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Executive Director, College of the Desert Foundation
College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California
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Date Posted 12/09/2019
Philanthropy-Senior/Executive Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Executive Director, College of the Desert Foundation

Job Type: Leadership
Department: Foundation

Basic Function:
Under the direction of the President and COD Foundation Board President, Executive Director is responsible for the administration and management of the Foundation's functions including program and policy development and implementation, personnel administration, and budget management. The position is responsible for assisting the Board in developing and executing a comprehensive strategic plan for fundraising to benefit College of the Desert and the Desert Community College District. The Executive Director is a direct report to the Superintendent/President or designee.

College of the Desert is located in Palm Desert, California, the geographic center of the beautiful Coachella Valley. Nestled among the backdrop of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains in eastern Riverside County, the Coachella Valley is a resort community that offers over 100 golf courses and a wide array of outdoor activities such as tennis, hiking, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, polo, bicycling, rock climbing and swimming.

Founded in 1958, this two-year public college serves over 400,000 residents of eight local cities and the students of the Palm Springs, Desert Sands and Coachella Valley school districts. College of the Desert offers certificates and two-year Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees.

The College served over 15,400 students in the 2015-16 academic year. COD is a federally recognized Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with almost 70% of the student body identifying as Hispanic. The Coachella Valley community recently passed a $577 million bond measure, allowing for College of the Desert to improve its current facilities and expand its campus locations. These improvements and expansion will assist with College of the Desert's goals of providing an education to students inside and outside of the Coachella Valley.

College of the Desert Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to provide financial support from the private and public sectors to help underwrite programs and facilities at the College that cannot be funded through other means. Endowment funds raised by the Foundation will provide educational income for decades to come to support scholarships, textbooks, classroom technology upgrades, faculty positions, equipment, and other programs.

Representative Duties:
Representative Duties:


  2. Conduct a comprehensive, on-going fund development program to fund the needs of the College that have been adopted by the Foundation Board and to fund the Foundation’s operations.

  3. Personally solicit funds via face-to-face solicitations, writing grant proposals, implementing special events, organizing and implementing annual campaigns, and any other appropriate fund raising programs as deemed appropriate.

  4. Identify major prospects and assure appropriate cultivation takes place. Provide proposal and other support material to the President and Foundation Board for major gift solicitation. Provide leadership for any campaigns that may be undertaken by the Foundation.

  5. Work in partnership with the college, identify and cultivate planned gift prospects.

  6. Conduct comprehensive fundraising programs among alumni, the community, Foundation, and corporate donors. Assure the growth of various major donor categories.

  7. Develop methods and systems to provide for major gifts, annual campaigns, corporate giving, estate planning/gifts, annuities and trust funds and all other methods of support for the College.

  8. Work collaboratively with the Alumni Association to develop programs that showcase the value of alumni and programs that maintain alumni support for the college.
    8. Initiate and develop proposals to corporate and foundation grant makers to seek unrestricted annual and restricted gifts while coordinating closely with College representatives.

  9. Provide staff support for Foundation committees. Provide meeting materials, including written reports as necessary and minutes for the Foundation Board and committees.

  10. Assure that the talents of the Board members are fully applied to meet fundraising and organizational objectives.

  11. Oversee, in consultation with the Investment Committee, the prudent investment of all Foundation funds in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations.

  12. Keep the Board informed of all donations and key financial reports.

  13. Maintain the accuracy and integrity of donor and prospect information in the Foundation database.

  14. Compile and maintain statistical and other data and prepare reports. Utilize appropriate reports to enhance and improve information and decision making for program management.

  15. Develop strategic and annual operating plans for the Foundation and its fundraising programs and activities. In cooperation with the Vice-President, Business Affairs, assure fiscal accountability of the Foundation.

  16. Evaluate the success of the development programs on an annual basis. As appropriate, provide recommendations to improve effectiveness of all development efforts.

  17. Represent the Foundation to external organizations and constituencies.

  18. Attend College and community events when the achievement of development objectives will be presented.

  19. Regularly consult with College President’s Cabinet Members to identify college programs and activities requiring financial and other support of the Foundation. Attend all College meetings relative to the Foundation and report at College Board of Trustee meetings.

  20. Supervise foundation based publications including fundraising brochures, annual report, and web site; work cooperatively with the college to enhance the college’s reputation and to build and sustain relationships through precise, strategic and purposeful communication; maintain enhanced brand identity by communicating the college’s unique features and benefits to key constituent groups.

  21. Responsible for the selection, supervision, development, and evaluation of Foundation staff. Supervise volunteers supporting the Foundation.

  22. Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Knowledge, experience and abilities to perform the above listed responsibilities and functions in an efficient, effective, harmonious manner.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Any combination equivalent to: Possession of a master’s degree in business, communications, marketing or related field and five (5) years progressively responsible experience in resource development, fundraising, marketing and/or public and community relations.

  • Sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students.

Preferred Qualifications:
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certificate.

Knowledge of:
Knowledge of: Methods, techniques, and procedures used in the planning, development, marketing, and delivery of a major fundraising and resource development program in higher education; financial investment management techniques and regulations; leadership techniques; strategic planning, resources allocation, staffing and supervision; analysis and various complex methods for the presentation of data and ideas; operation of a computer and related software including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and email; financial record keeping practices and procedures; methods for gathering and presenting general, statistical, and technical data; budget development and expenditure tracking.

Ability to:
Ability to: Strengthen and implement the goals of a major comprehensive community college foundation program, including overseeing major fundraising campaigns and outreach to the business and philanthropic communities; provide leadership and prioritize projects; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; develop a positive relationship with the media; prepare and make effective presentations to foundation, college and corporate boards, administrators and business community groups; develop effective partnerships between the college’s foundation and community and industry leaders; develop relationships of trust with internal and external constituents; demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students and staff.

Physical Demands:
Working Conditions: Environment:
Office environment, constant interruptions, extensive contact with the public. Requires some evening and weekend responsibilities.
Full Time/Part Time: Full Time
Weekly Working Hours: 40
Work Schedule & Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Salary Schedule Range: Leadership: XIII - Placement based on education & experience
Specific Departmental Needs:

Posting Number: 19-656
Number of Vacancies: 1
Desired Start Date:
Interview Date: 01/29/2020
Posting Open Date: 11/04/2019
Posting Close Date:
Open Until Filled: Yes

Special Instructions to Applicants:
In your application add Professional References they should include at least: 2 supervisors, 2 direct reports, 2 management level colleagues. Include name, title, relationship and current phone numbers. Applicants from sectors other than education should submit comparable references.


  • Resume: Must include length of employment (month/year start & end dates) for each employer.

  • Cover Letter: Please address how you meet the minimum requirements for this position and any special qualifications you possess.

  • College Transcripts: For consideration of college coursework, transcripts must be attached. Transcripts must be from an accredited institution and include institution name, degree awarded, and date degree awarded. Diplomas will not be accepted in lieu of transcripts.


  • This posting is open until filled with the initial closing/1st review extended to 5:00 pm on January 7, 2020.

  • Interviews are tentatively scheduled for January 29, 2020.

  • Start date: February 2020

To apply, visit

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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