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Chief Development Officer


New York, NY, USA


The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is the primary development partner to Human Right First’s President/CEO, board of directors, and executive leadership team. The CDO is responsible for all organizational fundraising efforts, from creating and executing a strategic development plan to managing development staff and budget. The CDO will maintain and expand the organization’s base of financial support from foundations, individuals, law firms, businesses, and others. The CDO will identify and employ the most effective development and marketing techniques with which to achieve organizational goals, in collaboration with the President/CEO, the board of directors, the communications, program, and operations teams, and others.


  • Design and implement a robust development strategy that maintains and broadens the organization’s financial support from foundations, individuals, law firms, businesses, and others, by nurturing existing relationships as well as identifying new and diverse sources of funding

  • Work closely with the President/CEO and senior management to raise funds in support of the organization’s mission and to coordinate and integrate the work of the development department across the organization

  • Work with board members to identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective donors; coordinate and facilitate the board’s involvement in meeting fundraising goals

  • Develop and execute donor engagement strategies, increasing supporter satisfaction and loyalty

  • Develop and execute consistent and compelling donor communications and solicitations

  • Oversee strategic development of partnerships and alliances in support of development, including Human Rights First’s board of advocates, the private sector, and other stake holders; expand public sector outreach consistent with the organization’s goals

  • Develop and execute distinctive brand positioning to attract new supporters and build brand familiarity; work closely with the communications team and senior management to ensure consistent messaging

  • Familiarize organization’s staff with fundraising goals and strategies and promote donor cultivation efforts across the organization

  • Develop and lead a highly-effective fundraising team skilled in the latest strategies for identification, cultivation, solicitation and management of foundation, law firm, individual, corporate, and other donors; facilitate the exchange of creative ideas and resources, set clear objectives, and evaluate results against goals set by the CEO and/or the COO

  • Develop an annual fundraising plan that establishes strategies and timelines for reaching fundraising goals, and metrics to chart progress

  • Develop and manage the development department’s annual budget

  • Some travel required

  • Other duties as requested based on departmental and/or organizational need


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher and a minimum of ten years in the development field in positions of increasing scope and responsibility; a minimum of five years of senior management experience (preferably in a nonprofit environment); professional experience in the human rights realm highly valued

  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission, core values, and objectives of Human Rights First

  • Demonstrated commitment to the highest professional and ethical standards

  • Breadth and depth of development experience with a personal record of success in garnering individual major gifts, creating successful fundraising strategies, improving financial results, improving relationships, building consensus, and providing leadership for a comprehensive development program including foundations, digital marketing, comprehensive campaigns, and special events

  • Professional and personal confidence and presence to guide and enhance the impact and results of the fundraising activities of the president/CEO and board of directors as well as other individuals of influence and affluence

  • Superb written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with board members, senior leadership, staff, donors, and other supporters

  • Outstanding management skills with the ability to provide leadership for an effective fundraising team in a dynamic, fast-paced environment

  • Ability to embrace management challenges, confront situations head-on, delegate with ease, and motivate and mentor others

  • Strong analytical skills based on intellectual depth with the ability to regularly exercise good judgment

  • Knowledge of accessing and managing donor database systems

  • Strong ability to organize and set and accomplish priorities in a timely manner


Only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing staff from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.


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