Nonprofit Executive Search Services

Recruiting leaders who will effect positive change requires a nonprofit executive search process that is strategic in its orientation, rooted in deep sector knowledge, and attuned to organizational dynamics, changing industry needs, and chemistry.

Development Guild DDI understands how individual professionals and collective teams can advance both your organization’s mission and its leadership within the field. This is particularly true for organizations seeking eminently qualified and talented candidates in fundraising, finance, communications, and other specialized areas who may not be actively in the job market. At a time when data, metrics, and technology are constantly advancing the way nonprofit professionals work, finding talent that offers both strategic breadth and technical depth can play a critical role in future organizational success.

We pride ourselves on our rigorous, fair, and transparent approach to executive search, which includes the following steps:


Each nonprofit executive search engagement begins with a focused, strategic assessment. We take a deep dive to understand your opportunity by asking original questions, testing assumptions, and posting options for your consideration. The outcome? A customized executive search process that is designed to present clients and candidates with a fully developed opportunity while ensuring internal alignment at every step of the way.


Executive Recruitment

We conduct in-depth research, which includes mining our extensive network of known relationships, reaching out to engage new talent, and utilizing targeted and tested promotional strategies. Our team maintains regular contact with a wide array of professionals, which helps us understand candidate trends and interests as well as we understand the client perspective. This results in a pool of highly qualified professionals with diverse perspectives and experiences (learn more about our commitment to DEI).



We make sure that all the candidates you interview demonstrate requisite skills and experience, from their leadership philosophy and past strategy success to their expertise in leveraging data and building teams. We thoroughly brief you on the strengths of each candidate, opportunities for growth, and special considerations to further explore.



You choose the finalist candidate. We facilitate a fair decision-making process, conduct reference checks, help craft a compelling offer, and assist with negotiations.

We keep a finger on the pulse of multiple industries so that we can anticipate and respond to marketplace dynamics and trends, recognize when and how that market is shifting, and locate highly qualified candidates who may not be contemplating a career change. We talk to candidates from multiple sectors even when we are not recruiting them for a role to understand labor market dynamics and candidate priorities. Whether your search involves a CEO, CFO, Chief Development Officer, Vice President of Advancement, or Director of Communications, the end result is a powerful connection between an extraordinary organization and an exceptional leader, who achieves a lasting, positive impact.

Development Guild’s process made our search for a Chief Development Officer streamlined and successful. Their ability to engage and partner with our senior leadership and Board was key. They helped us identify our top priorities, managed candidates professionally and effectively, and kept us highly informed throughout each stage. We are very excited to welcome our new Chief Development Officer.  

- Jack Gierhart, CEO

I have retained Development Guild to recruit key staff positions for successful campaigns at three different academic medical institutions. For each engagement, we could count on their understanding of complex systems, creativity, ability to accurately assess candidates, and unwavering commitment to successful outcomes. My long-standing relationship with Development Guild has been the primary reason why we continue to engage them. They know our needs and the characteristics of the employee who will be successful within our system. The insights that Development Guild provide are unique in the field and in part this is a result of their search services being deeply informed by their fundraising practice, but I believe it also has to do with the continuity and dedication of their senior leadership.

- Mark Kostegan, Senior Vice President of Development

In our search for an Associate Vice Chancellor, it was essential that our University’s various stakeholders felt the search was transparent, fair, and thorough. Development Guild was very responsive to our unique requests as the search evolved and made sure to keep all parties in the loop. As a result, we had meaningful buy-in among our stakeholders, resulting in the selection of an excellent candidate.

- Lauren Turner, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for HR and Organizational Effectiveness & Strategy

There are lots of search firms to choose from but when I needed to build my advancement team, I chose Development Guild. Their ability to identify and engage talent who not only have the required professional experience but are also a strong culture fit is unparalleled. I can always count on Development Guild to represent us well to candidates; I look forward to partnering with them again for future searches.

- John Malcolm, Vice President, Institutional Advancement