Philanthropy Officer, Western Region

American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) | Los Angeles, CA, United States

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Posted Date 12/07/2022

Philanthropy Officer, Western Region - Los Angeles, CA

American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) has exclusively retained Sterling Search, Inc. to find its next Philanthropy Officer, Western Region (POWR).

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, widely known as "the university that built the nation of Israel," was founded on Mount Scopus in 1918 (30 years before the founding of the State of Israel) by visionaries including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Chaim Weizmann, and Martin Buber. Opened in 1925, The Hebrew University is now Israel's premier academic institution and the country's research powerhouse. 

The Hebrew University enrolls 24,000 students from Israel and 90 other countries in its seven academic Faculties (Humanities, Science, Law, Social Sciences, Agriculture, Dental Medicine, and Medicine) and 14 schools. Its students, faculty, and alumni have won eight Nobel Prizes. 

AFHU is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in New York City. AFHU was founded in 1925 to raise awareness of and support for the Hebrew University.  Through the philanthropic leadership of American Friends across the U.S., AFHU helps the University to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, build teaching and research facilities, provide scholarships and fellowships, and advance basic and applied research in a myriad of vital fields.

AFHU's national and regional programs, events, and missions to Israel promote a greater appreciation of Hebrew University's breadth and scope of achievements and the University's pivotal role in educating leaders for the State of Israel.  Moreover, by nurturing Israel's greatest natural resource—the intellectual strength of the nation's people—AFHU helps The Hebrew University improve human health, lead the way with agricultural innovation, spearhead the latest breakthroughs in brain sciences, and illuminate the world through the humanities.

Led by, Chief Executive Officer Joshua Rednik in New York, AFHU has a staff of 45 professionals with regional offices in NYC, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and a satellite office in Philadelphia.  With an endowment of over $700 million, AFHU raises approximately $60 million a year and is growing.  AFHU’s contribution is over half of the University’s overall fundraising goal.

The Western Region spans 11 states and is headquartered out of offices in Los Angeles.  The Philanthropy Officer for the Western Region (POWR) will report directly to Justin Pressman, Executive Director, who is based in Los Angeles. Justin has a team of 4 professionals and robust regional lay leadership with a 45-member board, many of whom far exceed their $5k board giving responsibility. Justin fosters a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture of collaboration and partnership which is also a reflection of AFHU’s organizational values. The Western Region is proud to be one of the most active and engaged regions. 

The Western Region is the highest producing region for the University in the world, boasting revenue of $16M last fiscal year from a base of 800 donors.  The team goal for this year is comparatively modest at $6M, it is anticipated that this will be exceeded. The successful candidate will have a tremendous opportunity to build upon the momentum already established and be a part of this critical, meaningful work in a highly visible region for the organization. The POWR will spend most of their time working with individuals giving up to $100k who represent about $1M of the team goal. The POWR will be responsible for a significant portfolio of wealth-screened and engaged prospects and donors in the Western Region, who have been giving through annual fund and direct mail efforts and live primarily in the Los Angeles community. The successful candidate will need to be a self-starter ready to proactively begin outreach and hit the ground running. Additionally, he/she/they will have the seasoning and experience to segment and prioritize a donor portfolio. The ideal candidate will have fundraised in the Los Angeles community before, bringing an understanding of the local Jewish philanthropic landscape, be a team-player, and possess confidence and drive.

The POWR will be responsible for raising support for AFHU through prospect identification, donor and prospect cultivation, face-to-face, written, and virtual solicitations, proposals to individuals and foundations, parlor meetings and events in their designated area. The successful candidate is expected to raise gifts at the five-figure level and work collaboratively to elevate supporters to gifts beyond that level to achieve regional goals.

The Western Region seeks an exceptional front-line fundraiser who demonstrates confidence, polish, and a natural ability to put others at ease.  The ideal candidate should be someone who wants to join a dynamic team of professionals to work on a major-gifts-driven campaign. They will have a unique opportunity to incorporate their diverse fundraising skills from direct solicitations, major event management, and educational programming. The region hosts parlor meetings with visiting faculty members, alumni gatherings, luncheons, leadership forums, and award dinners. 

The ideal candidate will have a successful track record as a self-starter cultivating and soliciting major gifts, excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) with prospects and donors, and a strong familiarity with the Jewish philanthropic community.  They will also possess a deep commitment to the mission of AFHU and be energized by its vital contribution to Hebrew University.

This position is an opportunity to align yourself with one of the world's top universities.  The University routinely receives international attention for advances in medicine, the invention of new drug platforms, major archaeological discoveries, and international partnerships reflective of the University's global stature. Hebrew University offers donors and prospects a wealth of investments to interest their philanthropic giving.  Donors can leverage their gifts, knowing that research and discoveries made at Hebrew University help Israel and the world.

The staff at AFHU is highly regarded in the Jewish philanthropic community, and the Executive Director of the Western Region is seeking candidates who are creative and have intellectual curiosity; AFHU is large enough so that there are opportunities for growth.  The Philanthropy Officer of the Western Region will have the opportunity to grow the awareness of the work of Hebrew University in the region, try new ideas, involve new and younger donors and alumni, and raise more funds to enable the University to turn dreams into realities. Towards that end, this position will need to expand the pipeline of prospects.


  • Partner with the Western Region Executive Director to develop regional strategic plans and implement and evaluate major gift campaigns.
  • Develop and manage a portfolio of gift prospects (five-figures) in the Western Region at different stages of the development process; design and implement strategies for their identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Pursue proactive prospect outreach, develop alumni programs, and further develop the planned giving program.
  • Plan, execute and manage high-level fundraising events and parlor meetings and generate new and exciting programs for outreach to expand the donor base, including the next generation of donors with major gift potential.
  • Collaborate effectively with the regional team and the National staff to ensure maximum fundraising effectiveness to meet Regional and National goals.
  • Identify and develop effective lay leaders for roles in leadership, prospect identification and cultivation, and fundraising events and activities for the region, the National organization, and the University.
  • Work strategically with lay leaders to encourage them to build bridges and utilize their networks to help develop stronger relationships with other lay leaders, prospects, and donors.
  • Serve as an enthusiastic and well-informed spokesperson for AFHU and Hebrew University; continuously learn about University programs, research, and developments, and share them with selected donors and prospects.
  • Plan fundraising visits of the University faculty with donors and prospects in the region and one-on-one meetings to make the University relevant to donors and prospects.
  • Ability to travel throughout the region as needed.
  • Travel to Israel when deemed appropriate by AFHU.


  • At least five-seven years of successful fundraising experience within a Jewish communal, higher education, or nonprofit setting; sales experience in the private sector is also welcomed.
  • Bachelor's degree is preferred.
  • Significant experience identifying, cultivating, and soliciting gifts from individual and family foundations.
  • Familiarity with the Jewish philanthropic communities throughout the Western Region and acquainted with issues about Israel.
  • Must be a self-starter, work independently, yet be a part of a team.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills are a necessity.
  • Present the Hebrew University story convincingly and professionally in a way that engages, inspires, and generates enthusiasm among prospects.
  • Ability to work highly collegially within a complex national and international organizational culture.
  • Be an ambitious and motivated development professional who values a results-driven and highly collaborative work environment.
  • Have a strong work ethic, be determined and decisive, and exhibit sound judgment and grace under pressure.
  • Be innovative, tenacious, and motivated to take on new challenges.
  • A deep personal resonance with the mission of the Hebrew University and the keen ability to present the case for support to prospects and donors.
  • Excellent computer skills; proficient in Microsoft Suite, Raiser's Edge, and other relevant programs, databases, and reporting systems.


  • 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 volunteer leadership, and to develop effective fundraising programs.
  • A strategic approach to development, with significant experience in cultivating and managing major donors.
  • A record of quantifiable success in donor segmentation, research, and cultivation.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, set goals and objectives, organize, and implement to completion.
  • 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, volunteer leadership, existing and potential donors, volunteers, and other key stakeholders.
  • A track record as an effective communicator skilled at writing and public speaking; adept at writing proposals, solicitation letters, donor correspondence, and other types of materials to enhance fundraising.
  • Ability to prioritize multiple projects and responsibilities and to operate both independently and with the flexibility to be part of a team.
  • Proven ability to work in a fast-paced, results-oriented environment with complex and evolving relationships and priorities.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by people assigned to this work. This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. American Friends of the Hebrew University management reserves the right to amend and change.

American Friends of the Hebrew University is an equal employment employer.

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

The budgeted salary range is $120-140k.

Please send resumes to:

Sterling Search, Inc.

[email protected] or [email protected]

Call/Text: 310 909 4897 or 310 948 2535


Direct all correspondence, emails, and telephone calls to Sterling Search, Inc.

Full Time
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American Friends of
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