Job Title – Chief External Affairs Officer
Reports to – President + Chief Executive Officer
Employee Status – Full-time, Exempt
Salary range info is as follows:
$135K - $150K
United Friends of the Children empowers current and former foster youth on their journey to self-sufficiency through service-enriched education and housing programs, advocacy, and consistent relationships with a community of people who care.
United Friends has been an integral part of the Los Angeles foster care community since our founding by Nancy M. Daly in 1979. Our early advocacy efforts helped establish the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and pass the Foster Care Independence Act. Innovations in direct services span from co-founding the first transitional housing program in the nation for former foster youth to the creation of an 11-year education support continuum that follows foster youth from the seventh grade through the completion of a bachelor’s degree.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief External Affairs Officer (CXO) serves as a key leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting United Friends of the Children. In partnership with the CEO, this position is responsible for all communications, fundraising and development activities. The successful candidate will help forge new relationships to build United Friends’ visibility, impact, and financial resources. The CXO also will design and implement a comprehensive plan for developing key external alliances by cultivating individual and philanthropic support.
The Chief External Affairs Officer will have primary responsibility for establishing and implementing the infrastructure needed to grow an $8M budget through the solicitation of major gifts, federal and state grants, special events, and corporate and foundation support.
The CXO will expand and diversify United Friends’ donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives. In addition, the CXO will work closely with the board of directors and support board members as they take on a more active fundraising role.
It is expected that the amount raised by United Friends will increase in future years as the Chief External Affairs Officer systematically and effectively strengthens the organization's overall fundraising and sector-shifting capacity.
Duties and responsibilities
- To develop, plan, direct, manage, implement, and evaluate United Friends' Development program including annual giving, public and foundation grants, major gifts, corporate giving, planned giving, endowment gifts, multi-year campaigns, special events, and in-kind giving.
- Plan and develop the fundraising program and fundraising strategies for United Friends of the Children and involve the Development Team, CEO, and Board of Directors in this work.
- Identify, cultivate, solicit, recognize and steward a portfolio of donors, especially major donors with capacity to make gifts of $100,000 or more.
- Develop and supervise major fundraising efforts, community and foundation support for annual operating budget and in-kind contributions. Develop and supervise capital and major gift campaigns and special initiatives as needed.
- Ensure that effective and user-friendly support systems are developed and implemented for tracking donors, grants, and other fundraising activities to support the fundraising and volunteer efforts of the Board, CEO, staff, and support groups.
- Monitor progress toward fundraising goals for all campaigns and work with Development and Impact teams to organize and share regular updates with key constituent leaders including senior staff and board.
- Select honorees and talent for major events with Development Committee and Development team.
- Be aware of significant developments and trends in the philanthropic field.
- Oversee United Friends' short term and long-term communications strategy, including marketing, public relations, media relations, and volunteer services programs.
- Develop, implement, and evaluate United Friends' Marketing and Communications program, including media relationships, branding, website, public relations, social media, annual communications plans and all external and internal collateral materials.
- Create and oversee the development of a vibrant, high-level volunteer program which supports the Development program and creates an ongoing source of volunteer leadership and community involvement.
- Ensure the Development and Impact teams collaborate with and ensure integration with programs and services of United Friends of the Children to successfully achieve goals.
- Present information and updates on development activities to the Development Committee, CEO, Board of Directors, and other constituencies.
- Develop and maintain external relationships with donors, groups, civic organizations and organizations which will enhance fundraising potential, as required.
- Represent United Friends at various community events, inter-agency meetings and special events.
- Ensure preparation and distribution of press releases and media advisories.
- Be aware of local, state and national affordable housing policy issues.
- Hire, train, support, and coach Development and Impact staff and key volunteers to create goals and strategies to meet the objectives set for United Friends of the Children through its Strategic Plan and other work plans.
- Work with CEO and Development Committee to establish Development policies and long range planning for Development.
- With CEO and senior management team, determine revenue goals and monitor revenues.
- Develop and review with the CEO and Development Committee all policies related to Development.
- Work with Development Committee and CEO to implement Board policies.
- Other duties as assigned.
General United Friends Responsibilities
- Act as a role model within the organization to uphold and implement United Friends’ organizational values:
- Embrace program evaluation that leads to excellence and impact
- Build effective and empowering relationships with the youth, community and each other
- Create a fun and exciting environment that inspires learning and innovation
- Communicate openly, honestly and with humility across all groups
- Work together as one organization
- 10+ years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization; demonstrated success in a development function (managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources)
- Tangible experience of having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
- Strong organizational skills
- Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives
- Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside United Friends of the Children
- High energy and passion for United Friends’ mission is essential
- Ability to construct, articulate, and implement annual strategic development and communications plans
- Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail
- Customer focus
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time
Career Track Leading To This Position:
The Chief External Affairs Officer should have a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible and successful fundraising experience, management experience of diverse development professionals, and experience collaborating with governance boards. Leading candidates will have a proven track record of communication strategy development, amplifying organizational voice and impact in this sector, raising significant support and proven success with annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate giving, contracts and grants, special events, capital campaigns and other campaigns, plus a working knowledge of information systems and databases that support fundraising. Candidates will be expected to have experience leading and articulating a vision as well as the demonstrated ability to make and execute plans, reach goals, and develop staff and volunteers into a highly functioning team. Knowledge of the Los Angeles philanthropic community is preferred. Prior experience working with a sophisticated, engaged board is essential.
- A bachelor's degree is required; a graduate degree is preferred.
- Assistant Director, Development
- Assistant Director, New Initiatives + Special Events
- Assistant Director, Strategic Gifts
- Director of Impact
- A competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and excellent benefits will be provided.