Chief Advancement Officer

Chief Advancement Officer 
Position Description


WE BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC that happens when all people experience the outdoors. But far too often, communities of color do not see people who look like them in outdoor spaces, green jobs, or the environmental movement. We imagine a world where all people, especially youth, have equitable access to the life-changing benefits of meaningful outdoor experiences. Youth Outside is the only organization providing grantmaking, capacity building, and training to ensure all Bay Area youth have the opportunity to live healthy lives and become future champions of our planet. Since 2013, our grantmaking programs have reached over 30,000 Bay Area youth and outdoor program providers, from San Rafael to Gilroy, and our award-winning trainings and capacity-building programs have empowered organizations and individuals nationwide. In 2017, the Association of Fundraising Professionals awarded us Most Outstanding Nonprofit in our budget category, and our grantee Mira Manickam was named a Toyota Everyday Hero. 

Through a lens of racial equity and cultural relevancy, we have worked to transform how youth and communities of color access outdoor opportunities and think of themselves as part of the larger environmental and conservation movement. We are significantly increasing our impact and finding ourselves poised to step into significant growth opportunities. One opportunity poised to begin in 2020 is our groundbreaking (and temporarily named) Grassroots Conservation Fund. In recognition of the need to bring capacity building and financial resources to organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color serving communities of similar demographics in conservation/environmental justice/outdoor access programming, this new grantmaking program will provide support to such organizations. With the goal of hosting 20-25 grantees annually on a national level, supported by a variety of funders, we are excited to launch this effort with seed funding of $500K in 2020 and 2021 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

We seek a creative, entrepreneurial fundraising leader to elevate how we cultivate and grow new donor partnerships, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country. Our new Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will not only lead fundraising and visibility efforts for our new Grassroots Conservation Fund, but also direct all fundraising strategies and operations. The new CAO will bring a successful track record of creating and growing fundraising campaigns focused on new donor prospects across the United States, motivating and leading the development team, and contributing to strategic conversations about organizational growth. Reporting directly to the CEO and working closely with the Board of Directors, a development team of two staff members, and a growing network of program alumni, the new CAO will build and lead multi-year development plans, cultivate and steward new individual, corporate, and foundation donors, and supervise the development staff.


Working closely with the CEO and Board of Directors, the Chief Advancement Officer will:

● Lead the Development department, including providing coaching, mentoring, and customized feedback to Development Director, Development Associate, and any contractors or volunteers
● Create and manage multi-year development plans, including creating and implementing effective strategies and structures for raising funds across multiple revenue streams
● Partner with the CEO and program team to create and execute funding strategies to grow new programs 
● Build and manage a pipeline of new foundation and major donor prospects, both locally and nationally
● Cultivate and solicit prospects via campaigns as well as custom strategies to meet targets
● Supervise and direct foundation proposal research, writing, editing, submission, and engagement
● Set and achieve measurable quarterly and annual fundraising goals, such as pipeline metrics, retention goals, cultivation touchpoints, and number of proposals submitted
● Drive the expansion of our Major Donor program, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding prospects with the capacity for multi-year gifts
● Partner with Board Governance Committee to support the Board in fundraising efforts 
● Supervise production and dissemination of effective fundraising communications
● In partnership with CEO, create and implement norms that support a culture of fundraising
● Train staff, Board members, and alumni in donor-centric messaging and storytelling 
● Advance effectiveness, development, and growth of Youth Outside’s Board of Directors
● Explore opportunities to raise the visibility of Youth Outside in front of key stakeholders 


We work hard and we love to learn. You will join a collaborative team of self-motivated leaders who value equity, cultural relevancy, and inclusion as building blocks for effective work to advance our urgent mission. We rely on creativity, flexibility, listening, critical thinking, and humor to bring out the best in each other and our training participants. As we pursue our vision of a world where all communities have equitable access to meaningful outdoor opportunities, we meet individuals where they are.

Our ideal CAO candidate brings the following qualifications, competencies, and values:

● 10+ years of nonprofit fundraising, business development, marketing, or partnerships experience, with a preference for at least five years of team management experience
● Experience leading, coaching, motivating, and retaining a growing development team
● Strong oral communication skills and public speaking ability 
● Ability to communicate with empathy to a diverse range of partners and communities
● Proven track record of using creativity and innovation to successfully grow a donor base
● Entrepreneurial approach to creating new solutions and approaches to cultivation
● Experience successfully cultivating and soliciting major donor prospects across the US
● Previous experience successfully securing and managing new foundation partnerships 
● Track record of securing major donor pledges with donor-centered strategies/tactics
● Commitment to advancing social justice
● Demonstrated ability to thrive on a small team with limited clerical support
● Strategic thinker willing to contribute to conversations about organizational growth 
● Ability to travel nationally and throughout the Bay Area, including a valid driver’s license 
● Commitment to problem-solving with creativity 
● Willingness to try new things, such as participating in quarterly team-building activities
● Ability to analyze, investigate, and critique possible funding opportunities
● Previous experience fundraising for conservation or environmental justice a plus
● Appreciation of the outdoor education field and environmental activities a plus 
● Inclusion: We create environments and opportunities that embrace difference and honor the whole person in their connection to nature, so that they feel welcomed, valued, and supported to fully and authentically participate in being champions for the planet
● Relevancy: We listen and learn so that we can remain relevant and effective, using our leadership role to address needs as they arise
● Radical Transformation: We expect more of our work, creating new pathways to transform the way youth interact with, appreciate, and care for the outdoors
● Humility: Our leadership role demands that we adapt with an open mind and heart, keeping lines of communication open, and making adjustments to achieve shared goals and to embrace opportunities
● Catalyst: We ignite momentum and rally support for a cause that demands attention by asking hard questions and facilitating difficult conversations needed to drive broader change across the outdoor field
● Equity: We prioritize creating access and opportunities for historically and systemically excluded individuals and communities in order to guarantee fair treatment within the outdoors, and to ensure that equitable access to nature, green jobs, and healthy and fulfilling lives can be achieved by all members of society
● Well-Being: We advocate for access to the benefits of the outdoors in order to increase the health and wholistic wellness of all people and for the collective commitment to ensure the health of our planet

Generous compensation, commensurate with experience. Benefits include: generous vacation, paid health and dental premiums, a supportive team culture, and annual stipend for individual professional development activities. Opportunity to join an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Youth Outside strongly encourages people from all backgrounds to apply for open positions. Most importantly though, no matter your background, the person selected for this position must embrace, advocate for, and deeply value racial equity and inclusion.


Please send a cover letter, resume, and 1-2 page writing sample to:

Kim Moore Bailey, CEO
Youth Outside