The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches for all people through a powerful activist network. The Surfrider Foundation has achieved many important victories by persuading state, federal, and local decision makers to protect vital coastal and ocean resources. These accomplishments demonstrate the important role of recreational users in advancing coastal and ocean stewardship.

By joining the Surfrider Foundation, you will be welcomed into an open and inclusive network of incredibly supportive and collaborative people who work hard and play hard. You will have the opportunity to work with dedicated people, who are also passionate coastal users, that have their feet in the sand and toes in the water. You help bring together divergent voices and perspectives to provide our community with the leadership and tools necessary to make a difference at their beach and in coastal communities across the United States. At Surfrider, we build leaders and we are problem solvers; our culture sets us apart and influences everything we do. Coastal recreation is fun and working at Surfrider is too.


The West Coast Associate Director of Development will establish and expand a major gift fundraising program in the Bay Area and the Western region of the U.S. Reporting to the Sr. Director of Development, the Associate Director will take responsibility for all stages of the major gift cycle, from identification and qualification to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Building on relationships with existing volunteers and donors, they will serve as Surfrider’s ambassador and will play a major role in developing region-specific fundraising strategies to expand the organization’s resources.


The successful Associate Director of Development will be an entrepreneurial, results oriented major gift fundraiser who is comfortable strategically designing and energetically implementing all phases of the major gift cycle, from prospect research to donor retention. They will combine this experience and comfort with the exceptional level of initiative and organizational skills necessary to coordinate with Surfrider headquarters in San Clemente, CA while working independently and remotely.


The Associate Director’s responsibilities will include:

  • Thoroughly understand Surfrider’s mission, values, culture, history, policies, key stakeholders, programs, and finances.
  • Oversee the development and moves management of a major donor pipeline to ensure significant annual, restricted, and unrestricted gifts from individual, as well as corporate and foundation, donors.
  • Develop strategies to identify major donors and leverage the networks of Board members, chapter volunteers, and existing donors to share that responsibility.
  • Develop, implement, and document effective cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies that aim to increase the number of donors as well as maximize retention.
  • Cultivate relationships with high quality donors and prospects.
  • Effectively articulate the mission and impact of Surfrider to deepen relationships with donors, prospects, and high-level supporters, as well as external stakeholders.
  • Maintain a thorough and accurate understanding of Surfrider’s programs and funding priorities to effectively connect supporters to funding needs.
  • Exhibit respect for and excellent service to donors and all supporters of Surfrider through prompt and courteous communications.
  • Prepare proposals, reports, gift agreements, letters, and other fundraising materials.
  • Track prospect and donor contact, status, follow-up, and essential information.
  • Travel extensively in the region, participating in major gift prospect and donor related activities such as cultivation events and face-to-face visits.
  • Develop a planned giving program


  • 3-5 years of experience managing a portfolio of high-level major donors and building positive relationships.
  • Record of securing five- and six-figure gifts from individuals.
  • Demonstrated analytical and strategic fundraising skills, with the ability to recognize short and long-term opportunities.
  • Knowledge of research and prospecting techniques and a history of identifying and qualifying individual donor prospects.
  • Record of designing and implementing effective cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies that grow revenue, expand a donor base, and strengthen existing donor relationships.
  • Demonstrated success at energizing and leveraging a member or volunteer network for fundraising initiatives.
  • Experience with or genuine connection to Surfrider’s mission of ocean, wave, and beach preservation, with the ability to compellingly convey that mission to prospects, donors, and volunteers.
  • Strong listening as well as written and verbal communication skills.
  • Work experience that demonstrates the ability to take the initiative, follow through on plans, and independently monitor progress in order to achieve long-term goals.
  • Strong understanding of the fundraising landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. Bachelor’s degree in any field or equivalent experience.
  • Knowledge of corporate and foundation major gifts.
  • Ability to work remotely from home.


This is a full-time, exempt position that will be compensated with a salary commensurate with candidate’s experience level, starting at $85,000. The Surfrider Foundation offers a salary that is competitive with other national, not-for-profit conservation organizations.

Benefits include medical, dental and vision coverage monthly premiums compensated 100% by Surfrider Foundation, Long-Term Disability insurance, Employee Assistance program (EAP), Section 125 Flexible Spending Account (FSA), 401(k) plan with partial employer matching. Surfrider also provides paid holidays, vacation and sick time.


Please send your cover letter (including your salary requirements) and resume to:


Currently accepting resumes until the position is filled. 


The Surfrider Foundation is committed to fostering a just, equitable, diverse and inclusive organization for all people who protect and enjoy the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches. Our success and impact depends on learning from our community, standing in solidarity with our allies and working towards a more just future, both for our organization and the environmental movement as a whole.

The Surfrider Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace that is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. Together we strive to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. 

To learn more about our Justice, equity, diversity and inclusion commitments, please visit: