Active - Chief Advancement Officer
Company: Sierra Club
Posted on: May 3, 2021
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Location Oakland or LA, CA; Seattle, WA; Washington,
D.C.; Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Denver, CO; New York,
Location: Oakland or LA, CA; Seattle, WA; Washington, D.C.;
Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Denver, CO; New York, NY
About Sierra Club: Sierra Club is the most
enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in
the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.9 million members
and supporters to defend everyones right to a healthy world. Our
work focuses on championing solutions to the climate crisis;
working for clean air, safe water, land protection, and a vibrant
natural world; and getting people outside to enjoy the outdoors,
all in the fight for environmental and social justice. Sierra Clubs
employees are changemakers whose work is rooted in our equity,
inclusion, and justice values. We are guided by the Jemez
Principles to build just relationships with our community partners
to co-create a clean energy future for all.
Sierra Club is comprised of staff across the country and
thousands of volunteers across a network of local chapters that
power our grassroots engagement. We are also proud to be a
unionized employer, with two labor unions representing more than
half of our 800+ employees, who are located in field offices and
chapters across the country. For more information,
The Role: The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO)
will join the Sierra Club during an exciting time of existential
evolution and transformation. The CAO must have a deep personal
commitment to, and understanding of, equity, inclusion, and
justice, and use that as a frame for the work of integrating
ongoing organization-wide change processes and innovative
fundraising tools into our work, achieving the fundraising and
membership goals of the organization, and ensuring careful
stewardship of our donor and member relationships. The CAO must
also have a track record of working across differences, siloes, and
programs, exercising their power and privilege carefully.
Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the incoming CAO
will lead an 80-person
team that supports our National and Chapter activities,
including directors responsible for various aspects of our major
donor, foundation, planned giving, and direct response fundraising
programs. Such funding include 501(c)3 charitable funds for the
Sierra Club Foundation and 501(c)4 funds for the Sierra Clubs
political and legislative activities. To lead this function, we are
looking for a CAO who is an exceptional manager, leader,
relationship builder, and communicator.
This is a full-time, exempt position, ideally based in our
Oakland or LA, CA; Seattle, WA; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, IL;
Austin, TX; Denver, CO; or New York, NY offices.
The Chief Advancement Officers essential duties and
responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the
Fundraising, Membership Growth, and Departmental
- Plan and direct a comprehensive, complex fundraising operation
that includes maintaining and growing annual revenues of $180M+,
recognizing and taking advantage of new opportunities in
conjunction with the organizations capital campaign, while
maximizing existing sources of funds.
- Own, manage, and grow a select portfolio of principal gift
donors and prospects, including some of the highest profile
institutional donor relationships.
- Collaborate with the Sierra Club Foundation to oversee the
Department's development and implementation of 501( c)3 fundraising
and charitable grant agreements between Sierra Club Foundation and
- Set and drive a clear vision for the advancement department
that advances organization-wide strategies, goals, and change
- Build fundraising vision and practices that unite the best
competencies of the Clubs national campaigns and local chapters,
and include significant growth of the member base.
- Lead the building, implementation, and adoption of systems and
practices that support intra- and inter-departmental collaboration,
integration, communication, and relationship building.
- Instill a culture of philanthropy throughout Sierra Club,
ensuring all individuals understand their role in the organizations
- Leverage forecasting and data to inform goals and
- In collaboration with the Board and the leaders of other
departments, participate in strategy setting, and execute on the
organizations strategic goals and priorities.
- Act as conduit of key insights from stakeholders to Board and
senior leadership to inform organizational imperatives and
- Support the development and implementation of org-wide
practices for cross collaboration and communication. Promote a
culture of trust, support, resource sharing, and transparency
across functions, chapters, programs, and campaigns.
Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Leadership:
- Actively cultivate a culture of collaboration, openness, trust,
equity, inclusion, and support within the Advancement department,
and in its work with other departments.
- Lead departments ongoing transformation of a broadly inclusive
and equity-based culture.
- Expand the diversity and inclusion of members and donors.
- Facilitate practices and implement policies that reflect and
support the EDs cultural vision of equity, respect, kindness, and
inclusivity for the organization.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills,
qualities, and competencies:
- Mission & Values Alignment: A passion for the
Sierra Clubs commitment to environmental and social justice.
Understanding of and commitment to progressive environmental
politics, social justice, and the Sierra Clubs mission.
- Expertise & Leadership in an Advancement/Development
Function: Exemplary track record directing a large,
comprehensive, complex advancement function, including demonstrated
results across functions, siloes, geographies, and/or affiliates.
Expertise in the full scope of fundraising activities at all levels
of donation. Deep understanding of anti-racist and anti-oppressive
practices in fundraising.
- Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Leadership:
Holds an analysis of power, racial, sexual, economic, and gender
inequity and its intersection with climate justice. Has experience
operationalizing equity within the advancement department, and
setting an equity and justice rooted strategy for advancement for
the organization. Understands white supremacist nature of
capitalism and philanthropy, and how to shift away from those
existing systems to do more expansive work.
- Executive & Team Leadership: Substantial
management experience and demonstrated ability to establish, lead,
and drive objectives - particularly in a highly dynamic and
evolving environment - at the enterprise level. Proven track record
of meeting or exceeding budgeted goals by managing staff and
volunteer performance. Proven ability to translate strategic
thinking about complex challenges and organizational gaps into
executable plans to deliver on strategic imperatives and solve
problems large and small, and measure progress towards goals.
Demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of how race and gender
dynamics impact supervisory relationships, organizational culture,
partnerships, campaigns and coalition work, and can demonstrate a
history of successfully intervening in problematic dynamics and
deepening a racial justice approach within an organization, team,
- Communication & Relationship Building: An
emotionally intelligent, values- andresults-driven leader who can
inspire staff and collaborate across departments and at all levels
of the organization, and provide feedback and coaching to support
the achievement of complex goals. Adeptly drives transparent,
timely internal communications. Highly skilled communicator, both
individually and in large audience or public communications.
- System & Process Building: Has built systems
and processes to facilitate and strengthen intra- and
inter-departmental collaboration and communication. Has improved
data hygiene and built highly effective operational and data
systems for fundraising to maximize the efficiency and
effectiveness of a fundraising function.
The salary range for this role is $230,000 - $280,000.
Sierra Club employees enjoy a comprehensive benefits program
including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, flexible
spending accounts, employee assistance program, short- and
long-term disability insurance. A 401(k) Plan is available to save
for retirement with a match and a generous employer contribution
that increases with service time. Vacation, holiday, and leave of
absence policies prioritize work-life balance for Sierra Club
This is a category 1 exempt position. Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4)
non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to
participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign
nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant
visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and
organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the
Department Head and Sierra Club Human Resources in consultation
with the employees manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the
approval of a visa petition.
The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to
Learn more about our new Department of Equity, Inclusion and
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