Associate Director of Philanthropy

Posted Nov 20, 2023 Santa Rosa, California

Inquire Now

Expires Dec 22, 2023



“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road – the one less traveled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

– Rachel Carson, Silent Spring


Our county is one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse counties in the United States. Sonoma Land Trust believes it is a treasure that should be enjoyed by our community and protected for future generations. From acquiring land and conservation easements to restoring land and the natural properties on which we depend, to protecting land for wildlife and recreation, SLT works tirelessly to find ways to preserve the beauty and vitality of Sonoma County. Additionally, they engage the community in the importance and value of this work through outdoor activities and outreach.

Sonoma Land Trust is a local, non-governmental, nonprofit organization funded largely by membership contributions. The Land Trust works closely with private landowners, Sonoma Ag + Open Space and other public agencies at all levels of government, nonprofit partners and foundations. Sonoma Land Trust is a member of the California Council of Land Trusts and is accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Since 1976, Sonoma Land Trust has protected nearly 58,000 acres of beautiful, productive and environmentally significant land in and around Sonoma County.

Sonoma Land Trust maintains a diverse and expansive network of partnerships to accomplish a wide range of projects. Thanks to the generosity of those who trust in their work, they have been carrying out this mission for more than 45 years.


The Associate Director of Philanthropy is responsible for developing strategies for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major donors to support Sonoma Land Trust’s mission and revenue needs. They are the lead architect for the major gifts program and help other staff and volunteers conduct major gifts fundraising. The person in this role will manage an active portfolio of major gift donors.

During capital campaigns, they take a leadership role in working with board and staff in securing lead campaign commitments, including annual gifts, multi-year pledges and planned gift commitments. The ideal candidate is a seasoned development professional with an entrepreneurial spirit who is quick to understand donors’ motivations and can communicate in ways that influence and motivate. The Associate Director of Philanthropy serves the greater San Francisco Bay region, and connects with donors in the greater North Bay area, primarily in Sonoma County.

Executive Director of Sonoma Land Trust, Eamon O’Byrne, shares: “We have intentionally built and cultivated a culture of philanthropy at SLT. At SLT, fundraising is everyone’s job! We believe that donors engaging in this work are bringing about systemic change on how we care for a support the life support systems of our planet.”

For more information, please visit


This position reports to the Director of Philanthropy and oversees the Planned Giving Manager and Senior Major Gifts Manager.


  • Salary range for this role is $145,000-$170,000
  • Benefits include:
  • PTO (begin with 2 weeks per year; accrual increases over time)
  • 13 scheduled holidays; 2 floating holidays
  • Paid sick leaves: 10 days per year
  • Medical, Dental and Vision (100% employee premium paid by SLT)
  • Health Savings Account (SLT contribution up to $300 per month when enrolled in certain health plan)
  • 403(b) retirement savings
  • Section 125 Pre-Tax Plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • The opportunity to serve as a voice for nature and to protect the land of Sonoma County forever


  • Enthusiastic fundraising leader who is a skilled major gifts fundraiser with experience closing six figure gifts
  • Outstanding relationship builder who delights in connecting donors to the mission of the organization and providing them with an exceptional stewardship experience
  • Passionate defender of conserving land for future generations


  • Craft cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for leadership donors and prospects, and work closely with Director of Philanthropy and Executive Director to institute them.
  • Manage an active portfolio of major gift donors and prospects including identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors to support annual operating and capital fundraising need.
  • Set up and attend donor visits with donors and key board and staff members.
  • Ask for multi-year pledges and other planned gift commitments, and uses templates to draft and complete donor gift agreements.
  • Provide thought leadership for special events for leadership donors which may include house parties, discussion groups, property tours, hikes, outings and dinner parties.
  • Create donor contact reports outlining the potential and realized outcomes of each visit within the donor’s cultivation/solicitation/stewardship strategy.
  • Coordinate work with fundraising volunteers, develop strategies, chart progress and keep actions moving forward.
  • Conduct regular research on all prospects within their major gifts portfolio, to include wealth capacity rating, giving history, and linkages/engagement, and based on research and tested approaches, recommend solicitation strategies to Director of Philanthropy and Executive Director.
  • Lead weekly calls with Executive Director and Director of Philanthropy to ensure high level of stewardship of donors and board members.
  • Assist with communications materials by helping to define strategy and working with professional communications firm to produce materials.
  • Work independently, set priorities and sustain donor motivation.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Philanthropy team to expand an internal and external culture of philanthropy.
  • Adhere to the highest ethical standards and fundraising best practices, reflect optimistic and positive attitudes, and convey sensitivity to the needs of donors.


  • Minimum of seven years fundraising experience, including success with major gifts, or equivalent experience in complex, sophisticated donor/client portfolio management
  • Proven track record of building donor relationships and closing six-figure gifts
  • Campaign experience preferred
  • Partner with executive director, senior staff and board members in defining their roles in leadership gift development and working with them towards successful cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Demonstrated success in networking, building and managing relationships within donor communities
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking
  • Comfortable conversing with diverse audiences on sensitive or controversial issues such as land use planning, hunting and housing
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Strong supervision skills
  • Ability to drive, manage and delegate project work; establish and monitor priorities and maintain flexibility while meeting deadlines
  • Keen attention to detail, with the ability to synthesize and carefully analyze information; follow best practices, trends, and make sound decisions
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, and experience working with a donor database
  • Willingness to work flexible hours, including occasional evenings and weekends
  • Ability to travel throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and a valid driver’s license
  • BA/BS from an accredited college or university, or equivalent experience
  • Commitment to the mission of Sonoma Land Trust


SLT serves a diverse audience with broad cultural heritages, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, and orientations. We encourage applications from candidates who reflect and value the audiences and populations we serve. SLT enthusiastically welcomes candidates with diverse backgrounds, experience, and transferrable skills.

We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable working environment that is representative of the communities we serve. We know that having varied perspectives leads to better outcomes to solve the complex problems of conservation, climate change and environmental justice in Sonoma County. And to best serve the people of our community, we are taking the actions outlined in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Plan.

Sonoma Land Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive organization and encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, national or regional origins, sexes, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.


As we pursue our mission of conserving land in Sonoma County, we recognize that we stand upon the unceded ancestral lands of many Indigenous peoples. We honor their knowledge, care and stewardship of this special place across the ages and acknowledge the deep and lasting damage that colonization has inflicted on them. We embrace our responsibility to learn from and protect their cultural and traditional connections to the land

Salary Range



Sonoma Land Trust


Victoria Silverman | Email