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Become A Chief Development Officer

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Working As A Chief Development Officer

  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $88,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Chief Development Officer Do

Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Duties

Public relations managers typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to reach them
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Develop their organization's or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Fundraising managers typically do the following:

  • Manage progress towards achieving an organization’s fundraising goals
  • Develop and carry out fundraising strategies
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Create and plan different events that can generate donations
  • Meet face-to-face with highly important donors
  • Apply for grants
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Public relations managers review press releases and sponsor corporate events to help maintain and improve the image of their organization or client.

Public relations managers help to clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews. They observe social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect their organization, and they recommend ways to enhance the firm's image based on those trends. For example, in response to a growing concern about the environment, the public relations manager for an oil company may create a campaign to publicize its efforts to develop cleaner fuels.

In large organizations, public relations managers often supervise a staff of public relations specialists. They also work with advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to ensure that advertising campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is trying to portray. For example, if a firm decides to emphasize its appeal to a certain group, such as young people, the public relations manager needs to make sure that current advertisements are well received by that group.

In addition, public relations managers may handle internal communications, such as company newsletters, and may help financial managers produce an organization’s reports. They may also draft speeches, arrange interviews, and maintain other forms of public contact to help the organization’s top executives.

Public relations managers must be able to work well with many types of specialists to report the facts accurately. In some cases, the information they write has legal consequences. As a result, they must work with the company's or client's lawyers to be sure that the information they release is both legally accurate and clear to the public.

Fundraising managers oversee campaigns and events intended to bring in donations for their organization. Many organizations that employ fundraisers rely heavily on the donations they gather in order to run their operations.

Fundraising managers usually decide which fundraising techniques are necessary in a certain situation. Common techniques may include annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, or major gifts. In addition, social media has created a new avenue for fundraising managers to connect with more potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

Those who work on annual campaigns focus heavily on contacting donors who have given in the past, and request that they give again. Finding new contacts for future donations is also a component of a successful annual campaign.

Capital campaigns are different; they are generally used to raise money over a shorter time period and for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university.

Fundraisers who spend most of their time on planned giving must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will. Major gifts are a feature of many different campaigns and are generally requested in person given the large value of the potential donation.

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How To Become A Chief Development Officer

Public relations and fundraising managers need at least a bachelor’s degree, and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience are also necessary.

Education

For public relations and fundraising management positions, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism is generally required. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.

Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, public relations managers can get certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on years of experience and must pass an exam to become certified.

The International Association of Business Communicators offers a credential to demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise.

The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is voluntary, but fundraisers who pursue certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. Candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience in fundraising and have 80 hours of continuing education through conference attendance and classroom instruction to qualify. Fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years to keep their certification valid.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Public relations and fundraising managers must have several years of experience in a related or entry-level position, such as a public relations specialist or fundraiser.

Lower level management positions may require only a few years of experience, whereas directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build rapport and receive cooperation from their media contacts and donors.

Leadership skills. Public relations and fundraising managers often lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers and must be able to guide their activities.

Organizational skills. Public relations and fundraising managers are often in charge of running several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Managers sometimes must explain how the company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations and fundraising managers regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to explain the organization’s position clearly.

Writing skills. Managers must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them succinctly in order to keep the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Chief Development Officer
Director 6.4%
President 4.0%
Consultant 2.9%
Manager 2.1%
Top Careers After Chief Development Officer
President 5.7%
Director 5.4%
Consultant 5.0%
Principal 5.0%

Do you work as a Chief Development Officer?

Chief Development Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

58.1%

Female

31.1%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

63.6%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Black or African American

12.6%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.8%

French

17.0%

Chinese

4.3%

German

4.3%

Mandarin

4.3%

Hindi

4.3%

Russian

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Italian

4.3%

Portuguese

2.1%

Filipino

2.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Tigrinya

2.1%

Hebrew

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Cherokee

2.1%

Occidental

2.1%

Korean

2.1%

Bengali

2.1%
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Chief Development Officer Education

Schools

George Washington University

9.6%

Webster University

8.3%

Harvard University

6.4%

University of Phoenix

5.8%

Michigan State University

5.1%

Columbia University

5.1%

American University

5.1%

University of Alabama

4.5%

New York University

4.5%

University of California - Berkeley

4.5%

Northwestern University

4.5%

Georgetown University

4.5%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.5%

Community College of the Air Force

4.5%

Wayne State University

3.8%

University of Pennsylvania

3.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.8%

University of Southern California

3.8%

Dartmouth College

3.8%

Stephen F Austin State University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

29.5%

Management

7.3%

Marketing

6.5%

Finance

5.4%

Political Science

5.2%

Public Administration

5.0%

Communication

4.9%

Education

4.7%

Human Resources Management

4.2%

English

3.6%

Law

3.6%

Psychology

3.2%

Computer Science

2.6%

Public Relations

2.4%

Sociology

2.3%

Social Work

2.1%

Theology

1.9%

History

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.8%

Project Management

1.8%
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Degrees

Masters

37.9%

Bachelors

34.9%

Other

14.0%

Doctorate

6.5%

Certificate

3.2%

Associate

2.7%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$88,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$48,000
Min 10%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$161,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
International Institute
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does a Chief Development Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Chief Development Officer in the United States is $88,707 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $48,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $161,000.

Real Chief Development Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief Commercial Officer, Head of Corporate Development Southern Star Shipping Co., Inc. New York, NY Aug 28, 2015 $500,000
Chief Development & Performance Management Officer Bunge Management Services, Inc. White Plains, NY Sep 15, 2013 $500,000
Global Chief Marketing & Business Development Offi SNR Denton Us LLP New York, NY Sep 29, 2012 $420,000 -
$720,000
Chief Development Officer Anaptysbio, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 20, 2014 $350,000
Chief Development Officer Everpower Wind Holdings Inc. Pittsburgh, PA May 15, 2016 $250,000 -
$300,000
Chief of Corporate Development MWH Americas, Inc. Broomfield, CO Oct 01, 2010 $222,269 -
$350,000
Chief of Corporate Development MWH Americas, Inc. Broomfield, CO Oct 01, 2013 $220,314 -
$355,000
Chief Development Officer University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, I Saint Augustine, FL Dec 01, 2012 $200,000
Chief Development Officer (Latin America) LCR Capital Partners LLC Westport, CT Aug 01, 2015 $190,000
Chief Development Officer Everpower Wind Holdings Inc. Pittsburgh, PA May 14, 2013 $180,000 -
$260,000
Chief Development Officer Houston Symphony Society Houston, TX Nov 01, 2011 $160,000
Chief Development Officer Playdom, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 19, 2011 $150,000
Chief Development & Communications Officer Chakra Ventures II LLC Cambridge, MA Nov 01, 2010 $150,000
Chief Development & Communications Officer Chakra Ventures II LLC Cambridge, MA Dec 01, 2010 $150,000
Chief Development Officer Children's Hospital of Chicago Medical Center Chicago, IL Jan 08, 2016 $137,176 -
$480,000
Chief of Marketing and Business Development Melsao USA, Inc. New York, NY Sep 03, 2015 $120,000
Chief Development Officer Waters Edge Recovery LLC Stuart, FL Nov 18, 2015 $115,369
Chief Development Officer Lurie Children's Medical Group, LLC Chicago, IL Jan 08, 2016 $115,315 -
$480,000
Chief Development Officer Waters Edge Recovery, LLC Stuart, FL Nov 18, 2016 $113,637
Chief Development Officer Wit Americas, LLC Miami, FL Nov 10, 2012 $87,000
Chief Development Officer Wit Americas, LLC Miami, FL Nov 01, 2009 $86,700
Chief Development Officer Wit Americas, LLC Miami, FL Nov 10, 2009 $86,700

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Top Skills for A Chief Development Officer

  1. Donor Database
  2. Strategic Plan
  3. Financial Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Led a cross-functional strategic planning and process improvement team in an 800-person maintenance repair and overhaul organization.
  • Cultivated and built corporate/foundation relationships and targeted financial supporters in the private sector.
  • Generated complete business models for Business Development/Marketing departments.
  • Coordinate planning and implementation of special events.
  • Developed and implemented a comprehensive major gifts development strategy to maintain and increase support from corporate and individual donors.

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Top 10 Best States for Chief Development Officers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Rhode Island
  3. New York
  4. Virginia
  5. New Jersey
  6. Colorado
  7. Massachusetts
  8. California
  9. North Carolina
  10. Washington
  • (120 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (375 jobs)
  • (249 jobs)
  • (188 jobs)
  • (140 jobs)
  • (343 jobs)
  • (924 jobs)
  • (221 jobs)
  • (170 jobs)

Top Chief Development Officer Employers

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Jobs From Top Chief Development Officer Employers

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