Chief Development Officer

Hartford, CT

Position Summary

As a member of the council Executive Leadership Team, the CDO is responsible for cultivating relationships with major donors and identifying opportunities for fundraising while furthering the overall mission of the organization.  He/she will collaborate with the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team to develop short and long-range strategic goals concerning the fundraising efforts of the organization.  The CDO will promote alumni relations, secure major gifts, execute successful special events, develop annual appeals and campaigns, promote corporation/foundation relations, supervise grant writing and reporting, develop, coordinate and grow planned giving, lead capital campaigns (as authorized by the Board of Directors), as well as lead coordinated state and local advocacy initiatives.  

 The CDO will lead several complex departments responsible for council development and fundraising, brand management and overall marketing and communications support for the council as a whole.  Directing a professional staff of approximately 10, he or she leads council-wide efforts to develop and implement fundraising plans and major events, create and build public and media relations, develop and maintain website and electronic media, effectively deploy digital assets and social media channels, and leads organizational marketing and advocacy.  Communications support encompasses not only support for core internal mission related functions, such as membership development, camp and program, but also external tactical and strategic initiatives to build the visibility of the brand and mission of the organization.

 The CDO works closely with the CEO, other members of the Executive Team and the Board to drive the strategic leadership and direction of the council.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

 Work with the CEO and the Resource Development Committee of the Board of Directors to create broad-based achievable short and long range revenue generation strategies to support the strategic direction of GSOFCT.  Work with Board to encourage individual philanthropy and Board engagement in supporting fund development goals.

  • Identify and cultivate individual, foundation and corporate prospects.  Create case statements and proposals for external funding opportunities, including for scheduled annual events and other new fundraising opportunities as needed.
  • Effectively develop and maintain influential relationships in the State of Connecticut community to maximize awareness and engagement with families and funders and in identifying and developing opportunities to partner with organizations from the business, non-profit, and public sectors to maximize broad-based support for the Council’s operations.
  • Develops actionable strategies for meeting and exceeding goals through grants, sponsorships, gifts, donations and fundraising events.
  • Raises awareness of the organization and its primary goals through outreach efforts, regular events in the community, marketing and media relations
  • Identifies new revenue streams to enhance the organization’s fundraising efforts
  • Monitors fundraising trends and uses information to inform future efforts
  • Ensure that GSOFCT puts forth a consistent and strong message and that the organization is presented in a strong, positive image - clearly articulating its mission, vision, programs and impact on the community.
  • Interpret and promote Girl Scouting in the State of Connecticut community - including legislators and other community partners.
  • Manage the development of effective marketing and advertising strategies and messages that promote membership, volunteer development, program, product and retail sales, and public support.`
  • Direct, manage, mentor and train marketing, advocacy, and fund development staff.
  • Participate on Board and/or Advisory committees which may include Fund Development, Marketing, and Advocacy.
  • Assist in the identification and recruitment of potential board members and community members of board committees.  Attend board and committee meetings as appropriate.
  • Coach and develop staff while modeling the three values of GSOFCT:  shared accountability, integrity and excellence.
  • Spearhead the activities associated with national initiatives through GSUSA and sister councils. 
  • Oversees fundraising events to ensure goals are achieved and donor needs are satisfied
  • Solicits donations from large corporate donors and major donors, keeping them informed of organizational progress made possible by their donations
  • Spearheads GSOFCT advocacy and external communications initiatives in collaboration with Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors.
  • Serve as liaison between council and GSUSA in ensuring the effective dissemination and messaging of critical organizational communications both internally to staff and externally to stakeholder groups, as needed and appropriate.
  • Support the CEO and Executive Leadership Team as lead in responding to and developing internal and external communications tactics and strategies.
  • Work with the Director of Marketing and Communications to support all internal departments by providing marketing plans and strategies that ensure achievement of their departmental goals.
  • Oversee the collaboration and planning of annual grant funding needs with Member Experience, Community Outreach and other internal departments.
  • Participate as a key member of the Crisis Management Team; ensure that all staff are trained to respond timely and properly to media inquiries.  Serve as spokesperson for the organization in collaboration with the CEO.
  • Ensure that brand integrity is maintained in all internal and external council communications.
  • Participate in National initiatives to align the Girl Scout Movement around external relations areas
  • Other duties as assigned.


Skills, Experience & Qualifications


  • 10+ years experience in nonprofit fundraising and development, leadership, along with management, strategic planning and implementation, and marketing.  Proven ability as a leader of diverse and complex organizational functions.
  • Experience cultivating and securing 5-6 figure major gifts.
  • Experience with media interviews preferred.
  • 10+ years experience with public speaking.  Strong verbal and written communications skills.
  • Preferred background in Girl Scouts, either as a (girl) Girl Scout, parent of a Girl Scout, volunteer or on staff.
  • Experience using fundraising database software.  Raisers Edge preferred.
  • Solid understanding and capable user of Microsoft outlook (email, calendar, tasks).
  • Strong experience using Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Demonstrated success with individual giving and major gifts and a working knowledge of information systems and databases that support fundraising.
  • A demonstrated ability to conceptualize and implement comprehensive development programs, including envisioning and articulating future direction.
  • Knowledge of Connecticut-statewide philanthropic community and media experience are preferred
  • Valid Connecticut driver’s license, vehicle in working condition, proof of insurance, or the ability to fulfill timely and extensive travel requirements across widespread state geography.
  • Able to pass a criminal background and drug screening.
  • Bachelors Degree; Masters Degree preferred; CFRE preferred

 Additional Organizational Requirements

  • Subscribe to the principles of the Girl Scout Movement. 
  • Possess a positive attitude with strong work ethic, integrity and honesty.
  • Must be flexible, adaptable and willing to thrive in an ever changing/fast-paced environment.
  • Adhere to our Guiding Principles at all times
  • Be a visible champion for inclusiveness, diversity and equity
  • Behave in ways that demonstrate respectful treatment of other employees, volunteers and girls.
  • Practice pluralism and be inclusive with the services provided.

 Physical Requirements

The incumbent is in a non-confined office-type setting in which he or she is free to move about at will. The environment for this position is mostly clean and comfortable but may include some minor annoyances such as noise, odors, drafts, etc. In the course of performing this work, the incumbent:

  •  Will spend time sitting, utilizing the computer.
  • Will spend time standing/walking throughout the facilities.
  • Must travel via personal vehicle or public transport to various facilities throughout the state.
  • May lift up to 20 lbs. periodically. 

The incumbent must be able to perform this job safely, without endangering the health or safety of him/herself or others. 

  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.