Job Listing

Chief Development Officer

The Florida Aquarium, Tampa

Position Title:             Chief Development Officer               

Service Group:           Development

Reports To:                President/CEO

Exemption Status:      Exempt


Position Summary

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for creating short and long-term strategies, and then lead and manage a develop team in executing on those strategies to ensure the organization’s financial growth and success. The CDO will direct a comprehensive fund-raising program designed to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward current and prospective individual, foundation and corporate donors. Other responsibilities include measuring progress, growing a planned giving program, working closely with and developing relationships with board and foundation members, overseeing a successful membership program, and leading capital campaigns.

Essential Position Functions

  • Develop and implement a strategic plan regarding fundraising activities including capital campaigns, individual and corporate solicitations, annual fund, planned giving and granting opportunities. 
  • Develop and implement strategies to ensure proper identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift prospects.
  • Create and maintain effective processes for determining and monitoring necessary action steps with prospects and donors to assure success in acquiring gifts.
  • Design appropriate communication and marketing strategies to effectively solicit prospects and donors.
  • Lead and develop The Florida Aquarium’s capital campaign when activated.
  • Develop new corporate, individual and foundation funding sources and maintain relationships with current and past donors.
  • Communicate the Aquarium’s mission effectively with prospective donors and officials from funding sources.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with local, state and Federal elected officials to position the Aquarium for granting, operating and capital funding opportunities.
  • Institute research initiatives designed to target potential individual and corporate donors.
  • Develop and maintain close working relationships with the Board of Directors, Foundation Members and Development Committee.
  • Work with the CEO to develop and cultivate new and existing Board members in the active, ongoing and smooth functioning of this Board as it seeks to increase funding for the Aquarium.
  • Oversees membership program
  • Represents the Aquarium in meetings with current and potential donors, corporations, foundations and governmental agencies.  Conducts tours with prospective donors.
  • Participates with Senior Management team on organization wide projects and strategic planning designed to meet specific short and long term Aquarium objectives.
  • Prepares and manages departmental budgets to ensure operations are conducted within budgeted guidelines, noting variances monthly
  • Leading, directing and motivating a staff of skilled, diverse and creative people
  • Work collaboratively with staff members to identify avenues of economic support for programs and projects and examine ways of packaging these programs to philanthropic supporters
  • Oversee donor recognition event/programs and accurate processing and timely acknowledgment of pledges and contributions.
  • Ensure that database integrity remains and institution is current
  • Interacts positively with all levels of the organization and with the community, businesses and leaders
  • Maintain accountability and compliance standards for donors and funding sources.
  • Other duties as assigned by the President/CEO

Education Requirement and Technical Skills

  • Minimum of eight years’ experience in fundraising or related field
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field.  Masters degree preferred.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, written and presentation skills.
  • Strong leadership and management skills with the ability to interact positively with all levels of the organization, community and with business and political leaders who influence the Aquarium’s success
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Knowledge of the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship process.
  • CFRE certification preferred.
  • Experience in the design, management and implementation of fund-raising initiatives
  • Knowledge of fund raising software, Raiser’s Edge preferred
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office software

Typical Physical Requirements

  • Sitting (5 hours per day)
  • Standing (2 hours per day)
  • Walking (3 hours per day)
  • Using hands for repetitive movements
  • Typing on a computer keyboard
  • Viewing a computer screen for extended periods
  • Excellent vision for proofing and detail work
  • Coping with demands (stresses that are associated with the job and/or the work environment) so that acceptable levels of performance and overall contribution are maintained
  • More than normal talking
  • More than normal talking on telephone
  • Ability to travel (car and/or air) as needed

Interested candidates, please submit your resume to:

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