Vice President of Philanthropy

Vice President of Philanthropy

SOS Children’s Villages USA

Washington, DC   |   October 23, 2019

About SOS Children’s Villages USA

SOS Children’s Villages USA is the US headquarters of one of the world’s largest organizations dedicated to the care of orphaned and vulnerable children. SOS works in 135 countries, including the United States. Our comprehensive approach – strengthening families and communities, providing long-term care for children, educating and empowering youth, and advocating for children’s rights – transforms the lives of millions of children and families each year. In addition, when humanitarian crises strike, we provide affected children and families with the supplies and support they need.

The SOS model works: in the US, 100% of SOS youth graduate from high school, and SOS alumni are 6 times more likely to graduate from college than youth in traditional foster care. According to Boston Consulting Group, every $1 invested in SOS programs returns $14 in benefits to society. Over the last 70 years, our work has been supported by leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, and we have been recognized with numerous international awards and honors, including 14 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Learn more at

The Opportunity

SOS Children’s Villages USA has developed a 4-year strategic plan to grow its impact by increasing the level of funds raised in the US to support SOS programs worldwide. We believe that our program and model have tremendous potential to support rapid growth of SOS USA over the next several years. The Vice President of Philanthropy will play a critical role in bringing new visibility and financial support to SOS USA, in line with the strategic plan. SOS USA’s current donor base consists of child/village sponsorships, individual donors, foundations, corporations, and major donors.

The Vice President of Philanthropy will be responsible for generating the revenue needed to meet the ambitious fundraising targets of SOS USA, including taking lead on branding, communications, and marketing as well as mid-level and major-gift fundraising, volunteer-led events, and planned giving. They will be a member of the Senior Leadership Team reporting directly to the CEO and advising on organizational strategy and direction to ensure that philanthropic objectives are considered throughout. Critical to the success of SOS USA, they will be responsible for setting the direction of fundraising to build a strong foundation for lasting fundraising success. This is truly an amazing opportunity for someone to play a vital role supporting the lives of vulnerable children and youth around the globe.

The ideal candidate will thrive in a high-energy, hands-on, fast-paced, and entrepreneurial organization as part of a collaborative, cross-matrixed, and committed team. They will have a positive, can-do attitude; practice innovative thinking; and be flexible and team oriented. They will further possess a high degree of initiative, take calculated risks, measure performance, and demonstrate an overall drive to build lasting fundraising success for the organization.

This position is located in Washington, DC, and will require occasional travel.

Role and Responsibilities

The Vice President of Philanthropy is a high-level position that helps set the direction of fundraising to ensure the financial health of SOS Children’s Villages USA. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record as a fundraising leader and be extremely successful at closing large gifts.

The Vice President of Philanthropy will:


  • Oversee the design and management of strategy for multi-channel donor and sponsor acquisition and retention, including digital, direct marketing, telemarketing, and other offline initiatives to grassroots, mid-level, and major donors.
  • Lead collaborative, creative, and strategic integrated segmentation/communication strategies across all channels, with an especially high focus on integration of digital throughout.
  • Assess market trends and develop innovative ways to attract donors at all levels of the organization, retain them over time, and engage them in meaningful ways in the work of SOS USA.

Fundraising Leadership

  • Increase organization-wide understanding of SOS’s supporter base through robust insight and analytics, in partnership with the other team members
  • Set and monitor clear metrics for success for revenue generation, branding, and communications.
  • Negotiate and manage vendor contracts to support fundraising objectives and analytics.
  • Serve as the internal fundraising team lead; lead data and digital teams concerning analytics, to meet fundraising objectives and collaborate with and engage key staff from other departments.
  • Ensure consistent and effective use of databases for the accurate recording of data, donor information, and all management activities undertaken to obtain philanthropic investments from outside entities.
  • Liaise with SOS Children’s Villages International to ensure that SOS USA development team have all the support they need, funding priorities are clearly communicated, and effective collaboration is happening across the federation.
  • Ensure that all donors are communicated with on a regular basis in a way that is both donor-centric and aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization to increase revenue generation over time.


  • Facilitate external engagement task force to filter all requests for SOS USA participation in external events, thereby ensuring that organizational priorities are met and setting the tone and position for SOS USA with external audiences.
  • Collaborate with SOS Children’s Villages International to establish clear brand guidelines for SOS USA and ensure consistent implementation across all teams internally.
  • Create and implement a brand-building strategy that will increase household awareness of the SOS brand and SOS programs and services offered domestically and abroad.
  • Position SOS USA’s CEO as a thought leader and leverage the CEO’s time to represent SOS USA in ways that maximize building relationships with potential funders.

Collaboration & Culture

  • Key responsibilities also include collaborating with the SOS International office in Austria; offices in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; and SOS affiliates in the US. The CEO anticipates dedicating a significant portion of his time to development; therefore, the VP must be able to collaborate with flexibility, agility, and speed to establish, reinforce, and grow philanthropy efforts to meet critical financial goals. The VP will be expected to promote a resilient, revenue-oriented culture centered on market-driven targets, supporting the CEO in cultivating high-capacity donors on a consistent basis. The VP will also lead efforts in blueprinting and executing impactful fund development strategies for high-net-worth, mid-level and small donors. The VP is responsible for the planning and implementation of all short- and long-range development and fundraising initiatives.
  • Understanding of, and some experience with, the context and issues of global development and childcare, with the ability to passionately articulate the work and mission of SOS USA to current and potential donors.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions. Experience should include work in most functional areas (sponsor acquisition and retention, including digital, direct marketing, telemarketing, and other offline initiatives to grassroots, mid-level, and major donors) for a child-focused nonprofit, higher education, or other nonprofit environment of similar complexity with multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction, with at least 5 years of significant supervisory experience, including creating and managing a budget.
  • A history of building new funding pipelines and increasing the effectiveness of a development program and staff through established objectives and performance standards, with strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex fundraising plans, as well as executing those plans to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to shape messaging in order to move individuals and institutions across the spectrum of prospect development, culminating in solicitations appropriate to organizational priorities and donors’ interests.
  • Demonstrated history of securing 6-, 7-, and 8-figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual fund strategies to effectively groom the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement advancement initiatives and achieve goals.
  • Ability to understand and distill technical and research information, and to weave such into compelling narratives for external audiences.
  • Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating board or other volunteer leaders, and a sophisticated understanding of their role in building an effective fundraising network.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with marketing and creative teams and to manage brand awareness and marketing strategies for major supporter audiences.
  • Skill at setting goals and measuring success, and agility in addressing alternate program directions to meet goals when necessary.
  • Ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

Additional Qualifications

  • Passion for the work of SOS Children’s Villages and the vital role we play in the lives of vulnerable children and youth.
  • A team player who welcomes and models collaborative decision-making.
  • An articulate, polished, and sophisticated individual who can interact comfortably with high-level individuals and groups and with persons of high wealth and intelligence.
  • Diplomacy and ability to engage individuals in a variety of social and business settings.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including leaders at the CEO level, development staff, board, and donors.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


SOS Children’s Villages USA has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Liz Lombard and Angie Sessoms. Please submit a resume and cover letter to Liz and Angie here.

SOS Children’s Villages USA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristic covered by law with regard to employment opportunities.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit