Philanthropy Officer

Austin Pets Alive! - Austin

Job Type: Fundraising/Development
Closing date: 06/28/2021


Philanthropy Officer

APA! BACKGROUND: 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 no-kill lifesaving model to 400 students annually, who attend apprenticeships at APA!’s Maddie’s® Lifesaving Academy, and to hundreds of animal welfare professionals who attend the organization’s annual American Pets Alive! conference.

 APA! is seeking a skilled people-person with a passion for animal welfare to build engagement around APA!’s lifesaving cause and draw the support from individual major ($5,000+) donors needed to make our mission flourish. While always keeping in mind that meeting fundraising goals is imperative for APA!’s lifesaving mission, the focus at APA! Development is on creating great, inspiring relationships with supporters.    

The Philanthropy Officer will work alongside APA!’s Director of Philanthropy, Chief of Philanthropy and Philanthropy Officers to grow major giving and improve the major donor program to best support the needs of high-level supporters. The role will participate in implementing the strategic direction for the prospecting, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts; producing written materials expected by high-level supporters, and taking on the ongoing management of APA!’s portfolio of existing and prospective major donors. This position offers a creative opportunity to grow an existing major gifts program into one that will build a foundation of loyal donors looking to make a deeper impact. 

This position requires a self-starter, comfortable with being out in front in improving major gifts fundraising at APA!, motivated to seek out solutions to obstacles as they drive towards meeting funding goals, and who welcomes the challenge of change management as APA! dives deeper into its ongoing transformation from a grassroots organization to a national player in its field.  They must be an effective communicator with the ability to speak to different audiences, and must be firmly committed to our lifesaving cause. This is a full-time position and requires some on-site work at Austin Pets Alive!’s Town Lake Animal Center Facility. 

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


  • Meet existing expectations for major gifts in the annual revenue budget while building the means for growth from this important class of gifts
  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Philanthropy and Philanthropy Officers to implement a comprehensive donor cultivation, communication and solicitation strategy that appropriately and consistently promotes retention and advancement of major supporters
  • Build meaningful relationships with APA!’s supporters, focusing on creating engagement and a deep sense of community around our mission, to ensure the retention of major supporters
  • Meet fundraising goals and KPIs that are imperative for APA!’s lifesaving mission
  • Actively manage a portfolio of 75 – 85 major donors or prospective major donors, while also bringing in new major givers and working towards an increase in major gift revenues
  • Create funding proposals and other written collateral necessary for the stewardship and cultivation of major gifts
  • Maintain timely contact reports, stewardship tracking, and forecasting
  • Create monthly reports on progress in relationship-building, gifts and pledges to share with the Director of Philanthropy and Chief of Philanthropy
  • Prospect for new major donors, and work collaboratively with development staff on building the major donor pipeline
  • Assist in planning for major donor engagement gatherings and attend these events, along with attending fundraising events planned by our events manager 
  • Attend networking events in the community to cast the net wider for prospective donors
  • Provide support to the Development Director and Director of Philanthropy as needed
  • Participate in the collaborative stewardship and cultivation work of the Development team.


  • Attend and participate in all required training sessions and meetings
  • Maintain open and consistent communication with Program Manager or designee, supervisor, and other colleagues
  • 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

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and levels of work to be performed and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties. 


  • An authentic passion for animals and animal welfare
  • 5 or more years’ fundraising experience, with previous responsibility for cultivating substantial individual gifts and meeting revenue goals
  • 2 year’s experience in major gifts 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • An extrovert, who enjoys working with people 
  • A networker, with a flair for meeting people and inspiring engagement
  • Organized and adept at managing projects and processes well
  • Willing and able to take initiative and be proactive in independently managing projects
  • Able and willing to work collaboratively with other staff
  • Creative in managing projects on limited resources
  • Driven to excel in meeting the needs of a mission-driven organization 
  • Ability to work with diverse groups
  • Working proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Suite
  • Experience in working with databases, such as Excel, CRMs, or donor management systems
  • Ability to work well with volunteers; experience with managing volunteers is preferred
  • Must be available to work evenings and weekends as needed, particularly to attend sponsored events or donor engagement gatherings
  • Commitment to working courteously and cooperatively, with a focus on civility, with staff, volunteers, adopters and supporters
  • Must be committed to our mission and have a love for animals
  • Must embody APA!’s core values of innovation, respect, drive, resourcefulness, and inclusion
  • Commitment to APA!’s customer experience expectations
  • Willing and committed to working well with volunteers and staff in all roles


  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer
  • When onsite must be able to work around animals (including diseased, injured, and/or potentially aggressive animals), loud noises, chlorine or other chemicals, and inclement weather. 


  • Standard office environment, with exposure to environmental conditions that include working with and near animals
  • Uses own transportation to travel and transport


  • 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, TX area
  • May travel to offsite locations as needed


  • 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.

Contact Info

Jeanne Saadi