Director of External Affairs & Philanthropy (80 views)

Los Angeles, CA
March 28, 2018 2018-05-27
Job Description

ACOF Philosophy:

A Community of Friends (ACOF) is a nonprofit affordable housing development corporation whose mission is to end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness. ACOF’s values are Dignity, Excellence, and Community.

Established in 1988, ACOF currently has 43 apartment buildings in its portfolio, providing affordable homes and supportive services to over 1,700 formerly homeless adults and 600+ children; many of whose lives are touched by mental illness. One building is currently under construction, with six other projects in various stages of planning.  Currently active in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, ACOF is now expanding its geographic footprint into communities in the Inland Empire.

ACOF believes that supportive housing is a practical, cost-effective solution to ending homelessness that helps people live more stable, productive lives. The agency’s goals are to provide safe, decent, and well maintained affordable housing and to ensure the provision of effective, flexible, accessible, and comprehensive services to assist tenants in sustaining their housing, developing the skills to manage their own lives, and building the confidence and personal resources to thrive in their home and community. 

Basic Function:

The Director of External Affairs & Philanthropy is responsible for developing and implementing a Fund Development plan that utilizes a marketing approach to ACOF’s communications and fundraising activities – developing, promoting and leveraging A Community of Friends’ brand to maximize impact, reach and profile.  Working in partnership with the senior management team, the Director will design, execute and manage ACOF’s internal and external communications as well as all fundraising activities to support ACOF’s services program and its operating needs.  The Director will serve as a resource to all departments and as an advocate for the organization, which includes cultivating public support.  This position reports to the CEO and will work closely with the Board of Directors to create and implement an annual fund development strategic plan that includes specific campaigns for securing and expanding revenue from individuals, corporations, and foundations.  A key focus will be to grow existing donors and to build a major gifts program with a special focus on individual giving.

Two employees report to the Director of External Affairs & Philanthropy – a Manager of Grants and Foundation Relations and a Development and Marketing Associate.  This department of three, with periodic assistance from the Executive Assistant to the CEO, is responsible for maintaining ACOF’s donor database, developing and maintaining relationships with donors, increasing the organization’s visibility, organizing the annual fundraising gala, and ultimately achieving the goal of raising $1,500,000+ annually from individuals, corporations and foundations. 


Internal/External Relations:         

  • Develop and implement an annual and multi-year Fund Development Plan, linked to the mission of the organization, to increase the visibility of ACOF and build ACOF’s relationships with the general public, industry professionals, donors, volunteers and employees, with specific short and long-term strategies for achieving goals and targets.         
  • Responsible for creation and production of ACOF’s collateral materials and overseeing communications efforts that enhances the organization’s brand, image and position within the supportive housing industry and the general community.        
  • Oversee internal and external communication strategies and messages, including use of social media         
  • Continually interface with appropriate staff to obtain updated information for collateral materials and grant applications
  • Develop and/or maintain external relationships with donors, groups, civic organizations and organizations which will enhance fundraising potential, as required         
  • Represent ACOF at various community events, inter-agency meetings and special events as needed.         
  • Ensure preparation and distribution of press releases and media advisories.         
  • Be aware of local, state and national affordable housing policy issues.

Fund Development :  

  • Identify, research and design programs to cultivate and solicit gifts from individual donors.      
  • Develop and implement stewardship strategies and procedures 
  • Seek and implement ways to expand, renew and upgrade donors and foundation grants.        
  • Ensure submittal of foundation and corporate funding proposals and applications; review application        
  • Ensure cultivation, fundraising and other special events are well planned and implemented efficiently

Management :    

  • Monitor and evaluate fund development strategies and tactics and prepare reports to the CEO and Boar     
  • Ensure compliance with fundraising requirements and adherence to expressed donor intentions; maintain internal controls on privileged information;         
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of the two employees within the department.         
  • Ensure that the day-to-day operations and work of the Fund Development Department are smoothly and effectively administered by providing appropriate oversight;
  • Mentor, empower and develop staff to ensure that they have the resources needed to do their jobs; ensure that the performance evaluation system provides for clear feedback, clear responsibilities, and levels of accountability for all staff;         
  • Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse professional staff of top quality people.


  • Develop, draft, and recommend communications and resource development policies that conform to best practices (e.g. social media policy, policies on donor recognition, gift acknowledgement, gift acceptance, etc.).
  • Articulate and implement ACOF’s goals and strategies both internally and externally; inspire and build public support for ACOF and its mission;
  • Assist ACOF staff throughout the agency to recognize and act upon opportunities to further ACOF’s fund development activities
  • Be aware of significant developments and trends in the philanthropic field.

To perform effectively in this position, the Director for External Affairs & Philanthropy must have:

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, or related degree
  • Three years’ experience in writing, marketing, communications, community engagement, public affairs, or public relations.
  • Two years’ experience managing fund development campaigns, such as administering annual giving programs, cultivating major gifts, and/or capital campaigns       
  • Two years’ experience utilizing Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint, and donor management software.   
  • Two years’ experience supervising staff
  • One year of experience in grant writing and/or securing foundation support  

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Marketing, Public Relations, Nonprofit Management or related field
  • Active membership in one or more relevant professional associations
  • Familiarity with Neon donor management software
  • Familiarity with issues and needs relating to vulnerable populations
  • Knowledge of and ability to work competently with an ethnically diverse staff and tenants

Personal Characteristics:

The successful candidate will have the following personal characteristics:        

  • Willingness to commit to the philosophy and mission and values of A Community of Friends.         
  • A results-oriented individual with a belief in and commitment to the value that all persons, regardless of circumstances, deserve to have a home;         
  • Have a partnership mentality, with a high level of integrity and excellent interpersonal skills         
  • An individual with the enthusiasm and fortitude to engage in work which at times may be challenging; the ability to problem-solve with calmness, clarity and imagination;         
  • A confident and competent team builder who knows how to motivate staff; a team player who values and models working collaboratively, honors diversity and is resourceful, fair and hardworking;         
  • An individual who is straightforward, well-organized, shares information easily, listens well, and respects the abilities of others; someone who imparts trust and integrity and guides others in a similar vein         
  • An individual who is emotionally mature, with a sense of humor.

A Community of Friends is an equal employment and affirmative action employer F/M/Disability/Vet/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity