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Vice President of Communications & Development

Parks California


Who We Are

Parks California was created to be a new model of public, private, and non-profit partnership. As the official statutory non-profit partner to California State Parks, working statewide, we’re uniquely positioned to innovate and work hand-in-hand with communities and experts to bring resources together – ensuring that everyone can experience healthy and thriving parks for generations to come.  

At Parks California, our vision is for vibrant, healthy parks that welcome, engage, and inspire. As a team, each of us at Parks California strives to:   

  • Be a valued and trusted partner organization.  
  • Serve as catalysts for the future of parks.  
  • Cultivate a culture of philanthropy.  
  • Model emotional and cultural intelligence in our work every day.  
  • Embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.   

We currently operate over 30 projects, which are funded by government, public-private partnership agreements as well as the generous support of private donations. We are a proud 1% for the Planet partner, a global network of thousands of businesses and environmental organizations working together to support people and the planet.

Want to learn more? Check out our website.

About The Role

As we begin a year-long celebration of our 5-year anniversary, and with a strategic plan to guide our next phase of growth, we’re looking for a strategic and collaborative leader to join our team. The Vice President of Communications & Development will be responsible for leading and evolving our fundraising and communications functions as we elevate the mission of Parks California to new audiences and prospective donors. In this role, you’ll report to the President & CEO and work closely with her, her leadership team and the Board to help implement our vision and strategic goals.

The successful candidate will be responsible for leading and implementing strategies to achieve fundraising goals, including expanding efforts to create a sustainable donor pipeline, create and execute comprehensive communications strategies that articulate the voice and value expression of our brand, drive awareness of our mission and craft compelling communications and content that increases understanding about our impact and progress.  

This role is highly collaborative and cross-functional, working with leadership, the Board, team members and external partners. The position requires a high-impact leader who knows what great looks like in a new and growing organization and can shift seamlessly from strategy to execution.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP: This is a new role that reports directly to the President & CEO. This role will manage three direct reports, external agencies and contractors, and work cross-functionally to achieve goals and desired outcomes.

OFFICE LOCATION: We are a remote-first organization. This allows us to work from anywhere in California virtually, in our Sacramento and San Francisco hubs, as well as in some of the most beautiful natural spaces across the state. The successful candidate must reside in California.

TRAVEL EXPECTATIONS: The successful candidate must be able to travel when needed within California, which we expect will amount to approximately 25-35% of the year.

THE POSITION: As a member of our leadership team, you will serve as a thought partner and strategic counselor to the President & CEO, Board and staff. You’ll work with colleagues across the organization (internally) and Parks California’s partner and grantee ecosystem (externally) to achieve goals and desired outcomes.

You’ll lead the team responsible for private sector fundraising, special events and collaboration, external communications campaigns and engagement, and building Parks California’s community through outreach, storytelling and innovative collaborations.

You’ll achieve impact through the following responsibilities:  

  • Create, execute and oversee strategic fundraising and communications plans that directly support the organization’s private sector fundraising objectives, its three-year strategic plan and its long-term goals.
  • In coordination with the CEO, the Board and Development Committee, develop and achieve short and long-range goals to diversify funding sources, and advance the organization’s strategy for developing, soliciting, and securing six-figure funding opportunities from high-net-worth individuals, corporations, foundations and government.
  • Align, develop and manage solicitation efforts, including annual appeals, identifying grant funding opportunities, donor targeting and event planning with a focus on increasing sustainable unrestricted, private donations.
  • Explore new opportunities such as planned giving.
  • Develop a recognizable, distinct and trusted brand voice to help us continue to differentiate Parks California and articulate our impact.
  • Share best practices and keep up to date on emerging fundraising trends and campaigns to advise the Board of Directors, CEO and her leadership team while driving the use of digital technology — such as social media, paid media, SEO and the organization’s website — as tools to build a community of supporters.
  • Cultivate and maintain excellent relationships with key external contacts across Parks California’s ecosystem such as California State Parks’ leadership, top donor targets, media and influencers.
  • Lead earned media relations efforts and regularly conduct relationship-building outreach to reporters, editors, and influencers.
  • Develop and support staff acting as spokespeople, including providing training and coaching ahead of speaking and media opportunities.
  • Raise the organization’s profile by developing and overseeing the execution of proactive speaking engagements, paid media opportunities, donor events and more.  
  • Ensure the Parks California team is equipped with the tools, resources, and trainings to achieve desired Development and Communications-led outcomes.
  • Oversee vendors and resources, such as our Agency of Record, contractors and designers, and provide guidance and accountability for deliverables. 
  • Serve as the project lead for the creation of core Parks California materials, such as donor collateral and the annual impact report.

QUALIFICATIONS: One of Parks California’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. To help achieve this, we’re focused on hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people develop talent and skills outside traditional job scopes, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. 

What You’ll Bring

  • Deep commitment to our values, mission and core values; and dedication to continuous listening and learning to increase cultural competency on both a personal and organizational level.
  • A strategic vision for both private sector donor prospect cultivation and marketing communications, with a minimum of 13+ years of demonstrated leadership experience, including at least 10 years of experience managing teams and budgets, and specific experience managing both Development and Communications teams. 
  • A proven track record of raising funds for early-stage non-profit organizations and/or strategies for converting seed funders to sustainable givers.
  • Excellent leadership agility with a high level of curiosity, bias for action, sound judgment and integrity.
  • Keen ability to flex in a small team atmosphere where no task is too minor at any level.
  • Significant experience cultivating and managing relationships with Board of Directors, senior-level corporate and foundation executives, high-net worth donors, and other key external stakeholders. 
  • Broad experience developing and executing strategic communications plans and marketing programs, with demonstrated knowledge of media relations, paid media/marketing planning, events, digital and social media, and publication production.
  • A strong, dynamic writer who can convey complex issues in approachable and compelling language, and a discerning editor.

Additional Desired Experience

  • Bilingual or multilingual skills appreciated. 
  • Experience working at non-profit organizations or mission-led, for-profit companies, such as a B Corp-certified brand.
  • Experience coordinating across multiple, public-sector agencies.
  • Experience managing remote staff and consultants who possess diverse skills and backgrounds. 


  • This is a full-time, exempt position, with a salary range of $ 165,000 – 180,000.
  • We offer a comprehensive benefits package including a 401K plan that matches up to 5% without a waiting period, and $150 per month reimbursement for home Internet service and mobile phone service.
  • We provide 20 days paid vacation to start which increases over time (23 days after 2 years, and 28 days after 10 years); 10 paid sick days, 13 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule.

APPLY: Please submit a current resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the role and articulating your qualifications using this link.

DEADLINE: We begin reviewing resumes and cover letters on April 15, 2024.