Chief Development Officer

One Million Degrees

Posted: 9/16/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Fundraising/Development

Primary domain: Education

City: Chicago

Postal code: 60601

State: Illinois

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$3M - $10M


Mission statement:

One Million Degrees is the only organization in Illinois and one of few in the country dedicated to providing comprehensive supports to low-income, highly motivated community college students to help them succeed in school, in work, and in life. From tutors and coaches to financial assistance and professional development, OMD offers the support that empowers scholars to transform their lives and those around them for generations. OMD Scholars graduate at twice the state average with the skills and experiences necessary to launch economically mobile careers. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

About One Million Degrees:

Although half of Illinois’ public college students attend community college, only one in four of them will graduate with a degree within three years. One Million Degrees (OMD) changes that by providing comprehensive supports to community college students, accelerating their progress on career pathways to economic mobility.


OMD’s model, which combines academic, personal, professional, and financial supports, is changing the education landscape. OMD’s community college scholars are 47% more likely than their counterparts to continue from one semester to the next as a full-time student. Early findings from a long-term, large-scale randomized controlled trial of the OMD model conducted by the University of Chicago Poverty Lab is showing exciting and promising results.


After more than a decade of programming, OMD continues to expand the number of scholars it supports to be a catalyst for change in Chicago. OMD partners with 10 Chicago-area community colleges and will serve over 900 scholars and apprentices across the region in the 2019-2020 academic year.



Position Summary:

One Million Degrees is seeking an energetic and dynamic leader to grow the organization’s deep, diverse private fundraising program to the next level of growth and sustainability. The next Chief Development Officer, who will be just the second leader in this role, will serve as a critical thought partner to the CEO and the Board of Directors, working together to build the case and funding for the organization’s next phase of impact across the Chicago region and beyond. The CDO will set the fundraising strategy and vision for OMD and will be responsible for raising at least $5 million annually, nearly all of which currently comes from private funding sources, including foundations, corporations, individuals, and a gala each spring.


The CDO will lead the development and communications teams, currently comprising 4 FTEs,. and will continue to recruit, manage, and develop a robust, high-performing team and maintain a forward-thinking approach to growth, planning for the organization’s future needs today.


Alongside the CEO, the CDO serves as a key face of the organization. The ideal candidate will generate excitement about and deeper interest in the organization’s work both locally and nationally.  The CDO will do so by building and strengthening relationships with key current and prospective stakeholders, including board members, corporate partners, regional and national funders, policymakers, elected officials, members of the media, and other influential individuals across broad sectors.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:


Fundraising and External Relations

  • Serve as OMD's lead fundraiser, leading a team to generate significant, diversified, and renewable funding streams
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit new major gifts, and build and strengthen relationships with existing donors
  • Build the next phase of the organization’s public funding strategy, building and sustaining relationships with city, state, county, and federal elected officials and policymakers
  • Build close, individual partnerships with members of OMD’s Board of Directors and help identify and recruit top-tier prospective Board candidates
  • Serve as the staff liaison for the Board’s Fundraising Committee and engage other volunteer group(s) and/or individuals in volunteer leadership roles as applicable, including for the organization’s annual Degrees of Impact gala
  • Utilize Salesforce and a data-driven approach to effectively identify potential donors and refine OMD's fundraising efforts


Leadership and Strategy

  • Design OMD's fundraising strategy and objectives, devising key performance indicators and detailed fundraising and communications plans
  • Drive effective execution of all OMD fundraising and externally-facing initiatives
  • Partner closely with the Chief Operating Officer and finance department to ensure robust revenue and expense tracking systems are in place, particularly regarding restricted gifts and public funding
  • Serve on the organization's senior leadership team and partner with all members of the team to evolve OMD and grow the organization's impact
  • Bring an energetic, positive, results-oriented, can-do attitude to the workplace every day



  • Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience
  • Health Benefits – Full health benefits provided for full-time employees, including medical, dental, and vision. 
  • Retirement Benefits – For full-time employees, OMD offers a Simple IRA plan and matches retirement contributions up to 3% of total salary. 
  • Professional Learning Opportunities – OMD supports employees’ continued learning in areas relevant to his or her professional growth and organizational goals and will pay for training such as workshops and conference, up to $500/year or as agreed to by employee and supervisor. 
  • Paid Time Off – Up to 15 days PTO plus 9 paid holidays.



The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of seven years of professional experience, with significant experience fundraising in a nonprofit setting
  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree preferred
  • Palpable passion for OMD's mission and the transformative power of education and opportunity
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a proven ability to effectively build relationships with diverse audiences
  • Experience with Salesforce a plus
  • Comfort with using data to drive overall strategy
  • Experience expanding and cultivating relationships in the Chicago area highly preferred
  • Desire to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively recruit, lead and manage teams
  • Ability to effectively design and manage multiple projects
  • Results-orientation and a track record of operating as a highly organized self-starter
  • Comfort and excitement around managing people and projects in an entrepreneurial setting


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume to:


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