Canine Companions for Independence

Santa Rosa, CA


m/Oppenheim Associates is assisting Canine Companions for Independence in the search for a National Director of Development to: implement a structured national fundraising model that targets, cultivate and solicit individual, foundation, government and business donors; expand fundraising for annual operations; and drive multi-year capital and endowment campaigns. For more information, please review the complete Position Description.

Canine Companions is the world’s largest provider of assistance dogs to people with disabilities other than blindness. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, California with regional facilities throughout the United States, the organization has an annual budget of $23M and a staff of 200. Recent and planned capital projects are likely to increase Canine Companions’ annual operating budget to $26M by 2018. The organization benefits from a strong national community of clients and their families, volunteers, business partners, staff and others. In the last 40 years more than 5,000 graduate teams have been placed, approximately 300 teams graduate annually, and there are currently over 2,000 active teams. Over 1,300 volunteer puppy raisers, 120 breeder caretakers, 3,000 volunteers and 110 active breeder dogs contribute their time to Canine Companions nationwide.

This position reports to the CEO in Santa Rosa and works closely with the National Board, Department Heads, and Regional Executive Directors. The National Development Department currently includes a Director of Planned Giving assisted by a paralegal staff member; a National Director of Development Services; and a centralized data entry unit consisting of four staff and a data entry supervisor. The greatest challenge of this position in the first 12 to 18 months will be to produce a new fundraising model that includes articulated, explicit rules for targeting and soliciting donors across regions based on their giving capacity and relationship preferences. There will be definition of matrixed reporting relationships, so that Regional Executive Directors (who report to the CEO) will be directly accountable to the NDD for all matters pertaining to fundraising in their regions. Revenue allocation rules will also be developed to assure that funding flows throughout the organization based on need and strategy.

Implementing structured goal-setting, rational workflows, and a culture of accountability while avoiding a top-down command & control hierarchy will be a significant challenge for the Canine Companions management team. The impact of this change on the organization’s culture, org chart, infrastructure and systems should not be underestimated.

For additional information, please contact Mark Oppenheimn at info [at] moppenheim [dot] com.

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