of societal change.

As a citizen institution, all people are welcome at YBCA.​ All artists, thinkers, and makers. All model citizens, senior citizens, and soon-to-be citizens. Because it will take the imagination and creativity of all of us to create a more hopeful and equitable future.

YBCA’s Mission:​We generate culture that moves people.

YBCA’s Vision:​A community that thrives on inspiration.


YBCA seeks an extraordinary human being to fill this vital role. The ideal candidate will possess mastery over and demonstrate a concrete history of success in the science of development and fundraising. But that is merely the starting point. The successfulDeputy Chief of Development will grow into an increasingly important role at YBCA, with an expanding portfolio of development responsibilities and a more influential voice within the leadership team. This will require creativity, strategic thinking, exquisite talent in relationships, communications, management and eventually, leadership. It will also require strength of character, patience, and humility.


The Deputy is primarily responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing the individual major donor program.


The Deputy Chief of Development at YBCA will be a member of the senior leadership cabinet, reporting to the Chief of Development. Development at YBCA relies on a team of seasoned professionals, including the Development team, and the CEO. Other people adding value and exerting influence in this crucial process are the Chief of Civic Engagement and the Chief of Marketing, and the Board of Trustees. The Deputy Chief will have the privilege and responsibility of working collaboratively, efficiently, and in a collegial spirit with this group.


The successful candidate will:

  • Have a verifiable record of development success, characterized by clear metrics: year on year growth of a variety of fundraising portfolios in a variety of settings.
  • Have a demonstrated record of lastingin crucial positions of increasing responsibility in the field: YBCA is seeking a professional on a leadership track, but one that is willing to invest time in this work and this mission
  • Have a deep understanding of both the fundamental and the innovative tools for development and fundraising
  • Be a solid managerable to run the back of the house, but also have growing leadership capacity
  • Be a master communicator both internally and in the community
  • Be a fine colleague: solutions oriented and hard-driving, but also supportive, collegial, collaborative


Include, but are not limited to: 1. Managing the major donor program 2. Soliciting large gifts on behalf of the organization 3. Managing relationships with donors and donor prospects.



  • Manage effective systems for tracking and cultivating donors and prospects through the organizational database
  • Assist in the development of goals and strategies for the development department
  • Prepare initial draft plan and budget for the major donor program
  • Identify, research, and qualify prospective donors
  • Track and report on progress of the major gifts program throughout the year
  • Develop portfolios of prospects for cultivation and solicitation by the Executive Director, Board, and other staff--and provide ongoing support, appropriate accountability, and strategic counsel to each to ensure their successful cultivation and solicitation
  • Maintain donor files
  • Ensure staff provides direct support to the Chief of Development, the CEO and select members of the senior management team and board for major donor related responsibilities (i.e. scheduling meetings with donors, writing donor communications, etc)


  • Manage a portfolio/relationships with 100+ current and prospective donors--identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward these very important patrons.
  • Make solicitations of $50K +
  • Develop cultivation strategies for prospects, engage staff, Board, or other organizational supporters as appropriate
  • Move potential donors toward solicitation and closure
  • Lead recruitment of hosts for special events such as house parties and other benefit events


  • In collaboration with the Chief of Development and the organization’s marketing team, produce materials and tools to communicate regularly with donors, supporters and potential allies
  • Identify opportunities to network with donors and prospects and engage members of the staff and board as appropriate to make the most of those opportunities
  • Maintain consistent, quality communications with donors in coordination with the Chief of Development, CEO, other staff, and the Board
  • Implement and manage a system that ensures quality communications follow all gifts to provide thanks and documentation to donors
  • Identify and implement opportunities for donor recognition, stewardship, and appreciation


  • Key employees are expected to assist with execution of the annual development plan to support meeting the annual organizational budget. Activities may include, but are not limited to:
    • Soliciting individual gifts from prospective major donors as assigned, by mail, phone, and in person
    • Participating in donor cultivation and solicitation activities in support of small donor development, including by phone, email, or mail
    • Playing a lead role in executing small fundraising events or a support role in organizing larger fundraising or donor cultivation events

AMBASSADORSHIP: Internal and External

  • Represent the organization positively in public at all times by acting as a professional representative and ambassador
  • Support the mission and goals of the organization across all programs and departments


  • Maintain accountability to administrative systems and procedures
  • Submit content for the organizational calendar and inform other staff of activities and whereabouts
  • Participate actively in staff meetings, retreats, and Board meetings as appropriate
  • Plan, track, and report on individual and departmental work in support of organizational coordination and synergy
  • Contribute content for organizational communications and marketing materials, such as the website and monthly e-newsletter


  • Coordinate with the Chief of Development to develop major gifts budget and development plans
  • Coordinate with the Director of Community Growth to ensure that small donor development plans and fundraising events feed into development of the major donor program
  • Coordinate with the Chief of Development, CEO and Board of Directors to develop prospects, schedule donor meetings and generate requests.


The Deputy Chief of Development reports to the Chief of Development. The Deputy Chief of Development has delegated authority to implement approved plans and make implementation decisions related to fund development.


  • At least ten (10) years of successful experience in fundraising with nonprofit organizations, including major gifts fundraising.
  • Personal commitment to the YBCA mission.
  • Fluency in contemporary art discourse in the context of cultural and social change in American life. Failing this, a demonstrated willingness to learn in order to effectively discuss programmatic direction with YBCA’s constituency.
  • High motivation, enthusiasm, strategic thinking and a demonstrated facility for the long term management of key donor relationships.
  • Must adhere to the highest ethical standards, demonstrate an empathetic disposition and perseverance, and convey sensitivity to the needs of donors.
  • BA or advanced degree desired, although applicable experience will be taken into consideration.
  • Proven proficiency with interpersonal and relationship building: diplomacy, persistence and the ability to influence a must.
  • Outstanding ability to work effectively in teams and interact with diverse staff and constituencies
  • Excellent attention to detail and follow-through as demonstrated through effective project management experience.
  • Demonstrated writing, editing and presentation skills.
  • Solid technical skills, including demonstrated aptitude with essential basic applications, such as Microsoft Office, and proficiency with fundraising database systems such as Tessitura and Donor Search.
  • Strong organizational, communications, problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Proven commitment to positive social change.
  • Experience with an arts/cultural or social justice non-profit is a plus.
  • Familiarity with Bay Area arts and culture scene is also a plus.
  • Physical requirements include ability to spend hours listening and talking; working via computer, telephone and other electronic devices; driving frequently to meetings and events; occasional night or weekend work.


Benefits include PTO, Holiday Pay, Medical, Dental, Vision, Flexible Spending Accounts, Commuter Benefit, Group Life and AD&D Insurance, Short and Long Term Disability Insurance, Voluntary Life and AD&D, Employee Assistance Program, Travel Assistance, and ability to participate in the 403(b) Retirement Plan.


To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume that outlines how your skills and experiences meet the qualifications of the position to In the subject line of your email, please include your name, the job title for this position, and the company name (“Your name – Deputy Chief of Development YBCA”).

Please do not contact the client directly.  Schaffer&Combs​​ is retained by YBCA to manage the Deputy Chief of Development search. Schaffer&Combs solves problems and provides growth solutions for mission-driven organizations. 


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is committed to diversity in its programming and in creating a work culture and environment that is reflective of San Francisco Bay Area demography. The Center encourages and actively recruits applicants representing dimensions of difference that include — but are not limited to — age, national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender or political affiliation.

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