Chief Development Officer- REMOTE- Work from anywhere in the US

California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Mar 27, 2021
Apr 25, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

POSITION: Chief Development Officer (CDO)

REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


About Kesem 

We are a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer with innovative, fun-filled programs that foster a lasting community.  With an annual budget of approximately $14 million, Kesem has a national staff of approximately 40 motivated employees and delivers its services through student-run chapters affiliated with 136 universities in 44 states across the country.


About the Position

Kesem seeks an outgoing, resourceful and entrepreneurial Chief Development Officer (CDO) who can successfully lead the organization’s national fundraising efforts. The CDO will report to the Kesem CEO and manage a team of nine, including three direct reports - Director of Major Gifts and Events, Director of Individual Giving, and Director of Corporate Alliances and Institutional Giving.

The CDO is responsible for developing and implementing all of the development strategies necessary to reach Kesem’s annual and long-term revenue targets.  The CDO, as a member of and in tandem with other members of the Senior Leadership Team, will be a key external-facing representative of the organization, and must be comfortable presenting strategies and making asks to individuals, corporations, and organizations. The CDO will directly manage a portfolio of donors, and will be responsible for overall performance of all frontline fundraisers within Kesem.  The CDO must also work effectively with the Kesem Board of Directors (BOD) to motivate giving in their networks.

Kesem’s Values

The CDO must uphold and build a culture that continues to support and strengthen the following core values: 

    We are optimistic We leave a lasting and positive impact  We empower others  We care deeply about the work we do  We are grateful


Essential Functions and Responsibilities: 

Department Leadership and Fundraising Strategy (30%)

    Manage the Development department (currently a team of nine with three direct reports) to support the funding needs of the organization and to create and reach annual team goals.   Develop annual and long-term fundraising strategy, with an eye toward immediate revenue and long-term pipeline cultivation needs, while maintaining a culture of stewardship and gratitude.  Kesem has historically had strong success with fundraising in some areas (events and peer-to-peer), and has opportunities to grow significantly in others (major gifts, corporate giving, foundation giving). Work with National Board of Directors and Regional Event Boards to develop their personal strategies to achieve their fundraising goals, and support execution of efforts. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, act as a thought partner to help lead the staff toward reaching annual organizational goals, problem solve organizational challenges, and create and maintain high staff morale. Oversee all Development operations including management of donor data, implementation of fundraising tools, and payment processing. Coordinate with the Brand team to co-create donor experiences and materials that inspire donor affinity and giving.  


Individual Giving (40%)

    Work with CEO and BOD to identify prospects, and develop and implement individual cultivation plans. Front-line identification, cultivation and supervision of Kesem’s largest individual major gift relationships. Work with the team to develop recognition activities for all major gifts (e.g., giving levels, donor roll calls), and the establishment of any new programs. Design strategy to cultivate and coordinate alumni fundraising campaigns, creating programs to encourage giving at different life cycles in maturity. Work with the team to consistently improve our annual campaigns, including involvement of key constituents (families, alumni, campus donors). Oversee and support the Director of Major Gifts and Events in the creation of strategies and project plans for all events, including management of Regional Event Boards and strategies for follow-up cultivation. Partner with the Director of Individual Giving to increase individual giving through planned giving, stock donations, and other approaches.  Oversee strategic guidance and support to campus fundraising by establishing trainings and webinars, including coordinating fundraising training efforts at the annual National Leadership Summit.  Ensure that all chapter fundraising efforts (e.g., Giving Tuesday, grant writing, corporate funding) are coordinated.

Institutional Giving (30%)

    Work with the team to identify and pursue funding from corporate, private, and family foundations through relationship building, followed up by grant proposals.  Partner with the Director of Corporate Alliances and Institutional Giving to cultivate, steward and build partnerships with corporations through employee engagement and activation. Oversee the development and expansion of comprehensive corporate sponsorship programs across various development channels (i.e., overall organization, events, individual chapters).


    At least 15 years of progressive, demonstrated success in fundraising and achieving annual revenue goals for a $10M - $20M organization. Proven track record in personally soliciting and closing substantial major gift and institutional contributions.  Experience within the cancer and/or youth support communities, and ability to bring in new relationships, is strongly preferred. Bachelor’s Degree required. Experience collaborating in a multidisciplinary, diverse, and dynamic team.  Proven effectiveness leading development staff.  Ability to work and manage others effectively in a remote environment. Great interpersonal skills with donors, board members, potential partners, corporations and foundations. Able to excite and motivate supporters through persuasion and ability to clearly relate the importance of Kesem’s mission. Commitment to and passion for the mission of Kesem. Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding investment in people and systems. Flexible and a self-starter; able to multitask while also being highly detail-oriented.  Strong organizational and project management skills to manage long-lead efforts against short-term recurrent needs. Proficient with Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Salesforce (or a similar CRM), Hive (or similar Project Management System), and comfortable learning and working with new systems. Ability to perform annual budgeting and drive towards revenue goals. Fluent in using data to drive donor engagement. 


Job Environment and Location

    The CDO is a full-time role. The CDO will work remotely from their home office.  Preference will be given to candidates who reside in large metropolitan areas (with access to a major airport). It is expected that the CDO will be available for staff calls and meetings during normal business hours, and will attend Kesem’s events, some of which occur on weekends. The CDO should expect to travel 12-18 times per year, all within the United States. Travel commitments may include fundraising events, donor and sponsor meetings, Board meetings, staff meetings, industry conferences and training sessions. Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Kesem offers a benefits package for full-time employees including employer-subsidized health benefits, employee-funded dental and vision benefits, employee-funded 403(b) retirement plan, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a healthcare concierge service, flexible work scheduling, telecommuting, PTO, Short-Term Disability, and parental leave offerings.

To Apply

To apply, please fill out this form by April 18th, where you can also upload your cover letter and resume:

Kesem is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Kesem’s mission of supporting children through and beyond a parent’s cancer, and our vision of ensuring that every child impacted by a parent’s cancer is never alone, can only be realized through an ongoing, steadfast commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in every part of our organization.  To that end, Kesem makes the following commitments:

    To continually expand the communities we support and work with - our camper families, volunteers, staff, alumni, and supporters - with attention to engaging underrepresented communities. To strive for equity in delivering a transformative, healing, and empowering experience to those communities that recognizes and embraces our differences in race, religion, ability, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, family structure, cancer stage or type, or socioeconomic status. To work to ensure that every member of the Kesem community feels safe, loved, and respected.

Kesem fulfills its commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through daily efforts in the following areas:

    Hiring and Professional Development Camp and Year-Round Programming New Program Development Program Evaluation Chapter Expansion Recruitment of camper families, volunteers, board members and supporters

These efforts are vital to Kesem’s continued success and will be pursued with passion and a lasting pledge to continually improve.