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Chief Development Officer

Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation
Atlanta, GA
$90,000 - $105,000
Closing date
Aug 21, 2021
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Chief Development Officer, Development

Job Profile

Job Summary

Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the Chief Development Officer (CDO) serves as a critical leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation.  In partnership with the ED, this position is responsible for all fundraising and development activities. The successful candidate will help forge new and strengthen existing stakeholder relationships to build the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. The CDO also will design and implement a comprehensive plan for developing key external alliances by cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and foundations.   The CDO will have primary responsibility for establishing and implementing the infrastructure needed to grow the organization’s budget through major gifts, grants, special events, corporate, and foundation support.  S/he will expand and diversify the Foundation’s donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives.   The CDO will also work closely with the Board of Directors, provide fundraising expertise and knowledge to support board members as they take on a more active fundraising role.  

The ideal CDO will have experience in fundraising with a minimum of $2 million in revenue, as well as demonstrated success in business strategy, organizational change management, volunteer leadership, and project management with five or more years of progressively responsible Senior Executive leadership experience.   

Physically located in Chamblee, GA, the CDO will be a strategic-driven leader who can drive multiple campaigns and disparate projects to support a broader strategy. The CDO will lead a team and an external marketing and communications agency to creatively and relentlessly execute big-picture ideas by engaging philanthropic partners across the state of Georgia.

Job Functions

Participates with the ED, staff, and governing body to define the organization’s mission and direction.

  • Provides vital input in short- and long-term strategic and operational planning and positioning within the organization.
  • Helps leadership identify and address organizational development issues that challenge and support health and effectiveness.
  • Represents The Lighthouse in appropriate networking and business community opportunities to promote awareness of the organization’s vision, mission and services throughout Georgia.
  • Ensures that philanthropy and fund development align with the organization’s values, mission, vision, and plans.
  • Participates with the ED, staff, and board in charting the organization’s course in fund development.
  • Evaluates the effect of internal and external forces on the organization and its fund development by recommending short- and long-range fund development plans and programs that support the organization’s values, mission, and general objectives.
  • Keeps informed of developments in philanthropy and fund development and the general fields of management and the not-for-profit sector; advises the ED, development committee, and board on current trends, issues, problems, and activities. Recommends policy positions concerning fund development. Maintains ethical and professional behavior as per AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Code of Ethics.
  • Helps develop a balanced funding mix of donor sources and solicitation programs tailored to the organization's needs that will enable it to attract, retain, and motivate donors and fundraising volunteers.
  • Helps establish performance measures, monitors results and helps the ED, development committee and board evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s fund development program.

Works with the ED, development committee chair and chair of the governing board to ensure fulfillment of fund development roles and facilitate the optimum interaction between management and volunteers.


  • Engages people in process, encourages questioning, and promotes participatory decision making.
  • With the development committee chair, develops agendas for meetings so that the committee can fulfill their responsibilities effectively; develops an annual calendar to cover all crucial development issues in a timely fashion.
  • Informs the ED and volunteer leadership on the condition of the organization’s fund development program and on all important factors influencing it. 
  • Works with the ED and volunteer leadership to make development committee and the board function effectively in all areas of fund development.

Designs and assures implementation of cost-effective fund development programs, employing economy while maintaining an acceptable level of quality and solid return on investment.


  • Assures proper planning including goal setting, strategy identification, benchmarking and evaluation to support fund development.
  • Assures sound fiscal operation of development function including timely, accurate and comprehensive development of charitable contributions income and expense budgets, reporting, monitoring and implementation.
  • Combines development resources in such a way as to maximize quantity and quality to obtain a set of results. Assures appropriate market testing to reduce risk and assure success.
  • Helps board members, ED, other fundraising volunteers and staff identify, cultivate and solicit charitable gifts.
  • Solicits contributions on behalf of the organization, generally by accompanying volunteers.
  • Assures development and writing of foundation, corporate and government proposals and solicitation materials.
  • Assures design and maintenance of donor and prospect records, gift management systems, and informational reports.
  • Assures and coordinates appropriate prospect research.
  • Assures design and implementation of cultivation, acknowledgment and recognition programs.

Provides general oversight of all of the organization’s fund development activities, manages the day-to-day operations of the development function, and monitors adequacy of activities through coordination with staff, appropriate committees, and governing body.  


  • Ensures compliance with all relevant regulations and laws, maintains accountability standards to donors and ensures compliance with code of ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives.
  • Ensures establishment of and compliance with the organization’s own fund development and philanthropic principles, policies and procedures.
  • Supervise the database management system ensuring that stakeholder/donor records are accurate and managed appropriately.
  • Assures stability by creating a working environment that is rewarding to staff and volunteers.
  • Appropriately represents the institution, its board and executive director to donors, prospects, regulators, development committee and fundraising volunteers.
  • Fosters a smoothly operating development function through timely and effective resolution of disruptions.

Ensures attainment of the organization’s fund development activities through the selection, development, motivation and evaluation of human resources, both professional and volunteer.


  • Helps identify, cultivate, recruit, and develop fundraising volunteers and leadership. Trains, places, coordinates and supervises fundraising volunteers.
  • Manages the development department team’s fundraising goals, individual team member’s job responsibilities and evaluate job performance by providing feedback and review.
  • Establishes personnel accountabilities for development staff and evaluates performance regularly.
  • Annually reviews all development department job descriptions and functions.
  • Designs educational programs in fund development for staff and volunteers; participates as teacher and facilitator. Pursues formal and informal education for self and others.

Skills and Traits

  • Strategic Mindset
  • Anticipates future trends and implications accurately to help support building the future direction of the organization and team.
  • Readily poses future scenarios and articulates credible visions of possibility that will create sustainable value to Clubs.
  • Create strategies that show clear connection between vision and action.
  • Manages Complexity
    • Acquires data from multiple and diverse sources when solving problems.
    • Asks the right questions to accurately analyze situations.
    • Evaluates pros and cons, risks and benefits of different solution options.
  • Business Insights
    • Keeps up with current and possible future policies, practices and trends in the organization and in the market place.
    • Uses knowledge of business drivers and how strategies and tactics play out in Clubs to guide actions.
  • Organizational Savvy
    • Is sensitive to how people and organizations function.
    • Anticipates challenges and plans approach accordingly.
    • Deals comfortably with organizational politics.
  • Project Management
    • Manages projects from beginning to end by tracking, communicating and adapting as needed.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree(s) in related areas preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience fundraising minimum $2M.
  • 3 years of leading direct reports required.
  • CFRE certification preferred.
  • Experience with health and human services organizations is a plus
  • Experience in organizations that collaborate deeply with volunteers is preferred.





Environmental and Working Conditions

Normal internal office environment.  Travel estimated up to 20% (can be up to 2-7 days or more in a month, including weekends, depending upon scheduling requirements).  The individual selected for this position must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license and be able to navigate areas of the state by using a map or other direction methods.  Ability to travel by car, airplane or other modes of transportation required.

Physical and Mental Requirements

Ability to carry out detailed and complex instructions; ability to interact with coworkers and public by telephone and in person as a member of a team to provide services to customers, both external and internal; ability to perform a variety of duties and to prioritize tasks to meet organizational needs.  Ability to clearly and concisely exchange ideas, facts and/or technical information and guidance in person, by telephone, email, fax or correspondence.  Physical requirements include: sitting for four + hours a day, standing for one to two + hours a day, stooping; skills essential for successful communications include speaking, writing and reading comprehension.

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