Chief Development Officer

Columbus House
Connecticut, United States
$110,000.00 - $130,000.00
Closing date
Oct 11, 2023

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Position Type
Social Services
Employment Type
Full Time


The Angeletti Group invites nominations and applications to join the leadership team of Columbus House, Inc. as its Chief Development Officer (CDO). This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced, creative, and visionary fundraising professional to elevate Columbus House’s fundraising strategy and maximize public awareness of, participation in, and support of Columbus House programs and services. The Chief Development Officer will report to the Chief Executive Officer and will be a results-driven development professional with capital campaign and major gift solicitation experience and a strong record of success. They will oversee a comprehensive fundraising program and community and media relations that will drive growth in all aspects of contributed revenue.


Columbus House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has provided solutions to homelessness since 1982. It recently updated its mission statement: “To serve people experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk by providing life-saving outreach, shelter and housing and by fostering their personal growth and independence. We advocate for and create affordable housing to end homelessness in our communities.” This mission retains its commitment to helping households through the immediate and urgent crisis of homelessness, but also makes clear its commitment to championing solutions to end homelessness once and for all. The agency’s primary goal is to provide housing either through its own programs or through referrals throughout Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, and New London counties to service-enriched or independent housing. Throughout the years, Columbus House has expanded its programs to include not only emergency shelter, but a continuum of housing and services designed to help people who are homeless move toward independence.

The 2,800 people Columbus House serves annually includes families with children, seniors, veterans, and those with mental health, chronic medical, and substance abuse disorders. Its service areas include Outreach & Engagement, Shelter Services, Housing Services, Veterans Services, Income and Employment Services, Housing Security, and Youth Services. All of its programs support best practices of Housing First, Harm Reduction, Trauma Informed Care and Person Centered Services so that each person receives services specifically tailored to their personal goals and aspirations. Columbus House partners with many area agencies to ensure its clients access the tools they require to move out of homelessness with wrap-around services and programs. Some of its partners include Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, the Connecticut Mental Health Center, the APT Foundation, Connecticut Veterans Legal Assistance, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, United Way of Greater New Haven, and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, in addition to many social, civic, and religious groups.


To advance lasting solutions to homelessness, Columbus House has been working on several new initiatives that will increase the affordable housing available to people experiencing homelessness and improve the experience of people when their journey includes a stop at its New Haven Emergency Shelter. One is the creation of non-congregate shelter, which will provide a safe and dignified space for people experiencing homelessness. “Non-congregate” means that people will not have to sleep in a large room with others, but instead will have their own room and bathroom that will give them a sense of safety, autonomy and convenience while reducing the risk of communicable diseases. Columbus House has already secured significant funding commitments to get started on the design and construction of this non-congregant shelter at its campus on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. It also pushing forward on two projects that would provide permanent housing for as many as 78 people experiencing homelessness in Middletown.

These permanent housing developments will include wraparound services to ensure that its clients can maintain their housing stability and achieve their personal goals. Much of the funding for Columbus House comes from government grants which requires that it apply (or re-apply) every year and are not guaranteed. Moreover, government grants do not cover the full cost to run its programs. Its goal is to diversify our revenue streams and increase support from individuals, corporations, and foundations to help cover the costs of programs not covered by government funding. Columbus House also anticipates embarking on a capital campaign to support its vision to provide permanent housing.


The Chief Development Officer designs, implements, coordinates, and evaluates all fundraising activities. The CDO will provide strategic oversight on all matters relating to the operation of the Development Department and its staff, which consists of the Development Director, Communications Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator, Grants Administrator, the Donor Relations Specialist and Development interns. The CDO will also oversee Columbus House community and media relations and communications to maximize public awareness, participation in, and support of its programs and services.


  • Define, document, and disseminate a compelling case for support, philanthropic vision, and mission to guide the Development Department in its work with the broad input of staff, board, and volunteers.
  • Serve as an internal and external advocate on behalf of those experiencing homelessness and of the services offered by Columbus House.
  • Manage and direct department staff members and volunteers engaged in fundraising in the fulfillment of their fundraising responsibilities, community relations, prospect/donor cultivation and donor recognition.
  • In collaboration with Development staff and volunteer committee members, facilitate the creation of, oversee/ coordinate the implementation of, and evaluate the results of strategic and annual plans and goals designed to maximize public awareness of, participation in, and support of Columbus House.
  • Design, implement, and coordinate an ongoing donor-centered program of charitable gift development utilizing all available vehicles to all potential constituencies.
  • Research, identify, cultivate, and solicit high level, major gift donor prospects.
  • Secure strong volunteer engagement in the work of the department, including the creation and staffing of a Development Committee comprised of Board and community volunteers.
  • Present monthly written and verbal fundraising status reports to the Board of Directors, seek their comments and recommendations, and advise them and the Chief Executive Officer on all relevant development issues and trends (Annual Fund, Special Events, and Planned Giving initiatives). Document, implement, and evaluate action plans accordingly.
  • In collaboration with the Development team, provide stewardship over all donated funds to ensure their use is consistent with expressed or implied donor intent and with all applicable accounting standards.
  • Provide leadership on future capital campaigns and the creation of an endowment where applicable.
  • Maintain relationships with local and regional media and serve as the agency’s point of contact.
  • Write press releases, coordinate on-site and virtual interviews with appropriate staff and/or clients, and participate in interviews, as needed.
  • Oversee the creation and implementation of the communications plan including but not limited to marketing via social and traditional media, email, and mail campaigns.
  • Identify new prospective donors and coordinate the Development Department’s Moves Management program.
  • Identify opportunities for Foundation grants from individuals, corporations, and community organizations.
  • Periodically review and update the Columbus House case for support, ensuring it accurately describes the needs of the organization and that grants are administered consistent with donor intent and established reporting mechanisms.
  • Ensure the establishment of and compliance with Columbus House policies and procedures; identify training opportunities for staff; encourage ongoing professional development; and serve as coach and counsel to staff, volunteers, and board members as appropriate.
  • Develop more effective and efficient processes in all areas of responsibility in furtherance of a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Other related duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s Degree with 8+ years of progressively responsible, successful, and broad ranging fundraising and non-profit community relations experience, including extensive experience with individual giving and major gift development.
  • Demonstrated passion for Columbus House’s mission and purpose, and an ability to communicate this passion to others.
  • Demonstrated experience managing a high-performing team including professional development and mentorship.
  • Goal oriented with a strong sense of confidentiality.
  • Outstanding leadership, collaborative, management, problem-solving, and verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Excellent planning and organizational abilities; comfortable working independently and collaboratively on multiple priorities.
  • Computer literate with strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and various donor development software packages.
  • Can effectively utilize the Development Department’s database and its functions to support and facilitate the position responsibilities; ensure the maintenance of database integrity through a comprehensive understanding of its functionality and ongoing interaction with the Development Director and/or Donor Relations Specialist (database administrator).
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and compile complex data for planning and reporting purposes.
  • Experience building relationships with media contacts, compiling and issuing press releases, participating in media interviews (print, radio, social media, and TV), and planning press events.
  • Expertise in marketing via social and traditional media.
  • Expert relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus, and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • Strong community awareness and astuteness.
  • Ability to successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcomes-driven, and entrepreneurial environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Valid driver’s license with a good driving history and daily access to an automobile.


  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits along with additional voluntary coverage.
  • HRA Employer contribution towards deductible.
  • 401K Retirement plan with employer matching.
  • Paid time off and paid holidays.
  • Voluntary benefits including FSA and DCA.



Nominations and confidential inquiries can be made to:

The Angeletti Group

(973) 540-1400

Columbus House does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination, and access to benefits and training.

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