VP of Development (Fundraising)
Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), is an action oriented, non-ideological organization committed to reducing America’s dependence on oil to bolster national security and strengthen the economy. The organization has ambitious plans to advance energy security in the United States by expanding domestic oil and natural gas production, improving fuel efficiency, and accelerating the shift toward a transportation sector powered by a broader mix of diverse energy sources.
SAFE’s policy proposals have been embraced by the leaders of both major political parties. In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama outlined his plan to implement one of SAFE’s policy recommendations, the establishment of an Energy Security Trust, and credited the organization with coming up with the idea. In 2007, President George W. Bush used the State of the Union Address to propose a plan closely mirroring a SAFE proposal, which ultimately led to the first improvement in automotive fuel-economy standards in a generation.
SAFE made its public debut in 2005 with Oil ShockWave, a fast-paced and realistic war game exercise led by former U.S. cabinet members. It then formed partnerships with some of the country’s leading corporate executives and retired military officials to develop innovative methods to educate, communicate and advocate for policy solutions to America’s evolving energy issues. SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith, Chairman and CEO of FedEx Corporation, and General Jim Conway, USMC (Ret.), 34th Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps. In 2009, SAFE launched the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of business executives representing the entire value chain of a proposed electrified transportation system, from automakers to utilities, to promote the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale. SAFE provides fact-based analysis of energy policy, markets, and trends through a combination of original research, high-profile public events, traditional and social media outlets, and public advocacy. The organization’s policy platform is truly non-partisan and encourages members of both major political parties to set aside long-held orthodoxies for the good of the country.
SAFE was founded in 2004 and employs 20 people and multiple consultants. It has an annual budget of over $6 million with immediate plans for rapid growth.
For more information, visit secureenergy.org.
Initiatives that SAFE is undertaking to strengthen U.S. energy security and reduce the country’s dependence on oil include:
Implementation of Electric Vehicle Deployment Community Projects
SAFE and the Electrification Coalition have launched two major projects to support the deployment of electric vehicles in strategically chosen communities to demonstrate that significant adoption of electric vehicles is possible in an environment in which regulatory policy, education, infrastructure, and other services come together in an integrated way. The current projects are Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC) and Drive Electric Orlando (DEO). SAFE and the EC have also initiated partnerships with some of the nation’s largest corporations to advance adoption of electric vehicles in commercial fleets.
Policy Research, Analysis and a Legislative Agenda
Despite political challenges, it is imperative to continue to push for comprehensive energy policy legislation. Political gridlock in Washington will continue to be an obstacle to substantive reforms. However, SAFE’s national and economic security credentials make it uniquely positioned to be the leading voice influencing energy policy, and it is imperative to lay the groundwork now to be ready for when the political environment is ripe. SAFE is also planning to create several policy initiatives in a number of states.
Due to its focus on national and economic security, SAFE has a unique ability to engage conservative thought leaders and lawmakers on energy policy. Through targeted research, impactful public events, and the mobilization of trusted advocates, the organization is working to frame energy security policy in a way that brings conservatives to the table.
SAFE seeks a fundraising leader of extraordinary talent, passion and commitment to serve as the Vice President of Development and to advance, expand and implement a comprehensive revenue strategy and fundraising activities. The Vice President will collaborate with the President/CEO, other senior staff, and volunteer leadership to identify, cultivate, and solicit high net worth individuals, corporate donors, and foundations. The Vice President will build on the success achieved to date by SAFE and will focus primarily on identifying and cultivating individuals. S/he will leverage all the resources of the organization, including its remarkable base of supporters, high profile Board contacts, and a variety of research reports and expertise. S/he will also ensure that development, marketing and communications, and program strategies align for donor engagement and enhance the long-term financial stability and growth of the organization.
The Vice President of Development will report to the President/CEO and will collaborate closely with the Executive Vice President. S/he will manage and mentor a Managing Director of Corporate Engagement. S/he will also coordinate with the Director of Operations, who oversees database and donor management systems, and will work closely with the Director of Editing and Content, who assists with grant writing.
Leverage Relationships and Coordinate Fundraising Efforts
The Vice President will be the hub and coordinator of a development program that relies on the efforts of a small but effective inter-departmental team and leverages the influence and network of SAFE’s very high-profile leadership. The Vice President will establish effective communications and working relationships with the CEO and Board Members to enhance their fundraising efforts, while cultivating relationships of her/his own with donors and prospective donors. S/he will support the CEO’s and EVP’s efforts to recruit new Board and Energy Security Leadership Council members, and to engage corporate leadership around relevant councils (Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, Electrification Coalition Business Council, etc.). Additionally, s/he will work closely on donor-driven projects, ensuring that donor goals are met.
Expand Base of Sustaining Funders
Demonstrating fund-raising best practices, The Vice President will focus on donor retention, including donor engagement, donor recognition, and overall “moves management” while also implementing a methodical prospect research and clearance process.
Build and Manage an Integrated Development Program
The Vice President will ensure that Development is well-integrated across the entire organization, informed regarding goals and successes, as well as helping to frame organizational strategies, priorities, and programs to best attract donor interest and instill a donor-centered culture. S/he should ensure full utilization of fundraising software across the organization. The team will be known for its organization, effectiveness and creativity.
Improve Donor Relations and Communication Materials
The Vice President will revamp donor communication vehicles to connect more effectively and consistently with prospects and donors. S/he will tailor communications to be more targeted to specific constituents and ensure donors are contacted with the appropriate frequency. S/he will lead the creation of a new prospectus, brochures, and other assorted organizational fundraising materials.
Professional Skills and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
- Minimum of 10 years or more of professional experience with a proven track record of securing six- and seven-figure, multi-year commitments from a variety of funding sources.
- Strong influencing skills, can manage a team of advisors, volunteers and consultants.
- A good motivator to get high net worth individuals to reach out to their friends and highly organized to manage those various principals and their networks.
- Comfortable working in a start-up environment with lean support staff.
- Ability to delegate assignments and ensure execution of tasks by assigned deadlines.
- Knows how to help others build effective networks among foundations, major donors and social investors in related sectors, including security, energy, sustainability, and/or civic engagement.
- Experience leading a $6+ million per year development effort with innovative stewardship strategies.
- Experience in building and fostering relationships with high powered individuals.
- Passionate commitment to SAFE’s mission, vision and strategic direction.
- Excellent project and process management skills generating impressive results. Understands the power of planning, research and targeted solicitation.
- Knows how to use technology to engage constituents and smartly deploy communications and new media.
- Ability to thrive effectively and efficiently in a creative, dynamic, deadline-driven environment with grace and laughter.
- Gets up to speed quickly on policy and complex program offerings.
- Superior follow-through and time management skills.
- Knows how to build a world-class fundraising plan; can use the strengths of the team and Board to advance the mission. Strategic thinker who is an effective time manager and knows how to prioritize.
- Creative fundraiser who doesn’t rely on the tried and true. Thinks outside the Beltway but has an in-depth understanding of Washington politics.
- Strong editorial and grant writing experience, and a willingness to do some aspects of this themselves.
- Thrives in a high energy environment with the ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously.
- Confident speaker with excellent written communication skills.
- Ambitious and strategic with an entrepreneurial spirit and the business know-how to create, rigorously test, and implement new ideas.
- Team player and collaborator who is open and transparent about process and progress. Willing to pitch in and help others when needed.
- Takes initiative, not afraid of speaking truth to power or face challenges. Resilient and willing to test theories and ideas.
- Straightforward, accurate and honest. No drama attitude.
- Good sense of humor.
- Ability to travel up to 25%.