Chief Development Officer

New York, NY, United States Full Time

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The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will serve as a member of the Executive team for charity: water, overseeing global major giving. Due to the organization’s unique 100% model, this leader will be responsible for raising major donor revenue for both water projects and operations funding.

In partnership with our Founder-CEO and board of trustees, the CDO will design, lead and implement a sustainable development strategy to increase philanthropic revenue from a diverse portfolio of high net worth supporters across the United States, the UK, Europe and across the globe with his/her development team.

The ideal candidate will possess the ability to thrive in a high-energy, fast-paced and entrepreneurial organization as part of a collaborative, cross-matrixed and committed team. He/she will have a positive, "can-do" attitude; practice innovative thinking and will be flexible and team-oriented.

He/she will possess a high degree of initiative, will take calculated risks, measure performance and demonstrate an overall drive to build lasting fundraising success for the organization.



  • Developing and delivering a clearly defined fundraising strategy, including short and long-term measurable key performance indicators and growth goals
  • Managing and growing a diversified portfolio of major individual and foundation funders
  • Leading the creation of annual revenue pipeline, working closely with major gifts staff to create a cohesive and integrated plan that includes a robust plan in strategic markets
  • Guiding the vision, planning and executing fundraising events, including our annual gala, charity: ball
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of new fundraising initiatives based on sound business intelligence and data
  • Designing and overseeing development systems and structures that provide both support and accountability, as well as ensuring appropriate balance between standardization and flexibility across all fundraising activities Supporter Acquisition, Stewardship & Communications
  • In collaboration with the Marketing & Creative teams, managing brand awareness and marketing strategies for major supporter audiences
  • Supervising compelling cross-platform communications (e-communications, direct email marketing messages, online experiences and other content, including the annual report)
  • In collaboration with the Marketing & Creative teams, developing creative and impactful content connecting supporters to charity: water’s work
  • Assessing the donor experience of Well Members and Water Project Sponsorships and implementing improvements that result in increased renewal rates and gift size



  • Partnering with the CEO and other key staff members to leverage fundraising activities, with a special focus on major donor cultivation and solicitation
  • Motivating, coaching and leading the Development team, employing a coaching mentality to support team members’ goal attainment and ongoing professional development
  • Leading as a member of Senior Staff, participating in setting organizational priorities and fostering the organization’s values
  • Providing inspiration, leadership and guidance to the Major Gifts Team
  • Serving as a brand steward, advocating, evangelizing and protecting charity: water
  • Collaborating closely with leaders across the organization to bring creative content strategies to life for major donors
  • Collaborating with the Executive team on meetings and reports to the Governing Board


  • Passion for the mission and vision of charity: water
  • 10+ years of professional experience, including success in nonprofit development roles and experience in supervising staff with a focus on major gifts, including a proven record of securing funding from a diverse mix of individual donors and foundations
  • Demonstrated experience raising $20 million+ annually
  • Experience in building and managing a development department and mentoring development staff and/or regional fundraisers toward increasing levels of success
  • Consistent track record of creating and executing effective fundraising strategies for diverse revenue streams, with success in soliciting and closing 6 and 7-figure gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations
  • Track record of building long-term, productive relationships with donors and philanthropic institutions
  • Demonstrated ability for handling multiple, complex fundraising initiatives simultaneously in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to drive innovation, change and growth, and be a detail-oriented implementer who can mobilize small teams to translate strategy into results
  • Superb relationship management, interpersonal, and communication (written and oral) skills, including the ability to inspire and hold accountable diverse internal and external stakeholders (including funders, peers, direct manager and reports, board members and supporters)
  • Strong understanding of technology and information systems pertinent to the role (Salesforce a plus)
  • Strong understanding of international development concepts
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree in relevant field of study preferred
  • The ability to participate in evening and weekend events
  • The ability to travel at least 25% of the time (domestically and internationally)


You’re a strategic thinker

You have the strategic prowess and social intelligence required to help build scalable models that leverage charity: water’s brand, assets, relationships and opportunities to meet aggressive growth goals.


You have a team ethos and love working with people

You thrive in a creative, inventive, fast-paced startup environment, with people who are passionate about their work and mission. You’re excited to work cross-functionally with other departments and enjoy bringing people together to achieve a goal. People enjoy working with you because they know they can trust you.


You’re a leader

You are skilled at accomplishing things and getting them done. You can run multiple work streams. You can provide leadership to peers and partners.


You’re self-motivated

You see something that can be improved, and you don’t wait to fix it. You have a strong desire to make charity: water a world-class nonprofit.


This opportunity is for those located in (or willing to relocate to) the NYC area only.

Apply for position now