Director of Development (DigDeep)


In America today, 2.2 million people still do not have hot and cold running water, a bathtub or shower, or a working flush toilet. At least 44 million more do not have clean water that is safe to drink. DigDeep is the only WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) organization serving U.S. communities with the goal of closing the Water Gap once and for all. Founded in Los Angeles in 2012, DigDeep believes access to clean water is a human right. Today, DigDeep runs several nationally recognized programs that empower communities to build their own water and sanitation systems while investing in research, storytelling, and sector-building work.

DigDeep won the 2018 U.S. Water Prize for the Navajo Water Project which has brought clean, running water to hundreds of Native families across New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. In 2019, DigDeep led an effort with Michigan State University, the U.S. Water Alliance, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the root causes of domestic water poverty in 6 “hotspots” around the country, including the California Central Valley, the Four Corners Region, the Texas border colonias, Appalachia, rural Alabama, and Puerto Rico. That work led to the publication of “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States,” the first national study on this issue. (see: Closing the Water Gap)

Headquartered in Los Angeles with projects throughout the Southwest and beyond, DigDeep has a staff of 22 employees plus contractors. Its operating budget has nearly doubled over the past year to $4.2 million. Fundraising revenue is a fairly even split of individual and institutional support, including major gifts, grassroots/online giving, corporate sponsorship, foundation giving, and some public contracts. DigDeep has a grassroots donor base of more than 38,000 Americans behind them. They have also begun expanding their work to new areas of the country, leveraging and building relationships with major foundations, trade groups, companies, and benefactors like Jack Dorsey and Lana Del Rey who are passionate about the work.

DigDeep is working to close America’s Water Gap in our lifetime. Here is how they are doing it:

  • Navajo Water Project

Started in 2014, the Navajo Water Project has now served hundreds of families across New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. One in three Navajo still do not have a sink or toilet and many worry they will never get running water. But with DigDeep there is hope. It takes DigDeep just 24 hours to bring clean, hot and cold running water to a Navajo family. This year, DigDeep expanded their work into COVID direct relief, distributing more than 263,000 gallons of drinking water in the first days of the crisis. The organization is now providing weekly water deliveries to more than 1,000 impacted families through a grant of more than $1 million in CARES Act funding throughout the Navajo Nation.

  • Appalachia Water Project

Families in Central Appalachia are also among the hardest hit by the domestic Water Crisis. Many still do not have running water or a toilet at home; others are forced to drink from polluted mountain streams and springs. DigDeep is taking the same approach they successfully piloted in the Southwest; developing new projects to bring clean, hot and cold water to Appalachian families. In partnership with a local food bank in 2019, DigDeep installed a system that creates clean drinking water using just sunlight and air. The food now bank distributes that clean, reliable water monthly; in reusable containers. That work continues to grow.

  • Clean Water for St. Michaels

The water at St. Michaels Special Needs School in New Mexico used to be black, stinky, and toxic. Most St. Michaels students are medically fragile and need pure, clean water to bathe, drink, clean medical equipment, and prepare meals. DigDeep designed and delivered a project that made sure the sinks, showers, and toilets all have safe water.

  • Close the Water Gap

Close the Water Gap is the first national study on the 2.2 million Americans without running water. The report shines a light on America’s hidden water crisis and proposes a plan of action. It tells the story from inside six affected communities and identifies promising solutions that can help extend water services to all people. DigDeep and partners including Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Heart Association, Water for People, and others are now building on that initial research with an economic impact study for water access, peer-to-peer learning groups for impacted communities, and a landscape study of the U.S. WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) sector.

(For more information about DigDeep, please visit


The Director of Development is the senior staff member in charge or strategizing, coordinating, and implementing all aspects of DigDeep’s partnership and fundraising efforts. The Director of Development will be responsible for building and leading a high-performing Development Department, including producing high quality communications and development collateral, developing and maintaining effective tracking systems, and stewarding and expanding the donor portfolio.

She/He/They will lead the development team and function with particular focus on the following priorities:

  • Creating and implementing a strategic, diversified, multi-year development strategy for DigDeep
  • Envisioning and building a cross-functional development team to ensure DigDeep reaches (or exceeds) all organizational and revenue goals
  • Further professionalizing development programs and practices by implementing best-in-class fundraising tools, systems, and processes
  • Ensuring a collaborative and data-driven approach to all fundraising and donor relationship management


This position reports to the Founder & CEO, is member of the Senior Leadership Team, and works closely with the Board of Directors, especially the Board’s Chief Financial Officer. It supervises the Development Staff and is supported by the Finance Manager and Program Directors.


Fundraising and Strategy

You will own the process and strategy for every dollar that comes into the organization and the relationship behind it. You are thinking 10 steps ahead, aligning the people, knowledge, and resources needed to identify and close major development opportunities.

  • Implement and maintain a moves management system to ensure strategic and productive engagements with all major donors;
  • Develop and steward a robust pipeline of high-value donor prospects using wealth screenings and other services; conduct research and compile briefs to support the CEO’s major meetings;
  • Strategically leverage the CEO to maximize donor relationship and cultivation opportunities; schedule and prep the CEO; accompany to key meetings;
  • Develop and maintain other systems (e.g. budgeting, performance monitoring, calendaring, reporting, CRM) to enhance effectiveness of the Development Department;
  • Collaborate with the CEO to create annual development plans including events, major donor, grassroots donor, foundation, and partner fundraising; manage a process for monitoring and reporting progress;
  • Collaborate with the Program team to stay current on funding needs, collect information for grant proposals/reports, source storytelling material, and plan and execute field visits for donors and prospects;
  • Oversee private and government grant funding, including research, preparation of high-quality proposals, submission of timely and accurate grant reports; create systems to ensure that all grant agreements and reporting requirements are organized and met, and that an active grant calendar is maintained;
  • Develop and manage relationships with contractors including grant writers, social media providers, email designers, communications strategists, researchers, and direct mail companies; execute bidding processes; monitor contract compliance and ensure projects stay on time and under budget;
  • Help corporations and institutional donors find meaningful ways to support the work in ways that create shared value (ex. cause marketing campaigns, branded product, volunteer/visit opportunities);
  • Manage the CRM and mailing/email lists and create processes to ensure that all information is accurate, up-to-date, and being actively leveraged;
  • Lead all external donor communications, including email and direct-mail campaigns; create fundraising materials, campaign sites, videos, and other collateral; create and track campaign calendars; maintain and segment donor lists;
  • Oversee Public Relations; manage PR contractor(s), select and prep staff for interviews, and ensure accurate reporting; coordinate PR efforts with the CEO;
  • Ensure that key processes and procedures are understood by multiple Development staff to ensure continuity of service;
  • Act as the development liaison to the Board CFO; prepare monthly Board Development updates.


You will lead a Development Department that is responsive, efficient, and thorough.

  • Build and manage a team of experienced Development professionals as DigDeep enters a new stage of rapid growth;
  • Participate as a member of the Senior Leadership Team;
  • Maintain open channels of communication between the Development Department and all other departments and teams;
  • Represent DigDeep at events, conferences, and networking opportunities; travel as necessary;
  • Schedule and lead regular development meetings with relevant staff; contribute to other staff and Board meetings, both virtually and in-person;
  • Uphold the unique culture of DigDeep by implementing values-aligned development and personnel management strategies.

Budgeting & Reporting

You will have an up-to-the minute understanding of the organization’s financial health, especially current fundraising goals and revenue. You will receive strong support from Operations and Finance staff.

  • Partner with the CEO and Finance Manager to closely monitor the cash flow and revenue; both actual and projected;
  • Develop the annual fundraising budget; manage implementation of the budget; monitor expenditures to ensure compliance with budget and all expenses falling within funding and organization guidelines and policies;
  • Track expected gifts from major donors, grant programs, and corporate partners (ex. wires and checks); ensure that contributions arrive on time and are accounted for properly;
  • Work closely with the Finance Manger to compile information for annual audit and compliance reports.


  • You believe anything is figure-out-able;
  • You are innovative and adaptive, devoted to professional growth based on lessons learned and constructive feedback;
  • You are a highly organized multi-tasker with a project management mindset;
  • You relate openly and comfortably with diverse groups of people;
  • You gain the trust of others through your honesty, integrity, and authenticity;
  • You love people and figuring out how to align their interests with opportunities to create change;
  • You understand the value of healthy data and are comfortable using CRM and data to make giving more predictable and efficient;
  • You have experience managing a staff and a budget of similar size and complexity;
  • You like to track your performance and continuously improve;
  • You have the flexibility to travel and attend meetings and events outside of regular business hours;
  • You are driven by a desire to make our country (and our world) a better place to live.


DigDeep is built on the principles of equity, transparency, and the power of human experience. Your work will improve the daily lives of real people – people you are likely to meet. Every American should have the clean, running water they need to thrive. You will work hands-on with a dedicated team of professionals as well an extended network of donors to make that a reality.


DigDeep is offering a compensation package that includes competitive salary and a full benefits package. Benefits include comprehensive health insurance (100% employer paid), generous vacation and sick leave, 6 weeks parental leave at full pay, prescription drug coverage, One Medical membership, life insurance (100% employer paid), monthly cell phone allowance, executive coaching and fully-paid capacity building offerings, domestic travel, and a 401k retirement plan.


Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has been retained to lead this recruitment effort on behalf of DigDeep. DigDeep is an equal opportunity employer and a diverse workforce and inclusive culture are core values. Kevin Chase Executive Search and DigDeep encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

Inquiries, nominations, or applications (including a cover letter and resume) should be directed electronically and in confidence, to [email protected]. We are pleased to answer any questions or supply further information. 


Kevin Chase, Managing Partner     or      Catie DiFelice, Senior Associate

[email protected]               [email protected]

Kevin Chase Executive Search Group

1800 Hi Point Street

Los Angeles, CA  90035



All inquiries or referrals will be held in strict confidence.

Please note that all education, dates of employment, compensation and other information provided will be verified prior to an offer of employment.

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  • Reed Young
    published this page in Job Board 2020-10-20 16:21:27 -0400