Chief Philanthropy Officer

- Austin

Job Type: Fundraising/Development
Closing date:

Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) is one of Austin’s most dynamic and best-loved nonprofits. The organization is the leader in the No Kill movement nationally and is considered a national thought leader in animal welfare. APA! locally rescues, treats, and adopts out 10,000 homeless dogs and cats each year, providing the safety net for Austin’s most at-risk shelter pets, which helps Austin to be a no-kill city, while also assisting other communities in saving homeless animals. The organization is distinguished by the scrappiness of its grassroots, non-traditional community-based animal rescue work. The organization continues to innovate best practices to save sheltered lives and teaches its renowned lifesaving model to 400 students annually, who attend apprenticeships at APA!’s Maddie’s® Learning Academy, and to hundreds of animal welfare professionals who attend the organization’s annual American Pets Alive! conference.

The Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO), based in Austin, Texas, is a key member of the executive team, responsible for fueling a dynamic and growing non-profit with revenues now approaching $12 million annually and with a growing national renown.  APA! will also soon embark on a major capital campaign. We are seeking a CPO with demonstrated ability in high-level strategic fund planning; a fearless, entrepreneurial spirit; and the ability to think creatively to solve problems and embrace challenges as they arise.

APA!’s operations are somewhat unorthodox as the organization strives to always be on the leading edge of innovation in animal welfare and has a powerful commitment to responding to the frequent crises that threaten animals’ lives. This requires that the CPO bring an ability to apply creative critical thinking and to step outside traditional fundraising practices in order to provide the means for responding to crises and opportunities for innovation as the norm rather than the exception.  APA!’s greatest source of support is from individual giving, and this role must be able to activate philanthropic investment and galvanize public support at all donor levels to meet these challenges.  The ideal candidate will thrive in a collaborative, growth-oriented atmosphere and will put to use exceptional relationship-building and communications skills towards creating a better world for animals and the people who love them.

APA! values the effect that diversity of thought, experience, and identity has on our organization.


Strategy and implementation: 

  • Accountable for reaching goals set by the CEO to fuel an ambitious growth strategy
  • Collaborate with leadership to set out a funding plan, including the integration of operations funding with an upcoming capital campaign
  • Produce an annual funding strategy narrative
  • Develop a projected annual revenue budget, coordinate and track its implementation, and work collaboratively throughout the year to ensure revenue goals are met, course-correcting as needed
  • Respond as needed to solve funding challenges around crisis response
  • Use data analytics to drive decisions, project revenues, set the direction for fundraising; and oversee the structure and development of the donor management system
  • Oversee the Mission Advancement Director, who plans and coordinates all Individual giving campaigns, plans and implements the stewardship and cultivation of individual donors at all levels, and provides day-to-day management of philanthropy team members devoted to individual giving
  • Assess needs for staffing and fundraising tools
  • Set performance measures and monitor results for a team of eight (8)
  • Monitor the effectiveness of funding activities and plan implementation
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws and maintain accountability standards to donors; ensure ethical practices in fundraising
  • Guide the career development of philanthropy team members
  • Orchestrate the activities of staff responsible for supporting the cultivation of resources, including the Mission Advancement Director, the Director of Strategic Communications, who provides an integrated communications plan for all stakeholders, Marketing staff, who handle the digital tools used in fundraising as well as the planning of events; and the Director of Grants and Strategic Partnerships, who develops the specialized resources for APA!’s national outreach and education division, American Pets Alive!
Donor Engagement:
  • Use your outstanding writing ability and verbal communications to inspire a deep sense of engagement among our many and varied supporters and drive philanthropy
  • Manage a portfolio of top-level major donors
  • Manage the relationship with our top sponsor, our shelter feeding partner
  • Assist the philanthropy team in donor prospecting and research
  • Attend APA! events and actively steward donors attending
Board Engagement:
  • Lead on board engagement, guiding board members in how they can participate in inspiring financial support
  • Assist in recruiting and orienting board members
  • Provide monthly board reports on philanthropy
  • Maintain current list of board members and board meeting documents
Culture of Philanthropy:
  • Lead on instilling a vibrant culture of philanthropy across the organization for board members, staff, and volunteers
Community engagement:
  • Bring to the organization a flair for community engagement and participate in representing APA! through public speaking opportunities
  • Gain a thorough understanding of APA!’s programs and distinctiveness to maintain fluency in promoting the organization
  • Planned Giving:
  • Establish a planned giving program, bringing knowledge of more advanced gift planning concepts
  • Work with donors who wish to make substantial planned gifts
  • Attend and participate in all required training sessions and meetings
  • Maintain open and consistent communication with Program Manager or designee, supervisor, and other colleagues
  • Partner with Volunteer Managers to learn about the volunteer programs and manage volunteers interested in your department on an ongoing basis
  • Able to react to change productively and perform other related duties as assigned
  • Able to work evenings, weekends, and holidays as needed
  • Able to work in a high volume, fast-paced, high-stress environment
  • A love of animals and a passion for the mission to save them is essential
  • At least ten (10) years’  experience in philanthropy, with substantial experience as a senior management executive preferred
  • Documented experience in raising at least $5M from individual giving Proven success in cultivating individual donor gifts of $25,000+
  • Ability to develop and manage an aggressive growth strategy based on higher-level gifts
  • Intellectual agility; the ability to analyze, think critically, and solve problems creatively
  • A “doer” with a high degree of initiative and energy; productive and results-oriented
  • Outstanding communication skills
  • Confidence, creativity and maturity to establish credibility with and influence donors at all levels
  • Excellent organizational skills with a proven ability to prioritize work, manage time and multiple priorities, and meet deadlines with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Deeply relational; a good listener who is inquisitive, reflective, and interested in developing meaningful professional relationships with colleagues, donors, and other stakeholders
  • Commitment to open communication, teamwork and collaboration, accountability and professionalism
  • Ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines while maintaining a positive and professional attitude
  • Ability to anticipate problems and use judgment appropriately to plan solutions and manage obstacles as they arise
  • Proven experience in motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing the performance of a team
  • Broad experience in the solicitation, stewardship and cultivation of all levels of individual gifts–APA!’s most important source of funding– and the creation of donor pipelines
  • Familiarity with institutional funding, especially from corporate sources
  • Knowledge of complex gifts through DAFs, qualified charitable deductions, planned giving, stock gifts, and in-kind donations
  • Committed to keeping up to date with new trends and best practices in philanthropy
  • The highest levels of personal and professional integrity and confidentiality; a commitment to the privacy of donors
  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer
  • Must be able to access and navigate each department at the organization’s facilities
  • Work is normally performed inside a standard office environment, with exposure to environmental conditions that include working with and near animals
  • When on-site may have possible exposure to potential hazards including animal waste, disinfectants, high levels of noise, animal bites and scratches and diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people

TIME COMMITMENT: This is a full-time, exempt position and may include weekends and evenings to support program needs.


  • APA! Main – Town Lake Animal Center 1156 West Cesar Chavez Austin, TX 78703
  • Remote (must be in Austin area)
  • May travel to offsite locations as needed

BENEFITS: All employees are eligible for a discounted gym membership and access to an Employee Assistance Program. Full-time employees are eligible for insurance benefits including medical, dental, vision, voluntary short-term life insurance, and voluntary short-term disability, as well as Paid Time Off.


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