The Vermont Foodbank (VFB) opened its doors in 1986 with a mission to gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry.
As Vermont’s largest hunger relief organization and the only food bank in the State, the VFB is a nationally recognized leader with a reputation for creativity and innovation, and for developing strong collaborative partnerships both locally and with other food banks across the United States.
Through Foodbank-operated programs and a network of 215 food shelves, meals sites, senior centers, shelters and after-school programs, the VFB helps feed as many as 153,000 Vermonters annually who need food assistance; including 33,900 children, 26,0000 seniors age 60 or older, and 12,000 veterans. We estimate that 56% of households we and our partner agencies serve had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care at least once in the last 12 months.
Food is gathered from Vermont farms, manufacturers, grocery stores, businesses, individuals, United States Department of Agriculture, and Feeding America, the national network of food banks.
Last year, the VFB distributed nearly 12 million pounds of quality food from its three distribution centers in Barre, Brattleboro and Rutland.
The Chief Philanthropy Officer plays a leadership role in planning, managing, and executing fund-raising, communications and public relations initiatives The CPO is a member of the executive leadership team and plays an integral part in the overall management of the Foodbank in addition to ensuring that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in keeping with the organization’s values, mission, vision and plans which includes working collectively across departments. They will have a strong interpersonal and communication skill set and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of varied and changing constituencies including staff, Board members, existing and potential donors, volunteers, and other key stakeholders.
This position is responsible for all Foodbank internal and external communications.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the CPO will be responsible for growing Vermont Foodbank’s well established fundraising program with over $5,250,000 in annual revenue which includes direct response, major gifts, special events and grants. In addition the CPO will provide leadership for a committed team of staff, volunteers and board members.
Managing a team of 9 staff, the CPO will have five direct reports including Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Manager of Donor Services & Fundraising Systems, the Grants Manger, Major Donor & Corporate Relationship Manager, and Philanthropy Special Projects Manager.
The CPO will be joining the organization at an exciting time as we move forward with implementation of our forward-looking strategic direction. The philanthropic team’s own guiding values are a well-funded Foodbank for today and tomorrow; a development team that is an integral voice in the work of the Foodbank; a team that is engaging, inspiring and responsive to current and potential stakeholders; and that the development team supports each other to build confidence, take risks, and encourage learning and innovation.
The CPO needs to possess a natural ability to be persuasive, fair, and accountable. They will lead based upon a sense of core ethics of collaboration, self-improvement and continued drive towards excellence to ensure that the best services are being delivered to our neighbors and friends in Vermont.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
- Works cooperatively and be able to communicate with staff and volunteers to support the mission of the Foodbank to meet and sustain Foodbank goals.
- Positively contribute to an organizational culture of safe and secure food handling, warehousing and distribution.
- The Foodbank relies on volunteers every day to fulfill our mission. All Foodbank employees must support our culture of philanthropy by treating every volunteer with appreciation and respect
- Serve as a member of the executive leadership team and as such is responsible for providing leadership in decision-making and vision building for the Foodbank.
- Oversee overall development program utilizing diverse, personalized and online strategies including grant writing, direct mail, e-solicitations, personal solicitation, cause-related marketing programs, major gift cultivation and solicitation, planned giving, and special events.
- Maintain and manage a portfolio of 40-50 key relationships (corporate, foundation, individuals)
- Ensure that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in keeping with the organization’s values, mission, vision and plans
- Broaden and develop a robust major and planned giving programs.
- Oversee Foodbank communications and public relations activities.
- Conduct annual performance evaluation of the development department and assess team to ensure it is properly structured and staffed
- Assess cost effectiveness and productivity of fund-raising strategies.
- Team with the finance department to assure sound fiscal operation of the development function including timely, accurate and comprehensive development of charitable contributions income and expense budgets, reporting, monitoring and implementation.
- Oversee the maintenance of a comprehensive and accurate database on donors and the Foodbank’s relationship with them, including gift tracking, acknowledgment, recognition, cultivation strategies, and general communication with donors.
- Identify and research new prospects as potential supporters to the Foodbank.
- Participate in board meetings, interact with board members and assist the board of directors to determine accountabilities for board members and help evaluate performance regularly.
- Attend seminars, conferences, and workshops as appropriate to the mission of the Foodbank and professional development.
- Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws, maintain accountability standards to donors, and ensure compliance with code of ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives.
- Manage special campaigns.
Professional Experience and Qualifications
- Seven years’ experience as a senior development officer with nonprofit organizations or as a consultant.
- Bachelor’s degree required.
- Knowledgeable of current best practices and dedicated to continuous learning
- A demonstrated ability to plan and operate strategically, to build public support, to develop and strengthen fundraising infrastructure, to inspire staff, to develop strong working relationships with Boards of Directors, and to develop effective fundraising programs.
- A strategic approach to development, with significant experience in cultivating and managing donors.
- Experienced at motivating and developing staff.
- Demonstrated ability to plan, set goals and objectives, organize, and implement to completion.
- Ability to foster collaboration internally and externally in order to attain Foodbank goals.
- A strong interpersonal and communication skill set and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of varied and changing constituencies including staff, Board members, existing and potential donors, volunteers, and other key stakeholders.
- Position Type: Executive
- Employment Type/ Status: Full Time