Position location: Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay Area, California preferred, other West Coast locations will be selectively considered
African Parks Foundation of America
Senior Director of Philanthropy, West Coast
Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay Area, California
(preferred, other West Coast locations will be selectively considered)
Founded in 2000 by a group of conservationists, African Parks is a nonprofit organization responsible for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in Africa in partnership with governments and local communities. Its approach entails achieving financial sustainability of the parks by combining long-term donor funding with tourism revenues, related business enterprise, and payment for ecosystem services, which all serve as a foundation for economic development and poverty alleviation. It is African Parks’ belief that making wildlife parks socially and economically viable, particularly for the benefit of local communities, will contribute to their survival in the face of competing forms of land use.
African Parks manages 15 parks in nine African countries: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Zambia. The total area under management covers 26 million acres (equal to half of the U.S. National Park System). The geographic spread of protected areas and representation of different ecoregions makes this the most ecologically diverse portfolio of parks under one management across Africa. African Parks’ vision is to reach 20 parks by 2020.
African Parks’ main governing body, African Parks Network (APN), is registered as a nonprofit organization in South Africa and headquartered in Johannesburg. APN coordinates the efforts of affiliated organizations that partner in building financial support for the parks and a conservation-led tourism economy. These affiliates include the African Parks Foundation of America, the African Parks Foundation in the Netherlands, and African Parks Foundation Switzerland, and APN is exploring the creation of additional affiliates elsewhere in Europe, Asia, and beyond.
African Parks Foundation of America
The African Parks Foundation of America (APFA) works to secure financial resources to support and advance the wildlife and habitat protection efforts of the African Parks Network. APFA’s support of this mission takes the form of financial and technical assistance solicited from U.S. foundations, corporations, individuals, and government sources. More broadly, APFA aims to educate and engage American audiences regarding the importance of conserving African wildlife and habitats. The foundation has become a key agent of APN’s global fundraising strategy; the foundation contributes not only critical funding but also strategic input to the furtherance of African Parks’ mission.
APFA has significantly increased its total annual revenues from contributions and grants in recent years, vaulting from approximately $615,000 raised in FY11 to $20 million in FY18. The foundation’s base of support includes prominent, high-net-worth individuals and respected institutional funders such as The Walton Family Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; singer-songwriter Taylor Swift previously pledged all proceeds from her “Wildest Dreams” music video to supporting African Parks.
In order for the African Parks Network to accomplish its ambitious programmatic goals, APFA must continue its fundraising ascent. The expansion of APFA’s fundraising efforts have primarily focused on the East Coast to date, although APN’s reputation as one of the most effective conservation organizations in Africa, as well as increased awareness of its impact and success in media markets, have also attracted the attention and support of West Coast funders. APFA enjoys a growing base of support on the West Coast, particularly in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, but has heretofore lacked the dedicated, on-the-ground presence to maximize those philanthropic relationships. APFA is therefore establishing the new role of Senior Director of Philanthropy, West Coast to lead corresponding development efforts. The organization is also establishing a 2020 Advisory Board that will include members from the West Coast and will assist with fundraising initiatives as APFA approaches its 20th anniversary in 2020.
Reporting to the Executive Director of APFA, the Senior Director of Philanthropy, West Coast (Senior Director) is charged with creating and leading a regional development program geographically focused on the West Coast of the U.S., particularly Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest. S/he will work in partnership with APFA’s Executive Director, Board of Directors, and 2020 Advisory Board, as well as with other APFA and APN colleagues, to advance African Parks’ philanthropic presence on the West Coast, with a focus on major and principal gifts from individual and foundation sources. The Senior Director must be a collaborative member of the broader African Parks team but also exercise high levels of entrepreneurism and self-direction in order to help grow West Coast philanthropy. The Senior Director will ideally be based in a new regional office (initially a home office) in Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay Area. However, APFA is interested in identifying the best candidate and will selectively consider other West Coast locations for the Senior Director’s base of operations.
Required qualifications and experience:
- Passion for wildlife conservation, dedication to the mission and goals of African Parks, and interest in and knowledge of Africa (e.g., politics, developments, general trends).
- Minimum of six years of frontline fundraising experience with individual and institutional gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship for six and seven-figure gifts or more. Experience working for a conservation-related NGO and/or in a hybrid centralized-decentralized fundraising model involving distinct units, managing a fundraising territory, and securing gifts from both defined and undefined constituencies is preferred. Experience with donor circles, endowment gifts, planned giving, and/or capital fundraising campaigns is a plus.
- Strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives.
- Significant knowledge of the players, strategies, and trends in giving within key philanthropic communities throughout the U.S. West Coast, and a preference for significant, demonstrated fundraising success therein.
- Ability to analyze current or prospective donors’ wealth and giving data to develop efficient and effective strategies.
- Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement philanthropic initiatives and achieve goals.
- Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers, and an appreciation for their role in building an effective fundraising network.
- Ability to work from a home/remote office.
The African Parks Foundation of America has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174