Chief Development Officer
Job TitleChief Development Officer
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Kindly send nominations or expressions of interest to:
Lisa Byala, Principal
Isaac Lustgarten, Principal
T: (212) 547-9536
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) seeks to identify candidates for the position of Chief Development Officer (CDO) to be based in Woods Hole, MA.
Job Summary:
Reporting to the Institution’s President and Director, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for developing and managing a program for the cultivation, solicitation, and closing of major and principal gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations for top funding priorities at WHOI. The development department generates fundraising revenues of $15 to $20 million per year and the new CDO would be expected to substantially grow that amount. The Chief Development Officer is a member of WHOI’s senior leadership team and works directly with the President and Director, Board, Directorate, Scientists, and Major donors. The successful candidate will be energetic, poised in dealing with constituents, passionate about ocean science and its relationship with humanity, and able to communicate persuasively that passion to donors. Additional responsibilities include:
Strategic Leadership and Development Responsibilities:
  • Identify and implement a strategic direction for the department that includes identifying priorities, policies, strategies, and tactics to align the Development effort with the WHOI mission as a global leader in ocean science and engineering.
  • As a member of the Institutional Strategy Council, participate in determining fund-raising priorities for the Institution.
  • Lead the creation of a program to identify, cultivate, and solicit a variety of complex gifts at the six and seven figure levels and solicit such gifts where appropriate.
  • Cultivate, steward, and solicit, where appropriate, already-engaged donors and increase their levels of participation, and work to identify donors previously unaffiliated with WHOI
  • In partnership with the President and Director and the Board, proactively guide efforts to identify, cultivate, and solicit major individual and corporate donors and board members to grow and diversify WHOI’s major donor base.
  • Engage more unrestricted donations in annual campaigns and steward donors to higher levels of unrestricted giving.
Collaboration with the scientists:
  • Develop knowledge of ocean science and related issues. Keep abreast of research advances and priorities in order to present a compelling case to donors.
  • Collaborate with WHOI scientists to secure funding for initiatives that support the science/research priorities along with fulfillment of development goals.
  • Understand and translate the Institution’s highest priorities into funding opportunities and work closely with WHOI leadership to hone and communicate those priorities.
Management and Communication:
  • Manage current team of five (corporate and foundation relations, major gifts, annual and planned giving, advancement services, and principal gifts) and grow the existing team as appropriate.   Assess and assign individual contributor portfolios for maximum leverage.
  • Collaborate with the communications group on Institutional priorities and serve as a spokesperson and advocate for WHOI.
  • Develop and manage WHOI’s development strategy to ensure policies and procedures are in place to strengthen donor and scientist interaction.
  • Convey the unique position of WHOI in the context of ocean issues.
The ideal candidate will have a minimum of ten years of experience in development management, with a track record of soliciting and stewarding major and principal gifts at the six and seven figure level. The candidate should have the demonstrated ability to conceive of and manage a comprehensive development campaign, which would include unrestricted giving, major gifts from corporate, foundation and individual donors, possible capital campaigns, planned giving, endowment, and scientific salary support. He/she will have experience managing a staff to develop the strongest and most appropriate solicitation strategies of high-end gift prospects.  He/she will revisit the development strategy and staffing to ensure success in a campaign environment.
The candidate will have the ability to partner with science and engineering researchers and encourage WHOI-wide concurrence on development priorities and to satisfy the goals of science-oriented donors.
The candidate will have experience in advanced organizational leadership, preferably in a variety of settings.  He/she will contribute to creating a culture of development at WHOI at every level.  Communication and follow-up with colleagues and donors will be critical to this effort.  The appointee will guide WHOI leadership to successful private development efforts.
He/she will be confident and have a transparent communication style, facilitating communication between development and scientific staff about external donor/prospect activities. The placement should be proactive about engaging and following up with trustees, the Directorate, researchers, and other staff about institution priorities.
Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degrees preferred. Traveling is required.
The ideal candidate will have strong communications skills, project management experience, and a collaborative work style.  He/she will demonstrate flexibility in adapting to, and working effectively in, a highly charged intellectual environment.  The successful candidate must possess the maturity, poise, and sophistication to understand and manage complex relationships with donors, trustees, scientists, and staff.
The successful candidate will be comfortable in this fast-paced setting and have the intellectual curiosity and personal motivation to achieve the goals of WHOI. He/she will bring team spirit, enthusiasm, and integrity to the role to motivate and achieve results and the interpersonal skills to promote collaboration and cooperation among all levels of staff and across the Institution. The Chief Development Officer should thrive in a high performing environment and have an interest in oceanography and the sea.
WHOI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans/M/F. We encourage Veterans and those with Disabilities to apply. Applications are reviewed confidentially.
This search is being led by ByalaSearch, Inc.
Kindly send nominations or expressions of interest to:
Lisa Byala, Principal
Isaac Lustgarten, Principal
T: (212) 547-9536
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