Vice President of Development

The Commonwealth Club is the largest public issues forum in the United States and is a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization. It is the leader in its field both nationally and internationally with a fast-paced lively and stimulating environment and a range of fascinating and informative people and ideas. They host daily in-person, online and hybrid programs which includes lectures, panel discussions, roundtables, and special events on issues of public concern and interest for both engagement and enrichment.

Every year the Club produces nearly 500 programs with extensive content that is distributed through a digital magazine, a weekly national radio broadcast airing on over 230 public and commercial stations, podcasts and online video streams along with being active on social media and other digital platforms.

A diverse workplace is essential to the work of the Club and they strongly encourage women and people of any gender or gender identification, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign- born residents and veterans to apply.

Overview of the Role

The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco seeks a vice president of development with creativity, proven experience and an entrepreneurial spirit to accomplish the fundraising goals of the organization. The new leader will be responsible for the overall strategy, goals, implementation and evaluation of the fundraising and philanthropic efforts of the Club and will report to the CEO and be part of the Senior Leadership team. The successful candidate will be someone who enjoys developing ambitious goals and leading, developing and motivating a team of professionals to work in close collaboration with other departments especially programming and education to achieve them.

The key focus of the role will be to work closely with the CEO and the Board of Directors to provide inspirational and strategic leadership in developing a plan that will enable the organization to increase the fundraising support for its broad initiatives. The VP of Development will manage a staff of five and be responsible for a department that includes the following: an annual major fundraiser gala, a robust corporate and foundation portfolio of funders, 300 households of major individual donors and a travel program. 

Key Responsibilities


  • • Develop the overall strategy to help increase and reach aggressive yet realistic fundraising goals.
  • • Lead the implementation of annual action plans in support of the strategy.
  • • Utilize knowledge and understanding of community resources to engage and partner with them to meet the fundraising objectives of the Club.
  • • Oversee the planning and implementation of goals and activities relating to the identification, research, cultivation and solicitation of prospects and donors.
  • • Evaluate and determine giving trends of donors and build a strong pipeline to acquire, retain and upgrade major donors.
  • • Identify new prospects and work closely with the CEO and Board members to cultivate, solicit new donors and explore new partnerships.
  • • Stay informed and up-to-date on the Commonwealth’s Club’s programs and education initiatives and develop and create opportunities to make them relevant to donors’ interests.


  • • Recruit, motivate, mentor and develop a high performing team while fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous learning.
  • • Provide counsel, support and coordination to staff with respect to fundraising and philanthropy.
  • • Manage and/or participate in relevant committees and subcommittees of the Board of Directors to support their giving and annual campaign goals.
  • • Develop the annual fundraising budget in conjunction with other senior staff and departments.
  • • Set clear priorities and metrics for departmental success and actively measure progress.
  • • Work with other senior leaders and staff to incorporate the Commonwealth Club’s support for diversity, equity and inclusion into external and internal strategies. 


  • • Passion and commitment to the Commonwealth’s Club’s vision and mission.
  • • 6 to 8 years of leadership experience in building, developing and retaining strong relationships with donors and board members.
  • • Significant track record of raising five and six figure gifts from individual donors, foundations and corporations.
  • • Knowledge of and connections/relationships with local and regional funders.
  • • Collaborative and communicative work-style that translates into successful results with donors and internal partners.
  • • Exceptional management skills and an enthusiastic personality with the ability to inspire and motivate staff and volunteers.
  • • Successful track record of hiring, developing, motivating and managing people and budgets.
  • • Organizational skills that focus on reaching goals and objectives within an agreed upon timeline.
  • • Knowledge and understanding of effectively using technology to organize and track goals and objectives in a timely manner.
  • • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.
  • • Excellent and intuitive verbal and written communicator: a leader and bridgebuilder who can communicate effectively with diverse audiences and manage diverse viewpoints in a professional and compelling manner. • Results oriented and resourceful with the drive to be proactive, strategic and operational in a fast paced environment.
  • • Confident with the ability to make and delegate decisions as needed and works well under pressure and adapts to changing situations and priorities.
  • • Good judgment and consensus building skills with the ability to successfully engage and influence people.
  • • Warm, supportive, professional with a “roll your sleeves up style”.

Education/Additional Skills

Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s or other graduate degree is desirable.

Experience with Microsoft Office and computer database programs. Ability to be trained on Salesforce-based CRM. Adobe Suite experience a plus.


An attractive compensation and benefits package will be provided to the successful candidate.

This is a full-time position in the Club’s beautiful, modern building in downtown San Francisco. Some remote work options are available until the Club is fully open post-pandemic. Work schedule will also include evenings.

Procedure for Candidacy

Please email resumes and cover letters to Azzani Search Consultants:

The Commonwealth Club is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its relations with staff members and prospective employees and will not discriminate against applicants for employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sex or sexual orientation. Commonwealth Club encourages employment applications from people who are representative of the culturally and ethnically diverse communities it serves.