About the Obama Foundation

At the Obama Foundation, we are guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. Our mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone.

We were founded by community organizers, so when we seek change, we do it by bringing people together. 

That approach begins at home, on the South Side of Chicago, where we are building the Obama Presidential Center. The Center represents a historic opportunity for Chicago: a chance to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady, steps away from where he began his career, where she was raised, and where—together—they made their home. 

But that approach extends to all our work, whether it’s holding leadership training sessions in communities throughout the U.S., bringing local leaders together in countries around the world, working to support the global education of girls, or ensuring young men of color have pathways to opportunity.

As President Obama has said, “we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.” So join us. 

For more information, please visit www.obama.org.


Los Angeles is preferred. Other areas as appropriate.

Purpose of the Role

The Director of Development, Southern California and the Southwest will lead and grow the Foundation’s fundraising program for the region. You will work closely with select Board members, a Regional Council, and Foundation leadership to build relationships and cultivate/solicit seven- and eight-figure gifts, while managing a small team of fundraisers responsible for expanding the prospect pipeline. Reporting to the Senior Director of Development for the West region, this is an ideal opportunity for a proven, fearless, and values-driven nonprofit fundraiser with management experience who’s highly motivated to work collaboratively in pursuit of big goals, and to grow as both a fundraiser and a leader.

Core Job Responsibilities

  • Portfolio Strategy & Management: Create and lead the strategy for a portfolio of annual and major gifts prospects. Manage a portfolio of 100+ seven-figure prospects and develop customized cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each.
  • Management and Coaching: Manage and develop a small team of fundraising professionals; provide guidance and strategic counsel to help advance their portfolios or support work.
  • Donor & Prospect Engagement: Build and manage relationships with prospects and donors through visits, correspondence, and regular communication. Collaborate with the Development Operations team to identify new prospects and design and execute donor engagement opportunities. Design and execute events of varying tone and scale, for diverse audiences, in collaboration with the Events team.
  • Volunteer Management: Develop strong partnerships with select board members and other volunteers to provide support for their fundraising efforts in the region. Grow and manage a Regional Council of volunteer leaders responsible for peer-to-peer fundraising in the region.
  • Principal Engagement: Collaborate with the Foundation President on the management of select high-capacity donors, including support for meeting preparation and follow up. Propose and plan development travel for other key principals and surrogates.
  • Region Collaboration: Establish supportive and cooperative working relationships with other regional fundraisers, share best practices and new ideas, and collaborate on donor cultivation when needed.
  • Philanthropy Stewardship: Represent the Development team in external settings (conferences and gatherings) and partner with other teams across the Foundation to help advance a culture of philanthropy.
  • Operating Effectiveness: Build a culture of Salesforce utilization to track and evaluate the team’s key metrics, and use meaningful data to continually improve practices and inform decisions.
  • Fundraising Collateral: Ensure the timely creation and distribution of fundraising/stewardship materials, collateral and briefings, and highly personalized proposals with support from the Development department’s Donor Relations sub-team.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Key Deliverables / Outcomes

  • Meet aggressive fundraising targets and other key metrics.
  • Regional prospect portfolio strategy and annual cadence of fundraising activities.
  • Expanded prospect pipeline.
  • Prospect stewardship and engagement plans.
  • Fundraising/stewardship materials, collateral and briefings, and highly personalized proposals.
  • Regional development events.
  • Propose, plan, and staff Foundation executive travel to the region.

Required Qualifications

  • Significant experience in fundraising or donor relations, including a minimum of three years in a leadership position securing funds directly.
  • Experience managing a fundraising team.
  • Track record of building relationships with major donors, ideally closing gifts of at least $1M+.
  • Deep understanding of fundraising programs and high-level gift strategies.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence, with an ability to develop and maintain long-term, productive relationships internally and externally.

Don’t check off every box in the requirements listed above? Please apply anyway! Studies have shown that marginalized communities - such as women, LGBTQ+ and people of color - are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. The Obama Foundation is dedicated to building an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible workplace that fosters a sense of belonging – so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to still consider submitting an application. You may be just the right candidate for this role or another one of our openings!

In the interest of employee health and safety during the pendency of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Obama Foundation is requiring that all prospective employees present proof that they are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, or seek a reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, prior to their first day of employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please e-mail us at careers@obama.org if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

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