Work with Us - Director of Development


Position Title:          Director of Development
Organization:          Circulate San Diego
Compensation:       $90,000 - $105,000
Location:                  San Diego, CA
Reports To:              Executive Director

Our Story

This is an opportunity for a nonprofit development professional to join a high-profile urbanism and mobility think tank. This position is perfect for someone who has the drive and expertise to take a successful fundraising program to the next level.  

Following numerous public policy wins in the last five years, our successful Corporate Membership program has tripled in revenue, now accounting for about 20 percent of our budget. This supplements our diverse fee-based planning, education, and outreach services. Our advocacy model has a proven record. Our staff is on television and in the newspapers frequently, and our advocacy gets results. We have become a powerful voice in local decisions, and donors want to be seen supporting our work.

As a nonprofit think tank, Circulate uses advocacy, research, and planning to advance our mission of creating excellent mobility choices, and vibrant healthy neighborhoods. Our office culture is both collaborative and kind. Everyone is motivated by our mission, and a shared sense of purpose.

In addition to the competitive salary, the organization also offers generous benefits, a friendly work environment, 401(k), parental leave, sick time, and vacation. Please visit: to learn more about our organization.

Position Summary

As our organization has grown in revenue and prominence in recent years, we are investing in hiring a Development Director to build for the future.

The Director of Development will work in close partnership with the Executive Director, helping to maximize the value of leadership’s fundraising time, and becoming a reliable alter ego with donors, prospects, and board members. Unlike most nonprofits, Circulate is currently staffed with mostly planners and policy professionals. We are affirmatively recruiting someone who has experience in the nonprofit sector to contribute to the diversity of our organization’s internal expertise.

The Development Director will be responsible for our entire philanthropic revenue portfolio, with a primary emphasis on growing our successful Corporate Membership program. Our Corporate Membership offers visibility to partners, valuable networking, and funds a public policy agenda that supports economic growth, and affordability for the region’s workforce.

The Director of Development will also manage and grow value-oriented philanthropic giving, individual giving, major gifts, planned giving, special events, foundation grants, and sponsorships. The Director of Development will serve as a frontline fundraiser, with an emphasis on growing the organization’s Corporate Membership portfolio by building and maintaining close relationships with key industry leaders and donors.

Our fee-for-service revenue is managed by our Director of Planning, so the Development Director does not need to have expertise in this area, though it would be welcomed.

The desired candidate will possess strong qualitative and quantitative abilities: her/his fundraising style will include a strategic approach and impressive interpersonal skills, paired with the usage of data and metrics to inform the decision-making process and track progress against goals. Knowledge about the real estate, planning, or transportation industries would be helpful but not required.

Duties and Responsibilities

Fundraising Strategies & Execution:

  • Lead, develop, and execute strategies for all fundraising areas.
  • Create and manage clear success metrics, holding oneself and others accountable to achieving those goals.
  • Provide weekly, monthly and annual reports measuring progress against revenue goals.
  • Oversee our membership programs, including strategies to increase membership participation and donations.

Internal Leadership:

  • Serve as a close strategic advisor and partner to the Executive Director; serve as a member of Circulate San Diego’s leadership team.
  • Work with Executive Director, Board Chair, and Board of Directors to achieve annual revenue goals; schedule, manage, and coordinate donor meetings with the Executive Director.
  • Increase the culture of philanthropy across the organization, demonstrating how all team members can advocate for Circulate San Diego in the community.

 Member Relations and Events:

  • Organize our annual “Momentum Awards.” Usually this is a 300-person in-person event that recognizes our Corporate Members and local agencies and companies working to improve our region’s mobility and built environment. It was online with 100-sih participants in 2020 and will tentatively be online in 2021.
  • Organize quarterly “Membership Mixers,” after-work social events to engage donors and connect likeminded urbanists.
  • Build upon Circulate’s existing and robust roster of Corporate Members and targets, and develop a portfolio of top donors and prospects; solicit and close major gifts.
  • Maintain a robust partner pipeline by continuously monitoring and cultivating our membership pool and generating new leads from community and industry networking.


  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of Circulate San Diego’s campaigns and planning services to articulate need and impact to donors and prospects.
  • Oversee the design and production of donor communications, including recognition, appreciation/gift acknowledgments, solicitations and other support materials.
  • Prepare sponsorship proposals for policy reports and campaigns.
  • Author and manage fundraising communications through our electronic channels like social media and our email newsletter.

Department Operations:

  • Refine and/or establish policies, systems and procedures, with a special emphasis on professionalism and ethical standards, for soliciting, acknowledging, tracking, and reporting gifts.
  • Work with outside bookkeeping contractor and internal administrative staff to track invoices, log donations, and maintain donor database.
  • Supervise the appropriate use of donor software and reporting, ensuring donor privacy, data accuracy and timeliness of acknowledgements and reporting.
  • Prepare reports required by foundations and other funders.

Desired Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or comparable experience required; Master’s degree and/or Certificate in Fund Raising Management a plus.
  • 5+ years of professional experience in 501(c)(3) nonprofit or 501(c)(6) fundraising, with a complete, end-to-end understanding of fundraising strategies, systems, and processes.
  • Experience with constructing, articulating and implementing a strategic development plan.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets over $300,000.
  • Prior direct responsibility for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding gifts of $10,000 or more.
  • Proven ability to effectively coach and mentor colleagues.
  • A history of working directly with board members in support of fundraising efforts.
  • Knowledge of local and regional corporate and foundation communities; preexisting connection to the San Diego community preferred.
  • Experience with online fundraising.
  • CRM/donor database experience required, and experience with Excel, NationBuilder is a plus.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Competitive salary, $90,000 - 105,000 depending on experience
  • Health and dental coverage
  • 401(k) match of up to 7% employer contribution with 3% employee contribution
  • 10 annual vacation days
  • 10 paid holidays
  • 10 annual sick days
  • Paid parental leave
  • Professional development fund

How to Apply

Circulate San Diego values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants should e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and any relevant work product examples to [email protected], and with the subject line “Director of Development Application.” No phone calls please.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent(s) of this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required of the position. This job description is subject to review and amendment in light of experience and in the annual employee review process. 

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