Senior Director


Compensation: $125,000 – $150,000 DOE/neg.
Location: San Diego, CA
Reports to: Executive Director
Direct reports: 1 (Sanford Institute of Philanthropy Director), total team of 4 staff members


“Great ideas and causes need great fundraisers. Together, we will enable the two million nonprofits in the U.S. and abroad to make the world a better place.”

 – T. Denny Sanford, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist



Sanford Programs, formally launched in 2014, was established through a generous gift by renowned philanthropist and businessman Mr. Denny Sanford. Our mission is to create positive societal change by 1) developing effective nonprofit leaders and 2) training educators to deliver inspirational programs, serving worldwide needs. Sanford Programs is divided into three major initiatives: Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. While the Senior Director will play an instrumental part in the strategic direction and success of all three initiatives, this position will have primary oversight of and direct responsibility for the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy (SIP).

SIP is one of the first institutes of its kind to offer a comprehensive curriculum which blends best practices from the business and nonprofit sectors, thereby empowering fundraisers to more effectively advance their causes and greatly impact their organizations. The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy helps nonprofits significantly increase both their fundraising capabilities and overall impact on their communities through a proven, contemporary curriculum presented by world-class nonprofit leaders, best in class faculty, and renowned philanthropists. In partnership with 16 affiliate universities, our innovative programs have already reached over 115,000 nonprofit professionals. To learn more about Sanford Programs and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, please visit:



The Senior Director manages a team of 4 staff and a $2 million operating budget. They will play a key leadership role for both the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, and Sanford Programs at large. As a strategic partner to the Executive Director, the Senior Director is responsible for increasing the number and scope of our partnerships with colleges and universities across the U.S. Our goal is to train more fundraisers each year, improving their ability to not only secure more gifts for their organizations, but also serve as more effective stewards of their donor relationships. The Senior Director will have two primary focus areas:

  1. Establishing new partnerships / leading national expansion campaigns (40%)
  2. General management of program staff, operations, and supporting fundraising efforts (60%)

Serving as a member of our senior leadership team, the Senior Director will be responsible for helping us achieve the following organizational growth targets:

  1. Program Expansion: drive our plan to integrate Sanford programs into 10,000 schools and 10 additional colleges/universities across the nation.
  2. Operations: oversee key projects including the CRM transition/integration, developing and managing the new partner onboarding process, and delivering support services for the Sanford Management Team.
  3. Training Services: develop and implement training services to support program partners.
  4. Product Development: projects will include SIP’s Fundraising Academy, Inspire’s Reconstruction Plan, and Harmony’s 2020 3rd Edition Product Roadmap.
  5. Digital Strategy: develop Sanford’s new Online Learning Platform, and revise Sanford’s Digital Marketing Plan.
  6. Research Initiatives: assess and recalibrate Sanford’s Grants Application Process, and develop program studies/evaluations for both Inspire and SIP.



Partnerships and National Expansion:

  • Develop new partnerships with universities, nonprofits, associations, and businesses.
  • Drive regional and national awareness of Sanford Programs through digital and person-to-person marketing efforts
  • Deepen existing partnerships and enhance the affiliate experience, thereby enabling partner organizations to grow and increase performance.
  • Accelerate knowledge of and participation in SIP’s 30+ fundraising training modules and its Fundraising Academy.
  • Expand SIP’s Fundraising Academy at a rate of at least 8 new national affiliates annually.

Leadership and Staff Management:

  • Promote a happy, healthy, collaborative and innovative work environment where all staff feel engaged, informed, and empowered to participate.
  • Provide professional growth and career development opportunities for staff.
  • Establish performance metrics, evaluate overall team success and drive continuous improvement initiatives.

Program Operations:

  • Work closely with the senior leadership team to ensure programs are operating at full capacity.
  • Evaluate program operations and drive both operational efficiency and quality.
  • Refine onboarding and affiliate support programs and oversee quarterly virtual certification for affiliate groups.
  • Ensure consistent and quality programs are delivered through affiliates, regardless of location or number of participants served.
  • Complete SIP’s transition to

Development & Fundraising:

  • Assist with grant writing efforts, which includes selecting grantees, awarding funds, renewing grant partnerships, and managing the grant portfolio.
  • Leverage data to measure the impact of grant funding, including: number of affiliates, number of people served, number of certificates administered, and reported long-term impact on career growth and development.
  • Implement fundraising best practices and enhance the culture of philanthropy across our organization.
  • Support ongoing fundraising efforts by providing outcome data and participant stories.



  • Passionate: Driven by Sanford Program’s mission to empower fundraisers to more effectively advance their causes and enhance the impact of their individual organizations.
  • Humble: A servant-leader; leads with emotional intelligence and humility.
  • Team Player: Fosters a respectful, transparent, and collaborative work environment.
  • Positivity: Charismatic, warm and welcoming; a true “people-person.”
  • Growth Mindset: Curious, innovative and entrepreneurial; someone who loves seeing ideas through to execution and impact.
  • Flexibility: Comfortable with ambiguity; views challenges as growth opportunities; follows tasks and projects through to completion.
  • Tact & Diplomacy: Patient, and willing/able to have the difficult conversations as required.
  • Metrics-driven: An innovative thinker, pairing ideas with solutions and measurable outcomes.
  • Reflective: Skilled at receiving and giving feedback and performance critiques.
  • Meticulous: Superior attention to detail and problem-solving skills.
  • Planning and Process Management: Exceptional mind for optimizing workflow and managing people, systems, procedures, budgets and programs.
  • Community-minded: Skilled at connecting with people across the community, while demonstrating a high level of emotional intelligence.
  • Communicative: Strong written and oral communication skills.



  • 10+ years of management experience.
  • BA/BS required, MA/MS preferred.
  • Significant strategic planning and business development experience.
  • Experience creating, launching, and managing programs of various sizes and complexity.
  • Track record of success with managing systems, operations, and large teams.
  • Prior experience developing and scaling business partnerships, ideally on a national level.
  • Experience leading quality assurance and continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Familiarity with the nonprofit, academic and philanthropy sectors.