Chief Advancement Officer, LightHawk

The Organization

LightHawk is a non-profit environmental conservation organization that mobilizes the aircraft and services of approximately 300 volunteer pilots to help protect wild lands, wildlife, freshwater and ocean habitats throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Position Overview

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, LightHawk’s Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is responsible for the management and oversight of all fundraising and communications activities of the organization. The CAO works collaboratively with team members to establish and execute strategic goals to advance LightHawk’s mission. The CAO supervises all members of the Advancement Department and focuses on the continued development and strengthening of department effectiveness and impact. The CAO fosters a culture of philanthropy within LightHawk and assures that the organization’s culture, systems, and procedures support fund development and vice versa. In short, the CAO owns the revenue goals for the organization.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following:  Other duties may be assigned.

  • Participate as a member of the Executive Leadership Team to provide a united, visible, and strong leadership presence across the organization.
  • Strengthen and build an agile and results-oriented Advancement Team to create communications and donor engagement strategies that generate awareness and engagement, and lead to successful revenue generation.
  • Create and lead an annual plan for communications and fundraising that will achieve organizational goals and metrics. Current fundraising model includes individual and major gifts, foundation grants, planned giving, and volunteer engagement.
  • Develop and manage a budget that supports the Advancement Team’s annual plan.
  • Continually improve a revenue development model based on researched best practices and regular evaluations of donor experience.
  • Directly develop and steward a portfolio of donor relationships and solicit major giving.
  • Identify, prioritize, develop, and launch new engagement opportunities that elevate the donor and volunteer experience.
  • Ensure that LightHawk’s Donor Relationship Management System  is consistently and accurately used to provide a comprehensive view of existing and potential donors. Use the data to inform strategies. Ensure information about needs, interests, expectations of these individuals and organizations is used to enrich relationships.
  • Ensure that donor segmentation models are in place and used to inform fundraising plans.  Ensure that prospective donors are measured against those models and that resource development time and effort is allocated toward those segments most critical to achieving the results of building a well-balanced donor portfolio and roadmap that drives giving and donation growth.
  • Develop and lead a strategic communications and marketing plan and metrics that engages internal and external constituents.  This includes print, digital, video, social media, website and may include collaboration with conservation partners.
  • Promote cross functional collaboration with Conservation program team to create communication materials that showcase LightHawk’s conservation impact, increase conservation awareness, and encourage donor engagement.
  • Lead the strategic priorities of all donation based revenue streams. Lead the team (including the CEO and Board) to build annual plans that support overall revenue goals.  Ensure policies and procedures are followed.
  • Directly supervise the following:  Grants Specialist, Marketing/Communications Manager, and Development and Administrative Assistant.  Perform supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.

Requirements of the CAO:

  • Strong interest in LightHawk’s mission and methods. A demonstrated passion for environmental conservation and the transformative power of the aerial perspective.
  • Demonstrated excellence in all aspects of communication- written, verbal, listening, public speaking, and presentations.
  • Demonstrated track record of developing and maintaining donor and funder relationships and acquiring significant funding from individuals, foundations, and corporate sponsors.
  • Ability to work effectively with and present a professional image to multiple constituencies (board, staff, volunteers, community, businesses, donors, conservation organizations).
  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, Conservation or related field.  Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in the field of fundraising, marketing, sales, public relations or related field.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and leading an effective team within a small team environment.  Ability to effectively manage with a distributed home-based office staff.
  • Willingness to travel and travel flexibility. Approximately five 3-5 day long trips per year.
  • Digital competency, and strong user skills with Google-Suite tools, Salesforce, video-conferencing and work-sharing technologies. Due to LightHawk’s distributed work environment and our dependence on Salesforce and G-Suite tools for virtual collaboration, a fluency and comfort with operating in digital, virtual information system environments is essential.
  • Familiarity with conservation nonprofits.
  • Knowledge of Account Management, Customer Service, Community Relations and/or Sales and Marketing, Project Management, and Volunteer Management.
  • Must have demonstrated experience operationalizing strategic plans successfully.
  • Valid Driver’s License in state of residency with a driving record that meets insurance requirements.
  • CFRE preferred.
  • Consistent access to high-speed internet for video conferencing.

Personal quality expectations

  • Unquestionable ethical values and integrity.
  • Demonstrated sound judgement and ability to learn from mistakes.
  • Leads by example, empathy and enthusiasm, centered on principles.
  • A high degree of self-awareness.
  • A spirit of curiosity about what motivates donors to give.
  • A commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Respect for others and their views.
  • Ability to project non-partisan views of conservation issues.
  • Engaging public speaking and listening skills.
  • Goal-oriented thinker who is able to set strategic goals and translate those into executable plans with meaningful metrics.

Work Environment:

This full-time position with benefits is home office based with phone, internet, and small equipment stipends provided. If a suitable home office is not available, LightHawk will provide an office space.

Benefits and salary are commensurate with nonprofit industry standards and include flexible schedules and generous paid leave.

LightHawk is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law. LightHawk culture is collaborative, congenial, and inclusive. Note that LH does require a successful candidate to pass a background check following acceptance of a job offer.

How To Apply

Interested candidates should apply via this form.  Applications will be accepted thru September 21 or until the position is filled.

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