Vice President Philanthropic Services

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Reports To: President & CEO
Direct Reports: 3 Directors (Development, Donor Relations, and Communications: total team of 9).


The Santa Barbara Foundation (SBF) is a catalyst for community impact. Specifically, we:

  • Connect people who care with causes that matter.
  • Promote effective giving to meet community needs.
  • Provide critical funding and other supports to empower nonprofit organizations.
  • Build community capital through leverage and partnerships.

Our Mission: to mobilize collective wisdom and philanthropic capital to build empathetic, inclusive and resilient communities. We accomplish this through investments in programs that support the County’s most vulnerable populations by addressing basic human needs, and driving systems change for those individuals and families at the verge of poverty. We exist because of our committed and passionate donors, and take very seriously our obligation to earn the public’s trust through service to our unique and diverse communities throughout Santa Barbara County.

SBF is at the forefront of innovation within the community foundation sector, going far beyond traditional grantmaking to engage deeply with our communities and the organizations and institutions that serve them. First and foremost, this means holding ourselves directly accountable to the community, and developing trustbased relationships with our funders, our program partners and most importantly, the people we serve. It is grounded in an unwavering commitment to equity and access to opportunity for the diverse communities that comprise Santa Barbara County. We embrace technology in all we do, moving with speed and flexibility to put funding to work as quickly as possible. Our ability to innovate is supported by the fact that, relative to other community foundations, a significant percentage of our funding is discretionary. And with that comes a commitment to taking risks, sometimes failing, but always learning.

The past two years under the COVID pandemic have profoundly tested our organization, our culture and our capabilities…and we came out stronger than ever. Our Board of Trustees supported our efforts in responding to new and emergent needs, such as mobilizing resources to support the Latinx and Indigenous Migrant COVID19 Response Task Force and quickly deploying targeted COVID19 recovery grants and capacity development offerings throughout our community. At the same time, we continued delivering our regular grant programs without interruption, deploying $31 million in funding last year in partnership with our fundholders, and are on track to match that number again in 2021.


The Santa Barbara Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the United States, established in 1928. As we near our centennial and reflect on our decades of experience, our work continues moving towards a contemporary program model, while our legacy philanthropic work remains strong. With charitable assets of over $500 million, we are the County’s largest private source of funding for nonprofit agencies, and the backbone of a strong regional tradition of philanthropy. Our experienced and talented staff of approximately 30 team members reflects both the diversity and the future of our region. We are governed by a board of 19 committed and engaged trustees a collection of diverse leaders, representing the various regions of the County and who serve as our ambassadors. Please visit to learn more about our organization.

With 2,014 nonprofit organizations, Santa Barbara County is an increasingly diverse region endowed with incredible resources and capabilities for impact. It is also a powerfully philanthropic community with the second highest amount of nonprofit revenue per capita in the entire state of CA. As such, we have created this new leadership position to further develop the region’s philanthropic resources, enabling SBF to drive meaningful impact for the people we serve.


Our communities throughout Santa Barbara County are as diverse in geography and demographics as they are in assets and needs. We are committed to being creative, flexible and adaptable in standing with the nonprofit sector and community partners to address the complex issues that are confronting our county, now and into the future. Over the next two years, our strategic priorities include a bold commitment to supporting our most vulnerable populations throughout Santa Barbara County by addressing basic human needs. We will also invest in components of broader systems change by supporting those individuals and families that are living paycheck to paycheck and are susceptible to becoming our most vulnerable residents with just one life event an illness, car accident, change in relationship or employment.

Strategic Priorities & Objectives:

  1. Child Care GOAL: Increase access to affordable and accessible quality childcare spaces.
  2. Workforce Development GOAL: empower county residents to take advantage of quality employment opportunities within rising industries.
  3. Workforce Housing GOAL: prevent loss of housing and maintain safe and adequate housing that supports economic mobility for our local workforce.
  4. Community Grant Programs GOAL: protect our most vulnerable populations in Santa Barbara County by supporting safety net programs such as behavioral health, primary healthcare, food, shelter and safety.
  5. Collaboration for Social Impact GOAL: informed by the social sector, advance the strength and capacity of Santa Barbara County’s nonprofits through  resources, education, peer learning and advocacy.


This is an exceptional time to join SBF as we rewrite Philanthropy for the 21st century. The role of Vice President, Philanthropic Services will bring together our development and stewardship capabilities to ensure we remain at the forefront of innovation and impact in the community foundation world. They will provide strategic leadership in all areas of asset development and partnerships, working across our diverse portfolio of program areas. As a member of our senior leadership team, the VP will serve as a sounding board and strategic thought partner for our CEO in all areas of development and donor stewardship. They will inherit an incredibly strong team of development professionals and will be provided wide latitude to build out the position around their unique skills, capabilities and leadership style.

Current and midterm priorities for this position include:

  • Develop close, authentic working relationships across the organization, and especially within the development team.
  • Review our current staffing and design a team structure that supports the new VP’s development goals and strategies.
  • Invest in team members with coaching, mentoring and professional development to help each individual reach their full potential.
  • Create and lead an integrated development and marketing/communications strategy focused on cultivating new partnerships for coinvestment in SBF’s  community impact work.
  • Build relationships with the Foundation’s donors and supporting organizations, and potential funders
  • Lead efforts to build publicprivate partnerships, aligned giving, and mission related investing.
  • Expand SBF’s planned giving program; cultivate relationships with donors and professional advisors in philanthropy.
  • Streamline processes for attaining public funding and develop more relationships with national Foundations aligned with our work.
  • Partner closely with the senior leadership team and our board of trustees in developing our next strategic plan after the current plan sunsets in 2023.
  • Support the launch of SBF’s Mission Related Investment program.
  • Develop stronger donor relationships in the North County area with a focus on donor engagement.
  • Assist in strategic planning and execution for the upcoming centennial.



  • Provide overall leadership and management for SBF’s development, donor relations and communications teams, with a focus on coaching and mentoring.
  • Serve as a member of the executive leadership team, including the CEO and other department heads responsible for organizational policy development and  planning.
  • Work with the Foundation CEO and Board on SBF’s evolving business model, supporting strategic planning and implementation efforts.
  • Serve as our primary liaison to the Board’s development and donor relations committees and working groups; effectively communicate and present critical  matters to the Board.
  • Lead data analysis and information sharing that offer fundraising insights to aid in decisionmaking, strategic direction, longrange planning and business  modeling.
  • With Finance and Administrative staff, develop new business and fee for service offerings.

Resource Development

  • Lead, plan, and implement SBF’s development efforts to grow revenue for sustaining and expanding SBF’s programs and community impact.
  • Work closely with donors, fundholders and partners to help execute their charitable giving and introduce them to new opportunities for impact with their philanthropy.
  • Develop and manage relationships with current and new individual, family, foundations and corporate donors.
  • Develop relationships with professional advisors (wealth advisors, CPAs, estate planners) to deepen their knowledge of SBF’s services and encourage  establishment of unrestricted, donordirected and/or testamentary (e.g., bequests, CRTs, CLTs) funds; oversee SBF’s Professional Advisors Network.
  • Expand opportunities for donor education and strategic investments in community programs.
  • Position SBF as a charitable hub where information, knowledge, resources and influence come together to address complex issues across the region.
  • Oversee annual appeals, special campaigns, donor stewardship events and activities.
  • Prepare and make persuasive presentations about philanthropy and SBF’s role as a partner; network within groups of corporate engagement professionals,  convening them, as needed, and to further initiate and develop relationships in this sector

Donor Services

  • Ensure the donor is at the heart of everything we do, with a focus on providing exceptional customer service and donor engagement.
  • Advise, cultivate and steward donors in developing and maintaining new funds or transferring gifts to the Foundation; develop expertise around gift and fund options available for donors and evaluate proposed gifts in adherence to state and federal laws, and SBF’s policies and mission.
  • Serve as subject matter expert for complex gifts and fund issues.
  • Oversee management of several large fieldofinterest and committee advised grant processes.
  • Solicit and oversee management of agency endowments.
  • Establish systems to secure and manage fiscal sponsorships.

Marketing and Communications

  • Ensure the Foundation’s strategy, goals and impact are effectively and transparently communicated to all our stakeholders.
  • Oversee brand strategies and integrated campaigns as related to development and stewardship.
  • Lead in the development and implementation of communications programs that grow partnerships, promote charitable giving and advance community  engagement.
  • Ensure that marketing and communications activities drive donor retention and acquisition, and support of brand awareness and reputation management.
  • Manage our communications team tasked with following:
    • Production of annual reports and periodic newsletters
    • Advertising and branding
    • Special events communications
    • PR including press relations, article production, op eds, special campaigns, etc.
    • Internal communications
    • Social media platforms and the SBF website


SBF seeks a seasoned, handson leader who can engage with a wide variety of donors and stakeholders. The successful candidate will truly enjoy getting to know a  wide variety of Santa Barbara County residents and will take great pleasure in serving the interests of the community. Specific leadership attributes required for the position include:

  • Communityminded: skilled at connecting with individuals across all socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; belief in the mission and work of community foundations.
  • Authentic: honest and genuine; sets clear expectations; appreciates and employs direct communication; highly trustworthy.
  • Strategic: an ideas person who is inquisitive by nature and always learning; someone who can envision the future and devise a path to get there.
  • Entrepreneurial: a creative and innovative leader who is open to taking calculated risks to advance organizational goals and achieve performance  breakthroughs.
  • Communicative: always employs strong written and oral communication skills; an effective public speaker and representative of the organization.
  • Approachable: a team player who works hard to ensure they are present and available to their staff; charismatic, warm, and welcoming; a true  “peopleperson.”
  • Reflective: a skilled listener who is effective at giving and receiving feedback and critique.
  • Tactful: patient and diplomatic; highly skilled at identifying and activating connections and relationships to help the organization reach its goals.
  • Transparent: a collaborative leader who empowers others through the sharing of information and uses an open and inclusive decisionmaking style.
  • Analytical: uses wellresearched ideas and other data points to support their strategies and business plans; ability to carefully study issues, identify trends  and formulate new ideas.
  • Proactive: a selfstarter who demonstrates strong personal initiative and the ability to drive projects through to completion; demonstrates exceptional  followup in everything they do.
  • Adaptive: ability to manage multiple (and sometimes conflicting) priorities, projects, and deliverables; enjoys working both independently and in teams.
  • Flexible: ability to work evenings and weekends as required.


  • 10+ years of professional experience in nonprofit fundraising (full cycle), with proven results and achievement in campaign development and major/principal gifts.
  • Complete endtoend understanding of fundraising strategies, systems, and processes.
  • Experienced in constructing, articulating and implementing a strategic development plan.
  • Prior direct responsibility for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship at the major gifts level.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets over $2M.
  • Strong leadership skills to mentor and motivate development staff to reach development goals.
  • A history of working directly with board members in support of fundraising efforts.
  • Strong analytical skills and use of data to drive fundraising, partnership decisions and forecasting.
  • An expert storyteller who can channel personal connection to an organization’s mission.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Tia Anzellotti, Director
Blair Search Partners