Chief Development Officer

Communities In Schools of Tennessee | Nashville (or Telecommute), Tennessee


Minimum of 5 years of fund development experience; the ideal candidate will have strong knowledge of the fundraising landscape across Tennessee.

Has knowledge and experience in development and fundraising practices, especially in major gifts development, grant writing and management, and cultivation of individual donors.

Job Summary

Modeling best practices in revenue development and service excellence, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for planning, organizing and directing all of Communities In Schools of Tennessee's (CIS-TN) fundraising including corporate and foundation giving, individual giving, and special events -- a total of $1.5 - 2 million. The CDO manages a portfolio of corporate, foundation, and individual donors in collaboration with other team members and the organization’s needs.

CIS-TN’s CDO works under the supervision of the Chief Executive Officer and in partnership the Board of Directors and other staff to set the strategy and ensure the organization meets and/or exceeds contributed revenue goals.

Reports To



Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

  • With CEO, set annual revenue goals and strategy (current projections for $1.5 - $2 million)
  • Oversee implementation of fundraising strategy, including maintaining an active portfolio of current and prospective corporate and individual supporters.  Coordinate relationship responsibilities with CEO, board, and others as needed.
  • Develop and oversee a new individual and major donor program, including research and cultivate funding sources and create corresponding cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans.
  • Direct major fundraising campaigns
  • Create and implement a development stewardship program that recognizes all gifts from the various funding sources in ways that secure long-term donor engagement
  • Refine protocol for maintaining current data on existing and prospective donors. Record donor activity and moves management process for assigned donors.
  • Collaborate with related staff in writing, preparing and submitting grant proposals to foundation funders, meeting submission guidelines and deadlines as required.
  • Collaborate with Program Director and CEO write competitive grant proposals and manage procured grants.
  • Collaborate with the Communications staff to develop effective collateral to achieve strategic goals.
  • Review current individual giving and make recommendations to CEO for improvement in the areas of acquisition strategy, cultivation and stewardship (such as creating named giving levels).
  • Assist in developing a culture of philanthropy with current and former board members.

General/Other Support 

  • Supervision of staff responsible for communications and fundraising and oversight of fundraising and awareness-building events as needed.
  • Collaborate with Communications to develop content and design for emails, web, social media, informational documents and proposals related to above mentioned responsibilities.
  • Ensure accurate data processing and acknowledgement of gifts and related fundraising activity relevant to the above-mentioned focus areas.
  • Participate fully as a member of CIS-TN’s team, attend staff meetings, participate at events, and coordinate collaborative activities with other departments as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Job Qualifications and Competencies

  • Minimum of 5 years of fund development experience; the ideal candidate will have strong knowledge of the fundraising landscape across Tennessee.
  • Has knowledge and experience in development and fundraising practices, especially in major gifts development, grant writing and management, and cultivation of individual donors.
  • Is a goal driven self-starter equipped to create programs and processes to secure financial stability for organizational growth.
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and demonstrated ability to be an effective spokesperson and advocate for CIS-TN’s mission.
  • Possesses the skills to work with and motivate staff, board members, and volunteers.
  • Systems and process management skills sufficient to manage a complex mix of revenue generating activities.
  • Experience with and an understanding of the role of nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit sector.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and a CRM/Donor Management System, preferably Little Green Light.
  • Strong attention to detail with a positive, problem-solving approach to work.
  • Proven ability to function effectively in a fast-paced environment with competing priorities and deadlines.
  • Ability to provide excellent customer service and uphold CISTN’s core values in all interactions representing CISTN.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

Indicators of Success

  • Meeting or exceeding annual revenue goals.
  • Growth in donor engagement across giving sectors.
  • Well-managed workload and demonstration of sector best practices.
  • Performance reviews reflect that the CDO is making a positive contribution to the organization’s effectiveness and growth, and to the culture of the organization.


Salary range is $75,000 - $90,000.

 CIS-TN offers a full range of benefits including health care, retirement contribution matching, and paid leave.


Equal Opportunity Employer
CIS-TN is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage all qualified candidates, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or gender identity to apply.

Work Environment and Physical Demands
Work is generally sedentary in nature. Occasional work required outside of normal business hours. Personal transportation is required for frequent out-of-office meetings and events. Some state travel required.

About Communities In Schools of Tennessee
Communities In Schools of Tennessee (CIS-TN) is a part of the national Communities In Schools (CIS) network, which is the leading dropout prevention program in the country, and the only such organization that is proven to decrease the dropout rate and increase on-time graduation rates. For the past ten years, CIS-TN has been helping students achieve in school, graduate and go on to bright futures. Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Today, we currently serve approximately 19,000 students in 40 schools across the state of Tennessee. Our unique model positions site coordinators inside schools to assess students’ needs and provide resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life. We partner with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers and volunteers. Whether it’s food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic assistance or a positive role model, CISTN is there to help. For more information please visit our website at

How to Apply

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Communities In Schools of Tennessee

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Organization: Nonprofit organizations