The Chief Development Officer (CDO) serves as part of the Executive Leadership Team of Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and is responsible for the vision, oversight, and management of all fundraising and resource development strategies.


Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) is seeking a passionate, driven individual with the desire to learn, grow, and excel in a culture that values every member of the team. DSF was named one of the Denver’s Top Workplaces in 2024 (5 year recipient of Top Workplaces), a testament to our team and to our intentionality in co-creating a positive, inclusive work environment. In 2022, DSF was named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for by  the National Association for Business Resources. When you join the DSF team, you will enjoy a supportive, and innovative environment where your work has a profound impact on the lives of students and their families.

As a nonprofit organization, DSF’s mission is to inspire and empower DPS students to enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions of higher education, by providing the tools, knowledge, and financial resources essential for success. By embodying the core values of equity, innovation, leadership, learning, relationships, and integrity in everything we do, DSF strives to be a leader within the community. As we constantly seek to improve our services, we build strong relationships with college staff members, partners, students, team members and the broader community. We are committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, believing in the value and ability of all students and team members.

We seek candidates who will model, live, and reinforce DSF’s mission and core values with colleagues, students, families, and the broader community. If you are passionate about the philosophy and mission of DSF, then we invite you to join us and help make college possible for Denver's students.  

Job Summary 

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) serves as part of the Executive Leadership Team of Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and is responsible for the vision, oversight, and management of all fundraising and resource development strategies. Serving as a thought-partner with executive leadership, the CDO energizes and connects DSF staff; empowers and supports the Board of Directors; mentors, manages, and inspires the Development Department; crafts meaningful donor communications, and informs and engages our community. In the spirit of collaboration and creativity, the CDO leads an energetic and experienced team of fundraising and development professionals toward a goal of identifying, building, and nurturing donor relationships and engagement, and increasing revenue year over year. 

Job Responsibilities

Organizational Strategy & Operations

Participates with the Chief Executive Officer, staff, and governing body to define the organization’s direction, strategy, and operations. 

  • Provides vital input in short- and long-term strategic and operational planning and positioning within the organization.  
  • Evaluates the effect of internal and external forces on the organization and its fund development and creates and implements short- and long-range fund development plans and programs that support the organization’s values, mission, and general objectives.
  • Remains informed of developments in philanthropy and fund development as well as the general fields of management and the not-for-profit sector; informs the Chief Executive Officer, development committee(s), and board on current trends, issues, problems, and activities in order to facilitate policy making. Recommends policy positions concerning fund development. 
  • Helps develop a balanced funding mix of donor sources and solicitation programs tailored to the needs of the organization that will enable it to attract, retain, and motivate donors and fundraising volunteers. 
  • Helps establish performance measures, monitors results and helps the Chief Executive Officer, development committee(s), and board evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s fund development program.
  • Works closely with the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Finance and Administrative Officer to relay revenue forecasting and during budget planning to create achievable goals for the organization related to expenses, including potentially presenting these strategies to the board and/or committee(s).

Development Oversight

Provides general oversight of all the organization’s fund development and manages the day-to-day operations of those functions, and monitors adequacy of activities through coordination with staff, appropriate committees, and board of directors. 

  • Assures proper planning including both individual and team goal setting, strategy identification, benchmarking, and evaluation to support fund development. 
  • Assures sound fiscal operation of development function including timely, accurate, and comprehensive development of charitable contributions income and expense budgets, reporting, monitoring, and implementation. 
  • Integrates Development-related communications into overall Development strategy.
  • Initiates content for all donor facing written communications and works closely with Marketing Communications & Events to confirm messaging that is meaningful to donors while protecting the organization’s brand among donors, potential donors and general community. 
  • Ensures compliance with all relevant regulations and laws, maintains accountability standards to donors and ensures compliance with code of ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives. Ensures establishment of and compliance with the organization’s own fund development and philanthropic principles, policies, and procedures. 
  • Assures stability by creating a working environment that is rewarding to staff, donors and volunteers. 
  • Appropriately represents the institution, its board and chief executive to donors, prospects, development committee(s), and fundraising volunteers.
  • Fosters a smoothly operating development function through timely and effective resolution of disruptions.
  • Builds cohesion and shared communication practices within the team to ensure strong operations as individual departments and aligned impact for the full organization. 
  • Represents the interests of the development team and donors in decision making while ensuring alignment with the DSF mission.
  • Relays information shared externally, or within the executive team meetings, to the development team to continue a transparent and welcoming feedback loop.
  • Work in partnership with all teams within DSF, including program expansion, innovation, and budgeting.  CDO should initiate engagement conversations with these teams to ensure investment levels meet the budgetary and programmatic needs.

Fund Development

Designs and assures implementation of cost-effective fund development programs, employing economy while maintaining an acceptable level of quality and solid return on investment. 

  • Helps board members, chief executive, other fundraising volunteers, and staff identify, cultivate, and solicit charitable gifts. 
  • Works in partnership with Development Operations to create a dashboard to track goal process and accountability steps to ensure fundraising is paced to meet goals throughout the year. Dashboard will be a goal transparency tool shared with development team, the board and/or committee(s).
  • Builds and grows meaningful relationships with new and current donors.
  • Solicits contributions on behalf of the organization, including growing current donor investment and bringing new prospective donors to the organization.
  • Generates revenue within the CDO individual portfolio of donors, totaling a minimum of $2M in FY25 (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025) to contribute toward the overall revenue goal of the organization.
  • Maintains awareness of organizational and engages in individual development and writing of foundation and corporate grants and solicitation materials. 
  • Leads fundraising strategic planning and management.
  • Works closely with Events team on design and production of all fundraising/donor events.
  • Oversees design and maintenance of donor and prospect records, gift management systems, and informational reports. 
  • Works in partnership with Development Operations to provide appropriate prospect research. 
  • Designs and implements cultivation, acknowledgment, and recognition programs

Management & Human Resources

Ensures attainment of the organization’s fund development activities through the selection, development, motivation, and evaluation of human resources, both professional and volunteer. 

  • Helps the board and development committee(s) determine accountabilities for board members and fundraising volunteers and helps evaluate performance regularly. 
  • Supervises and establishes personnel accountabilities for development staff, including the CDO, and evaluates performance regularly, including direct management of the Director of Major Gifts, Director of Corporate Relations, Director of Development Operations, Grants Manager, Director of Events, and other team members as needed.
  • Creates, implements, and regularly assesses appropriate meeting structure and schedule for individuals, teams, and department, serving as manager, thought-partner, coach, and mentor.

Board of Directors

Works with the Chief Executive Officer, development committee chair, and board chair to ensure fulfillment of fund development roles and facilitate the optimum interaction between management and board of directors. 

  • Engages people in process, encourages questioning, and promotes participatory decision making. Gets the best thinking and involvement of each board member; and stimulates each one to give their best. 
  • With the development committee chair, develops agendas for meetings so that the committee can fulfill their responsibilities effectively; develops an annual calendar to cover all crucial development issues in a timely fashion. Works with the chief executive and volunteer leadership to make development committee and the board function effectively in fund development. 
  • Informs the chief executive and board leadership on the condition of the organization’s fund development program and on all important factors influencing it. 
  • Evaluates the performance of the board of directors and reports to the Chief Executive Officer with recommendations for board candidacy.


Required Skills and Abilities

  • Comprehensive management skills and experience including short and long-term planning, evaluation, directing and motivating staff, oral and written communication skills, marketing and financial management, values clarification, organizational behavior and development, and governance.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing and implementing a comprehensive fund development program and producing charitable contributions solicited individually and as a team.
  • Knowledge and experience in the nature and dimensions of philanthropy, ethics, motivations for giving and volunteering, research and cultivation practices, standard fundraising techniques including face-to-face solicitation, proposal writing, special events, telephone solicitation, and direct mail, and, development office functions including gift processing, prospect and donor histories, and fundraising reporting.
  • Strong management and leadership skills with the ability to motivate and lead a team to deliver results collaboratively and successfully. 
  • Ability to communicate, collaborate, and work cross-departmentally.
  • Ability to build strong relationships with a donor centric approach. 
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of major donors in order to develop meaningful relationships with DSF. 
  • Dedication to promoting DSF’s fundraising priorities through developing excellent working relationships with DSF staff, board, committees, and other volunteers. 
  • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate, and alter strategic development plans. 
  • Experience working with all Microsoft Office applications. 
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical, and organization skills. 
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks. 
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment. 
  • Ability to deal professionally and courteously with a wide variety of people in person, virtually, or via telephone. 
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Optimistic attitude and flexibility in a changing work environment. 
  • Respect, design, and implement practices that serve the needs of a diverse community. 
  • Commitment to the DSF mission. 
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge and/or Raiser’s Edge NXT preferred.
  • Membership in a professional fundraising association and baseline certification in fundraising is preferred.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 10 years of successful executive leadership, fundraising, and management experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. 

Compensation & Benefits 

  • $121,000 to $167,000
  • 401(k) plan with $ for $ match of up to 5%
  • Group health, dental, and vision insurance (low cost premium plans offered) 
  • Life Insurance that provides 2 Times Your Annual Salary
  • Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Short Term Disability Supplement (Based on Years of Service)
  • Paid holidays (includes Winter Break and Summer 1/2 Fridays in June and July) and 2 Floating holidays each year
  • Trusted Time Off (unlimited vacation policy following 90 days)
  • Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave (Based on Years of Service)
  • ID Theft Protection and Will Preparation Assistance
  • Legal and Financial Counseling
  • Four Professional Wellness Sessions
  • Employee Assistance Free and Confidential Counseling Services

Job posting will remain open until 07/30/24 and may be extended if additional time is needed to gather qualified applicants. 

Denver Scholarship Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. Learn about DSF’s commitment to Equity & Inclusion. 

Salary Description
$121,000 – $167,000

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