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Chief Development Officer, National Council of Nonprofits

National Council of Nonprofits
District of Columbia, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Jan 18, 2022

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time
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For more than 30 years, the National Council of Nonprofits has served as a trusted resource and leading advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. As the nation’s largest network of charitable nonprofits, with more than 25,000 organizational members, the Council of Nonprofits connects, champions, and informs nonprofits from coast to coast, creating a powerful force for change that benefits all 1.3 million charitable nonprofits throughout the country and the people they serve. The state association network – combined with the Council’s staff expertise, action-oriented approach, and ability to engage mainstream media for influence – has made the National Council of Nonprofits a leader with the breadth, depth, and scale that no other entity can match.



Do you believe in the power of nonprofits to improve people’s lives?

Are you inspired by the chance to play a vital role accelerating a dynamic movement that empowers nonprofits nationwide?

Would you be energized by joining a team where you can bring your authentic self and exercise your entrepreneurship, creativity, and persistence to bring resources to the largest and most influential network of nonprofits in the country?

Are you a growth-oriented builder? A builder of relationships? A builder of teams? A brand builder? A builder for a stronger society?

Are you scrappy, resourceful, and ready to work effectively in a small, lean organization while possessing the gravitas and finesse to command respect and attract support from donors and influencers?

If so, we invite you to keep reading and think about the untapped opportunities for you to make a lasting difference in the lives of countless others throughout the country.



The National Council of Nonprofits is the only sector-wide organization that works at all levels and with all branches of government to advocate for policies that support, strengthen, and protect the work and missions of charitable nonprofits. Its special focus is small and midsized groups: the 97 percent of charitable nonprofits that have budgets of less than $5 million. These organizations – local food banks, senior centers, arts groups, and hundreds of thousands more – rely on the Council for free access to the timely information, policy analysis, and applied advocacy they need to deliver their missions.

The National Council of Nonprofits consistently demonstrates its outsized impact by scoring big policy wins for nonprofits. For example, working closely with its network of state associations of nonprofits and other partners, the Council played a bold and significant leadership role in the sector’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Council developed an innovative solution and then led the coalition of national nonprofits that persuaded Congress to include the charitable sector in the Families First Act so nonprofit employees could participate in the family leave program. Then it provided the legal expertise to make charitable nonprofits eligible for the forgivable PPP loans in the CARES Act. Those and other actions at the federal and state levels, combined with an engaged, mobilized network, resulted in more than $50 billion to help sustain nonprofits, save nonprofit jobs, and keep services flowing to people in need. In addition, the Council provided free guides to help nonprofits understand how they could access the benefits in these new laws, holding two free nationwide webinars on the relief bills with more than 21,000 registrants to help nonprofits access forgivable PPP loans.

The Council is poised for growth, with a passionate Board of Directors and talented, mission-driven staff. Major funders who recognize the importance of the Council’s work are investing in its capacity to expand its work to connect, champion, and inform nonprofits to respond, recover, and rebuild from the pandemic and associated crises.

To achieve its goals, the National Council of Nonprofits is seeking a dynamic, seasoned professional with a proven track record to fill the new position of Chief Development Officer (CDO). In this senior role, the CDO will work closely with the Council’s President & CEO, Board of Directors, staff colleagues, and philanthropic partners to cultivate and secure new support from philanthropic sources including large national foundations, regional and “giving while living” foundations, and high-net-worth individuals. The CDO’s work will result in authentic impact by helping more than a million charitable nonprofits better serve their communities.

The Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an annual budget of $2.6 million and a current staff of seven. It is governed by a Board of Directors of 14.

The Council’s office is conveniently located near Washington, DC’s Metro Center. Currently, all staff are working remotely. A person located in or willing to relocate to the Washington, DC area is preferred, although individuals with stellar qualifications who are based outside of the DC region will be considered. In either case, all staff will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future.




The CDO will report to the President & CEO and serve as a key member of the leadership team. The CDO will be a mission-driven, passionate supporter of the nonprofit sector and a seasoned fundraising professional who can further develop and implement a growth-oriented and dynamic revenue plan. With a high degree of autonomy and in partnership with the President & CEO, the CDO will be responsible for all fundraising and development activities, consistent with carrying out the organizational vision. The CDO will be both a strategic thinker who can help guide the organization’s growth and a practical implementer who can cultivate new relationships to build the National Council of Nonprofits’ visibility, impact, and financial resources. 

Specific responsibilities and priorities include the following.

  • Develop and lead a comprehensive fund development strategy to sustain and grow core grant support from approximately $1.3 million to $3 million within three years, with an initial emphasis on expanding and diversifying philanthropic support from foundations.
  • Work closely with the President & CEO to lead the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of foundation, corporate, and individual major donors to build lasting relationships and ensure ongoing support.
  • Serve as staff lead to the Board’s Resource Development Committee, providing guidance and support.
  • Partner effectively with the Board of Directors, ensuring a close relationship to promote the organization’s development strategy and inspiring engagement, introductions, and stretch giving from each director.
  • Plan and lead the creation of donor communications, appeals, acknowledgments, proposals, reports, and other written and online materials.
  • Build an individual major donor program that includes strategic donor stewardship, solicitation, and recognition.
  • Over time, develop additional earned income revenue streams.
  • Over time, build out the Development Team with additional staff.
  • Handle budgeting and financial reporting for development activities.
  • Continue to grow a strong brand for the Council as the premier leader and advocate for the nonprofit sector.
  • Help promote strategic alliances to strengthen the impact and visibility of the organization.



  • Natural and unqualified commitment to ethics, respecting others, and earning, maintaining, and building trust with people within and outside the organization.
  • Demonstrated and unwavering commitment to equity internally and externally as a personal and professional value.
  • Excellent analytical and communications skills, written and oral.
  • An enthusiastic team player who enjoys an extremely collaborative, collegial environment of highly dedicated and talented staff with the ability to engage productively with the President & CEO, staff, Board of Directors, and constituencies.
  • Ability to organize and execute multiple projects with limited support staff.
  • A successful record of proven leadership as an effective fundraiser with a track record of expanding and cultivating donor relationships long term, including the ability to personally solicit and close significant gifts in a complex organization.
  • Experience diversifying funding sources to include foundations, corporations, individual donors, and revenue-generating vehicles.
  • Proven record of success in organizing and implementing diverse fundraising strategies, adhering to financial goals, analyzing and identifying challenges, and formulating creative solutions.
  • Strong understanding of the landscape and passion for the charitable nonprofit sector; experience with advocacy organizations or networks is a plus.
  • High emotional intelligence; relationship builder and friend-raiser; ability to work effectively with multiple diverse constituencies.
  • Skills and experience to build and manage a team and develop operations.
  • Financial acumen in terms of budgeting and financial record keeping.
  • Creativity to break free from established ways and try new approaches to reach goals.
  • Unwavering work ethic, sense of purpose, and sense of humor.


Learn more about the National Council of Nonprofits at


The National Council of Nonprofits is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, people experiencing disabilities, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.


The salary for this position is $160,000. The Council believes in a healthy workplace and offers excellent benefits including: health, dental, vision, life, long-term disability, and short-term disability insurance; participation in 401k retirement plan with employer contribution; paid annual and sick leave; monthly stipends for transportation and cell phones; and generous holiday schedule. Note that the Council of Nonprofits team has committed to working remotely until it is safe to return to the office in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all programming is being conducted virtually.


There are physical requirements for the job which include the ability to work at a computer station for extended periods of time. Travel will be required once it is safe to do so again.


Applications, including cover letters and resumes, and nominations should be sent to the attention of Paul Spivey at


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