Senior Director of Development - Animals Asia

Animals Asia - Los Angeles, CA

Sterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the new Senior Director of Development (SDoD) for Animals Asia Foundation (AAF).


To end the farming of bears for bile in Vietnam and China, provide sanctuary for bears, end suffering of wild animals in captivity, and ensure humane treatment of dogs and cats.


To end cruelty and restore respect for all animals throughout Asia


  • The welfare of all animals is our first priority.
  • We are responsible guardians of the animals under our care.
  • We are committed to responsible stewardship of donor funds.
  • We strive to find compassionate solutions that benefit people as well as animals.
  • We act ethically, responsibly and fairly in all our dealings. 

Founded in 1998 by Jill Robinson, from her home in Hong Kong, Animals Asia promotes compassion and respect for all animals and works to bring about long-term change. AAF is a progressive, dynamic and global organization making great advances in animal welfare predominantly in China and Vietnam, but with reach across Asia. The three primary goals are to end bear bile farming, end the cat and dog meat trade and to improve the lives of animals in captivity, by bringing an end to the use of animal performances. Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, AAF are pioneers in all these issues and are making significant, permanent and historic changes each year. The barbaric bear bile trade sees over 10,000 bears kept on bile farms in China, and almost 1,000 suffering the same fate in Vietnam. Animals Asia has rescued over 600 bears since its inception and cares for them at award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. Last year, AAF signed an MOU with the Vietnamese Government to end bear bile farming entirely by 2022.


  • Drive a strategy leading to the closure of all bear farms.
  • Help and rescue as many farmed bears as possible.
  • End the use of wild animals for entertainment in zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks, and improve captive animal care.
  • End the consumption of dogs and cats and build a common respect for both species.
  • Enhance and develop the capacity of the local animal welfare community to end the needless suffering of animals throughout Asia.

AAF is also at the forefront of ending the cat and dog meat trade and ending the use of animals in performances across Asia. Working closely with governing authorities of zoos and safari parks across Asia, AFF are making strides to end abusive animal practices and improve animal welfare and captive management. The last 20 years have seen 1,355 animal managers and vets trained in animal welfare, resulting in more than 26 Chinese and Vietnamese Zoo’s improving animal welfare. An equally important part of AAF advocacy efforts is lobbying to improve the welfare of companion animals, promoting humane population management and prevention of the cross-border export of "meat dogs" in Asia. AAF have spared more than 500,000 “meat dogs” in Vietnam since their cross-border transport was banned in 2016. This accomplishment is thanks to a collaborative campaign with the Canine Protections Alliance. AAF also boasts success in gaining similar bans in Cambodia and Laos, just a few of the many accomplishments the organization has realized during the last 20 years.

Today, AAF has a global annual budget of just over $12 million, with the US team currently raising $2M and projecting to reach $5M in the next 3 years. With just over twenty years of experience in Asia, and a deep expertise in the sector, AAF is at a profoundly important milestone celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2018 and, launching a $25 million global comprehensive 5-year campaign, in addition to the $12m needed to fund existing work. The campaign will create 2 new sanctuaries for rescued bears in Vietnam, rebuild existing sanctuary in China badly damaged by earthquakes and create financial security to work toward ending bear bile farming in China. Having just completed a campaign feasibility study, AAF anticipates launching the campaign in 2020 which includes building two bear sanctuaries in Vietnam. The campaign will inspire a movement of people committed to AAF goals and be a real opportunity to grow the base of support.

One of AAF’s key priorities is to hire a Senior Director of Development who will collaborate with, and report directly to US Executive Director. The SDoD will focus on strengthening AAF’s resources by establishing a broader and more diversified fund development program with a national reach and an emphasis on building a Major Gifts program.

AAF is well positioned for fundraising growth, especially as many of its potential donors who already have demonstrated a financial commitment to AAF over the years, have not yet been wealth screened and cultivated. Building upon this momentum, the SDoD will lead the vision and strategy for AAF’s fundraising (US).

The US Executive Director is seeking an innovative and accomplished visionary fund development leader to inspire and build the board and develop a team for greater success. He/she will know the Los Angeles philanthropic landscape and must possess intellectual horsepower and be naturally persuasive and fair, and value accountability and a team approach.


Position Description 

Under the direction of the US Executive Director and working with the Board of Directors and the global team, expand and diversify AAF’s funding to identify and engage new donors, upgrade current donors, and increase philanthropic revenues.

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising program for AAF US.
  • Develop a personal portfolio of 100+ prospective donors located in the Los Angeles region and execute cultivation and solicitation strategies, raising $800k of the $2.6M annual goal
  • Engage, motivate and align volunteer leadership with prospects. Serve as a resource for cultivation and stewardship efforts and track relationship progress in database.
  • Work with the ED on establishing and building a major gifts committee
  • Develop and demonstrate strategies for prospecting, cultivating and stewarding a portfolio of individual, foundation and corporate donors (i.e. five, six and seven figure donations) as well as planned gifts to ensure the highest engagement and participation while increasing annual gift levels of giving.
  • Responsible for fundraising efforts for the Campaign and other programs as assigned.
  • Prepare proposals for prospects with appropriate gift strategies.
  • Recruit, hire, support, train, coach, assess, and supervise fundraising staff. Provide career development opportunities for all fundraising staff with specific attention paid to the identification and development of future leaders.
  • Lead team meetings and provide regular updates to the US Executive Director and board of directors.
  • Ensure accuracy of donor records, prospect lists, donor acknowledgements and stewardship of assigned and prospective donors.
  • 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.
  • Execute all other reasonable duties as assigned by the US Executive Director.

Professional Experience and Qualifications

We are seeking candidates offering the following qualifications:

  • Passion, imagination, vision, leadership, and integrity.
  • 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 the global team and to develop effective fundraising programs.
  • A minimum of five years of major-gift fundraising experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of local funding sources, strong relationships with donors, funders and community leaders.
  • Significant experience in and a successful track record of growing an annual fund and securing new and increased major gifts.
  • A strategic approach to development, with significant experience in cultivating and managing donors.
  • A record of quantifiable success in donor segmentation, research, and cultivation.
  • Exceptional management, organizational, and financial skills.
  • 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, Board members, 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 juggle many responsibilities at once, and to operate both independently and with the flexibility to be part of a team.
  • Computer literate: Working knowledge of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and experience with fundraising database software, ideally Blackbaud products.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • Commitment to the mission and work of the AAF with the credibility and persuasiveness to secure support from others
  • An organized individual with strong creative and conceptual skills
  • A doer who functions effectively without being autocratic or political; must be a team player who is inclusive, flexible, energetic and fair minded
  • A decisive and resourceful individual who will accept responsibility and take charge of results, as well as work successfully with limited resources
  • Demonstrated ability to respond effectively to challenges, to work effectively in a small, diverse and busy cross-functional team environment with minimal supervision
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality and comply with privacy requirements
  • Demonstrated ability to work across diverse stakeholders.
  • A self-starter who is confident enough to express opinions, to forge ahead when appropriate and hold back when necessary, with a sensitivity to the feelings and opinions of others
  • An energetic person who is emotionally mature and dependable; a collegial individual

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate, including a generous vacation allowance in line with European standards.


Please send resumes to:

Sterling Search, Inc.


Julie Lugo (310) 909 4897 Katherine Biely (714) 433-7042 

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

Any resumes sent or telephone calls made to AAF will be redirected to Sterling Search, Inc.


AAF is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Posted On: Monday, December 30, 2019

Position Contact
Julie Lugo
Apply to this job