Director of Development

California Trout

San Francisco, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $160,000 - $190,000
Required Experience 7+ years

WEBSITE:  www.CalTrout.org 

ORGANIZATION:  California Trout (CalTrout) is a highly recognized, effective and financially strong conservation-based non-profit headquartered in San Francisco. For more than 50 years, CalTrout has championed a remarkable number of initiatives focused on revitalizing waters for resilient wild fish and a better California. With more than 60 large-scale conservation projects underway, in tandem with public policy efforts in Sacramento, their seven regional offices work tirelessly to advance their cause through a four-pillared approach to conservation:  science, restoration, community engagement, and advocacy. CalTrout is backed by a passionate Board along with highly committed donors and a strong membership base.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP:  The Director of Development reports directly to the Executive Director.

POSITION SUMMARY:  CalTrout is seeking a dynamic and experienced Development Director who can help lead their fundraising efforts into the next phase of organizational growth. The position develops, implements, and monitors a comprehensive fundraising plan to expand philanthropic support of the organization including identifying and strengthening relationships with community stakeholders, actively pursuing and managing corporate and individual leads, foster strong donor and sponsor stewardship, and seeking, applying for and managing grant funding. Additionally, this position plans and produces internal CalTrout fundraising events. CalTrout is completing a strategic planning process in the next few months and embarking on a capital campaign to fund the plan. The Development Director will lead the development and implementation of the fundraising campaign working closely with the Executive Director, staff leadership and Board of Directors.

The Director of Development will be a trusted and valued professional partner to the Executive Director, COO and Board of Directors. The Director of Development will build, lead and develop a talented team of fundraising professionals.


Key responsibilities for the Director of Development include:

  • Design and implement a comprehensive development funding plan annually which maintains the fiscal health of the organization and provides future financial resources for growth and expansion. Including but not limited to major gifts, planned giving, individual/foundation gifts, grant writing and management, corporate major giving, annual appeal development and management, third party events and internal events.
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with individual donors, foundations, and corporate partners, providing personalized and timely communication, acknowledging contributions and updating them on the organization's progress.
  • Lead the fundraising team in the planning and execution of fundraising events, campaigns, and appeals to meet or exceed annual fundraising goal of $4,500,000 including restricted and unrestricted contributions.
  • Develop and implement a fundraising campaign in FY25 to raise $10 million in pledges over three years.
  • Build and manage a portfolio of 60 - 100 individual donors with the capacity to give $10,000 - $50,000. Create, manage and execute a plan for all donors within the managed portfolio.
  • Conduct approximately 120 meaningful donor visits per year.
  • Meet or exceed any additional fundraising goals defined for the fiscal year.
  • Supervise Event Coordinator in the planning and execution of key fundraising events and donor cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Collaborate with the Leadership Team, Board of Directors and other staff to secure major gifts and provide direction in fundraising strategy, particularly in their efforts to plan for the next capital campaign.
  • Understand and apply complex principles of developing donor strategies.
  • Supervise the planned giving development manager in the promotion and stewardship of the Richard May Legacy Society.
  • Deliver presentations on programs to various community, corporate and conservation groups as needed.
  • Communicate the programs in detailed terms, co-create and discuss all opportunities to connect to their work through philanthropy.
  • Understand CalTrout’s various project budgets and build proposal budgets utilizing this knowledge.
  • Use the donor database to track donor interactions, strategy and other metrics.
  • Establish tracking tools and monitor monthly, including interaction with Board Development Committee.
  • Create funding targets for Board of Directors and manage large donor tracking and communication plans.
  • Arrange and attend various donor meetings and events.
  • Work collaboratively with the Leadership Team, program staff, and external partners to align development and communication efforts with organizational goals.
  • Collaborate with San Francisco Directors and Regional Directors in guiding the continued growth and stability of the organization.


  • Seven to 10-plus years of significant nonprofit fundraising experience and proven track record of raising more than $5 million annually. 
  • Five-plus years of experience in major donor cultivation and solicitation. Proven track record of building donor relationships and closing gifts in the five- six- and seven-figure range.
  • A proven track record of maintaining effective relationships with donors and determining the optimal scenario for successful gift solicitation.
  • Proven track record of managing, motivating and developing the full potential of a talented development staff.
  • Experience working with volunteer fundraisers to successfully close major gifts among their networks.
  • Ability to establish and monitor priorities, maintain flexibility and meet deadlines with limited direct supervision.
  • Exceptionally strong strategic thinking, analytical and prospect research skills, and goal orientation are essential.
  • Outstanding stewardship and relationship management skills with meticulous follow-through and excellent presentation skills while exercising creativity. Demonstrated donor recognition strategies.
  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Works well under pressure in a demanding, fast paced work environment. Ability to operate with purpose, urgency and accuracy.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills with both internal and external constituencies, as well as written and verbal required. Adept at crafting compelling and high-quality proposals, reports, solicitation letters and donor correspondence.
  • Proven experience in telling the story of an organization and its effectiveness. Excels at articulating organization goals, outcomes, objectives, and evaluation strategies to donors.
  • Leadership skills; proven results in collaboration and participation with internal and outside stakeholders.
  • Ability to engage and motivate groups of diverse individuals.
  • Solid comprehension of, and ability to articulate CalTrout’s programming, mission, goals and accomplishments.
  • Capital campaign experience is a plus.
  • Experience with planned giving is a plus.
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule including evenings and occasional weekends.
  • Excellent research skills. 
  • Proven track record in grant and/or proposal writing. 
  • Experience working in a recognized donor database system.  
  • Familiarity with environmental and conservation issues, particularly related to freshwater ecosystems, is a plus.
  • Fly fishing experience is a plus.

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS:  The Director of Development should embody the following personal characteristics:

  • A deep commitment to goals and mission of CalTrout.
  • A personable, flexible, diplomatic, and respectful demeanor.
  • Proven ability to serve as a team player, mentor, and leader to motivate and inspire staff and colleagues.
  • Transparency in all work.
  • A well-organized and focused individual that is capable of and
  • interested in increasing the effectiveness of the development team.
  • Extremely proactive approach to work. Someone that is solutions oriented.
  • A good listener and strategist. Comfortable receiving input from many sources and able to analyze and formulate disparate information to a sound, well-organized plan.
  • Intrepid yet tactful. Determined yet respectful of others’ concerns. A skilled negotiator who is open to other viewpoints.
  • Ability to work both independently with minimal supervision and cooperatively in a team environment.
  • Self-starter with ability to quickly create a positive network of relationships.
  • A hard worker with a high energy level. A ‘doer’ with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of fundraising related activities.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and adapt easily to changing situations and priorities. Good judgment and consensus building skills.
  • Willingness to accept additional responsibilities as requested by the Executive Director and/or Boards of Directors.
  • Impeccable integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of humor.

EDUCATION:  Bachelor’s Degree is required. Advanced degree is a plus.

COMPENSATION:  The target compensation range for this position is $160,000 to $190,000, which will be based upon background and experience.

CalTrout is an Equal Opportunity Employer and their commitment to diversity includes the recognition that their conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects CalTrout’s mission is a priority, and they encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.



Scott E. Miller


Scott Miller Executive Search

3041 Baker Street

San Francisco, CA  94123

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Category Admin & Leadership, Fisheries, Hydrology
Tags Outreach