Fundraising Searches for Nonprofits

Securing exceptional talent

Popular opinion suggests that these are tough times to recruit fundraisers. We disagree. There have never been more fundraisers with demonstrated success from which to choose, and nonprofits are increasingly willing to invest in that talent. The problem is that most recruitment is transactional and episodic, whereas top talent values and responds to a relationship-based approach, similar to the one they would use with donors. Accordingly, we have adapted a major gift recruitment model to identify, cultivate, engage, and place more than 500 fundraisers from every sector across the country.

Our clients welcome fundraisers who stay in those positions for longer than twice the industry average. High retention rates for top fundraisers speaks to our ability to understand our clients’ culture and needs, provide tailored advice, and help them successfully navigate complex decision-making.

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How can we help you?

For 45 years, Development Guild DDI has partnered with nonprofit organizations nationwide to achieve their most ambitious goals. Whether you need new talent, fundraising or campaign solutions, or strategic counsel, we can help.

Interested in becoming a candidate?

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Our clients also report to us that they value and appreciate our:


Deep knowledge of the marketplace

You will be assigned a team which includes consultants who have held senior fundraising positions and continue to provide fundraising counsel to our clients today. This means you will partner with consultants who are up-to-date and actively applying best practices and industry trends to nonprofit clients. With this knowledge, it becomes possible to more effectively position your unique opportunity, frame it for prospective candidates, and assess the suitability of their experience and match for the role and your team.


Access to an expansive network

When you become our client, you gain access to our expansive knowledge and relationship networks. Professionals in the field trust us. Even when not actively in the job market, they are willing to take our calls and consider new positions, knowing that we give deep consideration to what professional opportunities might be most suited to their experiences and interest. This means your opportunity will be considered by a wide array of talented professionals who otherwise may not have seen it.


Commitment to diversity

From extensive conversations around your DEI efforts and successes to the crafting of an inclusive job description, the development of a highly qualified and diverse candidate pool, and an inclusive, equitable, and bias-free interview and candidate assessment process, you will be supported in conducting an executive search that is informed by the values of DEI.


Opportunity to recruit for multiple positions simultaneously

Do you need to recruit multiple team members at the same time? With our Multi-Search services, you can hire as many as ten staff members simultaneously and/or upwards of 50 positions over several years. Doing so can transform your year-over-year fundraising results. Our clients have grown from raising $10 million annually to hundreds of millions by adding high caliber talent strategically aligned with their particular philanthropic opportunity.


Option to receive resident counsel concurrently

While you partner with us to seek your new fundraising leadership, you can also receive direction and oversight to your fundraising staff in the form of Interim Management. This service includes partnering with your President/CEO to define priorities and goals, representing your team with senior colleagues, partnering with team leaders to develop strategy, and providing advice to individual staff members and/or teams.

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Our searches encompass the full range of development positions. From Associate Vice President of Development to Assistant Director of Major Gifts; from Director of Annual Giving to Senior Director of Development Operations, we are expert in placing candidates in a timely and cost-effective manner.

As a fundraising search firm, Development Guild specializes in recruiting talented fundraisers for nonprofits nationwide. With a 96% client satisfaction rate and more than 350 years of collective industry experience, our team is dedicated to aligning your organization’s needs and philanthropic opportunities with the right candidates’ skills and goals. Contact us today and discover how we can partner on a successful executive search for fundraisers.

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

I am so grateful for Development Guild’s partnership. Their team was committed, positive, adaptable and a true pleasure to work with. The candidate pool was excellent and tailored precisely to our needs. Despite any obstacles that arose, Development Guild never lost sight of our end goal. It allowed me to trust that we would find the candidates we needed. Our new Senior Director of Major and Individual Giving and Senior Major Gift Officer are wonderful additions to our team, and I know they are going to make important contributions.

- Tara Morris, Chief Advancement Officer

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


What fundraising positions does Development Guild provide executive search services for?

No matter your sector, our executive searches for fundraising positions include everything from Senior Director of Development Operations to Associate Vice President of Development, Assistant Director of Major Gifts to Director of Annual Giving, as well many other positions. With over 500 successful fundraiser placements to our name, there are few executive search firms that fill as many fundraising positions as we do every year.

How long does an executive search take?

Whether your company is looking to fill a single position or to launch several simultaneous fundraising searches, our firm is committed to finding the perfect candidates that will embrace your philanthropic potential and take your program to the next level. When it comes to executive fundraising searches, we aim to deliver a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates for your organization to interview within just 4-6 weeks. This timeline includes the initial discussions with your organization, creating the position announcement and supporting materials, mining our extensive network of professionals and conducting additional outreach, screening appropriate candidates, and compiling a shortlist of top options for your organization to consider.

How can I get started with nonprofit executive searches?

If you’re seeking to develop a strong, diverse pool of fundraising talent, launch your fundraising executive search process with Development Guild. In addition to fundraising searches, we provide build-out search services and interim fundraising management; our services can be tailored to each client’s specific needs. Ensure your next development hire is a successful one with advice from knowledgeable industry experts.

Why should I use an executive search firm?

When you engage a fundraising executive search firm like Development Guild, you gain access to an extensive network of professionals who belong to a wide range of sectors and work across the country. By partnering with us to fill fundraising positions at your organization, you can ensure the search process will be streamlined, effective, and successful. Whether you’re seeking to hire a gift officer or a director of a fundraising function, we can help you find the right talent. Contact us to learn more about partnering with an executive search firm.

Why choose Development Guild for executive search fundraising?

Development Guild is considered one of the leading executive search and consulting firms in the country. We have decades of experience partnering with nonprofit organizations belonging to every sector. Our experienced and committed team, along with our deep knowledge of the marketplace, expansive network, proven commitment to diversity, and ability to recruit for multiple positions simultaneously, make us strong partners to organizations who need to conduct a fundraising executive search. To learn more about our current executive search clients, visit our current executive searches.