Chief Philanthropy Officer

Chief Philanthropy Officer

The Trust for Public Land

Flexible, USA   |   February 10, 2020

About The Trust for Public Land

At The Trust for Public Land, we are working with communities to realize the power of land for people. We don’t just save land—we save land for people to enjoy. From neighborhood parks to national parks, we help communities to imagine parks and green spaces, and then we make those dreams a reality, using data and technology to pinpoint the places where nature is needed most. We help communities raise billions of dollars for conservation—more than 75 billion to date—and then we help target those funds to improve quality of life for millions of people.

Our mission is to create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Every park, playground, and public space we create is an open invitation to explore, wonder, discover, and play. The Trust for Public Land is a land for people organization. And in the context of society’s biggest challenges—social division, health inequity, climate change—this very simple idea of “land for people” becomes a powerful means to strengthen communities and effect real, tangible change.

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected and put into public ownership more than 5,000 places across more than 3.7 million acres. We’ve created nearly 500 parks, playgrounds, and gardens and developed more than 2,000 miles of new trails. Today, more than nine million people live within a 10-minute walk of a park or natural area we’ve created, and countless more visit every year.

At the same time, more than a hundred million Americans — including 28 million children — don’t have a close-to-home park. Among these hundred million people are our nation’s most disenfranchised: the poor, the elderly, communities of color who have been staunch allies in the fight against climate change but whose voices have too often gone unheard and whose needs have too often gone ignored.

Ensuring that every single person in America has access to green space requires investment at scale. That’s why from the start we’ve worked to create parks and protect land from the city to the wilderness. Our broad experience has made us a national leader and innovator in city park creation, state and local conservation funding, and using GIS for conservation planning. Whether we’re turning vacant lots into community-designed parks and playgrounds or helping communities to use parks and green space to address the looming climate crisis, we remain focused on building each community’s capacity and power to address historic and systemic inequities.

The Trust for Public Land is based in San Francisco and is organized into more than 30 offices encompassing approximately 300 staff. The national office encompasses the senior management team (President & CEO, CFAO, CMO & CPO) as well as all central functions (Finance, Information Systems, Human Resources, Training, Development, Marketing and Legal).

For more information, please visit

The Chief Philanthropy Officer Opportunity

The Trust for Public Land is seeking an experienced Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO) who will implement and lead the expansion of a comprehensive strategic, creative, and entrepreneurial development program that will affirm and celebrate our mission, impact, and future growth.

The ideal CPO will be a dynamic fundraising leader who will be an integral part of our senior management team with oversight of the national, divisional, and state levels and with transparency between the leadership, board, and staff on all development initiatives. The CPO will be responsible for reinforcing a culture of philanthropy among all stakeholders, from staff to volunteers to donors, promoting The Trust for Public Land to new audiences and prospects, generating new interest and support for the organization, and increasing the depth and breadth of private individual and institutional support.

Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, Diane Regas, the CPO will have oversight in setting philanthropic priorities in partnership with the CEO and the Board. The CPO is responsible for the design, coordination, and implementation of fundraising activities to support organizational investment to reimagine and realize the power of land for people to create stronger communities. This is a special time in the history of The Trust for Public Land as planning is underway to celebrate the organization’s upcoming 50th anniversary and to chart its course for the coming decades. The CPO role offers a unique opportunity to shape the future of philanthropy at the organization and guide The Trust for Public Land to scale its impact. The Trust for Public Land raises $50M plus annually and put in place a new 5-year strategic plan. The Philanthropy Program is a vital part of the organization’s continued growth and will be a leading force in developing branding and outreach.

The CPO works closely with the Senior Philanthropy Leadership Team and leads a robust philanthropy program that includes establishing annual fundraising goals in support of national programs. Serving as both a bold strategic thinker and hands-on executor, the CPO will oversee and manage a philanthropy department consisting of 90 staff, including 5-7 direct reports and will work closely with internal colleagues in Marketing and Communications, Finance, Field Programs, and National Programs, as well as have a deep understanding of how each department plays a critical role with philanthropy. The CPO will have a strong financial acumen, working closely with finance and development leadership on budgets and metrics. The CPO will also partner with the Board, Advisory Committees, and the Philanthropy Committee to advance the level of strategic collaboration on philanthropic initiatives.


The CPO will bring a genuine passion for The Trust for Public Land’s mission coupled with deep experience driving fundraising success. The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

An Expert in Development:

The CPO will be an experienced leader with a measurable track record of success. The CPO will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels with particular focus on major donors and foundations. The CPO will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives. The CPO will have extensive campaign experience and an ability to adopt an entrepreneurial approach to expanding and deepening new and existing donor support. The CPO will be an energetic and highly respected development team leader within the organization. The CPO will have a demonstrated record of implementing fundraising initiatives, including identification, cultivation, and stewardship and working in close partnership with senior leadership and Boards of Directors to collaboratively achieve fundraising goals.

A Relationship Builder and Collaborator:

The CPO will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships and will be a confident and articulate communicator who excels at defining and communicating the systems and data that underpin strategy and outreach in development. With the ability to work fluidly across all levels, the CPO will be able to build collaboration and buy-in and generate support from stakeholders. The CPO will establish rapport and open communication with all constituents and successfully convey The Trust for Public Land’s mission and objectives. Collaborating closely with the President & CEO, the CPO will implement a comprehensive and multifaceted donor-communication and stewardship strategy ensuring donor satisfaction. The CPO will have a strong working relationship with designated members of the Board and Philanthropy Committee and will be a proactive communicator at all times.

An Action-Oriented Leader with Strong Execution Skills:

The CPO will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution working in a fast-paced environment. The CPO will exhibit intellectual curiosity, including the ability to listen to and learn from multiple voices. The CPO will have strong analytical skills and the ability to think creatively and collaboratively about the organization’s development goals while remaining focused on details and follow-through. The CPO will be an assertive and responsive leader. The CPO will be a builder who will work with the CEO to set development priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results.

A Passion for the Mission:

The CPO will bring a personal passion and commitment to The Trust for Public Land’s mission as well as an appreciation and understanding of the organization’s vision and impact. The CPO will have the capacity to understand and appreciate organizational strategies and be able to share this knowledge with potential donors with conviction. The CPO will embrace The Trust for Public Land’s culture, while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. The CPO will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values and is someone who can be trusted without reservation.


The new CPO must be a strategic and creative thinker, persuasive communicator, bottom-line oriented, and an excellent team builder and player.

An ideal candidate will bring the following professional experience and personal characteristics:

  • A personal passion for and commitment to the mission and vision of the Trust for Public Land, as well as appreciation and understanding of the organization’s systems and tools for achieving its goals.
  • An energetic leader with 10-plus years of experience in development, with demonstrable achievements in management, leadership, coaching, and personal fundraising success; and broad knowledge of all areas of fundraising including principal, major, planned, and annual giving, as well as corporate and foundation support.
  • Proven ability to personally cultivate, solicit, and steward individual and institutional donors at seven to eight-figure levels and identify and implement strategies to broaden the donor pool with innovative techniques in partnership with the Marketing and Communications team.
  • Demonstrated experience cultivating, training, building relationships with, and working in collaboration with executives, senior staff, and Board members on development-related activities, providing them with quality support and intelligence and increasing their comfort with and success in fundraising.
  • Success in increasing the effectiveness of development staff through established objectives, performance standards, and quantifiable benchmarks.
  • Track record of raising funds for an organization without a defined constituency, ideally on a national scale.
  • The intellectual depth, maturity, and collaborative skills to work effectively with The Trust for Public Land’s President and CEO, Board members, and staff.
  • Open-minded, decisive, nimble, and creative professional who can remain cognizant and respectful of The Trust for Public Land’s roots while encouraging growth and change. Strong interpersonal skills, a collaborative working style, and an enthusiasm for building bridges between and among key constituents.
  • Strong management skills, both strategic and operational, and a demonstrated ability to build, manage, mentor, and motivate an effective team.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with careful attention to detail. Ability to translate The Trust for Public Land’s mission and programs into fundraising initiatives that garner financial support.
  • A strong work ethic, reputation for integrity and high ethical standards, as well as an outgoing and positive personality. A sense of humor and perspective.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is preferred. The Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) certification would be considered highly desirable.

The Trust for Public Land has engaged Koya Leadership Partners / Diversified Search Group to help in this hire. This search is being led by Liz Lombard and Gerard Cattie. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here or email Liz and Gerard at the following:

Liz Lombard Gerard Cattie
Managing Director Managing Director

The Trust for Public Land 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 mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education 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, visit