Chief Development Officer

Salary negotiable based upon experience/qualifications.
Oct 02, 2019
Nov 01, 2019
Focus Areas
Human Services
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level


Action Ministries stands with the poor—that is our mandate and our mission.  We mobilize communities in 50 counties of north Georgia (from LaGrange on the western border to Augusta on the eastern border) to address the challenges of poverty by focusing on hunger relief, housing, and education in a unique, community-centric approach.  Founded in 1963 and ever-growing, last year alone we served over 133,000 individuals.  We offer food to the hungry, a place to stay for the stranger, and hope in a better tomorrow for all who come to us for help.  As just a few examples of the breadth of our work, we operate 13 food pantries, three community kitchens, and much more via our network of 15,000 volunteers in 50 counties.

The Director of Development is a key member of the organization’s senior leadership team and will play the lead role (with support from an already donor-engaged senior leadership team) in identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individuals and couples who will be new major gift and planned giving donors.  This is largely an out-of-the-office job making personal contacts in donors’ homes and offices about three days a week.

Position Summary:  

The Director of Development (DoD) reports to Action Ministries’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  The DoD is responsible for the creation and management of a portfolio of individual major gift donors ($5,000 and above current, outright gifts) within the Atlanta, Georgia and 50 counties of north Georgia service area.  The DoD’s portfolio will consist of some existing major gift donors; yet the DoD’s primary focus will be on creating new major gift donor relationships.  The DoD’s portfolio will be developed through work with current, existing individual donors, volunteers, board members, corporate leaders, and occasionally, private foundation leaders.  Through effective portfolio management, the DoD identifies, qualifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards donors making $5,000 or larger gifts.  The DoD will work with volunteers and donors to begin a planned giving program.  The DoD will work with suspects, prospects, and donors with a “gift planning” mindset—working to help the donor make the gift that best fits the donor’s needs whether it is a current gift, deferred gift, or a combination of the two.  This position may have up to four direct reports who are stationed outside the metropolitan Atlanta area.  However, the focus of this position is major and planned gift fundraising, not staff management.

Key Responsibilities:  

The DoD directly is responsible for:

  • Working independently and being self-motivated in initiating contacts with potential donors.
  • Going on a minimum of 200 face-to-face visits annually (16 or more per month) with existing major gifts donors and major gift suspects and prospects:  these visits include identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift donors.  This means being out of the office about three days per week.
  • Submitting a minimum of 24 solicitations or proposals primarily to individuals and couples (one solicitation or proposal every other week) and occasionally do the same with corporate and/or private foundation prospective donors.
  • Meeting and exceeding annual individual and foundation revenue goals, including:  Securing a minimum of $275,000 in major gifts during the first 12 months (there are existing major gift donor relationships); with increased goals in future years.
  • Working with the CEO and other executive leadership (and others as necessary) to secure appropriate project information, including budgets and program content, in order to create, package, price, and execute solicitation proposals.
  • Collaborating with the senior leadership team across departments to ensure coordinated and interdependent achievement of organizational goals.
  • Building long-term relationships with existing major gift donors, prospective major gift donors, existing volunteers, board members, and corporate and private foundation representatives.
  • Maintaining productive and collaborative relationships with Action Ministries’ regional offices.
  • Working collaboratively with the CEO to assist with occasional special projects.
  • Creating and submitting accurate monthly reports to the CEO and others reflecting caseload activity, prospect/donor pipeline, and performance.

Position Information:  

This position is classified full-time exempt.  While Action Ministries’ customary office hours are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, the majority of the DoD position’s time is spent out of the office, e.g., attending early morning breakfast meetings, visits to donors’ homes and offices, luncheons, evening and weekend receptions, and Action Ministries’ activities across a 50-county footprint.  This position requires a large amount of time traveling locally, and candidates must have a reliable vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and a good driving record.  In addition to a competitive salary commensurate with experience, a full benefits package is offered, including employer-subsidized health insurance, paid time off (PTO), and a retirement savings plan with employer matching.  Further, Action Ministries is committed to supporting this position with Association of Fundraising Professionals membership dues, time and funds to attend a regional or national continuing education conference annually, and other similar support as planned with the Chief Executive Officer. 

Qualified candidates must meet all of the following requirements

Education, Certification, and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.  Preferred fields of study include non-profit management, communications, public relations, business, or public policy.
  • Master’s degree in business administration, public administration, or non-profit management a plus.
  • Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) professional designation a plus.
  • Minimum of seven years of successful fundraising, including a proven track record of numerous personal, individual solicitations of $5,000 and larger gifts.
  • Experience in sales, public relations, marketing, and/or advertising a plus.
  • Experience with customer relationship database management (CRM) required; knowledge of fundraising and donor management software preferred.
  • Strong working knowledge of individual major gift solicitations required; comprehensive capital campaign experience is highly desirable.
  • Established ability to build long-term relationships with individuals and couples required; corporate and foundation relationship experience a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Traits:

  • Self-motivation.
  • Discretion, honesty, and integrity.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to ask for appointments by telephone.
  • Eagerness to report progress monthly to fellow members of senior leadership team.
  • Exceptional customer problem-solving and customer service skills.
  • Ability to meet inflexible deadlines, stay on-budget, and have special attention to details.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively to reach goals.
  • Excellent computer skills with an in-depth knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and one or more fundraising/donor management systems.
  • Ability to work professionally and pleasantly with a diverse group of community leaders, volunteers, and staff members while meeting potentially stressful campaign deadlines.

How to Apply:  

To apply for this job, please send an email with a subject line of “Action Ministries” and attach: (a) cover letter, (b) resume, and (c) bullet-pointed list of accomplishments to:

Scott H. Sikes, Principal & Partner, Columns Fundraising

No walk-ins, phone calls, or faxes.  Only candidates meeting all position requirements will be considered.  More information about Action Ministries may be found at:

Action Ministries is a Drug-Free Workplace.  This position is subject to a criminal background check, credit check, periodic Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles checks for driving record and valid driver’s license, and drug and alcohol testing.  Action Ministries reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of all checks and testing.

Equal Opportunity Employment Policy:  Action Ministries is dedicated to a policy of equal opportunity.  Action Ministries will give fair and equal treatment to all employees and applicants for employment.  It is the policy of Action Ministries to prohibit discrimination or harassment of any type and to afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, gender identity, family medical history or genetic information, religion, sex, disability, familial status, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation, past or present military status, receipt of public assistance, or any other characteristic protected by law.  This policy applies to all employment practices and personnel actions, including compensation, recruitment, training, working conditions, and opportunities for advancement.

Columns Fundraising is a full-service fundraising, strategic planning, and nonprofit management 

consulting firm offering executive search services and interim development and foundation staffing 

to nonprofit organization clients from coast to coast.

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