Donor Advisement Officer

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time

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Santa Barbara Education Foundation

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Donor Advisement Officer is responsible for managing relationships with major donor prospects determined to have the ability to make gifts at or above $10,000 with emphasis on gifts of $100,000 or greater.  This position is charged with developing and implementing strategies for securing financial support from a portfolio or caseload of donor prospects including identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, closing and stewarding major gifts.

Working in tandem with the Executive Director, the Donor Advisement Officer will:

Fundraising & Donor Relations

  • Assist in the development of fundraising projections and forecasts
  • Conceptualize, prioritize and plan initiatives to cultivate prospective donors
  • Develop financial objectives for each major fundraising strategy working systematically to upgrade donors to higher levels of giving
  • Develop and expand the Superintendent’s Circle, comprised of donors who give at the Major Gifts level greater than $10,000
  • Execute and oversee the building and marketing of a Planned Giving Program, in accordance with the SBEF Planned Giving Marketing Plan
  • Provide leadership on efforts to move individuals into the ranks of major givers
  • Work to expand the circle of donors including diversity within contributors
  • Establish and formalize a monthly donors program


  • Provide leadership for the research and identification of new prospects and funding opportunities for SBEF and school district programs and special projects
  • Increase results of unrestricted income raised year to year
  • Research and identify new grant opportunities.
  • In conjunction with other SBEF staff, draft, review, edit and finalize grant applications, foundation reports, and correspondences
  • In conjunction with the Executive Director, maintain and cultivate relationships with local and regional foundations through attendance at events, regular communication, and meetings

Events & Administrative Activities

  • Actively maintain donor information on Foundation data base
  • Help plan and/or staff Foundation related meetings and small group events (Superintendent’s Circle events, donor appreciation events, etc.)
  • Assist with the development of solicitation materials
  • Assist with the solicitation of event sponsorships and auction items
  • Maintain an active schedule of visits to cultivate, solicit and close major gifts
  • Serve as a spokesperson regarding the funding needs of SBEF and the school district, the Foundation’s development efforts to meet those needs and donor giving opportunities
  • Generate routine and specialized reports from SBEF’s database for the executive director and the board.
  • Draft, review, edit and finalize routine correspondence to donors including reports, solicitations, thank-you letters, and other follow-ups as needed.
  • Perform related duties as assigned


  • Three to five years successful experience in major gift fundraising preferably in education
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of major gift donors to develop relationships between them and SBEF
  • Interest in public education and a dedication to promoting the Foundation’s fundraising
  • Demonstrated leadership and the ability to successfully manage multi-functional or diverse assignments
  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrated record of completing assignments
  • Broad knowledge of the principles of fundraising – able to participate in all aspects of the gift cycle: (1) to initiate contacts with potential donors; (2) develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with volunteers and staff; (3) move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; (4) make solicitations when appropriate; (5) maintain stewardship contacts with donors.
  • Knowledge of local and regional fundraising trends and climate as well as federal and state tax laws that impact charitable giving and personal assets
  • Willingness to work (on occasion) evenings and weekends
  • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and advance fundraising plans and articulate the case for giving
  • Understand the Santa Barbara Unified School District, the demographics of its students and staff, and priorities

Skills and Characteristics:

  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving, research and analytical skills
  • Solid relationship-building skills
  • Personal belief in mission, goals and objectives of public education
  • Ethical
  • Articulate
  • Self-motivated & self-starting
  • Passionate & committed to going out and getting gifts
  • Creative
  • Respectful, kind and a good listener
  • Perseverant
  • Optimistic and positive attitude
  • Attention to detail


$80-$90k dependent upon experience. This is an exempt position. Benefits after 30 days and include health, dental and vision insurance, sick/vacation accrual, paid holidays, and an 403(B)-retirement plan.

Location & Hours

Santa Barbara, California

Full-time/Exempt and open to partial hybrid/flexible schedule

To apply: Submit your cover letter and resume to pedro@santabarbaraeducation.org

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