What Is a Chief Development Officer?

What Is a Chief Development Officer?

A Chief Development Officer has varied duties. These professionals will plan, coordinate and assure the implementation of certain strategies. These strategies are intended to develop donors, funding and contributions to support the organization. They maintain appropriate systems to fund development activities . They also maintain accountability procedures and compliance standards for funding sources.

Job Duties

Chief Development Officers develop and put in place monthly and annual fund development plans. These plans must align with the strategic plan for organizational revenue growth. They work with corporate executives to generate new corporate sponsors. They also execute corporate sponsorship strategies during special events and activities. These are occasions to generate revenue, enhance brand image and increase positive publicity. They provide input about policy and procedure decisions of the senior management team.

Chief Development Officers work with their organization’s fund development board or committee. The purpose of this collaboration is to carry out fundraising goals. They search and secure public opportunities for the organization’s leaders to speak at public events. They specifically seek out opportunities involving high profile members of the community. They strive to influence public opinion and attitudes through strategic public education plans. These plans identify specific activities for informing certain organizations, groups and the media.

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Expected Experience

Corporations will expect Chief Development Officers to have comprehensive management and administration skills. This includes experience with business planning, evaluation, directing and coaching. They need excellent oral and written communication skills. Marketing and financial management knowledge is also essential. They must understand organizational behavior, governance and development. Employers will expect demonstrated experience with certain tasks. These include managing and implementing corporate fund and charitable contribution development programs.

Chief Development Officers should understand the ethics, nature and dimensions of philanthropy activities. This means that they must understand the various motivations for giving and volunteering. They should know donor cultivation practices, standard fundraising techniques and proposal material writing. Their administration skills should include gift processing and prospect analysis. These professionals should also be aware of donor histories and fundraising reporting. They must be confident and professional when asking people to contribute time and money.

Standard Education

Most Chief Development Officers will have a master’s degree. They may hold this credential in business management or nonprofit administration. A master of nonprofit administration program is the standard. This is because this particular degree helps students strengthen their leadership abilities, handle ethical considerations and effect positive organizational change. These programs also help students to develop essential leadership values, management skills, and business competencies. These are the qualities necessary to work as executive-level employees of nonprofit organizations. Students are taught about public advocacy and social change,. Other topics include economic inclusion, human services and sustainable development.

Students may take classes in ethical leadership. These courses examine value-based decision making from the nonprofit sector perspective. Students will also learn contemporary practices of globally successful nonprofits, civic movements, voluntary associations and social philanthropic institutions. Classes in fundraising and philanthropy are common. These classes explore the practices and principles of fundraising, donor solicitation and grant writing. Students will learn diversified and sustainable practices for organizational resource development.

As an alternative, some Chief Development Officers have a master’s degree in managerial accounting or financial management. Other Chief Development Officers earn an MBA in either nonprofit finance or management.

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