Chief Impact & Philanthropy Officer

Lifeline Logo


Our Mission: to build self-reliance among youth, adults, and families through high-quality, community-based services.

Our Vision: to foster both long-lasting personal growth and systemic change to improve the adverse social conditions impacting youth, adults, and families. Lifeline seeks to build resiliency within those we serve, thereby empowering them to reach their highest potential.

 Our Core Values:  

  • Prevention: to provide the earliest intervention to reduce system involvement.
  • Quality: to pursue excellence in client intervention and clinical oversight.
  • Collaboration: to build mutually beneficial partnerships to increase impact.

For 50 years Lifeline Community Services (Lifeline) has been helping low-income youth and families achieve self-reliance. With more than 165 full-time staff members and 215 dedicated volunteers, we offer over 25 unique programs across our five focus areas: youth development, child abuse and domestic violence, housing and self-sufficiency, behavioral health, and human trafficking. With a current annual operating budget of $16.5M, we are continuing to grow as an organization and expand our services region-wide. From our original base in Vista, we now operate nine sites across the county including Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista, Escondido, and San Diego. Last year we served 4,304 clients through intensive case management, coaching, and clinical interventions, and 27,259 with educational outreach services and referrals. Our clients are predominately low to extremely low-income from communities across San Diego County. The vast majority of our programs are clinically based, with a focus on integrating services across the organization to break down programmatic silos and apply a true wrap-around approach for the individuals and families we serve.


Lifeline is a highly trusted partner, recognized as a backbone organization of the community. We are a key service provider, convener, and collaborator. Our work is guided by an engaged and committed board of 18 community leaders from across the region. We are extremely proud of our reputation for fostering a supportive team culture and being an outstanding place to work and grow. Staff members shared some thoughts on the organization’s leadership and culture at a recent focus group:

  • “Everyone jumps in to help each other out.”
  • “Our leadership is highly visible and accessible.”
  • “Staff are empowered and trusted to use their autonomy as professionals.”
  • “Communication is great at all levels. Team members actively collaborate within and across programs.”

We feel this inclusive and supportive culture is the foundation of our success, with some of our team members celebrating 10, 15, and even 25 years of service at Lifeline.

This is an exciting time in our organization’s history as we recently celebrated our 50th anniversary and welcomed our new CEO, Lisette Islas. An extremely experienced and accomplished nonprofit leader, Lisette succeeds Don Stump, who recently retired after 15 years of CEO service at Lifeline. Prior to joining Lifeline, Lisette served as Executive Vice President for another powerhouse human services agency, MAAC. During her time at MAAC, Lisette helped grow the organization from $36M to $70M in operating revenue, and invested heavily in people and culture, ultimately expanding the team from 325 to 590 members across 40 sites. Since joining Lifeline, Lisette has initiated major investments in the organization’s capacity and capabilities, creating several new leadership positions, including the new Chief Impact & Philanthropy role.


  • Salary – $140,000 – $180,000.
  • Medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, acupuncture, and life insurance.
  • Matched 403b retirement plan.
  • PTO: 0-2 years: 120 hours (15) paid days off, 48 hours (6) paid days off, 14 paid holidays.
  • Employee assistance program.
  • Employee incentives and award programs.
  • Training and education assistance.
  • Flexible spending account.
  • Menu of optional benefits, including short-term disability, critical illness, accident, hospitalization, and cancer policy.


This is a hybrid role with an office at 3890 Murphy Canyon Rd. #250, San Diego, CA 92123.


The Chief Impact & Philanthropy Officer (CIPO) will be one of the most high-profile leaders within the organization, ensuring our fundraising and impact initiatives are aligned with our mission to nurture and empower the community. Specifically, this executive level position will be responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to increase the organization’s funding sources and enhance its visibility and impact within the community. As a vital member of the executive team, the CIPO will lead efforts to foster donor relations, secure grants, and engage with corporate partners, aligning these initiatives with our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This newly created and highly collaborative role will oversee Lifeline’s entire development operation, which includes a team of seven direct reports: Volunteer Program Manager, Communications and Events Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Grants Manager, Grant Writer, Database Manager, and a philanthropy consultant.

Reporting to the CEO, the CIPO will be a force multiplier, partnering with the CEO, Board of Directors, and staff to create and implement innovative and efficient development strategies. They will serve as a thought partner and active contributor to Lifeline’s organizational planning, development, and assessment activities. This includes the latitude to reimagine our entire donor ecosystem and fundraising strategies for community impact. We are excited to welcome our new CIPO who will help us build upon our incredible 50-year legacy of service!


Impact & Mission

  • Impact Measurement and Reporting:
    • Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure the impact of programs.
    • Oversee data collection and analysis to assess program success.
    • Prepare and present impact reports to stakeholders, including the board of directors, funders, and community partners.
  • Community and Stakeholder Engagement:
    • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with other non-profits, businesses, and government entities to enhance programmatic reach and organizational impact.
    • Represent Lifeline at local fundraising associations and events, and lead presentations to donor groups, civic groups, and at other special events as opportunities present.
    • Advocate for the organization’s mission and programs within the community.
    • Foster collaborative efforts to address community needs and leverage collective impact.
  • Marketing and Communications:
    • Lead marketing and public relations efforts promoting the organization’s mission, programs, and campaigns. Ensure consistent and effective messaging across all channels.
    • Oversee development of marketing collateral, communications and donor materials to support fundraising efforts, including social media and online platforms.
    • Ensure consistency across all of Lifeline’s marketing, branding and communications channels.
  • Leadership and Team Management:
    • Lead Lifeline’s development team, providing direction and inspiration and fostering a collaborative and mission-driven culture.
    • Provide coaching, mentoring and support for team members.

Philanthropy & Resource Development

  • Strategic Planning:
    • Create and implement an overall strategic fundraising plan, including strategic goals and objectives to ensure Lifeline has the financial resources to fulfill its mission.
    • Develop individualized strategies for individual giving, foundations, grants, sponsorships, major gifts, annual giving and events.
    • Oversee the eventual launch of Lifeline’s planned giving program, developing an understanding of planned giving instruments, including bequests, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable gift annuities.
    • Engage in ongoing training and professional development, including staying abreast of industry trends and leading strategies and tactics; make recommendations as appropriate.
  • Cultivation:
    • Initiate and nurture relationships with new and existing donors, including individuals, corporations, and foundations. Oversee major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, and donor recognition programs.
    • Serve as a liaison with professional advisors including estate planning attorneys, CPAs, CFPs, trust departments, and wealth managers, communicating the philanthropic value Lifeline offers their clients.
  • Prospect Development:
    • Collaborate with the CEO to develop agendas for board and committee meetings and inspire committee members and the board to be knowledgeable, effective ambassadors for Lifeline.
    • Develop and maintain advanced prospect management and analysis systems.
    • Identify new philanthropy and partnership prospects to increase discretionary funds and diversify the organization’s relationship base throughout the county.
  • Fundraising and Resource Development:
    • Develop and implement fundraising strategies to support program initiatives.
    • Oversee grant writing and reporting processes to secure funding from foundations, government agencies, and other sources.
    • Identify grant opportunities, oversee grant writing processes, and manage relationships with foundations to ensure a robust pipeline of funding.


  • Passion for and commitment to Lifeline’s mission to build self-reliance among youth, adults, and families through high-quality, community-based services.
  • Ethical, transparent, and committed to Lifeline’s values; a proactive and thoughtful leader who is adaptable, culturally sensitive, and inclusive.
  • Experience working within a multi-faceted organization with complex funding sources, including government contracts.
  • Successful nonprofit fundraising experience, including building and overseeing teams.
  • Experience soliciting current and prospective donors at all gift levels.
  • Strong organization and prioritization skills with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and initiative-taking; motivated, with a positive personality and excellent follow-through.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, written and oral; ability to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Committed to leading through diversity, actively promoting and integrating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within all financial practices and team interactions.
  • Superb people skills, with exceptionally well-developed listening and communication skills, and the ability to connect with and inspire confidence among a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Highly empathetic, exhibiting sound judgment, tact, and diplomacy when dealing with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong marketing and communication background.



  • Pursuant to Lifeline’s COVID-19 mitigation protocols, individuals must be fully vaccinated, subject to legally required exemptions.
  • Background check and compliance with pre-employment screening, including drug tests.
  • Flexibility to work outside of traditional business hours as needed to meet organizational priorities.


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