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Development Director, Bay Area Region

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media

San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 11, 2023

Common Sense ( is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century.

Every day, millions of families turn to Common Sense for trusted advice and unbiased ratings. We offer the largest library of independent, age-based, and educational ratings and reviews for everything your kids want to watch, play, read, and learn. Our movie and TV ratings are available on, Xfinity, Apple TV, and many other partner platforms helping families make smart media choices. Through our schools program, we provide educators with a curriculum that teaches the essential digital citizenship and literacy skills every student needs to succeed. We also work with policymakers, industry leaders, and concerned parents, caregivers, and teachers to improve the media and education landscape for kids, families, and schools.

Job overview: The Development Director, Bay Area Region, serves as the lead strategist, manager, and frontline fundraiser for Common Sense's major gift individual and event fundraising effort (gifts of $5,000–$100,000+) in the Bay Area. The Development Director manages and builds the Bay Area/Silicon Valley Regional Advisory Councils and oversees both cultivation and fundraising events across the region. Working closely with the VP of Development, Individual Giving, as well as the Regional Advisory Councils and the CEO's office, this position is responsible for cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding existing and new donor relationships, with a focus on raising five- and six-figure gifts.

TYPE: FT/Exempt

SALARY: $111,200–$132, 050

REPORTS TO: Vice President of Development, Individual Giving

LOCATION: San Francisco, CA


Strategic Planning and Operations

  • In partnership with the VP of Development, design and drive a comprehensive fundraising program covering major and leadership gifts in the Bay Area to raise funds from major donors and through high-impact events. This includes identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and securing major donor gifts, and corporate sponsorships, and developing and implementing creative new approaches to engage prospective donors, increase donor retention, and upgrade and renew existing donors.
  • Support the VP of Development, Individual Giving, in building out annual fundraising goals and setting an actionable plan for achieving them.
  • Work with development operations colleagues to provide accurate and timely meeting reports, pipeline development reports, and revenue projections for Bay Area individual and event fundraising.
  • In collaboration with colleagues across the organization, outline a plan of engagement that takes advantage of organization-wide celebrations, releases, milestones, etc.

Advisory Councils

  • Build, guide, and maximize the efforts of the Bay Area and SV Advisory Councils to expand Common Sense's organizational presence, funding base, and regional visibility.
  • Outline clear roles and responsibilities for the Advisory Councils, and establish terms, with the potential for renewal, so that the Councils have committed members and a path for cycling off, if necessary.
  • Recruit new Council members with a vetting process that includes research, qualifying meetings, and onboarding.
  • Organize three to four Council meetings a year to keep members informed and close to Common Sense. Collaborate with colleagues across the organization to deliver updates on programs.
  • Send regular written communications to Council members with news from Common Sense so that they have the most current information to be the best ambassadors for the organization.
  • Activate Council members when Common Sense needs assistance on advocacy and other programs.
  • Solicit a minimum of $5,000 from each Council member either through events, annual appeal, or major gift solicitations.

Major Gift Portfolio Management

  • Serve as the primary relationship manager for a portfolio of ~100 major donors and prospects in the Bay Area with the potential to contribute gifts of $5,000–$100,000+ per year.
  • Plan, develop, and oversee the implementation of individual cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for the entire Bay Area portfolio.
  • Maintain an active schedule of face-to-face cultivation visits for current and prospective major gift donors.
  • With the development operations team, continually research and identify new leads, and work diligently to convert to active donors.
  • Strategically leverage the Advisory Council, executive team, and current donors in prospect identification, visits, and solicitations, as appropriate.
  • Successfully align donor interests with Common Sense's strategy and program initiatives to educate donors on Common Sense's impact.
  • Deliver exceptional stewardship to the portfolio of current donors.


  • In partnership with the VP of Development, Individual Giving, and events team, plan and execute on all local friendraiser and fundraiser events. Develop program ideas, secure hosts and venues, brainstorm program ideas, and help secure talent when appropriate.
  • Lead event fundraising by developing targeted invitation lists, soliciting sponsors, and galvanizing and coordinating volunteer Advisory Council efforts to meet event fundraising attendance and fundraising goals.
  • Steward and meet with sponsors to identify which of their guests are potential new donors. Work with development colleagues to research and qualify event attendees to move through the development cycle.


  • Bachelor's degree and five to seven years of progressively responsible experience in institutional development, with emphasis on major gifts from individuals and organizations, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to function with a high level of competency and comfort with donors at all levels.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Entrepreneurial inclination and capacity for hard work within an intensely goal-oriented and collaborative environment.
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment, which requires great time-management skills and the ability to prioritize assignments.
  • Travel: some evening/weekend work. A valid driver's license is required.
  • Strong computer skills; experience with Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Forms).

Common Sense values the diversity of its employees and is an equal opportunity employer. For more information on our values, please visit our statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Common Sense will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. However, job offers are made on the condition that the applicant subsequently passes a criminal background check. If the background check indicates a prior criminal conviction, we will conduct an individualized assessment to determine whether the conviction should result in denial of employment.