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Chief Development Officer

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Chief Development Officer in Orange County

  • Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire
  • Full time
  • Email
  • Orange County
  • 11/06/2020
  • Report


Chief Development Officer – Full Time/Exempt

Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire®

The Chief Development Officer represents the organization internally and externally, exercises independent judgment and discretion, and partners with and advises the CEO on issues related to fundraising. The CDO is an entrepreneurial leader willing to pursue new and innovative strategies to ensure our mission to grant every eligible child’s wish is realized. The CDO has a proven track record of communicating a clearly articulated case for support, while identifying, cultivating, and closing large gifts in partnership with the PR and Marketing team. The CDO role includes engaging peers and other key stakeholders to develop a fundraising vision and strategy to generate $6M in revenue that is outcome focused and produces continued growth results. The CDO position works closely with public relations and marketing and understands the importance of strategic collaborations. In conjunction with the CEO, this position acts as a representative and ambassador to raise resources, promote positive relationships, and develop strong resource partnerships for the benefit of the organization.

Essential Job/Position Functions:


  • Design and implement a comprehensive development plan and fundraising program which includes benchmarks and evaluation procedures focusing on the optimal combination of individual and corporate giving, including annual/mid-level/major/planned gifts, workplace giving, corporate philanthropy and events. Ensure strategies and tactics remain competitive and produce planned results.
  • Oversee and continue to refine the evaluation and reporting system for fundraising so that leadership and the CEO have timely information and key metrics to measure progress.
  • Actively seek out and develop new opportunities for investment, revenue generation, and strategic partnerships.
  • Identify, develop and maintain long-term relationships with major donors, foundations and corporate contributors.
  • Identify, cultivate and solicit personally, and prepare CEO or Board members to solicit, a significant number of major gifts to meet or exceed targets.
  • Achieve stated revenue targets, as determined in collaboration with the CEO and development team during the budget process.
  • Accurately forecast expected revenue and expenses from all fundraising activities.
  • Work with the CEO to effectively and efficiently utilize the CEO’s time in meeting with donors.
  • Collaborate with the CEO and Board members to manage and encourage board member Individual Development Plans and to leverage members’ networks and experience.


  • Lead the development department to act as a cohesive team focused on achieving common and individual goals to meet the needs of the Chapter.
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy and collaboration among the various departments of the organization.
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth.
  • Identify and communicate to chapter leadership all potential opportunities and/or relationships that will increase the chapter’s ability to raise funds and grant wishes.
  • Serve as a member of the Leadership Team. Identify challenges and recommend solutions to senior leadership; balance competing priorities and work collaboratively with colleagues.
  • Advise the CEO and staff of current resources, trends, obstacles, and developments in revenue generation and donor relations.
  • Cultivate and maintain long-term, strong, and collaborative relationship with key stakeholders and organizations to achieve mutual goals.
  • Adhere to all Make-A-Wish America performance standards and internal controls, policies and procedures.

Staff Management

  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain 4/5 high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance.
  • Set development staff goals, monitor work, and evaluate results to ensure that the development department meets organizational objectives and operating requirements and that the department’s functioning and performance is in line with the needs and mission of the organization.
  • Work with fundraising staff and volunteers to develop systems to ensure consistent, high-quality project management.

Job/Position Skills:

  • Experience developing and executing a relationship based fundraising program with an emphasis on gifts over $25K to include, but not limited to an understanding of DAF, CRT and CLT.
  • Significant experience in securing funding from individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Proven career track record that shows stability with an organization and a demonstrated ability to develop, nurture and build relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to set and achieve or exceed goals.
  • Proven team leadership and ability to work collaboratively to ensure strong departmental and Chapter structure.
  • Team player who can give and take advice and support in order to ensure the fulfillment of the Foundation’s mission.
  • Adherence to deadlines, strong organizational and time management skills with attention to detail.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to clearly communicate with all employees, interns, volunteers, donors, the Board of Directors, CEO and other senior executives in a clear, business-like and respectful manner, which focuses on generating a positive, enthusiastic and cooperative work environment.
  • Ability to speak, read and write with fluency in English.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Requires a passion for and commitment to the work of Make-A-Wish.


  • Ability to perform effectively in times of stress and be flexible and adaptable to situational changes.
  • A strong understanding of the urgency of the need to enhance and maintain Development systems and structures.
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with board members, volunteers, business and civic leaders.
  • Ability to understand and convey complex projects to various audiences.

Job/Position Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher is required.
  • CFRE preferred.
  • 10+ years of diversified fundraising experience in a nonprofit environment, including capital campaigns, major gifts, annual gifts, direct mail and corporate philanthropy. Working knowledge of planned gifts.
  • 5+ years of marketing/development diversified partnership experience.
  • Proven track record and knowledgebase in identifying, cultivating/stewarding, soliciting, and closing major gifts and corporate sponsorships. Proven ability to close six figure gifts is preferred.
  • 5+ years of leading revenue-generating teams with direct supervision of staff.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Experience working with CRM database.

Working safely is a condition of employment. Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire is a drug-free workplace.

The employee will be expected to work the hours necessary to meet the position requirements. Must be able to lift 25lbs.


Compensation is commensurate with experience.


Submit cover letter and resume to

Subject line should read “Chief Development Officer”

Resumes will be accepted until 5 pm on Friday, June 26, 2020.

No phone calls please.



Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire