Los Angeles, CA

Chief Development Officer, Library Foundation of Los Angeles

The Organization Library Foundation of Los Angeles:

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles (LFLA) is a private foundation with a public purpose: to provide funding and support in furtherance of the work and mission of the https://www.lapl.org system (LAPL). Through fundraising, advocacy, and innovative programming, the LFLA enhances the capabilities, resources, and programs of the LAPL, the third-largest public library system in the country. The LFLA also works to promote greater awareness of the LAPL’s programs and services, and its expansive role in the local communities it serves. The LFLA has been working in partnership with the LAPL to strengthen local communities and provide opportunities for engagement in civic life in Los Angeles for more than 30 years.

The LAPL serves one of the largest and most diverse populations of any public library system in the country. With 72 neighborhood branches and the historic Central Library in downtown Los Angeles, the LAPL provides free and easy access to information, ideas, books, and technology aimed at enriching, educating, and empowering individuals in diverse communities across the city. Public libraries also increasingly function as community centers, gathering places, and service providers in their local communities. (See this recent https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-08-09/city-librarian-oversees-a-sanctuary-of-the-worlds-knowledge-and-a-canvass-of-a-nations-failings.)

In addition to its exceptional collections, the LAPL provides a wide range of free programs and services designed to advance social equity and to meet the evolving needs of Angelenos of all ages and all backgrounds. These offerings range from adult literacy to teen civic engagement activities, from college readiness to career development programs, and from new citizenship to veteran’s services, and more. The LFLA’s support of programs that engage the imagination, help students succeed, and support lifelong learning is critical to sustaining these important public programs for generations to come.

The work of the LFLA – through the generous support of the individuals, foundations, businesses, and community partnerships that fund it – also helps ensure that all city libraries are equipped with the tools, technology, and services they need to remain a leading 21st-century library system.

The LFLA has a current revenue budget of ~$7 million, comprised of corporate and foundation giving, membership and annual giving, major and planned gifts, and special event revenue. It has a mission-driven development team of 14 and is supported by a 41-member Board of Directors. In addition, The Council of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles – a dedicated and passionate volunteer group of 400+ civic and philanthropic ambassadors – work year-round facilitating special programs, fundraising events, and community outreach in support of the LAPL.

Position Overview
Title: Chief Development Officer (CDO)

Organization: Library Foundation of Los Angeles

Reports to: President and CEO

Location: Downtown Los Angeles (The Library Foundation currently operates in a hybrid working environment)

This position offers a unique opportunity to join a venerable Los Angeles educational and cultural institution and to help improve the lives and fuel the dreams of all Angelenos. The new CDO will join the LFLA at an auspicious moment of evolution: a new President and CEO and a newly invigorated, collaborative partnership with the LAPL have brought new energy, new ideas, and new possibilities to the work. The CDO will have the opportunity to build and expand a philanthropic endeavor whose efforts have a direct, immediate, and tangible impact on the lives of the individuals and communities it serves.

Reports to LFLA President and CEO https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacy-lieberman/. Manages a team of 13 with six direct reports: Sr. Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Director of Major and Planned Giving, Director of Membership and Annual Giving, Director of Advancement Services, Director of Council Relations, and an Assistant/Coordinator. The Chief Development Officer is a member of the Executive Leadership Team which also includes the Chief Financial and Operations Officer and the President and CEO.

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for managing all fundraising programs and leading the Development Team to meet or exceed revenue goals. In collaboration with the President and CEO, the CDO will design and implement strategic development plans across all revenue categories and donor audiences. This person will serve as a key thought and strategic partner to the LFLA President and CEO. They will also be a partner to the LFLA Board of Directors and to the LAPL’s leadership teams and will steward these relationships. A primary focus of the new CDO will be implementing best practices, systems, and tools to elevate the LFLA’s fundraising efforts and help instill a culture of philanthropy and collaboration throughout the organization.

[NOTE: We understand that no single candidate is likely to have equal expertise across all these areas of responsibility. Successful candidates for this role will demonstrate a compelling combination of many of them and the self-awareness and professional maturity to leverage existing or new resources in the area(s) where they lack personal depth of experience.]

1. Organizational Leadership and Strategy

  • Assess organizational needs and set annual budgets, revenue goals, performance metrics, and expected outcomes for all teams;
  • In partnership with the President and CEO, develop clear strategic objectives and operating plans for the development department and team;
  • Provide leadership to develop and improve fundraising knowledge and expertise across the organization, including staff, Board, volunteer groups, and LAPL;
  • Implement new, donor-centric processes and best practices to increase efficiency, donor engagement, and revenue generation.

2. Staff Management and Team Development

  • Manage and support the development team with an emphasis on mentoring and professional development;
  • Establish overall performance objectives and set expectations, performance metrics, and quality outcomes for direct reports in alignment with organizational mission and goals;
  • Revise team structure and job descriptions as needed and within budget parameters;
  • Ensure an environment of trust, respect, openness, and collaboration.

3. Revenue Growth and Diversification

  • Develop strategic, multi-year fundraising plans to diversify revenue and expand the donor base;
  • Personally manage and steward a portfolio of key individual and institutional funders;
  • Lead efforts to grow revenue across income categories:

– Major Gifts

  • Work with Director of Major and Planned Giving to identify major donor prospects as well as to develop and implement individual cultivation plans;
  • Bring new thinking and best practices to attracting, stewarding, and retaining individual donors capable of giving six and seven-figure gifts;
  • Implement best-practice donor stewardship and moves management tools and strategies.

Membership and Annual Giving

  • Work with the Director of Membership and Annual Giving to identify new opportunities in giving campaigns and structures;
  • Support the implementation of current, market-leading tools and methods to steward and grow annual giving and membership groups.

Corporate and Foundation Giving

  • Support the Sr. Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations in continuing to strengthen current relationships and build upon the LFLA’s capacity to attract new foundation and institution prospects;
  • Assist the Corporate and Foundation Relations team in developing new corporate engagement and sponsorship opportunities and strategies.

Volunteer Engagement

  • In partnership with the President and CEO, support and engage LFLA Board Members and the Development Committee of the Board in their fundraising efforts;
  • Support the Director of Council Relations in managing the relationships with The Council and finding new and creative ways to advance their work on behalf of the LFLA.

4. Data, Systems, and Infrastructure

  • Work with the Advancement Services team to establish systems and processes that support consistent and effective donor engagement from identification through stewardship, including improving and maintaining accurate and useable donor data and mailing lists, donor and prospect research, gift acknowledgement and recognition, donor engagement, donor cultivation, moves management, portfolio management, and donor stewardship;
  • Implement stewardship tools and strategies to ensure donors receive frequent, personalized attention;
  • Develop and improve development infrastructure – including business processes, systems, policies, and tools – to maximize efficiency and support current and future growth.

You are a creative, collaborative, and experienced leader of fundraising teams and departments. You believe in the role that educational and cultural institutions like the LAPL play in creating strong, vibrant communities. You are a powerful storyteller with a passion for building community. You are a change agent with a bold vision for what’s possible and can develop strategic and operating plans to advance that vision. You have a sense of humor, believe in the value of fun, and amplify the joy in the work for yourself and your team. You establish clear goals and objectives and can inspire, mentor, and support teams to meet or exceed them. You encourage and embrace new ideas, no matter where they come from. You value diversity of thought, background, identity, perspective, and lived experience. You are a systems thinker and a champion for the power of data to advance a mission.


  • A minimum of 10 to 12 years of successful, donor-facing development experience, inclusive of major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, special events, membership and annual giving, and planned and/or endowment giving
  • Previous experience in a leadership position – ideally VP, Senior Director, Chief Development Officer or similar – with responsibility for fundraising programs, teams, operations, and results
  • Experience working effectively and collaboratively with a Board of Directors or similar volunteer leadership group
  • Track record of creativity and innovation in meeting or exceeding fundraising goals and objectives
  • Depth of understanding of fundraising tools, strategies, best practices, and current trends/dynamics across revenue categories
  • Collaborative management style and ability to reduce silos and ensure cross-functional cooperation
  • Talent for building, managing, supporting, and retaining teams to achieve their highest potential
  • Strong familiarity with donor database systems and ability to provide leadership to data management, analysis, tracking and reporting practices, as well as gift processing and acknowledgments
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and presentations
  • Budget and financial management experience in an organization of comparable size and complexity and ability to manage budgets, project revenue, and control costs
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with internal and external partners
  • Ability to multitask and remain organized amidst multiple priorities, projects, and deadlines


  • Previous development experience in an arts or cultural institution and/or community-based direct service organization
  • Existing connections to individual and institutional funders and experience stewarding relationships with high-net-worth individuals
  • Knowledge/History with Raiser’s Edge or other Blackbaud-based fundraising system
  • Ability to organize and execute the logistics of events and programs, including materials, information, and people power to optimize efficiency
  • Knowledge of/experience with planned giving and/or endowment funding programs
  • Fluency in social media applications and knowledge of digital fundraising


  • Demonstrated passion for and commitment to the LFLA’s work and mission
  • Cultural competence and understanding of the diverse needs, experiences, and contributions of the people and communities the LFLA and LAPL engages and serves
  • High level of professional maturity, emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-awareness
  • Personal warmth and ability to build trust and rapport with a diverse range of people and groups
  • Demonstrated commitment to prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Creative thinker, intellectually curious, optimistic problem solve
  • Energy, passion, and dynamism as a public face and voice for the LFLA’s and the LAPL’s mission and programs

Shares the LFLA’s Core Values of:

  • High Achievement. We set high bars for performance.
  • Accountability. Each of us is responsible for our individual and team outcomes.
  • Empathy. Our work is defined by caring for others.
  • Learning. Learning enables growth.
  • Curiosity. Brave, bold questions help us evolve.
  • Adaptability. We welcome change.
  • Partnerships. We do our work by building bridges.
  • Collaboration. Respect and communication build successful teams.

Library Foundation of Los Angeles offers a competitive compensation package, including a salary in the range of $215,000 to $230,000 (depending on previous leadership and fundraising experience) and comprehensive benefits. Benefits include health, dental, and vision coverage; generous paid time off – 20 days of paid vacation, 6 paid days of sick leave, as well as 13 paid holidays, and 1 floating holiday – life and disability insurance, short-term disability insurance. Access to an EAP, flexible spending account options, retirement savings plans with employer matching, flexible work scheduling, paid parental leave, paid parking or reimbursement for public transit, and an employee discount at The Library Store.

Inquiries, nominations, or applications (including a resume and cover letter framing interest and fit with this Recruitment Profile) can be sent in confidence to search@kevinchasesearch.com. We are pleased to answer any questions or supply further information. Please note that all education, dates of employment, compensation, and other information provided will be verified prior to an offer of employment.

Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has been retained on an exclusive basis to lead this recruitment effort on behalf of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. The LFLA is an equal opportunity employer; a diverse workforce and inclusive culture are core values. The LFLA and Kevin Chase Executive Search Group welcome applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race (including traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles, including braids, locks, and twists), ethnicity, religion, color, sex (including childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions), gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, uniform service member and veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, age, protected medical condition, genetic information, disability, or any other protected status in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, ability, or veteran status.


Kevin Chase, Managing Partner
1800 Hi Point Street | Los Angeles, CA 90035


All inquiries or referrals will be held in strict confidence.

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