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C-Suite Searches

Every C-level leader has the potential to transform an organization for the better.

Recruiting a C-level executive is a pivot point for any mission-driven organization. The choice of a Chief Executive Officer or Executive Director – a nonprofit board’s most important decision – is typically made with a healthy mix of anticipation, inspiration, and anxiety. The question of whether to hire for the vision that a leader brings to the table, or to a vision articulated by the board, often elevates the process associated with these high-stakes hires.

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. Whether your organization is seeking a CEO, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Development Officer, Vice President of Advancement, or Director of Communications, we perform a thoughtful and thorough opportunity assessment that shapes and translates a client’s needs and expectations into a robust promotion of the opportunity that attracts stellar candidates. Our deep sector knowledge – which spans education, academic medicine, social justice, the arts, and more – informs our understanding of the issues and demands facing top-level leaders, and positions us to identify and engage truly inspiring candidates.

Development Guild DDI is known throughout the nonprofit sphere for recruiting senior leaders who are fully prepared to energize their colleagues and catalyze their bold vision. The proven approach we employ to recruit and place executive leaders creates follow-on benefits when those leaders go on to recruit team members at the vice president and director level.


Development Guild truly took the time to understand the organizational and deaf culture, The Learning Center for the Deaf’s place in the deaf community, and the kind of leader we were seeking. The Development Guild team was always available, which created a bond with our search committee. We were all impressed by how smooth the search process was, as well as the exceptional candidates we were presented, and our new CEO, Sarah Glenn-Smith, is a real star.

- Ralph Hinckley, Board Chair

Working with Development Guild DDI felt like a partnership, and we were impressed with Development Guild’s ability to adapt and keep the search on track. We are grateful for the team’s accountability, timely and transparent communication and ability to represent St. Louis Children’s Hospital with some of the best academic medical fundraising professionals throughout North America. We are very pleased with the outcome of the search for the new leader for our ambitious development program.

- Joan Magruder, President

Development Guild DDI is a one-of-a-kind search firm. I was deeply impressed with their ability to really understand our institution’s unique culture and to then translate that knowledge into recruiting a Chief Development Officer who not only brings the professional expertise required but a sincere passion for our mission.

- Richard Grahn, President and CEO, National Coast Guard Museum

We hired Development Guild DDI for the first time to conduct our search for a Vice President for Advancement. We had done a number of senior development searches over the years, and the pool of candidates Development Guild presented was, by far, the best we had ever seen. Any of the three finalists could have been an excellent hire.

- Stephen Hannabury, Executive Vice President