Chief Advancement Officer

Santa Monica, California
May 10, 2019
Jun 09, 2019
Focus Areas
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Some college
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level


Chief Advancement Officer (CAO)

Los Angeles Waterkeeper (Santa Monica, CA)

Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a dynamic nonprofit organization founded in 1993 (as Santa Monica BayKeeper) that works to safeguard LA’s inland and coastal waters by enforcing laws and empowering communities, is seeking a highly-motivated individual to join our staff as Chief Advancement Officer (CAO).  The CAO will lead a team responsible for raising the organization’s $2 million budget annually, with projected growth each year. The CAO provides strategic direction and oversees Waterkeeper’s advancement team in implementing fundraising and communication activities, including grant writing & management, corporate and major donor outreach, planned giving, membership development, special events, social and traditional media, and public relations efforts. This position reports to the Executive Director. 



  • Manage Advancement team, which includes two full-time staff (Development Manager and Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator) as well as communications, graphic design and special events consultants. Management includes overseeing individual work plans, conducting annual reviews and managing the overall advancement departmental work plan and budget.
  • Develop, in collaboration with the Executive Director, and oversee annual Advancement (fundraising & communications) Plan that includes clear goals, objectives, and action plans to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Set quarterly/annual fundraising and communications goals, and have systems in place to benchmark and track activities and progress.
  • Provide detailed advancement reports to the Executive Director, Board of Directors, and Development Committee on a regular basis.
  • Coordinate LAW’s Development Committee, a subcommittee of the Board. CAO will serve as primary liaison to Board on all development, communications and events activities.
  • Work with advancement team to recruit and manage any interns needed to support development, communications and/or event work.
  • In collaboration with the ED, Board, and Advancement team members, the CAO will lead efforts to engage supporters in expanding the organization’s development, branding and outreach efforts (such as leading Ambassador program).


  • Manage LAW’s overall fundraising program by ensuring that the appropriate systems, staffing and procedures are in place to meet all fundraising goals.
  • Work with LAW’s Development Manager and appropriate staff to develop cases for support and/or template grant requests for all LAW campaigns and projects to ensure consistent submittals.
  • Oversee LAW’s Development Manager to ensure adequate research on foundation, corporate and government grants is being undertaken; a funder database and calendar is maintained and followed; and all planned grant requests and reports are submitted in a timely and professional fashion and followed-up on accordingly.
  • Manage key foundation relationships, including building connections with new targets.
  • Lead efforts to develop and execute solicitation strategies for major donors and corporate prospects; manage key corporate and major donor relationships.
  • Work with the advancement team to develop and execute solicitation membership activities, including upgrading LAW’s member benefits package, overseeing direct mail appeals, and undertake other membership activities as appropriate.
  • Work with Executive Director to develop and implement a planned giving campaign.


  • Manage LAW’s overall communications efforts by ensuring that the appropriate systems, staffing and procedures are in place to meet all goals established.
  • Work with communications consultant(s) and advancement team to enhance LAW’s overall brand, including consistent messaging and design/style.
  • Oversee advancement team in redesign of LAW website (that is modernized, up-to-date, user-friendly, engaging/interactive) as well as LAW blog, Surge e-newsletter and photo library. Ensure systems are in place for continued maintenance of these areas.
  • Lead advancement team in further building LAW’s social media presence.
  • Oversee LAW’s traditional media outreach, including building relationships with key outlets and ensuring regular coverage of LAW activities and policy priorities.
  • Oversee any additional public relations efforts as needed.


  • Oversee LAW’s Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, special events consultant(s), and other members of the LAW advancement team in developing and executing an annual event plan that meets all fundraising and other goals for the organization (e.g., cultivating donors, broadening relationships, building power, and furthering LAW’s policy and programmatic goals).

Qualifications & Requirements:

Applicants must have a college degree and at least five years of development and/or communications experience, preferably in the nonprofit arena, including managing staff and campaigns. The ideal candidate will be a results-oriented fundraising professional with excellent interpersonal skills, and will be able to represent the organization’s interests to a wide spectrum of constituent groups. Candidates should have experience in corporate and major donor outreach, grant development, and membership and planned giving campaigns. He or she must also possess familiarity with database management (ideally Salesforce), and proficiency with website (WordPress), social and emerging media platforms as well as traditional media and public relations. Applicants must have excellent communication skills, and the ability to interact regularly with major donors, foundations, corporate partners, and Board of Directors. He or she must be hard working, extremely organized, self-motivated, enjoy working in a team setting, and demonstrate a deep commitment and passion for conservation and environmental protection.

Physical Requirements

Mobility to work in a standard office environment using standard office equipment, and attend off-site meetings. Must be able to sit for long periods of time, and engage in basic movements such as bending, standing, and lifting weight up to 20 pounds. Must have reliable transportation for travel to various meetings and sites throughout the county.

Salary, Benefits & Terms

Salary: $85,000-$100,000, based on qualifications

Schedule: Full-Time Exempt position; some evening and weekend work required

Benefits: Paid health and dental insurance, vacation and sick leave

Start Date: As soon as filled

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references including contact information to by Friday, May 31, 2019.


An Equal Opportunity Employer

Los Angeles Waterkeeper is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.  LAW maintains a policy of non-discrimination in regard to age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other class protected by applicable state or federal law.  Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

About Los Angeles Waterkeeper

Founded in 1993, Los Angeles Waterkeeper safeguards LA’s inland and coastal waters by enforcing laws and empowering communities. Our 10-member team of lawyers, scientists, outreach, advancement and support staff work tirelessly to achieve our vision of a Los Angeles region that is an international leader on integrated, sustainable and equitable water management; a region that is water self-sufficient, and where all waterways throughout the county are safe, healthy and accessible to the public. A locally-based and directed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, LA Waterkeeper is a proud member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance (that advocates for CA Waterkeepers in Sacramento), and is one of nearly 350 members of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, led by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., working to safeguard the world’s waterways.