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Chief Development Officer

Center for American Progress
District of Columbia, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Jul 1, 2023

Reports to: President and CEO
Staff reporting to this position: Various Development staff
Department: Development
Position classification: Exempt, full time
Minimum compensation: $225,000–$235,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) is a member of the Executive Leadership team and is responsible for leading the development operation and staff. The CDO will develop a bold development plan and fundraising strategy for American Progress. They will work closely with the CEO on board engagement and manage a portfolio of seven-figure prospects while leading and overseeing the management of the Development department.

This position is ideal for a dynamic, results-driven, and well-organized development leader who is committed to a progressive policy agenda and to the American Progress mission to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country. In addition, this position will support CAP’s five crosscutting priorities:

  • Building an economy for all
  • Restoring social trust in democracy
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Strengthening health

The Development department works with program staff at both the Center for American Progress, a 501(c)(3) organization, and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, to fundraise for support for American Progress’ priorities and bold progressive agenda.


  • Lead a Development department of 17 fundraisers and support staff to help them reach their combined goal of $50 million annually.
  • Support the President and CEO with board engagement, management, and recruitment.
  • Carry a portfolio of seven-figure prospects.
  • Ensure that all stakeholders clearly understand strategies and that the Development department is achieving its strategic goals at an optimal pace.
  • Enhance unrestricted funding while generating new programmatic funding.
  • Serve as the organization’s chief fundraiser and successfully balance a sometimes rigorous travel schedule to meet with potential and current funders.
  • Serve in the role of coach, mentor, and leader of the Development staff.
  • Establish credibility throughout the organization and with the President and CEO as an effective developer of solutions to business challenges.
  • Develop, lead, attract, inspire, retain, and manage a diverse, talented, and high-performing team to ensure that the mission and core values of American Progress are put into practice by holding everyone accountable for quantifiable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results.
  • Guide staff in their respective areas of functional expertise.
  • Engage staff in strategic operations and execution through responsive and transparent communication and leadership.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • More than 15 years of nonprofit leadership experience managing a large, comprehensive, national fundraising program or comparable work with a nonprofit advocacy or policy-oriented organization is required.
  • Demonstrated success leading a team, managing a seven-figure portfolio of individual and/or foundation donors, and managing relationships with internal and external partners to create the conditions for success.
  • Demonstrated work experience and donor contacts in mission-aligned areas.
  • A proven track record in fundraising from a variety of sources, including government agencies, private foundations, individuals, and the private sector.
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial ability to develop alliances and coordinate shared interests of all parties.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills designed to meet the challenges of the organization.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with considerable experience in writing and presenting information to a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to use data and CRM systems to set fundraising strategy and priorities, measure outcomes, and drive superior performance.
  • Knowledge of various progressive philanthropic sectors including racial equity, rights, justice, international affairs, public health, education, or democracy is desirable.
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Familiarity with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) regulations is a plus.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed to meet deadlines and manage workflow.
  • Support for American Progress’ mission and commitment to a broad progressive agenda.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or equivalent experience is required.

To apply:

Applications should include a cover letter and résumé. Writing samples may be requested.

American Progress provides a competitive compensation and benefits package. This position is not represented by a union. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. The starting salary for this position is $225,000–$235,000 annually.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.

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