Director of Philanthropy

Compensation: $100,000 – $115,000 DOE/Neg.
San Diego, CA
Reports to: Assistant Vice President, Philanthropy

Blair Search Partners has been retained by the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation to manage this search engagement.

Our Story

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare, and the region’s only designated trauma center and institution delivering tertiary and quaternary pediatric care. Rady Children’s is ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties surveyed by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recognized as the gold standard in nursing excellence. As a nonprofit organization, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego relies on the fundraising efforts of its Foundation team to support the mission and vision of delivering consistently excellent care and being a destination of choice nationwide through selectively distinctive institutes. The Director of Philanthropy position is based within the Foundation. For more information, visit

Position Summary

This is one of the most exciting and dynamic times in the history of our organization. Rady Children’s Hospital is experiencing significant growth, which includes the formation of seven new institutes of distinction: cardiology, cancer, neuroscience, mental and behavioral health, orthopedics, innovation, and genomics. The Director of Philanthropy will be assigned to one of these new institutes. The position requires a highly creative, visionary and experienced philanthropy professional, who brings prior experience from the fields of healthcare or academic medicine.

The new Director will be responsible for identifying and developing relationships with a core group of prospective leadership donors with capacity for major gifts of $250K and higher. They will build and manage a portfolio of 80-120 prospects, cultivated for one of the specific institutes, ensuring the Foundation aligns donor interest with the appropriate giving area. Fundable programs and projects include, but are not limited to research, programmatic support, clinical advances, education and training, endowed chairs, and capital needs. This is a frontline fundraiser position and serves as liaison to senior level hospital staff including physicians, administrators, and other stakeholders.

Core Responsibilities

Portfolio Development & Management:

  • Work closely with the Foundation’s Grateful Family Program team to identify prospects and build a pipeline of prospective donors capable of contributing at the major/leadership gift level.
  • Effectively develop and manage donor relationships through the various stages of identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Work closely with senior leadership to move donors through the various cycles of giving.

Planning & Projects:

  • Maintain an active awareness of both the Hospital’s and the Foundation’s overall organizational goals, objectives, and strategic direction, particularly as it relates to development.
  • Work with senior leadership to achieve philanthropic goals and solicitation metrics.
  • Work closely with the VP of Philanthropy in all fundraising areas, including developing proposals, campaign materials, communication/marketing plans, stewardship activities, events and other initiatives related to fundraising.
  • Create and execute special projects as assigned by the AVP of Philanthropy and members of the Foundation’s senior leadership team.
  • Collaborate with the Foundation’s external fundraising consultants.

Donor Relations & Solicitation:

  • Implement gift strategies that are in alignment with priorities identified by the Foundation’s senior leadership team, and the Board of Trustees of Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation.
  • Coordinate stewardship initiatives and cultivation strategies to ensure regular contact with funders through scheduled updates, personal visits and other communications.
  • Create vehicles for continued awareness on the part of donors of current needs and objectives that encourage ongoing giving.
  • Deliver excellent customer service to donors, colleagues, clinical partners, volunteers and hospital leadership.
  • Consult with the Special Projects and Legal teams to meet submission protocols.

Internal and External Communications:

  • Advance a culture of philanthropy, collaboration, ethics and accountability.
  • Leverage exceptional communication skills to articulate the mission and fundraising goals of RCHSD to make highly persuasive solicitations.
  • Advocate for RCHSD in a variety of public and private functions regarding the importance of philanthropy to achieve organizational goals.
  • Write compelling grant proposals, applications, letters, memos, reports, and other cultivation, solicitation and stewardship materials.

Required Skills, Education & Experience

  • Education – BA/BS degree.
  • Fundraising experience – minimum 4 years of fundraising experience; strong understanding of relationship development strategies and tactics; ability to “hit the ground running”.
  • Major Gifts – demonstrated prior success in closing major gifts at the $100K level and above.
  • Industry experience – prior fundraising work in the fields of healthcare and/or academia.
  • Interpersonal skills – ability to listen to, connect with, and inspire a wide range of stakeholders such as donors, sponsors, volunteers, and program partners.
  • Time management – ability to work efficiently under pressure, prioritizing tasks and responsibilities accordingly.
  • Technology – knowledge of Blackbaud nonprofit applications helpful.
  • Location – can make trips by personal vehicle as external meetings may require.
  • Schedule – ability to work evenings and weekends as needed for donor meetings and events.

Attributes & Work Style

  • Growth mindset – interested in growing and developing with the organization; hungry to learn.
  • People-centric – natural relationship builder with a warm and genuine approach.
  • Donor-centric – promotes a culture of superior customer service.
  • Team player – fosters a respectful, transparent, and collaborative work environment.
  • Communicative – articulate, poised, and possesses exceptional written and verbal skills.
  • Detail-oriented – extremely organized and produces polished, meticulous work.
  • Driven – possesses a business development focus.
  • Perseverant – a self-starter who demonstrates strong personal initiative and the ability to drive projects through to completion.
  • Creative – enjoys finding new solutions to existing opportunities; welcomes new ideas.
  • Adaptable – ability to pivot quickly as priorities and initiatives shift, and procedures change.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson
Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101