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Director of Development

Public Policy Institute of California
San Francisco office, in a hybrid environment
$171,200 - $214,000, DOE
Closing date
Apr 5, 2024

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Focus Areas
Education, Environment, Government
Job Function
Development / Fundraising
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

Job Details

Reporting to the vice president of communications, the director of development is responsible for planning and implementing a comprehensive fundraising program at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The director of development plays a key role in ensuring the financial sustainability of the organization and the success of its programs. The director of development oversees a fundraising operation that helps PPIC:

  • accomplish its mission of improving public policy, 
  • raise the necessary resources to sustain and grow the institute and its programs,
  • expand its reach and credibility through a diverse donor base,
  • and establish the reputation of PPIC staff as a resource for the philanthropic community.

The director oversees strategic efforts to raise support through foundation and government grants as well as contributions from individuals and corporations. They supervise development staff, setting goals and priorities for the team and managing internal and external processes. 

This position is based in the San Francisco office, in a hybrid environment.


  • Develops and executes a sustainable, multiyear fundraising plan that includes major gifts, project funding (foundation, government, and individual grants), sponsorships, and planned giving. Collaboratively develops fundraising strategies that align with PPIC’s mission and values.
  • Establishes annual fundraising goals, strategies, and timelines for the development function. Meets or exceeds those goals. 
  • Identifies and cultivates major gift prospects, as well as corporate and foundation donors. Directly responsible for managing a portfolio of individual and corporate major donor prospects ($50,000 and up). Serves as relationship manager for the president’s portfolio of top prospects and high-profile donors. 
  • Plans and executes campaigns and special events that engage donors and prospects, raise funds, and increase the organization’s visibility. 
  • Works closely and collaboratively with the board of directors (including the president) to raise philanthropic support and expand relationships with current and potential funders and donors. Cultivates board member giving and prospecting. Provides regular reports to the board on development activities.
  • Builds and fosters a cross-departmental culture of fundraising that capitalizes on organizational priorities and assets. Supports research managers in efforts to fund projects, programs, and new initiatives.
  • Serves in a senior management capacity in the communications group, overseeing people and processes. Works closely with communications colleagues to develop and execute effective donor communications and marketing materials. 
  • Manages and leads a team of fundraising professionals, providing guidance, training, and support. This includes setting goals and expectations for individual team members, monitoring performance, creating opportunities for professional development, and providing feedback to ensure that fundraising goals are met or exceeded.
  • Monitors and analyzes fundraising data to evaluate performance and adjusts strategies as needed. This involves tracking donor engagement and retention rates, analyzing revenue streams, and making data-driven decisions that help the organization achieve its fundraising goals.
  • Ensures best practices for prospect research. Oversees maintenance of donor lists, applied data analytics, and moves management tracking.
  • Collaborates with finance staff on budget-building and financial reporting, and to ensure compliance with funding guidelines and documentation for annual audit.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent plus a minimum of ten years of experience in fundraising/development, preferably in an academic setting, foundation, or public policy- focused organization.
  • Five years of managerial experience. Demonstrated ability to set goals and expectations, motivate team members, and provide guidance and support as needed.
  • Demonstrated experience and success in major gift solicitation from individuals and corporations. Advanced knowledge of and skills in major gift fundraising techniques.
  • Expert knowledge of and contacts in California and national foundations, including an understanding of the shifting philanthropic landscape. 
  • Experience managing donor and sponsorship gift programs. Working knowledge of direct mail, email, web, social media, and other digital techniques and strategies of annual giving and solicitation campaigns.
  • Excellent prospect research and analysis skills.
  • Experience planning and executing donor cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Organizational and administrative proficiencies to ensure proper compliance with grant, contract, and audit requirements.
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. Discretion required.
  • Collaborative work style. Adept at building relationships and working effectively across teams and with diverse groups of people.
  • Excellent public presentation skills; ability to represent PPIC leadership at public functions.
  • Excellent MS Office skills and fundraising/wealth screening software. 

PPIC values the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences of our staff, and key elements in the consideration of qualified candidates include excellence; diversity of talents, backgrounds, and viewpoints; and a strong fit with the institute’s mission, values, and goals.


The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. Our mission is to inform and improve public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

Company info
500 Washington, Suite 600
San Francisco

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