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Chief Advancement Officer

Girl Scouts San Diego
San Diego, California
$140,000 – $160,000 depending on experience and qualifications
Closing date
Aug 27, 2022

View more

Focus Areas
Youth Development
Job Function
Development / Fundraising
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level
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Organization:       Girl Scouts San Diego

Position Title:       Chief Advancement Officer

Compensation:     $140,000 - $160,000 depending on experience and qualifications

Location:               Balboa Campus, 1231 Upas Street, San Diego, CA 92103

Reports To:            Chief Executive Officer


Benefits: Medical, dental, vision, basic Life/AD&D, voluntary life/AD&D, AFLAC voluntary plans, pet insurance, 15 days vacation annual accrual, 10 days sick leave annual accrual, 401(k) plan, 9 holidays and 1 floating holiday per year.


Our Story

Girl Scouts is a global organization redefining what’s possible for girls everywhere. 

Girl Scouts San Diego (GSSD) is one of 111 councils affiliated with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). Each council operates as an independent 501(c)3 organization. All the funds raised in San Diego support more than 8,000 volunteers and 15,000 girls in grades K-12 in San Diego and Imperial counties.

 Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, the proven program backed up by research,that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); the outdoors; life skills; and entrepreneurship (including the cookie and fall product programs), where girls learn to empower themselves for a lifetime of leadership and success. Visit for more information.


Position Summary

We are seeking an individual who is passionate about our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The ideal candidate is a positive, proactive and collaborative relationship builder who can lead the creation and implementation of a new strategic development plan that will raise Girl Scouts San Diego’s visibility in the community and enhance its financial resources.


The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will:

  • Serve on Girl Scouts San Diego’s Executive Leadership team alongside the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Mission Delivery Officer.
  • Lead a team of 5 FTE development professionals to meet the current annual fundraising goal of $2.5 million and 4 FTE marketing and communications professionals to meet the annual Marketing and Communicaitons goals.
  • Systematically strengthen the organization's overall fundraising capacity to meet increased fundraising goals each year.
  • Personally manage a major gifts ($10,000+) portfolio, building and maintaining relationships with 50-70 top level donors and prospects.  
  • Elevate and support the marketing and communication priorities across the organization.

Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic Planning & Execution:

  • Take primary ownership of creating and executing a new, 3-year strategic development plan to include annual and capital campaign needs.
  • Lead, develop and oversee the execution of strategies for all of Girl Scout San Diego’s fundraising areas including campaigns, major gifts, individual giving, planned giving, special events, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and an annual fund.

Internal Management:

  • Serve as a close strategic advisor and partner to the CEO, as well as a member of the Executive Leadership team.
  • Serve as liaison to the Board of Directors and the Philanthropy Committee. Support other Board committees as needed.
  • Build a culture of philanthropy across the organization and the Board, demonstrating how all can be stronger advocates for Girl Scouts San Diego in the community.
  • Work to foster a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring the highest level of internal and external customer service.
  • Coach, mentor, develop and manage Girl Scout San Diego’s development team members.
  • Create and manage clear success metrics with accountability for achieving  goals.

Fundraising Operations:

  • Plan and execute a moves management approach to individual and institutional giving.
  • Refine and/or establish policies, systems and procedures, with a special emphasis on professionalism and ethical standards, for soliciting, acknowledging, tracking, and reporting gifts.
  • Assist with the planning and implementation of events to deliver a superb donor experience and meet fundraising goals.
  • Supervise the appropriate use of donor software and reporting, ensuring donor privacy, data accuracy and timeliness of acknowledgements and reporting.
  • Leverage technology and data across all development strategies and practices.

Donor Relations & Communication:

  • Maintain a personal portfolio of approximately 50-70 top donors and prospects. Solicit and close major gifts to meet an annual goal of $700,000.
  • Develop and maintain in-depth knowledge of GSSD program offerings and services to articulate need and impact to donors.
  • Build and maintain critical relationships with key local organizations and partners.
  • Provide outstanding customer service and support to donors, volunteers, staff and other community contacts.
  • Create and implement innovative strategies for securing new and untapped funding resources.
  • Integrate development with marketing/communications strategies to maximize Girl Scout San Diego’s brand exposure and fundraising opportunities in collaboration with the marketing team.


Attributes & Work Style

  • Visionary:  Drives the vision for Girl Scouts San Diego’s fundraising efforts, which ultimately benefits the lives of girls throughout our community.
  • Servant-Leader: Leads with humility, empathy and awareness; actively contributes to employees’ ability to reach their goals and thrive at GSSD.
  • Creates and Fosters Trust: Honest and consistent communication, accountability to self and others, earnest collaboration.
  • Collaborative: Fosters a respectful, transparent, and collaborative work environment.
  • Community-minded: Connects well with individuals across all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds.
  • Proactive & Perseverant: Demonstrates strong personal initiative and the ability to drive projects through to completion.
  • Positive: Charismatic, warm and welcoming; a true “people-person.”
  • Growth Mindset: Open to appropriate new opportunities and ideas for GSSD.
  • Analytical: Studies issues, identifies trends and formulates new ideas.
  • Metrics-Driven: Pairs ideas with solutions and measurable outcomes.
  • Adaptive: Works well independently and in teams.
  • Reflective: Skilled at receiving and giving feedback.
  • Tact & Diplomacy: Patient, willing and able to have difficult conversations as required.
  • Communicative: Effectively represents the organization with strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Flexible: Willing to work evenings and weekends as required.


Education & Experience

  • Seasoned leader with fundraising, marketing, and communications experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • At least 7 or more years of progressively responsible experience in fund development/philanthropy, with proven results in campaign development and achievement.
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and/or other professional fundraising certification is highly desired.
  • Knowledge of marketing and communications principles, campaign management, and current trends.
  • Successful track record of fundraising achievements and leadership of a nonprofit development team.
  • Experienced in constructing, articulating and implementing a strategic development plan.
  • Prior direct responsibility for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding gifts of $10,000+ .
  • Experience developing and managing budgets over $2M. Significant fundraising success with individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to use data to drive fundraising, partnership decisions and forecasting.
  • Strong leadership skills to mentor and motivate staff to reach development goals.
  • A history of working directly with board members in support of fundraising efforts.
  • Knowledge of local and regional corporate and foundation communities; preexisting connection to the San Diego community preferred.
  • An expert storyteller who can channel personal connection to GSSD’s mission.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written); ability to convey information in a clear, concise method.
  • Significant skill in successfully managing multiple projects on tight deadlines and under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • Experience with fundraising/donor databases (Raiser’s Edge preferred); proficiency with prospect research tools.
  • Belief in the mission and values of Girl Scouting; willing to subscribe to the principles expressed in the Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law.

Girl Scouts San Diego-Imperial Council, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or creed, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law with respect to employment opportunities.


Netzel Grigsby Associates has been retained by the Girl Scouts San Diego, Imperial Council, Inc. to support the search for the incoming Chief Advancement Officer.


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