Skip to main content

This job has expired

Chief Development Officer

The Trustees of Reservations
Massachusetts, United States
$280,000.00 - $340,000.00
Closing date
Mar 14, 2024
About The Trustees of Reservations

Founded in 1891 by a group of visionary volunteers, The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) is the nation’s premier conservation and preservation organization. The core mission of The Trustees is to protect special places across Massachusetts for future generations to enjoy in perpetuity. To date, The Trustees has helped protect more than 50,000 acres, including 27,000+ acres on more than 120 reservations that are currently open to the public.  

 With exceptional ecological, historical, and scenic value, The Trustees’ portfolio of properties encompasses seashore, woodlands, farmlands, gardens, as well as art and historical museums. The Trustees team provides loving care of the reservations, builds creative new programs to engage people, and shares its expertise with neighbors and partners across the state.

 About Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity at The Trustees

Our commitment to Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity (DBIE) is deeply embedded in The Trustees’ mission to protect and share Massachusetts’ iconic places - for the simple reason that nature and culture can soothe the soul and improve all our lives. Not for some. But for everyone. Forever. The Trustees’ overarching DBIE vision is to create inclusive spaces of belonging for staff, members, volunteers, and communities across the organization and 120 plus properties. Realizing this vision, bringing to life the essence of creating inclusive spaces where everyone feels welcome is a journey. A journey for us as an organization and for each of us as individuals. As we share our aspirations for what we can achieve on this journey, we also acknowledge this is a long-term commitment that requires continuous learning, growth, and improvement.

 For more information on The Trustees, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

The Trustees seeks an exceptional leader for the role of Chief Development Officer (CDO). Reporting to the President & CEO (CEO), the role provides cutting-edge, strategic leadership on Trustees development activities with an emphasis on building enduring partnerships. The role includes the following areas:  

  • Annual Fund
  • Major Donors
  • Corporate
  • Foundation
  • Public and Institutional Giving
  • Legacy and Planned Gifts
  • Governance
  • Strategic Plan and Campaigns

At this pivotal time, following a period of rapid growth fueled by a successful 5 year comprehensive $217 million campaign, the largest in its history, and with new leadership and an environment of positive change, The Trustees are elated about this opportunity to continue to build out the leadership team.

As a key member of the executive team, the Chief Development Officer will continue to diversify and increase The Trustees’ broad base of support across all philanthropic areas. The successful Chief Development Officer must strategically lead and foster new levels of donor engagement while continuing to build an organization-wide culture of philanthropy.

By way of background, In FY 2023 the Development Team at The Trustees raised $45,111,101 broken down as follows:

  • Annual Fund: $5,287,875
  • Additional Operating: $1,878,870
  • Events: $1,345,025
  • Planned Gifts: $8,613,046
  • Capital Projects: $17,996,434
  • Restricted Gifts: $9,989,851
  • The Chief Development Officer manages an overall staff of approximately 22, with the following  direct reports:

  • Director Annual Fund
  • Director Governance and Signature Events
  • MD Institutional Development
  • MD Philanthropy Arts and Culture
  • Senior Director Individual Giving
  • The Trustees seeks an innovative Chief Development Officer who will not only build strategic partnerships but has deep experience in major gifts fundraising and managing relationships with current and prospective high-net-worth individual donors. They will also have a sophisticated understanding of building a high-impact, sustainable multi-year campaign.

    Given the mission of The Trustees, we are highly attracted to individuals with a track record and passion in the conservation arena. The successful candidate will not only be a student of modern philanthropy but also be able to effectively leverage complementary development functions through strategic, forward-thinking integration. The Chief Development Officer will be a proven servant leader, manager, mentor, and collaborative colleague who is comfortable leading major initiatives and supporting the leadership of others. They will have a track record of effectively managing organizational change.

    In partnership with the President and CEO, CFO, Board Development Committee, and senior leadership team, the CDO will set annual and campaign fundraising goals for The Trustees. They will construct development strategies and execute plans aligned with The Trustees overall Strategic Plan, with a focus on sustaining annual giving revenue levels and markedly increasing individual major gifts. Collaborating with the CEO, and senior leadership team, as well as program leaders they will identify and refine giving priorities and translate those priorities into compelling opportunities for philanthropy and persuasive proposals.

    The successful candidate will have experience personally managing a portfolio of current and prospective individual donors at the highest levels of giving capacity, moving them through the stages of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. They will provide strategic guidance and mentorship to development staff, as appropriate, in managing their portfolios of current and prospective donors, especially high-net-worth individual donors, and corresponding initiatives for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. This includes reviewing gift proposals and working with staff to identify the best manner of engaging new prospective donors. The CDO will provide weekly development updates to the CEO, present quarterly results to board governance and work closely with the Chief Financial Officer to plan cash flow and restricted endowments. Additionally, the CDO will ensure alignment of giving prospects with volunteer leadership opportunities, committees, activities, and/or events that are appropriate to their current or potential interest.

    Candidate Profile

    Strategic Fundraising Leadership

    As we embark on a comprehensive Strategic Plan with the focus of launching a new campaign, The Trustees seeks an exceptional fundraising leader who is deeply analytical with a strategic orientation and a knack for building strong relationships. The successful CDO will manage the Development Team to create and promote effective cultivation and solicitation opportunities that involve the CEO, members of the senior leadership team, Board, or other governance leaders, as well as other senior constituents.

    With a core emphasis on building meaningful partnerships, the CDO will manage connections between prospective and current donors and governance leaders, including prioritizing the latter’s role and involvement in development activities. These will include implementing key communications, preparing reports, briefings, and other materials in support of this engagement.

    Serving as the catalyst in strengthening a culture of philanthropy intended to permeate all areas of the organization, the successful CDO will achieve objectives by the following:

    • Providing a rigorous commitment to new major donor prospect identification.
    • Ensuring high-quality, individualized, and meaningful stewardship of donors, coordinating with colleagues throughout The Trustees and/or personally stewarding donors as needed.
    • Managing the design and implementation of fundraising plans for a future comprehensive capital campaign, (including a feasibility study), other special campaigns, which may include strategic initiatives and capital projects.
    • Creating an overall strategic plan for events and other activities in support of constituency engagement. Maximize events and the visitor experience so they are highly valued by major constituents, produce desired outcomes, and appropriately relate to major gift strategies.
    • Developing and maintaining an understanding of The Trustees’ programmatic campaigns and priorities to effectively promote the organization.
    • Maximizing content delivery from program sources to the Development team, ensuring consistent, compelling, and coordinated messaging in all fundraising and direct marketing channels.
    • Working closely with the Finance Department to ensure the highest levels of customer service and compliance when it comes to gift processing and acknowledgement.  Ensuring accurate allocation in line with donor intent and maintain oversight of multi-year gifts and endowment reporting.
    • Regularly report on fundraising targets and forecasts.
    • Collaborating with Marketing and Communications colleagues to contribute to an integrated and effective external engagement strategy, ensuring alignment across all messaging platforms to support the involvement between The Trustees and its evolving donor base.

    Team Development and Management

    The successful CDO will be an exceptional manager, mentor, and coach. They will oversee the hiring, training, managing, mentoring, professional development, and evaluation of a talented development staff. It will be anticipated that they will do the following: 

    • Set appropriate annual production goals and monitor progress on a regular basis with the goal of maximizing staff performance regarding prospect identification, strategy development, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship activities, volunteer engagement, and events, among other potential performance indicators.
    • Oversee growth, maintenance, and enhancement of the development team’s technological proficiency and tools including the new CRM platform. Maximize utilization of technologies to streamline operational processes; spearhead creative technology initiatives that touch new audiences and potential donors.

     Exceptional Collaborator and Communicator

    The ideal CDO will have outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal. Simultaneously, they will demonstrate unique collaboration talent. It is anticipated that they will do the following: 

    • Regularly prepare detailed and transparent reports and analyses on the Development Department activity for the CEO, and for broader dissemination, as appropriate. In collaboration with the CFO, establish and monitor fundraising benchmarks.
    • Analyze development activities and benchmark with peer institutions to ensure that The Trustees are on track and employing best practices.
    • Travel as needed to support The Trustees priorities, including personal cultivation and solicitation, strategic communications, and special events.

     Commitment to Inclusion and Fostering Belonging

    Humanistic and thoughtful in all interactions; as a senior leader of The Trustees, the successful CDO will promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of the organization and in all dimensions of the Development program. The CDO will be a strong culture champion, building bridges, promoting a strong work ethic, and generating a sense of belonging for all.

    The CDO will partner with the CEO on Board of Directors’ engagement, leveraging the talent and resources of members and facilitating their appropriate roles as fiduciaries and long-term stewards of The Trustees.

    The CDO will need to work with the Board of Directors and governance committees as needed.

    The CDO will be not only highly collaborative and results oriented but known as an inclusive leader of the highest integrity with a strong work ethic. They will build long-standing relationships, instilling confidence, and engendering much trust with all parties. The CDO will be an exceptionally passionate fundraising ambassador known for fostering a warm, engaging, productive, and fun environment.

    Compensation & Benefits

    Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $280,000 - $340,000 with a generous benefits package. 


    Maureen Alphonse-Charles and Shelby Woods of Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role, please submit your materials by filling out the Talent Profile. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

    Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

    The Trustees is a proud equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any protected status including, but not limited to, age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, nation of origin, religion, or disability status and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts, who are at the core of our mission. Our commitment to advancing the organization’s vision for this work may be found here: Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion and Equity

    About Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group

    Koya Partners, a Diversified Search Group company, is the nation’s premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Since its founding in 2004, Koya has had an exclusive focus on mission-driven clients and was founded on the belief that the right leader can transform an organization and have a deep and measurable impact on our world. Koya works with nonprofits & NGOs, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

     Diversified Search Group is consistently recognized by Forbes on its top 10 list of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms” and is an industry leader in recruiting transformational leaders for a changing world. The firm is deliberately different in its approach, with best-in-class teams who have decades of experience in cultivating inclusive leaders, understanding the dimensions of diversity, and building equitable teams.

     Learn more about Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group via the firm's website.

    Get job alerts

    Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

    Create alert