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Posted on April 28, 2021

Deputy Director of Planned Gifts

San Francisco, CA or West Coast highly preferred; other locations may be considered

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization.  We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country.  We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Miami and Washington, DC.

The Deputy Director of Planned Gifts reports to and collaborates closely with the Director of Planned Gifts, serving as a thought partner as a best in class gift planning program is built that will help secure the future of Earthjustice’s mission and work. The Deputy develops and implements effective plans and strategies to achieve planned gifts revenue goals for Earthjustice. This position manages the donor activity of the planned gifts team, supervising three or more planned gifts officers, to achieve a pipeline of support producing $10-15 million in budgeted bequest revenue annually, a doubling of non-cash assets received annually, and a doubling of confirmed legacy society donors. Earthjustice has launched an $825 million comprehensive campaign of which approximately $200 million will come from planned gifts (revocable and irrevocable commitments and budgeted bequest revenue).

In addition, the Deputy Director of Planned Gifts will manage an individual portfolio of 25-50 donors and prospects with a capability to make major and principal level deferred, blended and/or outright gifts made with complex assets.

This position will focus on donors across the country with up to 25% travel. There is a strong preference for this position to be based in San Francisco, CA; West Coast and other locations may also be considered.


Fundraising (40%)

  • Leads, mentors, and supports team of planned gifts officers to help them achieve their fundraising goals and potential as gifts officers. Course corrects when necessary.
  • Manages an active portfolio of up to 50 referred prospects and donors; develops strategies and implements plans for qualifying, cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting those donors.
  • Secures both revocable, irrevocable and outright, non-cash gifts to achieve personal annual fundraising goal of $5 million from managed and collaborative prospects.
  • Builds relationships with donors and prospects via phone calls, personal visits, ongoing written contact, and events; Responsible for 50-75 visits and 100-120 moves annually.
  • Manages information relating to current planned gift donors and prospects in the central database, emphasizing the highest standards of accuracy, timeliness, thoroughness, and confidentiality.
  • Travels regularly for donor visits, events, field trips, management, and trainings.
  • Provides program information to donors and prospects and drafts personalized correspondence and acknowledgments that demonstrate appreciation, recognition, and engagement of donors.
  • Engages appropriate program staff, senior leadership, Board members and Council members in order to build enduring relationships between Earthjustice and its planned gift donors.
  • Develops expert familiarity with programmatic needs, and communicates key developments as they occur. Maintains working knowledge of national and international programmatic priorities.
  • Encourages and supports collaboration among different units within development and cross-departmentally.
  • Promotes a culture of philanthropy, and fosters a respectful and productive working environment.

Team Leadership and Management (60%)

  • Represents planned gifts team at development director meetings or at other internal meetings, when Director is unavailable or when it is needed.
  • Models change management and leads staff through the opportunities and challenges presented by remote work, distanced engagement with colleagues and navigation of complex systems inherent to a growing organization.
  • Serves as a thought partner with the Director of Planned Gifts in developing and implementing strategy and projects that help build the Planned Gifts program.
  • Recruits and hires qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment.
  • Promotes change in terms of the expected benefits, as well as removing or lowering the impact of potential obstacles.
  • Sets clear team direction that aligns with Earthjustice strategy, mission, and vision.
  • Develops staff by identifying and encouraging training and professional development opportunities appropriate to role and creating development plans for all staff.
  • Provides staff with consistent performance feedback – both positive and constructive -- and acts as a coach and mentor.
  • Creates a learning culture, by encouraging debriefing after completion of significant stages of projects.
  • Ensures that any direct reports who have supervisory responsibility are properly executing those functions.
  • Creates a respectful and inclusive work environment for team and models respectful and inclusive behavior.
  • Promptly addresses micro-aggressions and other concerns brought to their attention.
  • Resolves interpersonal conflict among team members and brings in outside facilitators as needed.
  • Communicates regularly with existing employees and encourages staff to raise concerns and to provide ongoing feedback.
  • Creates or identifies strategic opportunities for team building and individual and overall staff engagement with one another in order to strengthen teamwork, interaction and collaboration. 
  • Values and uses individual differences and talents to improve employee satisfaction and the quality of collective work.
  • Celebrates successes and helps team members to understand and manage setbacks.

*Supervisory Responsibilities: The Deputy Director of Planned Gifts directly supervises 3 Planned Gift Officers.


The successful candidate will have a minimum of ten years of demonstrated successful experience in major/planned gifts fundraising with a focus on prospect identification, relationship building, and solicitation. They will be a proven coach and motivator of staff, ideally with previous experience managing remote employees. The Deputy Director will also have experience working with trustees, volunteers and programs staff or equivalent. Capital campaign experience is a plus.

Other desired qualifications and attributes include:

  • Bachelor’s degree and ten years fundraising experience; JD or CFP highly preferred.
  • Previous management experience required.
  • Experience in personal solicitation of large ($1,000,000+) gifts.
  • Experience managing an active bequest administration program.
  • Passion for, interest in, and knowledge of environmental issues.
  • Proven initiative, self-motivation, and sound judgment.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as a member of a team and across organization units.
  • Excellent writing, speaking, listening, and research skills.
  • Proficiency with donor databases, and Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Ability to contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Sense of humor encouraged.
  • Ability to travel, a safe driving record, access to reliable transportation, and a valid driver’s license.
  • Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends as required.

Management (Essential Skills):

  • Ability to effectively manage and lead a diverse team in a diverse environment with emotional intelligence (self-awareness and understating of the impact of their behavior) and cultural humility (an understanding of the need for additional learning about different cultures, backgrounds and orientation and implementation of that learning daily management practices).
  • Ability to give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner and to incorporate debriefing into the team’s operations.
  • Strong team mentorship and communication skills.
  • Understands the individual and team strengths and areas for development and develops plans accordingly. 
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive. We also offer an extremely congenial work environment and a casual dress code. 

Salary is dependent on experience and location.

Salary range in San Francisco, CA: $141,000 to $156,700

Salary range in Los Angeles, CA: $134,000 to $148,900

Salary range in other locations may range from: $119,000+


Earthjustice has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search.  Please submit your resume and expression of interest to Chris Spagnola at and Jessica Martinez at

No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

For positions located within the City of Los Angeles:  We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.


If you need reasonable accommodation in order to complete the application, interview or some other portion of the selection process for a job at Earthjustice, please contact Human Resources at

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