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Friends of the Observatory

Senior Director of Development and Marketing

Employment type
2 months ago
Los Angeles

Friends Of The Observatory Job Description: Senior Director of Development and Marketing
Full-Time, Exempt Position
Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, CA

About Friends Of The Observatory (FOTO)
FOTO is the support organization for the iconic Griffith Observatory. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, FOTO’s donors, Board of Directors, members, employees, and volunteers work as the Observatory’s fundraising and advocacy organization to ensure that Griffith Observatory has the resources to inspire the future, one imagination at a time. Griffith Observatory is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. The City provides public funds for staff, facilities, and on-going operating expenses of the Observatory. It is with FOTO’s support through donations, grants, and memberships that the Observatory can produce current programming, exhibits, planetarium shows, and presentations. Entry to both Griffith Observatory and the grounds are free.
FOTO seeks to hire a Senior Director of Development and Marketing who will work in collaboration with the Executive Director to design and execute an overall fund development and marketing strategy to provide for the organization’s current and future needs to increase philanthropic support for Griffith Observatory. Reporting to the Executive Director, this position has a strong outward-facing element and is responsible for overseeing the communications and fundraising activities for the organization.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Oversee current funding initiatives: major gifts, private and corporate donations, grants, annual giving, individual gifts, membership, special events, and in-kind gifts.
  • Broaden major and corporate gifts programs; develop and implement a legacy/planned giving program.
  • With Executive Director, develop a balanced funding mix of donor sources and solicitation programs tailored to the needs of the organization that will enable it to attract, retain, and motivate donors and fundraising volunteers.
  • Manage donor cultivation, solicitation, and recognition - including creation of key prospect lists; implement moves management tracking.
  • Manage a portfolio of major key donors and coordinate visits, meetings, and events with the executive director, board members, and potential gift donors.
  • Oversee donor centric marketing and communication content and strategy.
  • Participate in executive leadership activities to shape and lead the culture towards accountability and innovation.
  • Aid in the development and cultivation of a strong Board of Directors, together with the Executive Director and staff.
  • Supervise and work closely with Development and Communications Director and Membership Manager.
  • Any other task relevant to the role or the mission of the organization as assigned by Executive Director.


Ideal Qualifications:

  • At least eight years of demonstrated fund development and marketing/communications experience; supervisory and leadership skills a must.
  • Must possess skills necessary to efficiently plan and implement activities within policies and procedures; maintain positive working relationship; respect rights of others; demonstrate initiative and accept accountability; effectively manage time and communicate; and respond to inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Superior written, verbal, and interpersonal skills.
  • Highly organized, creative, innovative, and self-starter.
  • Front-line cultivator and solicitor of transformational, major, principal, and planned gifts.
  • Able to foster, enhance, and expand relationships with existing donors and to influence and tap new, diverse supporters.
  • Success working as a strategic advancement advisor to an Executive Director/CEO.
  • Experience working effectively with board members.
  • Knowledgeable about current and evolving trends in philanthropy, including emerging tactics and technology.
  • Computer literate; knowledgeable of Blackbaud Altru (or equivalent donor software system), Google Suite, and Microsoft Office products such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Familiarity with the Southern California philanthropic community.
  • Flexibility and willingness to attend events and participate in evening and weekend activities.
  • Passion for Griffith Observatory is a must.
  • Valid driver’s license (moderate travel required).
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; a relevant advanced degree is a plus.


Friends Of The Observatory offers a benefits package that includes paid Medical, as well as some Dental and Vision reimbursement, 401K plan, paid vacation and sick time off, paid holidays, and free parking at Griffith Observatory.

To apply

Send a resume and cover letter to: [email protected]