“Warriors helping warriors” is the motto of Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH), which the organization actualizes by involving veterans and active duty service members in preparing future service dogs for other injured comrades. Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy™ is transforming lives of veterans facing post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and other trauma-related challenges. The focus on veterans working with the dogs—and the therapeutic benefits they derive as a result—is the key differentiator of this innovative program in the service dog market. In this way, every PPH puppy helps dozens of veterans before being assigned permanently to one for the remainder of the dog’s life.
Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy™ developed out of research at the prestigious Bergin University of Canine Studies and the Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Menlo Park, California, beginning in 2006. In 2011, Paws for Purple hearts was spun off and incorporated into a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. The University’s founder Dr. Bonita Bergin, who invented the concept of the “service dog” to assist people with mobility limitations in 1975, remains actively engaged in PPH and currently serves as its chief executive officer.
Headquartered in Rohnert Park, California, PPH has regional training facilities in five cities across the country, with ambitious plans to open several more in metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. An administrative office is located in the Washington, D.C. area, where it is anticipated the Director of Development and Communications will be based.
Although training a service dog costs nearly $30,000 each, Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy™ and service dogs are provided to veterans and service members free of charge and none is ever turned away due to his or her financial situation. Because the needs are vast, PPH is committed to creating a comprehensive development and marketing effort, with a focus on major gift opportunities. While thousands of warriors and their families have already been touched by this program, many, many more are waiting to be served. The candidate chosen for this position will have the satisfaction of knowing that every day they are helping to change a warrior’s vision of life from hopelessness to optimism through the eyes of a faithful companion, restoring their independence and allowing them to reintegrate into society. For more information about PPH, visit PawsforPurpleHearts.org.
PPH is seeking a Director of Development and Communications to lead and grow its nationwide fundraising, public relations and marketing program, with special emphasis on cultivating and soliciting major gifts. As a member of the executive leadership team and reporting directly to the CEO, the Director of Development and Communications is responsible for planning and implementing all aspects of PPH’s national and regional fundraising efforts and supervising development officers, development volunteers and fundraising and communications contractors across the country.
1. Plan, implement and manage PPH’s efforts to develop its national and regional fundraising efforts to ensure its funding priorities are achieved by:
Creating and maintaining a dynamic, comprehensive fundraising program in support of assistance dog placement, therapy programs and other warrior-focused activities.
Capitalizing on tremendous opportunities for major gifts, building on the current success of its direct mail efforts.
Integrating national and regional development efforts with staff, volunteers and other PPH stakeholders.
2. Plan, implement and manage PPH’s public relations and marketing efforts by:
Utilizing local development staff and connections at the regional and national levels.
Creating and producing targeted marketing efforts and materials for donors, affiliates and PR contacts.
Overseeing the updating and maintenance of the PPH website content, in coordination with the COO, who is responsible for infrastructural elements, such as hosting, security, etc.
Expanding current efforts to maximize PPH's presence on social media.
Planning and coordinating national and regional events, open houses and tours.
Establishing sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with the military and VA public affairs departments, community groups, stakeholder organizations and the media.
Representing the programs and points of view of PPH to government agencies, organizations and the general public.
3. Supervise development officers and fundraising and communications contractors.
Oversee local fundraising.
Be able to teach and coach staff and volunteers, even at a distance.
4. Recruit, manage and retain development volunteers.
5. Plan long-range strategies in collaboration with the chief executive officer, chief operations officer and board of trustees, especially with regard to fundraising, public relations and marketing.
6. All other duties as assigned by the Chief Executive Officer.
Paws for Purple Hearts does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or military status.
To apply for this position, submit cover letter and resume to Steven Byers , The Moran Company. APPLY NOW
Professional Qualifications and Personal Characteristics
1. Passion for and commitment to the mission, goals and objectives of Paws for Purple Hearts.
2. Motivated self-starter with a proven track record of getting things done.
3. Collaborative team player.
4. Excellent interpersonal skills, outgoing and comfortable with meeting people.
5. Understanding of and compassion for the veteran community, and particularly of PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other trauma-related and mobility challenges that many face.
6, Strong communication skills, both speaking and writing.
Minimum five years in a key fundraising role with a nonprofit organization.
Public relations, marketing and social media management experience.
Leading a team, with special consideration for managing people remotely.
Technology savvy, with donor database proficiency required.
8. Bachelor's degree or equivalent military experience required. Master’s degree or equivalent preferred.
Documented training and/or college coursework in fundraising, marketing and public relations.
9. Ability to travel frequently.
Additional Salary Information: Salary and benefits are competitive with sector norms.
About Paws for Purple Hearts
About The Moran CompanyWe recruit great nonprofit executives. The Moran Company, LLC, specializes in nationwide searches for fundraising directors of development, executive directors, presidents/CEO’s, hospital foundation directors, and other nonprofit professionals.