A chief development officer is responsible for the strategic direction and development of a company. The job description of a chief development officer focuses on the ability of the individual to cultivate revenue streams and avenues for fundraising while furthering the overall mission of the organization.
The chief development officer manages a philanthropic, educational, or nonprofit company’s overall growth and expansion, ensuring stability over long-term change and development.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Chief Development Officer
- Formulates short and long term goals concerning the fundraising efforts of the organization.
- Develops actionable strategies for meeting and exceeding those goals through grants, sponsorships, gifts, donations, and fundraising events.
- Structures the resource development team to best approach a variety of financial development goals.
- Raises awareness of the organization and its primary goals through outreach efforts, regular events in the community, publications, and media relations.
- Discovers new and potentially lucrative revenue streams for expansion of the organization’s fundraising efforts.
- Identifies top investment opportunities for existing holdings
- Tracks revenue and fundraising trends, then uses the information to predict future opportunities for expansion efforts and avoid any downtrends in individual, corporate or foundation gifts.
- Plans and oversees fundraising events to make sure all donor needs are met and fundraising goals are achieved.
- Serves as primary contact for all fundraising events, coordinating vendors and food volunteers. Creates schedules for each.
- Solicits donations from large corporate donors.
- Publishes regular updates on major events and success of the organization.
- Cultivates and maintains relationships with major donors by responding to their inquiries, keeping them apprised of recent events with the organization and showing them the progress their donations have made possible.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Must possess strong business knowledge and ability to think in a variety of business environments.
- Must have strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with a wide variety of potential donors and supporters.
- Must exercise exceptional time management skills and be able to meet fundraising deadlines.
- Public speaking skills are required for speeches at fundraising events, presentations to donors on recent achievements, and meetings with members of the board.
- Must be able to inspire trust and camaraderie in employees and potential donors alike.
- Must demonstrate knowledge of development strategies, social media campaigning, and public relations.
- Exceptional writing and communication skills.
- Must be able to motivate a team to action and keep order amongst competing interests.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree recommended in nonprofit management, business administration, public administration, community development, or public policy.
- Must have at least five years’ experience in fundraising, human resources, or business management.
- Must have demonstrated history in leadership, project management, public relations, group facilitation, or event planning.
- Time will be divided between office meetings with staff within the organization and meeting with potential donors.
- Must be able to work weekends and nights for fundraising events.
- Must be willing to work long hours to reach fundraising deadlines.
- Must be willing to travel to meet with potential donors around the world.
- Starting salary upwards of $75,000 per year.
- Average median yearly salary about $140,000 with an upwards trend toward $175,000 to $200,000.