We’re Hiring: Chief Development Officer


Posted 11/1/18


Chief Development Officer

UpStart partners with the Jewish community’s boldest leaders to expand the picture of how Jews find meaning and how we come together. Whether someone is starting a new Jewish venture or reimagining what an existing one has to offer, UpStart gives them the entrepreneurial tools and network they need to build the Jewish community of the future.

UpStart hosts programs in 13 communities across the country. Since our inception, UpStart has fueled the impact of over 1,300 organizations and trained nearly 3,000 of the Jewish community’s most inspiring leaders.

About the Role

Location: Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Southern California, or Denver/Boulder preferred

Reporting to the CEO, and working in partnership with an engaged board and dedicated professional colleagues, the Chief Development Officer’s (CDO) primary responsibility is to mature UpStart’s development operation and to grow the organization’s revenue to support an ambitious strategic direction. The CDO serves as a key member of the Leadership Team and an active participant in making strategic decisions impacting the organization.

UpStart receives 90% of its contributed income from national, regional, and local foundations. Experience in, and familiarity, with the institutional funding sector will be important to maintaining and growing these revenue streams.

The CDO will provide inspiring and strategic leadership to an emerging professional and volunteer Development Team and will work in concert with them to build a robust contributed income pipeline, deliver impactful donor cultivation and stewardship, and effectively solicit major gifts from individuals and foundations.

The CDO will be a resourceful, bold, and energetic fundraiser who will spend much of their time in the community developing important relationships to elevate UpStart’s visibility and to secure funding for existing and new initiatives. The CDO will expand and diversify UpStart’s base and develop a deeper pipeline of donors.

This self-motivated strategic professional has a background in individual major gifts fundraising, foundation relationships, and grant writing with a demonstrated track record of devoting care and attention to detail across all aspects of the development function.

The position requires a dynamic, ambitious, tenacious professional who is passionate about UpStart’s mission.

Key Responsibilities

  • Strategy, Fundraising & Communications:
    • In partnership with the CEO, lead the overall strategy for contributed income to support the sustainability of the organization, including national, regional, and local fundraising initiatives and partnerships.
    • Oversee the strategy and implementation of all fundraising initiatives and events, ranging from intimate gatherings to major fundraising events.
    • Engage in direct solicitation of major donors and a pipeline of mid-level donors who have a greater capacity for upgrades.
    • Conduct research, prospecting, and application to multiple donor sources.
    • Strategically integrate lay leaders, CEO, and select colleagues in donor relationship development processes to utilize their expertise and optimize fundraising.
    • Manage a personal portfolio of prospective major individual and institutional donors and deepen these alliances through regular, relevant communications and stewardship.
    • Promote UpStart to new high capacity audiences and prospects to generate interest, support, and ambassadorship for the organization.
    • Engage the board in donor acquisition and stewardship through training, motivation, and support.
  • Collaboration:
    • Support and partner with the CEO and Board on major fundraising initiatives and development strategies in alignment with the mission and vision.
    • Collaborate with the Chief Finance and Operating Officer (CFOO) to develop, implement, and achieve the financial strategy.
    • Partner with senior leadership on building a strong culture of philanthropy and with the brand strategy team to develop donor-centric communications that are organizationally consistent with all other communications.
  • Oversight and Reporting:
    • Oversee the development and execution of all grant proposals, ensuring quality submissions and expansion of foundation relations and philanthropic investment, with a long-term relationship-management approach.
    • Develop aggregate donor information and statistical analysis of donations.
    • Ensure that reporting and campaign tracking systems are complete, efficient, accurate, monitored for quality control, and in alignment with development goals.
  • Management:
    • Manage day-to-day activities of the development and donor-centric communications functions including budgeting, planning and staff development.
    • Assure that the performance of all Development staff is actively managed and professional development and coaching opportunities are identified and implemented.
    • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
    • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct annual performance appraisals.

Skills and Experience

  • 8-10 years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization.
  • Proven track record in the development and implementation of a comprehensive giving program including donor pipeline development, major gifts, annual giving, cultivation, stewardship and fundraising events, grant proposal submissions and relationship management, communications planning, and project management.
  • Exceptionally gifted communicator who enjoys sourcing for new donors, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to establish and maintain rapport with donors, prospects, and influencers, as well as the Board.
  • Ability to lead and articulate a vision as well as collaborate as a member of the Leadership Team.
  • Experience using and measuring best practices in major gift and pipeline development.
  • Strong management skills, both strategic and operational, and a demonstrated ability to build, manage, mentor, and motivate an effective team.
  • Ability to passionately communicate UpStart’s mission, accomplishments, and benefits of its work.


  • Passionate about UpStart’s mission and the work of our innovators
  • Committed to UpStart’s values of empathy, optimism, collaboration, and risk-taking
  • Positive attitude, a high degree of integrity and credibility
  • Self-starter who works well independently and collaboratively with other teams

This is a full-time position and will require some monthly travel.

Compensation is commensurate with experience. UpStart is an equal opportunity employer. All individuals are entitled to equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, genetic information, medical condition, veteran status, or any other class protected under federal, state, or local laws.

To Apply: Please send the following to careers@upstartlab.org with the subject: UpStart CDO. Include a resume and a cover letter that communicates why you would be a “fit” for the position.