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Title: Chief Development Officer                          ​

Job Classification: Full-time/exempt

Reports to: President & CEO

Location: Children’s Institute, downtown Portland

Salary: Starting at $90,000 or commensurate with experience

To apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, open until filled. Early submission is advised.

Children’s Institute (CI) envisions an Oregon where every child is prepared for success in school and life. To meet this goal, we advocate for strategic investments in high-quality early childhood education and healthy development while highlighting effective strategies to improve outcomes for children. We also develop and implement programs that demonstrate the essential components of an integrated early care and education system, prenatal through third grade.

Our advocacy and implementation efforts strive to connect research, lived experience, and community voice as we work toward accountable advocacy. We work to ensure that more children who experience barriers to opportunity due to poverty, race, disability and/or geography succeed in kindergarten and meet third grade benchmarks.

CI prioritizes an integrated, team-based work approach and a flexible, collegial work environment while also embracing a sense of urgency in moving our mission forward.


The Chief Development Officer will have a passion for closing the educational opportunity gap, particularly in a child’s earliest years. This position reports to the CEO and serves as part of the management team while spearheading development efforts as Children’s Institute continues to grow and expand our advocacy reach. The Chief Development Officer is entrepreneurial, with a strong background in nonprofit fundraising, and thrives on overseeing and coordinating a range of development responsibilities in a successful and evolving statewide advocacy and systems change organization.

CI currently has a 21-person staff with a budget of $3.8 million and growing. The organization is 90 percent grant funded, with 10 percent of revenue coming from non-foundation sources, including individuals and corporate sponsorships. The Chief Development Officer oversees grant writing staff and will build out a more vibrant individual and major donor program. The Chief Development Officer sets revenue goals to support CI’s critical, mission-driven work in close partnership with the CEO & President, Chief of Staff, and Board of Directors. The candidate must have strong and sophisticated interpersonal skills to support staff and board members in developing relationships with funders and donors. A strong track record in fundraising and the ability to ensure that development strategies are carried out in keeping with the CI’s values, mission, vision and strategic plans are required.

The candidate has previous experience in or an ability to develop fluency in early childhood issues, policy analysis, and systems change and the ability to effectively articulate to a variety of audiences why the work is critical. The Chief Development Officer oversees the development team and works with the board to set fundraising strategy as well as collaborates in other governance duties, including supporting the President & CEO to build board strength and diversity. The Chief Development Officer works closely with the President and Director of Communications on articulating and communicating the vision of the organization to key stakeholders.

The Chief Development Officer brings a vision, diplomacy, excellent communications skills, and experience with overall nonprofit organizational development including management, finance, and budgeting.


  • Strategic fundraising leadership
  • Craft fundraising plan tailored to CI’s needs and lead staff to execute it successfully.
  • Work in close partnership with Chief of Staff to ensure CI’s fiscal health and anticipate future funding needs and sources of support.
  • Establish performance measures, monitor results, and help President & CEO evaluate the effectiveness of CI’s fund development program, ensuring that it is in alignment with CI’s advocacy and programming needs.
  • Specific fundraising oversight & management
  • Develop strategies and oversee fundraising from a mix of revenue sources, including individuals, corporations, family foundations, and major foundations.
  • Supervise development staff and oversee prospecting and writing of foundation grant requests to ensure they are accurate, timely, and capture appropriate CI and funder intent.
  • Oversee office administrative staff who support development office functions, including gift processing, prospect and donor histories, and fundraising reporting.
  • Work with President & CEO to nurture and cultivate strong and effective foundation relationships.
  • Oversee donor events and annual appeal.
  • Assure design and maintenance of donor and prospect records, gift management systems, and informational reports.
  • Assure design and implementation of cultivation, acknowledgement, and recognition programs.
  • Support organizational leadership
  • Provide vital input and short- and long-term strategic and operational planning within the organization in partnership with the leadership team.
  • In partnership with President & CEO, engage current board members in developing a fundraising culture and cultivate new board leadership to help move CI’s mission forward.
  • Work successfully in partnership with the Development Committee of the Board to address all crucial development issues in a timely fashion.
  • Annually evaluate performance of board fundraising to enhance board performance and help identify recommendations for board candidacy.
  • Coach and support board members and President & CEO to identify, cultivate, and solicit charitable gifts.

Primary Relationships

This position reports to the President & CEO and serves as part of the senior leadership team. The position currently supervises the following position:

  • Senior Development Officer

Within the organization, the position has primary relationships with the President & CEO, Chief of Staff, senior management staff, and administrative staff. Outside the organization, this position supports the Board of Directors, fundraising volunteers, donors, and foundation leaders. The Chief Development Officer is expected to represent the organization to the community with the highest integrity and must have the ability to understand and effectively explain CI’s work and programs in the early childhood arena.


  • The position requires demonstrated experience in managing and implementing a comprehensive fund development program and producing charitable contributions.
  • Knowledge and experience in the following areas are required:
  • Seven years fundraising experience in a professional position.
  • A demonstrated track record of success in leadership and fundraising.
  • An understanding of the nature and dimensions of philanthropy, ethics, motivations for giving and volunteering.
  • Ability to develop relationships with local, regional, and national foundations and understanding of their priorities.
  • Donor research and cultivation practices.
  • Demonstrated experience and confidence in connecting a mission to fundraising and asking people to contribute time and money to advance an organization’s work.
  • An understanding of the role of stewardship in moving donors through levels of giving.
  • Standard fundraising techniques including face-to-face solicitation, proposal writing, special events, telephone solicitation, and direct mail.
  • Development office functions, including gift processing, prospect and donor histories, and fundraising reporting in partnership with office support staff.
  • Familiarity with fundraising databases and general computer and social media literacy.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.


Employer fully paid medical/dental coverage

Employer fully paid long-term disability coverage

Employer fully paid life insurance, accidental death, and employee assistance plan

401(k) Retirement Savings Plan with qualified match and contribution

125 Flexible Benefits Plan

Generous paid time off, sick leave, and holidays



Children’s Institute is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of CI to provide equal employment opportunity in accordance with applicable law to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political opinion, national origin, familial status, mental and physical ability, source of income, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in all personnel actions. Personnel actions include recruitment, selection, promotion, compensation, training, and termination. Relations between employees shall be based on mutual respect, and regard for the effectiveness and well-being of the organization.


Consistent with applicable disability law, Children’s Institute will provide reasonable accommodations to assist qualified applicants or employees with disabilities to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, and to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment applicable to similarly situated employees without disabilities, provided the accommodation would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of CI.


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