Chief Development Officer, Higher Achievement

Location: Washington, DC
Date Posted: 12-22-2016
Higher Achievement
Chief Development Officer
Higher Achievement 
Higher Achievement, a nationally acclaimed education nonprofit organization, seeks a collaborative and entrepreneurial Chief Development Officer at its National Office in Washington, DC.
The Organization
Higher Achievement believes that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. We work to close the achievement gap for motivated - yet underserved - students from low-income communities. We intervene during the critical transition to middle school by providing year-round, multi-year support for students in the 5th – 8th grades. As students prepare to graduate from our program in the 8th grade, we help them transition successfully to advanced high school programs that keep students on track for college.
Higher Achievement has an annual operating budget of $10.5 million, with projected growth to approximately $13 million in the next three years.  Higher Achievement currently operates achievement centers in Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, Baltimore, MD, Pittsburgh, PA, and Richmond, VA.
Higher Achievement’s award-winning model of rigorous academic mentoring, individualization of services, and comprehensive academic support is guided by leading research for effective out-of-school time programs. In 2015, Higher Achievement received the largest-ever investment from the U.S. Department of Education in an after-school program – a landmark $12 million i3 grant.  More information about Higher Achievement may be found at:
Additionally, Higher Achievement scholars, mentors, and staff have recently been featured in:
Position Summary
The Chief Development Officer is a new position, designed to work with the CEO and an engaged Board of Directors on ensuring successful growth and sustainability for the organization. The Chief Development Officer will manage a team of four and work collaboratively across the organization to build and institutionalize a culture of philanthropy.  The ideal candidate is an experienced development professional with an entrepreneurial spirit who thrives in an inclusive culture.  S/he is one who can operate at a strategic level and lead tactical implementation, with a special focus on growing the individual and corporate donor base, building internal infrastructure, and working effectively across a multi-city team.
Key Responsibilities

Development Planning & Implementation
  • In conjunction with Higher Achievement leadership, develop, refine, and implement the Higher Achievement strategic development plan
  • Conduct research and analysis that informs a thoughtful short- and long-term development strategy across the organization, with a special focus on corporate and major individual gifts
  • Clearly define and communicate key outcomes and accountabilities, and drive the team to hit revenue outcomes, with a focus on immediate and long-term resource development
  • Build a deep understanding of relevant funding terrains – nationally, and in each of the four affiliate cities.

Cultivation & Solicitation
  • In collaboration with team and Board members, identify new individual major donors, foundation prospects, and corporate partners
  • Develop a cultivation strategy for key potential donors and identify and empower the best relationship manager for each prospect/donor
  • Plan and attend meetings with current and potential supporters and accompany leadership at high-level fundraising meetings, leading some donor meetings independently

Management & Operations
  • Ensure each executive director and development team staff member are fully supported to achieve success in his/her function; cultivate a collaborative culture with clear expectations and a high standard of excellence
  • Manage across the organization and driving indirect reports (including affiliate executive directors) to reach revenue goals
  • Creatively engage Board members, advisory board members, and other volunteers in all fundraising initiatives. Provide training and coaching, as needed, to ensure consistency and effectiveness of fundraising messages and objectives
  • Design and build the systems and processes necessary to support the entrepreneurial, fast-paced, and critical work of Higher Achievement
  • Maximize the donor database and use data analytics to drive strategy 

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred
  • An unrelenting belief in the Higher Achievement mission
  • Ability to compellingly convey Higher Achievement's mission, impact, needs across the community
  • A successful track record of raising five, six, and seven figure gifts from a variety of funding sources, with a proven track record with individual and corporate donors
  • Demonstrated success of identifying, building, and sustaining strong relationships over time
  • Superb interpersonal, verbal, writing, and presentation skills
  • Experience managing a high-performing team required. Previous experience building organizational infrastructure (systems, processes, technology)
  • Ability to thrive in an environment focused on growth
  • Strong interpersonal, negotiation, and diplomacy skills, including a sense of humor
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