Director of Development, Southern California and Southwest

Job Type

Full Time




Los Angeles
United States


About the Obama Foundation

Founded in January 2014, the Obama Foundation is a living, working center for citizenship in the 21st century aimed at identifying, training, and connecting the next generation of leaders and engaged citizens. The Foundation is developing the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side of Chicago to serve as headquarters for the projects it will undertake across the city, the nation, and around the world.

As President Obama said in his farewell address, "I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.” That concept is one the Obamas championed from the beginning, and it is now a cornerstone of the Obama Foundation’s efforts to support and develop the next generation of active citizens and emerging young leaders at home and around the world.

Real change—big change—takes many years, and requires each generation to believe that its participation matters and embrace the obligations and opportunities that come with the most important office in a democracy: that of Citizen. Together, we have made extraordinary progress. Because there is more to do, this work lives on in the Obama Foundation.

For more information on the Obama Foundation, please visit

About the Role

As a member of the Development team, the Director of Development, Southern California and Southwest will assume the primary responsibility for the design and implementation of the Foundation’s development activity in the Southwest. With a strong focus on Los Angeles, the Director of Development, Southern California and Southwest will serve as the primary relationship manager for a portfolio of prospects and donors in the region and utilize the staff, volunteer, and material resources at their disposal to hit the annual regional fundraising goal. Reporting to (and working closely with) the Chief Development Officer, the Director will work closely with a regional advisor and lead a small team to expand and engage a robust donor base in support of the Foundation’s long-term fundraising goals.


The Director of Development, Southern California and Southwest will be responsible for achieving the following outcomes within the first year:

Regional Fundraising Strategy & Management

  • Ensure that the regional fundraising team achieves the goals set forth for the region
  • Set and execute a strategic plan for regional fundraising efforts (e.g., priorities, strategies, and work phases/targets/timelines)
  • Successfully manage execution of fundraising plan ensuring effective communication with internal and external stakeholders (e.g., Principals, CDO, Board, team, OF staff)

Cultivation & Solicitation

  • Within 3 months: Review, adapt and grow current cultivation plans targeting key markets in region to meet goals
  • Within 6 months: Active cultivation in key markets underway
  • Within 9 months: Build on initial plan to consider volunteer structures to assist in the ongoing cultivation of a widening universe of donors
  • Within 1 year: Solicitation of 1/3 of prospect list complete


The ultimate aim of the Director of Development, Southern California and Southwest is to achieve the outcomes listed above. In order to achieve those outcomes, we imagine that the Director of Development, Southern California and Southwest will spend their time in the following ways:

Regional Leadership and Strategy

  • Lead development and execution of regional strategy for a portfolio of annual, major, and principal gift prospects within the region
  • In partnership with the regional advisor, build strong relationships with, and support the development activities of, board members based in the region
  • Oversee a small regional team as approved by leadership; recruit and manage volunteer pool as needed to achieve goals
  • Establish cooperative working relationships with other frontline fundraisers within the region and across the country, sharing best practices
  • Manage and motivate a regional development committee tasked with broadening the prospect list and assisting with the cultivation of major donors, including planning and executing regular meetings
  • Ensure accurate and up-to-date records of regional activity in Salesforce

Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship

  • Develop customized cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each prospect and donor in the portfolio
  • Build and manage productive relationships with prospects and donors through visits, correspondence, and regular communication
  • Proactively design and execute new and creative donor engagement strategies
  • Manage and assist senior leadership staff in major and principal gift solicitations
  • Monitor progress against goals ensuring deadlines are met
  • Execute events necessary to meet regional goals
  • Ensure the timely and accurate creation and distribution of updates to donors and briefings to senior leadership; oversee the creation of highly personalized proposals for top prospects
  • Regularly participate in the creation of necessary materials to inform the Board of Directors of ongoing regional development activity, successes, and needed resources
  • Ensure scheduling, logistics, and execution of development activities and events in the region are seamless


  • Track record of building and maintaining productive relationships with a portfolio of 100+ major and principal gift level donors at a time and closing gifts in the high six- to seven-figure range
  • Proven success within a highly flexible, visible, and entrepreneurial culture; comfort working under tight timelines in fast-paced environments
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence with donors and direct-reports, with an ability to develop and maintain long-term, productive relationships internally and externally
  • Understanding of philanthropic donor environment in Southern California and the Southwestern United States
  • Command of fundraising programs and high-level gift strategies 
  • Willingness to learn additional development best practices and styles from colleagues of differing backgrounds
  • Database experience required, Salesforce or other CRM experience preferred; high proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Apps and project management software
  • Experience overseeing budgets, with the capacity to allocate resources strategically and manage spending against budget
  • Appreciation of the complexities associated with working for a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity
  • Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s mission of inspiring, empowering, and connecting people to change their world
  • Minimum of 10 years experience in fundraising roles

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please email us at if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement