Chief Development Officer

Are you a dynamic and accomplished fundraiser, communicator, and leader yearning to make a difference on climate change, habitat loss, and other threats to wildlife and people? We are looking for a smart, collaborative, enthusiastic, and experienced leader to head our Development Team and increase funding for a growing conservation science non-profit working on the most urgent environmental challenges of our time.

Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue, formerly PRBO), based in Petaluma, California, is a growing and internationally renowned nonprofit with over 160 staff and seasonal scientists. Founded in 1965 and working from California to Antarctica, we advance conservation of nature for wildlife and people through science, partnerships, and outreach. Our scientists work closely with wildlife managers, private land owners, ranchers, farmers, other scientists, major conservation groups, and federal, state, and local government agencies. Our highest priority today is to increase the pace, scale, and impact of climate-smart conservation.

Position Summary:

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will be both strategic and tactical. This role requires vision and effective execution of fundraising activities in order to further develop current donors and bring new supporters to advance Point Blue’s climate-smart conservation vision and goals.

The CDO will provide leadership for Point Blue’s development efforts including planned, annual, and deferred giving, as well as campaigns, in addition to direct individual and institutional philanthropy. Managing the overall marketing and promotional efforts to construct and market Point Blue’s image, develop relationships, and achieve fundraising goals is also a critical day to day management function.

Essential Functions:

Strategic Leadership:

  • Formulates the content, design, implementation, and refinement of a multi-year strategic fundraising plan for all philanthropic revenue that aligns with Point Blue’s overall strategic plan and budget.
  • Partners on all aspects of board recruitment and development.
  • Stewards a culture of philanthropy aligned with the organization’s values, vision, and mission.
  • Keeps abreast of the latest research on fundraising strategy and implementation, ensures best practices are in place.
  • Represents Point Blue externally at meetings and speaking engagements.


  • Ensures a diverse donor base of individual, corporate, foundation, and public segments.
  • Cultivates and solicits local and national portfolio of high net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations resulting in meaningful levels of support for existing programs, new initiatives, and innovation efforts.
  • Assesses and elevates major gift and corporate partnership programs; develops strategies aligned with organizational and programmatic priorities.
  • Sets expectations for and stewards Board giving.
  • Ensures robust planned giving program.
  • Designs and implements campaigns (including endowments and capital campaigns)


  • Oversees a high-performing team experienced in individual and institutional giving, events, appeals, planned giving, and database management.
  • Manages and partners in the development of the team budget; directs the forecast of additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; approves and directs the monitoring of expenditures.
  • Defines and applies metrics and accountability to measure and ensure progress towards strategic priorities; identifies opportunities for improvement; directs the implementation of improvements.
  • Facilitates communication of relevant information and ideas across the organization, ensuring integrated and successful operations.
  • Ensures cross-organizational collaboration between and among functional and programmatic teams to encourage high-performance teaming, improve fundraising effectiveness, and drive strategic outcomes.
  • Meets with staff to identify and resolve problems; performs personnel actions, such as approving timesheets and evaluating performance.
  • Creates and promotes a positive and supportive work environment.

Other Duties as Assigned:

  • Performs special projects and research as assigned.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • 1 Development Operations Manager
  • 2 Directors of Individual Philanthropy
  • 1 Director of Institutional Philanthropy
  • 1 Manager of Community Engagement

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Significant knowledge and experience leading and growing successful development departments including building major gifts, foundations, campaigns, and corporate partnership strategies.
  • Strong knowledge of budget preparation and administration.
  • Strong knowledge of people-management principles and practices, with an ability to inspire staff and foster a sense of team accountability and high performance.
  • Skills operating Microsoft Office programs including spreadsheet, word processing, presentation, and email programs.
  • Strong skills with fundraising software.
  • Ability to work effectively with federal, state, local, academic, and private scientists and agencies; establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically while executing tactically; strong project management and execution skills.
  • Effective and inspiring public speaking.

Certifications and/or Licenses:

  • Valid California driver’s license and proof of auto insurance.

Preferred Education and Experience:

This position requires a combination of education and experience equivalent to a Master’s degree in business administration, communications, public relations or a related field; 10 years of experience in direct fundraising or philanthropy management, including 5 years of successful major gift fundraising, or a related field. Love of nature and commitment to conservation required.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume, cover letter and salary expectations to:
Use “CDO” in the subject line. Position open until filled


Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.