San Francisco
Chief Development Officer

SPUR is looking for an exceptional person to lead its fundraising efforts and expand its capacity to solve the most important urban problems facing the San Francisco Bay Area.

About SPUR

SPUR is one of the leading urban policy groups in the United States. Its mission is to promote good government and good policy through research, education and advocacy. SPUR is respected for its independence, pragmatism, and ability to bring people together from many perspectives to craft solutions to the most pressing problems we face.

Over the past 10 years, SPUR completed a capital campaign to build an Urban Center in downtown San Francisco; opened new offices in San Jose and Oakland, the other two “central cities” of the Bay Area; and increased its annual operating budget from $1.5 million to more than $6 million. During this period of growth and change, SPUR has also restructured our staff and Board governance model to support our work.

SPUR is a membership organization with an active Board of Directors and relationships with civic leaders across all segments of the community. Originally founded in 1910, SPUR is a civic institution with the capacity to think about the future of the Bay Area in terms of ecological resilience, economic opportunity, and social equity.

Today, SPUR has a Board of around 100 people, representing the full spectrum of public life in the Bay Area. The organization is structured to undertake deep policy and advocacy work at the city level, with Board committees for each city, while remaining united around a shared regional vision.

We are now seeking an extraordinary leader and fundraising professional who shares our values, and who has the vision to take SPUR to the next level. We have big ambitions to increase our impact, which will require a significantly expanded base of support.

Position description

The Chief Development Officer will lead SPUR’s development strategy, manage day to day operations, and make fundraising asks at a high level. This individual will work closely with the CEO, the Board of Directors and the City Directors (for San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland) to build SPUR’s capacity and impact over time.

This position is a member of the senior leadership team – reporting through the Deputy Director – and as such is an important contributor to SPUR’s overall strategic direction. The job is based out of San Francisco, but will involve travel around the Bay Area.

The Chief Development Officer will help us connect with donors in the right way; build the right team; build the right systems, and come up with the strategies to support SPUR’s new phase of growth. While SPUR has a strong core of staff and Board leaders who are willing and able to ask for money, we envision the Chief Development Officer as someone who is a strong external presence and fundraiser in addition to a strong manager.

SPUR raises money from individuals, businesses, and foundations, and has a small but important earned income stream as well. We rely on a combination of memberships (currently around 5,000), major gifts, event sponsorships (currently four fundraising events per year) and grants. The Chief Development Officer has responsibility for all of this.

The Chief Development Officer is responsible for raising the annual budget for SPUR. But we are looking for a person who will build SPUR’s capacity for the long-run, in a sustainable way that will allow SPUR to do its work through the ups and downs of the business cycle, through the succession of leaders who hold public office, through the many wins and losses we will have as we pursue our agenda for a prosperous, equitable, sustainable Bay Area.

The right candidate will: possess a deep knowledge of fundraising fundamentals; be an experienced manager; love to ask for money; connect well with many different kinds of people; be a brilliant strategist; and love cities in all their complexity.

Essential functions

Strategy and planning

  • Work with the Board, CEO, and City Directors to develop the organization’s long term strategies for individual, corporate, and foundation fundraising
  • Create and implement annual fundraising plans and campaigns, timelines, and work plans
  • Develop the revenue side of the organization’s budget
  • Work closely with the City Directors to support them in building the capacity of all of SPUR’s regional offices


  • Manage a development department of six people, with responsibility for hiring, firing, managing and recruiting talent over time to build a high performing development team
  • Coach, mentor, and develop the staff to achieve their highest potential
  • Nurture a culture of excellence, learning, and continuous improvement
  • Ensure that SPUR has the right tools and systems in place to support its fundraising work
  • Work closely with the policy and public engagement teams at SPUR to ensure an integrated approach to all of our outreach, capacity building, and externally-facing work
  • Ensure that SPUR’s (many) fundraising and cultivation events are produced to high standards, are loved by donors, and are productive for the organization
  • Ensure that SPUR’s external communications from development are compelling and effective

Donor relations

  • Build strong relationships with Board members, donors, and prospects
  • Mobilize Board members and senior staff members to be successful relationship builders and fundraisers
  • Ensure that appropriate stewardship plans and systems are in place
  • Mobilize the staff and board leadership as fundraisers
  • Make and close asks


  • Deep knowledge of fundraising
  • Track record of success at building relationships and closing five-, six-, and seven-figure gifts
  • Strong manager
  • Exceptional people skills
  • Energy, initiative, creativity, and drive
  • Excellent spoken and written communications skills
  • Bachelors degree, masters preferred

Salary and Benefits

Salary is to be determined, depending upon experience. This is a full-time, exempt position. SPUR offers a package of health insurance, specialty health insurance, dental insurance, long-term disability and life insurance, employee assistance program (EAP), 25% retirement contribution matching, and monthly transit pass.


The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and, skills required of personnel so assigned.

SPUR is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political orientation.

To apply, send resume and cover letter to:

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