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Opening: Director of Donor Relations and Development

Publication date: 
February, 2021

Position: Director of Donor Relations and Development
Organization: Humboldt Area Foundation
Location: Bayside CA 

Organization Overview

Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) serves the residents of Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte, and Curry counties by promoting and encouraging generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities. HAF, along with its affiliate Wild Rivers Community Foundation, focuses its grantmaking and program efforts on strengthening community capacity and transforming our communities’ ability to solve problems and address the root causes of those problems. Long-standing programs of the foundation include the Native Cultures Fund and the Northern California Association of Nonprofits, and current initiatives include Building Healthy Communities—a 10-year initiative focused on improving the health and wellbeing of Del Norte County and Tribal Lands—and the Equity Alliance of the North Coast—a collaborative effort to understand and improve racial and social equity through education, dialogue, and coaching opportunities. For more information, visit

Position Summary

If you are a mission and values-driven, engaging, entrepreneurial, and highly motivated fundraiser with superb communications, storytelling, and organizational skills, Humboldt Area Foundation needs you to join our Advancement and Philanthropic Innovation team! As Director of Donor Relations and Development, you will be responsible for the care and maintenance of relationships with regional donors, creating and implementing a strategic donor cultivation and development plan, and fostering a world-class donor experience through exceptional donor stewardship. An experienced leader focused on donor engagement and cultivation, you bring proactive customer service skills alongside a deep understanding of the myriad of issues that underserved communities face in our region, and the ability to articulate those issues to donors while building and maintaining strong relationships.

In active collaboration the VP of Advancement & Philanthropic Innovation, and aligned with organization strategy and regional needs, Director of Donor Relations and Development will create and implement a strategic donor cultivation and development plan. You will create, manage, and implement all aspects of exceptional, tailored, and proactive donor stewardship to create an authentic, positive, and transformative lasting experience for the donor. As Director, you will elevate stories of impact and service across communities through different platforms, conveying complex and technical information in a way that is understandable and exciting to donors – knowing what is important to donors and addressing the underlying motivations that fuel giving and inspire long-term support.

In this role, you will provide expertise, direction, and support to regional donors, including planned giving, new fund and legacy creation, while promoting the work and values of the foundation. You will be part of the Foundation’s leadership team, and will supervise donor related staff and volunteers.


You are a highly creative and entrepreneurial individual – a strategic thinker and a strong fundraiser with a passion for connecting people with regional needs and organizational goals. You have a proven record of cultivating and maintaining strong donor relationships, employing excellent listening skills, emotional intelligence, creativity, diplomacy, and sensitivity, while maintaining a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy. You are a strong networker with the ability to build deep, strategic relationships with donors. Your career demonstrates a commitment to promoting and encouraging generosity, leadership, and inclusion.

Your experience in leadership and management demonstrates a commitment to intra-team cooperation, leadership development of others, mentoring staff and building authentic relationships, and optimizing team performance. You are an exceptional team member who is collaborative, flexible, adaptable, empathic, and ready to respond to shifting needs and priorities. You have a natural inclination to maintain confidentiality and protect sensitive information in accordance with organizational standards. Your sound judgment leads you to offer solutions with the highest level of personal integrity and ethical standards.

A truly outstanding candidate has experience and knowledge of the full spectrum of fund development, including planned giving, gift solicitations, stewardship, donor recognition, and administration, and a verified track record of meeting or exceeding measurable fundraising goals in a fast-paced environment. Preference will be given to candidates with knowledge of and experience/relationships within our four-county region and diverse communities. Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge software is helpful, as is experience with legal and regulatory compliance issues related to community foundations and nonprofit grant making. Bilingual proficiency of one or more languages spoken in our four-county region is a strong plus.

A successful candidate is expected to have a Bachelor’s degree and eight (8) years of progressively responsible work experience developing long-term customer/client/donor relationships, leading to the knowledge, skills, and abilities as described above.

Visit for a detailed position profile and instructions on how to apply.

Compensation and Benefits

An offer is expected to be in the $73,609 - $82,810 range depending on experience, plus health benefits, retirement benefits, paid holidays and sick time.

To Apply

Please email the following two (2) documents as well as your salary requirements in Word or PDF format to

  1. Resume
  2. A cover letter 

We evaluate applicants based on how well they match the qualifications listed, so please use your cover letter as an opportunity to explain and expand upon your skills and experience in these areas. Also, if you are not currently located in our four-county region, please include in your cover letter an explanation of your interest in potentially relocating.

Humboldt Area Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and without regard to race, religion, creed, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, religion, marital status, medical condition, disability, military service, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local laws or ordinances. Applications submitted for this position do not constitute a promise of employment.

Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) and our affiliates are committed to diversity throughout our programs, environment, and workforce. It is our mission to “promote and encourage generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities” and our belief that taking active and intentional steps to ensure equal employment opportunity and create a working environment that is welcoming to all, will foster diversity and promote excellence in our work. To effectively serve a growing diverse population we endeavor to hire and retain staff who are sensitive to and knowledgeable of the needs of the continually changing communities we serve.

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