Senior Director of Development

The Position: Senior Director of Development

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Location: Oakland, California

A Compelling Fundraising Leadership Opportunity

The Senior Director of Development (“SDoD”) for the Center for Environmental Health (“CEH”) provides dynamic leadership, fundraising strategy, and staff management for its fundraising programs. This professional possesses a true passion for and a deep commitment to protecting human health through protecting people from exposure to toxic chemicals. Moreover, this professional will have a strong commitment to and understanding of social and environmental justice principles.

This position is an exciting leadership opportunity for a well-experienced, highly sophisticated development executive to lead and manage the high-performing development team. The Center for Environmental Health is a 26-year-old organization leading the nationwide effort to protect people from toxic chemicals. Since CEH opened its doors in 1996, the organization has spearheaded bold efforts to fight against companies that knowingly expose individuals, children, and entire communities to life-threatening toxic chemicals.


Based in Oakland but with a national focus and impact, CEH’s mission is to protect people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, consumers, workers, government, and the private sector to demand and support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment.


The team at CEH is dedicated to uncovering the truth through cutting-edge research and is passionate about fighting for justice in courtrooms, boardrooms, and in neighborhoods across the country. CEH’s multi-pronged approach uses science, policy, litigation, and purchasing power to create real wins for public health.

CEH is governed by a 12-member, national Board of Directors. It has 25 passionate, change-making staff. The annual operating budget is $5.5 million.

Learn more about Center for Environmental Health at


The SDoD is an entrepreneurial development professional who has experience and success in soliciting major gifts, securing foundation grants, overseeing successful annual fund campaigns, soliciting corporate sponsorships, and managing development operations. The SDoD will lead a high-functioning four-person development team:

  • Senior Manager, Institutional Giving
  • Institutional Giving Coordinator
  • Senior Manager, Donor & Corporate Relations
  • Donor Relations Coordinator

Additionally, there is a part-time Development Assistant Work Study

This position will build upon CEH’s previous fundraising success, established strong data systems, compelling donor communications, formalized major donor program, newly launched legacy giving society, and strategic grant fundraising to grow CEH’s philanthropic revenue. CEH’s fundraising includes raising about $2 million annually from major donors, annual giving, Board fundraising, legacy giving, corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, as well as planning and executing a limited number of high-value special events (virtual and in-person, when available).

CEH seeks an experienced and passionate SDoD to build upon past success and lead CEH into a new era of continued growth of philanthropic support. Its donors are engaged and enthusiastic about CEH’s work and there is potential for significant growth in both individual and institutional support. The new SDoD will also be a collaborative partner with program staff to ensure that development language is both scientifically and factually correct and to facilitate meaningful conversations with donors/funders and CEH staff.

This is a senior-level, full-time position with staff management and mentorship responsibilities. A demonstrated track record of successful professional development of staff is a highly desired experience set.

The SDoD works closely with the entire Leadership Team, the CEO, Program staff, Communications team, and the Board of Directors on fundraising initiatives. Teamwork and collaboration are core values of CEH that the development team also embodies.



Working in partnership with the CEO, Board, and staff, the Senior Director of Development will:

  • Be responsible for driving the success of the fundraising function of CEH.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive, annual, and multi-year fundraising strategy to grow philanthropic revenue over the next five years to support CEH’s annual operations, programs, strategic goals, and long-term financial sustainability.
  • Manage robust prospect pipelines for both major donors and institutional funders in partnership with the Senior Managers to enable long-term fundraising success.
  • Strategize, engage, and support the CEO in development activities, serving as a thought partner to the CEO in all matters involving revenue to CEH, including direct major donor solicitation.
  • Develop a robust corporate giving strategy in partnership with the Senior Manager that partners with CEH programs and builds upon our core competencies and strong relationships.
  • Prepare for the public launch of the Cecil Corbin-Mark Legacy Society that is currently in a soft launch phase.
  • Oversee and manage development’s annual and five-year forecast budget.
  • Partner with the Chair of the Fund Development Committee to energize and inspire board members in building a culture of philanthropy, support the board members in their fundraising efforts, cultivate new donors and funders, and grow our legacy giving program.

Direct Fundraising

  • Cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift donors and prospects, including foundations, corporate sponsors, and individuals. Manage your own portfolio plus oversee the CEO’s portfolio and solicit through meetings and/or custom-written proposals.
  • Oversee major donor moves management for all donors who contribute $5,000+ and provide direct solicitation in partnership with the CEO and the Board of Directors. Robust data systems, prospect research, communication vehicles, donor proposals, and stewardship pieces have been created and optimized to support a successful major donor program that has almost tripled in just one year.
  • Oversee mid-level, annual fund, and recurring donor campaigns that is led by the Senior Manager and includes both print and digital appeals and stewardship. Robust data systems, email communications with unique branding, successful Giving Tuesday campaigns, and appeals sent three times a year has resulted in doubling our amount raised from individual donors in just one year. Ensure that the strategy, timeline, and messaging are compelling and effective.
  • Craft compelling fundraising language that inspires donors and funders to give, which includes writing and editing major donor proposals, cases of support, success story stewardship pieces, board reports, foundation grants (in partnership with the Senior Manager), corporate sponsorships and donor appeals (in partnership with the Senior Manager).
  • Conduct donor meetings to solicit major donors, either on their own, with the CEO, with a Board Member, or with a Program Director.
  • Oversee and help guide foundation strategy, prospect pipeline development and management, and relationship management, in partnership with the Senior Manager.
  • Oversee and manage the planning and execution of all major and minor fundraising, cultivation activities, and events (virtual and in-person).

Development Operations Support

  • Oversee the Salesforce donor database, ensuring efficient tracking of donor information and moves management, pledges and grants, and timely acknowledgement of gifts.
  • Support development staff in the creation of annual development metrics reports, forecast presentations, competitor analyses, and other presentations to board and staff.
  • Work closely with the CEO and Senior Director of Finance and Operations in annual Development department planning, budgeting, and goal setting as well as quarterly reconciliation and budget versus actual tracking.

Organizational Leadership

  • Manage the four-person development team, directly supervising the two Senior Managers, providing coaching, mentoring, and supporting the professional growth of the entire team.
  • Serve on CEH’s Leadership Team helping guide organizational initiatives including strategic planning, change management, JEDI, annual budgets, culture-building and more.
  • Act as a thought partner to Program Directors on how to raise funds for their respective programs, effectively message their impact, prepare for meetings with donors and funders, and co-edit grant proposals, reports, and donor communications, appeals, and major donor proposals.

Commitment to JEDI

At CEH, striving for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (“JEDI”) for all is critical to its mission and values.

CEH believes that to protect the health of all people, they must address the disproportionate health effects of toxic chemicals caused by systemic racism and other social injustices. The movement to eliminate dangerous chemicals must move forward in partnership with Environmental Justice, Reproductive Justice, and other related movements working to address the pressing social justice issues of our day.

CEH prioritizes JEDI core values throughout the organization. From its hiring processes to its programmatic work, JEDI is at the forefront of its strategy and culture: they push themselves to ensure that CEH is a truly inclusive organization and a model for the world they intend to create.



Minimum of 10 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising across multiple revenue channels (major gifts, foundation grants, corporate sponsorship, annual fund, and events). Experience in a leadership position preferred. Experience with management and supervision is required.

Thorough and specific knowledge of effective fundraising strategies and tactical execution of major gift fundraising, corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, annual giving, and events.

Proven track record of soliciting and securing major gifts is strongly desired.

Proven track record of soliciting and securing foundation grants is strongly desired.

Experience managing a high-performing development team, building a strong team culture, as well as coaching and mentoring team members’ professional growth.

Experience with strategic relationships with local, state, and national donors, foundations, corporations, and community partners, and will possess a track record of successful cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors and funders.

Experience with leveraging resources, such as executive team members, board members, and consultants, to create a highly effective fundraising process, refining and adapting it based on ongoing learning.

Demonstrated track record of successfully working cross functionally with Program staff for effective fundraising.

Education:           A Bachelor’s degree is required. A graduate degree is attractive.


The successful candidate will have:

  • Commitment to and passion for the health of communities and society, free from environmental toxins.
  • Ability to articulate CEH’s vision and programs to make a compelling, inspirational case for financial support.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills to lead, organize and be a thought partner with the CEO and Board of Directors to successfully execute their fundraising responsibilities.
  • Results-driven approach to fundraising with the ability to set concrete goals and achieve them.
  • Demonstrated experience and proficiency in foundation grants, individual giving, and staff management.
  • Demonstrated experience planning and implementing virtual and in-person events.
  • Ability to simultaneously manage and effectively prioritize a large number of fundraising activities and knows when to delegate.
  • Excellent relationship development and management skills, demonstrated via cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors and funders.
  • Ability to inspire board members and the Fund Development Committee to contribute to effective fundraising on behalf of the organization.
  • Excellent oral and written communication.
  • Strong financial acumen and experience building and managing both organizational-wide budgets as well as department budgets and forecasting philanthropic revenue.
  • Ability to thrive in a team environment and work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Expertise in, and deep commitment to, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, (JEDI)
    • Knowledge of communicating with diverse groups, working with a multicultural workforce, and sensitivity and appreciation to cultural differences is required.
    • Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and justice
    • Commitment to environmental justice and environmental health.
  • Database management experience (experience with Salesforce or similar donor database a plus)
  • Comfort with new technology and proficiency with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Sharepoint, Google Suite, Zoom, Teams, Asana, etc.
  • Commitment to encouraging work-life balance and establishing boundaries, promoting breaks and rest, and modeling healthy behaviors to the team.
  • Sense of humor and grace under pressure.
  • Knowledge of environmental health is preferred but not required.

The successful candidate will be:

  • Passionate about CEH’s mission and an interest in learning more about toxic chemicals and the nuances of CEH’s various programs.
  • A thought partner to the CEO and Board, able to be analytical and imaginative.
  • Strong problem solver and solutions seeker.
  • Able to work independently and demonstrate strength in multi-tasking, goal setting, and workload prioritization of yourself and your team.
  • Hardworking, energetic, enthusiastic, and optimistic.
  • Collaborative, respectful, thoughtful, and intentional.
  • Willing to address complex issues creatively, logically, and with compassion.
  • Culturally competent to partner with diverse individuals.
  • An effective partner with the Finance department in preparing budgets, including forecasting revenue and related expenses.
  • Positive and creative—willing to take risks and try innovative new ideas.


  • CEH’s headquarters are in Oakland. Staff are located in the Bay Area, North Carolina’s Triangle Area, Chicago, the Los Angeles area, and Seattle. This position is located in the Oakland office, but CEH is open to candidates from other locations. All staff are working remotely currently due to the pandemic.
  • Ability to travel locally and nationally to Oakland, CA, or other locations as needed.
  • CEH uses an x-ray fluorescence analyzer to screen consumer products and other items for toxic chemicals. This device emits low-intensity radiation; all users are required to attend a safety training to ensure they use the device safely.
  • Physical ability to type and use computer is essential.
  • Infrequent periodic lifting of up to 25 pounds is required.


A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered, commensurate with experience.

CEH is an equal opportunity employer. As an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, it considers applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity or expression, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, age, ability, personal appearance, family responsibilities or national origin.

To initiate consideration for this opportunity, please submit a resume and cover letter, speaking to your qualifications as per this Position Specification, to either of the Carlson Beck representatives below.


For additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact:

Sally Carlson                                     Claire LeTard

Managing Partner                               Principal

415.203.5259 mobile                          985.773.3326 direct

917.922.6113 mobile