Vice President, Impact and Partnerships


The San Diego Foundation is an agent for social change and a respected thought leader in the San Diego Region. The Vice President, Impact and Partnerships (VPIP) will bring together funding, internal talent, and external collaborators to achieve strategic impact. This position provides leadership for all of The Foundation’s Community Impact programs. Working closely with The Foundation’s Leadership Team, the VPIP will collaborate on strategies for well-researched priorities, legislative vigilance, effective fundraising, strategic communications and grantmaking in accordance with The Foundation’s strategic plan and donor’s priority areas.

Working at the frontier of philanthropy, the VPIP will help shape, test and validate new ideas in programming and philanthropy. Serving as a sounding board, thought partner and key advisor to the CEO, this position will also help identify opportunities for TSDF to serve specific, unmet needs in the community.

The five key aspects for this new position are:

  • Lead the Foundation’s Community Impact Division (7 team members total), serving as the most senior liaison between The Foundation, its programs and the nonprofit community.
  • Create innovative new ideas and programs around which The Foundation can marshal resources for community investment. This includes funding from existing donors, as well as attracting investment from new philanthropic channels.
  • Work closely with the CEO and Chief Development Officer to drive program revenue targets for specific community impact areas.
  • Partner with the CDO to strategically deploy the Foundation’s discretionary funds to local nonprofit organizations working in these key impact areas.
  • Serve as an ambassador and connector to critical external constituencies including philanthropy, government, business, academia, nonprofit and community organizations at the regional, state and national levels.

The VPIP plays a key role in educating and mobilizing internal stakeholders, especially donors, volunteers and staff, on the intersection and synergy between their goals and priorities and those of the Community Impact division. This position serves on the Leadership Team and is instrumental to the public positioning of and policy development for The Foundation. The VPIP will work with several Board committees and attend Board of Governors’ meetings.


  • Deep connectivity to the San Diego region.
  • Strong network of relationships at all levels across the community.
  • Experience working within the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social purpose, equity and durable impact.
  • Capability to work effectively and authentically across generations, cultures and diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to model and inspire teamwork, motivate and mentor staff and effectively manage conflict.
  • Strategic vision and agility.
  • Entrepreneurial approach and growth mindset.
  • Demonstrated ability to take a concept from ideation all the way through to execution.
  • Leadership skills and style based on trust, self-awareness and humility.
  • Ability to generate trust, shared purpose and commitment within and beyond the San Diego region with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Understanding of the principles and practice of social equity as effected through philanthropy and, specifically, Community Foundations.
  • Experience developing and achieving performance metrics.
  • Awareness of and ability to interpret opportunities in complexity and ambiguity.
  • Excellent listening, writing, presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Familiarity with regulatory and compliance requirements and risk mitigation strategies.
  • Possess a strong moral and ethical compass; maintains confidentiality and exercises discretion.


Division Strategy & Leadership

  • Maintain a broad understanding of the San Diego community and use this knowledge to build and maintain relationships with regional leaders and nonprofit organizations as well as funders, donors, potential donors, donor advisors and volunteers.
  • Provide strategic, transparent and accessible leadership of the Community Impact Division to facilitate staff, donors, nonprofits, government, academia, business and other strategic partners to better collaborate, leverage resources and collectively drive toward growing a vibrant region.
  • Research and recommend priorities for community impact and policy influence that are strategic, balanced and have organization-wide support.
  • In collaboration with The Foundation’s Finance and Investment divisions, identify innovative opportunities to adopt emerging and promising tools such as impact investing and other social financing vehicles to maximize the impact of philanthropic investment.
  • Establish a corps of trusted facilitators to bring together residents and regional stakeholders in a collaborative environment. Provide a means for assessing and reporting progress toward regional goals.
  • Develop and implement processes and tools to facilitate foundation-wide, data-driven decision making to ensure relevance, scalability and sustainability of programs and initiatives.

Donor Relations and Stewardship

  • Serve as TSDF’s connection between donors/funders and the Foundation’s programs.
  • Working closely with the CEO and CDO, help inspire the TSDF’s donors to invest in critical impact areas for the San Diego region.
  • Partner with TSDF’s CDO to strategically deploy the Foundation’s discretionary funds to local nonprofit organizations.
  • Build strong, trusting relationships with TSDF’s donors to help make the case for larger, unrestricted gifts in San Diego, to drive impact on a broader and deeper level.
  • Assist in identifying nonprofit fund management opportunities.

Staff Leadership/Management

  • Exhibit a transparent and consistent management style; provide leadership that recognizes and empowers the strength and experience of division staff.
  • Foster collegiality, open communication and collaboration within the Community Impact division and among other departments of The Foundation.
  • Set clear expectations and hold others accountable; clearly delegate responsibility and authority.
  • Examine existing policies, procedures, structures, roles and responsibilities to determine new and innovative opportunities to enhance departmental efficiency and program impact.
  • Oversee departmental budgets and ensure implementation of strategic priorities.

Organizational Leadership

  • Serve on the Senior Leadership team, providing input on the strategic management of The Foundation including providing critical projections, benchmarking, and the analysis required for informed decision making. Provide leadership and assistance to the Board on issues relating to Community Impact.
  • Participate in and provide leadership about strategic initiatives and key organization planning issues that impact The Foundation’s goals, plans, and policies, as well as activities, performance, opportunities and recommended courses of action.
  • Act as a key team member in establishing and maintaining strong confidence in The Foundation across the San Diego community.
  • ⦁ Working with the Communications and Marketing Team, represent The Foundation in the community, at meetings, and/or in public speaking engagements, as well as serving as a presenter for in-house training sessions and presentations to the Board of Governors. Ensure TSDF has a presence at key events and meetings.
  • Provide management level support to the CEO as needed.


Year 1:

  • Make TSDF’s strategic plan tangible and concrete by creating a new 3-5 year operational plan for the Community Impact team.
  • Work closely with the CEO and CDO to design campaigns around specific impact areas.
  • Play a key role in guiding implementation of TSDF’s $10M early childhood education fund.
  • Begin moving the Foundation’s results metrics from outputs to outcomes and eventually, to true impact.
  • Identify nonprofit partners to help TSDF achieve its impact goals in key areas.
  • Lead substantive meetings and conversations between the Foundation’s donors and subject matter experts in critical impact areas.
  • Coach, mentor and develop new team members.

Years 2-5:

  • Define and enhance TSDF’s role as the trusted convener across the region.
  • Serve as a key advisor to inform how TSDF’s unrestricted funds can best be put to use in supporting the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Help bring the Foundation’s current operational plan (set in FY2020) to a close and serve as a key partner in shaping and launching the next strategic plan.
  • Elevate TSDF’s standing as the go-to partner for bringing funders and nonprofit partners together.
  • Hold partners accountable to achieving the shared vision for community impact.
  • Continue identifying big, challenging projects for the Foundation to focus on.


  • Directors (3)
  • Managers (2)
  • Specialists (4)
  • Consultants, Interns, as needed
  • Additional support from Stewardship team


  • Reports directly to the President & CEO


Board Members
Committee Members


Donors and Fund Advisors
Potential Donors
Public and Private Foundations
Community Leaders
Nonprofit Organizations
Government Leaders
Business Leaders
Grant Recipients
General Public


  • A minimum of 10 years of progressive supervisory experience, successful performance in a program-related role within nonprofit organizations, corporate or government entities.
  • Understanding of and commitment to philanthropy in the San Diego region.
  • Understanding and knowledge of the greater San Diego community.
  • Experienced and skilled at working in multicultural and varied socio-economic contexts.
  • Strong emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills; advanced facilitation skills a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to accomplish objectives with minimal guidance, find solutions, and be resourceful.
  • Budget development, implementation and monitoring experience.


Bachelor’s degree in a related field required.
Advanced degree in a relevant field preferred.


Liliane Lendvai, Director, Blair Search Partners
550 West B Street, Fourth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101