Chief Development Officer

Amnesty International USA
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Oct 05

Position description

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) seeks a Chief Development Officer (CDO) to serve as a member of the organization’s executive team and lead its ambitious fundraising efforts. The CDO has executive responsibility for the Development department, which currently raises $50 million for the program and operating budget. The CDO works closely with the Executive Director, the executive team, and Board of Directors to provide strategic vision and oversight of the organization’s mission and fundraising initiatives, assuring that AIUSA’s culture, systems and procedures support fund development and the growth in contributions needed to maintain and expand the critical work of AIUSA.

As a key member of the executive team the CDO will work in collaboration with the executive director, executive staff, senior leadership and board members to set the strategic direction for the organization; help leadership identify and address organizational development issues that challenge and support the short and long-term health and effectiveness of AIUSA; ensure that fundraising efforts are carried out in keeping with the organization’s values, mission and vision; and, evaluate the effect of internal and external forces on the organization and its fund development.

The CDO will provide leadership, direction, vision and inspiration to a development department of approximately 30 staff, with 5+ direct reports who oversee direct response, monthly giving, major gifts, foundations and planned giving programs. The CDO will maintain a balanced funding mix of donor sources and solicitation programs that attract, retain and motivate donors. Additionally, the CDO will establish performance measures and monitor results, while helping the executive director and board members evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s fund development program.


Planning and Strategy:

  • Provides a clear, compelling, and inspirational vision and strategy for AIUSA’s complex, multichannel fundraising program that creates a pathway for sustained revenue growth.
  • Leads, develops and manages a highly capable fundraising staff who ensures that all fundraising objectives are aligned with organizational initiatives and priorities.
  • Designs and implements cost-effective fund development programs that produce solid ROIs while helping to set and manage appropriate expectations with the executive director and board members.
  • Assures proper planning including goal setting, strategy development, and benchmarking and evaluation to support fund development growth.
  • Conducts appropriate market testing to reduce risk and assure success.
  • Establishes new revenue streams with a goal of continuing to diversify and expand AIUSA’s funding base.
  • Provides general oversight of all of the organization’s development activities, managing the day-to-day operations of the development team and monitoring effectiveness of activities.
  • Adheres to the highest ethical standards in management, governance and fund development, ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations and laws and maintaining accountability to donors.


Board of Directors Management:

  • Plays a leadership role with the development subcommittee of the Board of Directors, working with them to increase Board engagement in fundraising activities.
  • Serves as a fundraising liaison to the Board of Directors, working with the Board Treasurer and Executive Director to prepare presentations and ensure the Board is up to date and informed.

Fundraising & Stewardship:

  • Establishes new revenue streams with a goal of continuing to diversify and expand AIUSA’s funding base.
  • Participates in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of high net worth individual donors as appropriate.
  • Builds a robust donor base by developing and maintaining key long-term relationships with funders through community outreach, media, accurate and regular reporting, and branding and marketing activities. 
  • Builds capacity of fundraising platforms and infrastructure. Continually improves systems and processes to support the fundraising growth of the organization.

Regional Development Support:

  • Frequently engages with regional Directors and Development staff regarding their philanthropy goals and fundraising strategies
  • Provides guidance on how best to cultivate funders and prospects and manage public relations activities.
  • Collaborates with regions to engage national partners through local volunteerism, activism, advisory board membership, and recruitment of local donors in order to create more champions of the local work/mission.

Staff Management:

  • Supervises the Deputy Director of Development, the National Director of Major Gifts & Foundations, the National Director of Direct Response and the Executive Development Assistant and provides guidance and support to their teams of professional staff.
  • Encourages a culture of high performance and continuous development that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Mentors and manages staff with a commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility principles.
  • Establishes and monitors staff performance and development goals, offers ongoing and regular feedback, and demonstrates a commitment to professional development of all staff.


  • Collaborates with Chief Impact Officer and National Director of Public Affairs to ensure fully integrated fundraising and communications programs. Provides input on the distribution and execution of public relations activities, such as social media, national website, and press coverage regarding current partnerships.
  • Works in partnership with Finance on strategy for revenue management.

Special initiatives:

  • Leads new initiatives when requested by the ED to pilot new approaches, to capture opportunities or to address risks.
  • Ensures AIUSA’s continued close connection to the broader AI movement, the international Fundraising Management Team, and the global identity and growth initiatives that directly impact the organization.


  • Bachelor’s Degree is required
  • Advanced Education or related certification is highly desired
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressive development experience in the non-profit sector is required
  • ‚Ä™Comprehensive knowledge of development, including all aspects of fundraising, with a strong background in securing major gifts and foundation relations.
  • Previous supervisory skills and ability to effectively manage staff is required
  • Excellent written, oral communication and analytical skills
  • Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision into an operation model
  • Ability to work collaboratively with senior leadership teams, non-profit boards, and other affiliated organizations
  • Integrity, humility, and an entrepreneurial attitude
  • Effective communication skills and a strong commitment to developing team members
  • A firm commitment to advancing human rights

Skills or Related Knowledge

  • An understanding of all areas of AIUSA’s core areas of development, including major gifts, planned giving, foundation giving, monthly giving, and direct mail.
  • Demonstrated success increasing development revenue through strategic planning, effective leadership, and the integration of multiple revenue streams with clear metrics and goals; specific experience growing and strengthening a monthly giving program preferred.
  • Experience with personally soliciting six and seven figure gifts is a plus.
  • Experience building on a successful fundraising program to increase revenue and support organizational growth.
  • Experience directly cultivating and stewarding major donors along with deep knowledge of the major donor funding landscape and trends.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to work well across all parts of the organization, both in the United States and internationally.
  • Excellent management and leadership skills with an ability to provide clear direction and hold staff accountable for ambitious, attainable goals as well as a genuine interest in coaching and developing team members.
  • Strong data and analysis orientation, a proven ability to use data to drive fundraising decisions and planning.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with a track record of engaging and persuasive public speaking and the ability to produce compelling development writing and coaching others to do so.
  • Strong change leadership skills, including the ability to strengthen and continue to expand a culture of philanthropy across the organization that ensures all stakeholders value fundraising as a key driver for organizational success.

Key desired personal characteristics include:

• Deep passion for human rights and social justice        

• Authentic respect for AIUSA’s unique history and its future potential

• Respect for and belief in the power of grassroots volunteers

• Highly collaborative, team-oriented approach to work

• A sense of humor and the desire to work with highly skilled, motivated, and engaged colleagues to create social change

Application instructions

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