Chief Development Officer

Oliver Scholars

Posted: 5/10/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Fundraising/Development

Primary domain: Education

City: New York

Postal code: 10038

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$3M - $10M


Mission statement:

Organization Mission: Oliver Scholars prepares high-achieving Black and Latinx students from underserved New York City communities for success at top independent schools and prestigious colleges. We provide crucial support for our Scholars so they can realize their full potential and ultimately give back to the city, the nation, and the world.

Position Details:

Job Description:

Position Summary and Reporting: Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Development Officer is a key member of the leadership team and will work closely and seamlessly under the direction of the CEO with the Board of Trustees, the Program Team and Development Team to drive fundraising efforts to support mission impact. At this time, Oliver Scholars seeks a seasoned fundraising professional who can a) serve as a thought partner with our committed senior leadership team; b) create a strategic fundraising program that capitalizes on existing fundraising relationships and opportunities; and, c) serve as a fundraising entrepreneur to attract new donors and sponsors with passion for supporting our promising Black and Latinx. Succeeding in this environment will require a collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit; the ability to employ a hands-on approach to connecting with a broad array of donors, volunteers, and champions; and, a deep commitment to our mission. The Chief Development Officer will the organization’s leaders, staff, and board members to integrate an informed and enthusiastic fundraising perspective into all aspects of the Oliver Scholars programs and operations. The successful applicant should have proven experience as a fundraising generalist, with several years of fundraising management experience in a non-profit organization of similar size and scope.

Immediate priorities

The Chief Development Officer’s immediate priorities are to:

  • Thoroughly understand the Oliver Scholars Program  – its mission, values, history, culture, traditions, communities, programs, personalities, constituencies and governance structure; understand its base of financial support and the short and long-term funding requirements of all segments of the organization;
  • Develop strong relationships with, and secure the trust and confidence of the CEO and other senior leaders – working in concert and alignment with the CEO’s stated organizational goals and objectives;
  • Cultivate key funders, influencers, community members, consultants, and others critical to individual and institutional fundraising efforts;
  • Actively contribute to and engage with the organization’s strategic planning and goal-setting efforts;
  • Assess and evaluate the development department and team; ensure that the department is well-structured and able to support annual fundraising goals;
  • Immediately assess the “state of play” of in-process fundraising efforts and provide support for those efforts as needed; assume a hands-on, creative leadership role in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of major individual and institutional gifts; personally cultivate and solicit as appropriate.


  • Develop and Implement a strategic fundraising plan that is outcomes and metrics driven, and that significantly increases revenue and moves the organization closer to a  $4M annual goal within 5 years via diversified philanthropic income including a strong individual, corporate, and foundation donor base;
  • Develop a sound case for support that incorporates Oliver’s mission impact based on the perspectives of Scholars, families, staff, school partners, and community members;
  • Ensure that institutional fundraising proposals are wholly reflective of the work and values of the organization, that they are well-written, and that Oliver Scholars remains in compliance with all reporting requirements;
  • Ensure departmental compliance with Oliver’s data management procedures and processes;
  • Work in concert with the finance department to a) anticipate and plan for the fundraising program’s capacity to meet the financial needs of the organization via cash flow forecasting; b) manage gift processing and reconciliation protocols and procedures; c) support the execution of Oliver’s annual audit; and d) engage in financial contingency planning with the CEO, Trustees, and finance when appropriate;
  • Implement stewardship and donor recognition programs via snail mail, email, and multimedia channels;
  • Ensure timely, accurate, and appropriate reporting to the CEO, Board of Trustees, and external donors on all fundraising activities;
  • Advise the CEO and Board of Trustees on Oliver’s readiness for a successful capacity-building campaign and to execute a planned campaign under the direction of the CEO and a Campaign Sub-Committee;
  • Increase corporate sponsorships via events and in-kind contributions;
  • Support the CEO and Board of Trustees’ efforts to strengthen Oliver Scholars brand recognition among donors and prospective donors throughout New York City and the surrounding communities;
  • Develop a successful partnership with the CEO to ensure that they are prepared for donor engagement opportunities and positioned for success as the primary spokesperson of Oliver Scholars;
  • Function as a fair and values-driven departmental leader who encourages interdepartmental collaboration and ensures that the fundraising team has the skills needed to execute Oliver’s vision.


Preferred qualifications

Candidates should have the following type of experience and qualifications:

  • 10+ years of successful fundraising experience, with at least 5 years as a fundraising manager/director, preferred
  • Comfort and experience in a technology-driven environment;
  • Broad-based knowledge of various development campaign activities including: internet, direct mail, proposal and grant development, annual fund and planned giving, event planning and management, direct solicitations, leveraging fundraising databases and support systems for donor segmentation, research and volunteer management;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills;
  • Demonstrated experience in motivating, coordinating and supporting the fundraising activities of others.
  • A master’s degree in fundraising, public administration, business or a related field is preferred. CFRE candidates will receive priority.

Personal characteristics

The successful candidate should be:

  • A mission-driven individual with an understanding of, belief in and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in education, and across all aspects of the community;
  • A professional who is highly organized, proactive, and adaptive
  • A strategic problem-solver
  • An independent and open-minded individual who values and appreciates diversity, input and collaboration from various constituencies;
  • A good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to act on information to develop increased support;
  • A strong manager who will advocate for the fundraising team and develop their skills in the field;
  • A hard worker with a high energy level; a “doer” with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of development and advancement activities;
  • A person who is emotionally mature and self-reliant; someone who will thrive working in a small but growing office;
  • Someone who works will with others and can foster interdepartmental collaboration;


Oliver Scholars Programs offers a competitive salary with benefits package including a 403(b) plan.


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

HOW TO APPLY: For consideration, please forward your cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Please note, “[Chief Development Officer] – [your last name]” in the subject line of your email. Only applicants under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

A diverse workforce and open culture are at the heart of our organization and vital to our success. Oliver Scholars is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, citizenship status, or current employment status. Candidates who identify as members of historically underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply.




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