Chief Development Officer

March 2024 | New York, NY

Dress for Success Worldwide seeks an ambitious, experienced, and entrepreneurial fundraising professional to serve as its Chief Development Officer.

About Dress for Success Worldwide

Woman holding a sign that reads I got the jobDress for Success® is an international nonprofit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since its inception in 1997, Dress for Success has served over 1.3 million women from diverse backgrounds around the world.

Globally, the barriers to economic independence that women encounter are complex and systemic, including lack of access to opportunity, education, childcare, transportation, and more. Dress for Success responds to these challenges by providing workforce development programs for unemployed and underemployed women that are customized to meet the needs of each local community. Key offerings include career coaching and readiness; upskilling and reskilling; networking and community; and styling and professional attire.

Through its offerings, Dress for Success is focused on the achievement of four key goals:

  • Helping women secure meaningful employment with a liveable wage;
  • Providing a network of support to help women sustain employment;
  • Improving the financial acumen and economic stability of women; and
  • Expanding awareness of the issues that impact the women they serve.

The work of the organization is conducted through a global network of 140+ licensed affiliates. These affiliates, which represent local communities in 24 countries, are financially, legally, and operationally independent nonprofit organizations but share Dress for Success’ mission and goals. Each has its own board of directors, its own volunteer and staffing model, and implements programming to meet the specific needs of the community served.

Dress for Success Worldwide (“Worldwide”) serves as the managing organization for the Dress for Success brand and its global network of affiliates. Worldwide’s work includes providing capacity building support to the affiliate network, as well as developing and managing partnerships, campaigns, and program offerings that are global, national, and/or which impact multiple identified markets. In addition to this centralized role, Worldwide currently provides direct services to clients in New York City and Chicago, with plans for these locations to spin off as independent affiliates over the next 1-2 years.

With a new CEO, sharpened mission and vision, and recently launched strategic plan, Dress for Success is poised for transformational change, innovation, and growth.

About Philanthropy at Dress for Success Worldwide

group of people posing in front of a dress for success career session signStrong existing partnerships, an engaged and passionate Board, respected brand, and a compelling and relevant mission provide the foundation for Dress for Success to expand and diversify its revenue. Currently raising just over $8M annually (plus $6M+ in in-kind support), there is opportunity to expand corporate partnerships, while also diversifying philanthropic revenue streams by developing new foundation relationships and establishing a robust individual giving program that would be inclusive of major gifts. While existing funding is primarily US-based and primarily from corporate donors, the organization’s strategic plan calls for expanded focus on global partnerships and funding sources. Additionally, significant opportunity exists to leverage existing relationships and strengthen donor stewardship to increase overall financial support for the organization. Growing revenue to meet and surpass the $10M mark is a priority for organizational leadership and the Board.

About the Opportunity

Dress for Success Worldwide is seeking an entrepreneurial and mission-driven Chief Development Officer (CDO) to lead the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of its fundraising department. The CDO will work directly with the organization’s leadership to nurture existing corporate partners, engage and solicit new corporate partners, and over the long term to develop a strategy to diversify funding streams to include revenue sources such as individual donors, government grants, and private foundations, both domestically and internationally. The CDO will serve on the executive leadership team of Worldwide and will supervise the development team. The new CDO will bring a well-rounded understanding of fundraising strategy and best practices and a proven track record of crafting and leading the successful implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program to Worldwide. They will have exceptional interpersonal and communications skills, thrive in a fast-paced environment, will be able to lead both strategy and execution, and are highly skilled at managing people and initiatives with confidence, gravitas, and efficacy.

Key Responsibilities

three women posing together at a dress for success eventThe Chief Development Officer will report to and work closely with the Worldwide CEO and oversee all fundraising activities of the organization from strategy development to implementation, solicitation, diversifying funding streams, and analysis. Priority areas of focus include stewarding  relationships with current corporate partners, securing grants and managing relationships with foundations, building new partnerships with diversified funders with a global strategy in mind, increasing major giving and individual support, strategic oversight of special events/sponsorships, and in-kind contributions; familiarity with all fundraising tactics and revenue sources is desired.

Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Development and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising strategy to secure, retain and grow revenue from all sources, including corporations, foundations, government grants, individuals, and events to secure cash contributions of $10+ million annually.
  • Establishment and management of goals and department budget.
  • Integration of digital fundraising strategies, including understanding and use of metrics to analyze and inform strategies.
  • Oversight of the fundraising program, including setting metrics and benchmarks by which success will be measured and proven ability to pivot and change strategy as needed.
  • Working closely with the finance, operations, and affiliate impact staff, maintaining an accurate understanding of organizational priorities, revenue status, cash flow, and use of funds in keeping with donor intent.
  • Development and implementation of strategy to secure and manage in-kind product donations as well as secure pro bono support for priority initiatives.
  • Partnering with CEO, board, and senior staff to manage relationships with major donors and prospects.
  • Leadership of the team members in the development department to include recruitment, mentorship, supervision, and development of team members.
  • Spearheading efforts to grow monthly giving program. Evaluate and refine current campaigns to optimize revenue potential and brand awareness.
  • large group of people posing at a dress for success eventSupporting the transition and coordination of local fundraising activities in Chicago and NYC (currently part of Worldwide) in anticipation of spinout into independent affiliates.
  • Close collaboration with marketing and communications to coordinate development activities with marketing and program efforts and to implement a meaningful donor stewardship program and maintain continuity of messaging.
  • Close collaboration with the affiliate impact team to manage the activation of those partnerships that require significant volunteer engagement activities with affiliates.
  • Engagement and providing support and guidance to affiliate locations as needed and appropriate.
  • Oversight of recruitment and engagement of volunteers in connection with events and campaigns as needed.
  • Other related duties and special projects as assigned.

Key Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in developing and executing a comprehensive and diversified fundraising strategy with attention to donor acquisition, digital strategies, retention, stewardship, and revenue growth.
  • Minimum of 10 years of fundraising experience, including experience in a related senior management role.
  • Results-driven approach to the work with demonstrated success securing 6+-figure gifts from diverse sources including corporations (including cause marketing), foundations, individuals, and through special event sponsorships.
  • Experience building and sustaining an individual major gifts program.
  • Exceptional relationship management and comfort networking and fostering partnerships with both corporations and individuals.
  • Extraordinary communicator (written and oral) with an ability to effectively sell the organization to donors, partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated success in leading teams and driving results; excellence in building teams and motivating and developing employees.
  • Computer savvy and comfortable using financial reports, data, and analytics to inform decisions.
  • Organized and adaptable individual who can move fluidly between managing the work and doing the work as part of a small team.
  • Collaborative relationship building both internally and externally.
  • Track record of successful fundraising in diverse cultural context, including countries with developing economies a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred; additional professional certification(s) in fundraising from recognized organization such as CFRE a plus.
  • Bilingual language abilities with English and another language a plus.

Location and Compensation

Dress for Success Worldwide offers a congenial work environment. The dress code is business smart/business casual and employees work on site in our New York City office three days per week, and remotely two days per week.

The salary range for this position is $180,000-$220,000. Final offers for the role will be based upon several factors including the position requirements, candidate’s experience level and qualifications, and track record.

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Dress for Success Worldwide maintains a COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy and is taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety and health of our employees, volunteers, and clients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in being considered for this search, please use the form below to submit your cover letter and resume in confidence.

Tracy Marshall

Executive Director, Search Practice

Development Guild DDI

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