Senior Director of Philanthropic Strategy

Orange County Community Foundation
April 5, 2020
Newport Beach, California
Job Type


Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to conduct a search for a new Senior Director of Philanthropic Strategy for Orange County Community Foundation, an incredible organization with the mission to inspire a passion for lifelong philanthropy, faithfully steward the intentions of their donors and catalyze sustainable community impact. This amazing leadership opportunity is for immediate hire and will work full-time in the Foundation’s office in beautiful Newport Beach, California.


The Orange County Community Foundation partners with generous individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to fulfill their philanthropic and financial objectives while supporting the causes they care about most. The organization has awarded nearly $690 million in grants and scholarships in Orange County, across the country, and around the world.

OCCF’s work ranges from helping veterans return to civilian life to providing at-risk teens with opportunities to overcome the challenges of poverty. The organization is working on problems of homelessness, health and wellness, and education, as well as safety-net concerns – the critical issues that arise when deep poverty and a high cost of living coexist.

OCCF at a Glance:

  • Founded in 1989 and celebrated 30 years of impact in 2019.
  • Ranks in the top 1 percent in grantmaking among 780 U.S. community foundations.
  • Home to more than 580 charitable funds benefiting a wide range of causes.
  • Recipient of a 4-star rating Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.
  • Works with donor advisors, private and family foundations and professional advisors to meet giving goals.
  • Total assets of $441 million.
  • Average annual contributions of $110 million.
  • Annual grantmaking of $75 million.


The Senior Director of Philanthropic Strategy is a hands-on and strategic executive leadership position working actively to identify, leverage and execute on new opportunities for growth in OCCF’s donor base to meet and surpass the organization’s strategic philanthropic goals.

Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer (EVP & COO), and serving as a member of the OCCF’s leadership team, the Senior Director of Philanthropic Strategy creates the strategic direction for – and manages the daily tactical implementation of – identifying and attracting new donors to the Foundation. This position provides direct leadership and oversight to the Director of Gifts Planning, as well as to the Executive Assistant that supports this Sr. Director role.

Owning the outreach and prospecting efforts of the organization from top to bottom, this individual will create a roadmap for outreach and new donor engagement, establish short-term and long-term goals to achieve the plan and engage key internal and external stakeholders to execute the plan. This role will also act as a liaison and relationship connector on behalf of the Foundation, educate potential donors and partners about the services of the Foundation and shepherd donors through the initial learning phases up to the point of formal engagement with the organization. This includes active engagement with professional advisors (e.g., attorneys, CPAs and wealth advisors) about OCCF’s services to expand referrals and the organization’s network.

With an eye on the Strategic Plan and 2024 Organizational Goals, OCCF is seeking a strategic, process-oriented and collaborative professional to lead and empower philanthropic engagement in Orange County and beyond.

To fulfill the goals of this role, the successful candidate will:

  • Develop a robust and detailed outreach and engagement strategy utilizing research, statistics and planning to execute the correct strategic donor growth goals for OCCF.
  • Implement systems to build new channels of philanthropic supporters and deeper community participation within Orange County communities.
  • Educate the community about philanthropy, the benefits of engaging with the Foundation and the organization’s various services.
  • Educate current and potential donors on how OCCF can help them fulfill their personal philanthropic objectives, which may include cash and marketable securities, various funds or charitable vehicles, and complex gift planning with assets such as interests in real estate, closely-held stock, or tangible personal assets. Shepherd donors through to formal engagement with the Foundation.
  • Execute an outreach program that informs professional advisors (e.g., attorneys, CPAs and wealth advisors) about OCCF’s services in order to expand referrals of qualified donors.
  • Build a robust Ambassador program to engage Foundation supporters in advocating for the organization’s work.
  • Design key events and engagements to expand OCCF’s reach, including planning content creation, ensuring the right people are in the room, selecting the right speakers and topics to best engage the audience, etc.
  • Partner with marketing/communications to design content and messaging to reach target audiences.
  • Work closely with Foundation executive leadership, the EVP & COO and key internal stakeholders to increase efficiencies and fill in any gaps in current processes, providing donors and partners with a smooth end-to-end experience.
  • Empower and influence donor relationship and advisory staff to conduct the appropriate activities around donor outreach and engagement.

The successful candidate will ensure that internal efforts are on track with regards to short-term and long-term goals, utilizing assertiveness and an unceasing desire to fulfill the objectives of the role balanced with tact and empathy.

On average, an estimated 80% of this exciting role is internal facing, working with key staff and leadership, and 20% involves external facing activities such as donor outreach and community engagement.


Leadership and Strategy for Donor Cultivation for Philanthropic Planning

  • Develop and implement creative strategies and plans to identify, inform, cultivate, and solicit new and existing private donors, including individuals, families, businesses and foundations, at all levels of donor and philanthropic financial support.
  • As part of the Foundation’s leadership team, work with colleagues to establish policy, review budget priorities, and ensure the execution of the organization’s strategic direction and Foundation-wide efforts.
  • Serve as a key liaison to important internal and external constituent groups, including the Board of Governors, President, other advisory bodies, professional associations and the broader philanthropic community.
  • Advise and support donors in understanding and envisioning their gift planning to fulfill their philanthropic objectives.
  • Develop, support and sustain an active network of relationships with local professional advisors, serving as a resource on gift planning options and positioning OCCF as a knowledgeable partner.

Organizational Development

  • Ensure that staff understand the Foundation’s donor identification, cultivation and engagement, strategy, and their roles and responsibilities in executing this strategy.
  • In conjunction with the President and the senior management team, participate in organizational development efforts and process re-design projects within the Foundation.
  • Provide leadership and support to all Foundation staff to ensure a productive and collaborative work environment.
  • Work to maximize inter-departmental communication, collaboration, and coordinated efforts.

Staff/Budget Management and Development

  • Develop department staff through continuing education, mentoring and ongoing professional development opportunities.
  • Provide feedback and encouragement to staff through regular performance reviews and goal setting, as well as holding them accountable to agreed-upon goals.
  • Develop and manage the operating budget for the Philanthropic Planning function.


This high-level, high-impact leadership opportunity offers the ability to make significant impact on behalf of the organization and thus philanthropic efforts across Orange County and beyond!

This exciting role offers a competitive base salary and a comprehensive benefits package including: Medical, Dental and Vision (total premium costs for the Employee covered by OCCF), 403(b) retirement plan with automatic contribution by the organization, paid vacation and sick leave, 10 holidays annually and option to enroll in an FSA program.

This is a position, organization and team of professionals that will inspire you daily.




The ideal candidate for this role will be a highly organized, communicative, open and collaborative individual who will serve as a trusted partner internally and source of information externally.

Success in this role will require:

  • A true passion for the mission and work of OCCF.
  • A Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of seven years of relevant experience, preferably in a nonprofit or foundation environment.
  • The ability to develop and implement a strategic multi-year donor outreach, cultivation and engagement program that attracts and builds relationships with a diverse set of donors (next generation, new-to-community, under-the-radar, emerging).
  • Demonstrated record of and ability to design a complex project plan and engage key staff/stakeholders and foundation resources to execute the plan and achieve set goals.
  • Experience setting personal and team benchmarks, regularly measuring success against goals and being accountable for personal and team outcomes.
  • An ability to build partnerships, engage donors and speak publicly.
  • An interest in learning and mastering the intricacies of traditional gift planning, trusts, charitable giving vehicles, charitable tax and gift structures, including assets (i.e. real estate), to be able to educate prospective donors.

How To Apply


Orange County Community Foundation has retained the services of Scion Executive Search, a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your resume and cover letter in Microsoft Word or PDF format via:

Please address questions about this opportunity to:

Scion Executive Search

Attn: Rebecca Lerol

Executive Recruiter

(888) 487-8850 x126

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.


Scion Executive Search is a retained executive search firm connecting executive nonprofit leadership to nonprofit organizations and foundations across the country. Born out of the nonprofit sector, we provide expert search strategies and leadership for your organization. Our executive candidates are true agents for change, and we are experts at matching their talents, motivations, and passions to your organization’s mission. Scion Executive Search has led hundreds of successful executive searches. Information about our firm and successes can be found online at

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