Chief Development Officer


Compensation: $140,000 – $160,000 DOE/neg.
Location: San Diego, CA
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Direct Reports: 2 (Gift Planning Officer and Director of Development)


Our Story:

Girls Scouts is 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. There are 59 million women who grew up as Girl Scouts across the country and many of them are leaders in business, politics, science, education, technology, advocacy, arts, and community development. Girl Scouts San Diego (GSSD) is one of 112 councils affiliated with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). Each council is a separate 501.c.3 organization. GSSD has been helping girls develop valuable life and leadership skills and a strong sense of self ever since Troop 1 was founded in Coronado in January 1917. We celebrated our 100th anniversary in 2017 with our girls and their families, our volunteers and friends, and the community. As we embark on a second century of building girls of courage, confidence, and character in San Diego, we are grateful to all our volunteers and supporters for helping unleash potential of every girl! To learn more about the organization, please visit:


A newly-created position, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) will oversee every aspect of our fundraising efforts. This role requires a highly strategic and visionary person, as they will work directly with the CEO to create, launch and oversee a new 3-year strategic development plan. This position will be a member of Girl Scouts San Diego’s 4-person Executive Leadership team, which also includes our COO and Chief Mission Delivery Officer. Leading a team of 5 FTE development professionals, the CDO will ensure our baseline $2 million team goal is met in year 1. Under the new CDO’s leadership, it is expected that the amount raised will increase each year, as the CDO and the senior management team will systematically and effectively strengthen the organization’s overall fundraising capacity.

The CDO also serves as a frontline fundraiser, with an emphasis on growing the organization’s individual donor portfolio, by building and maintaining close relationships with key donors. This is a high-profile position, requiring strong networking and cultivation skills. The successful candidate will help forge new relationships with individuals in the community to build Girl Scout San Diego’s visibility and financial resources.

The CDO role is a tremendous opportunity for someone passionate about our mission, which is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place!

Duties & Responsibilities:

Strategic Planning & Execution:

  • Assume ultimate responsibility for all development strategy and operations.
  • Take primary ownership of creating and executing the organization’s new, 3-year strategic development plan, to include both annual and capital campaign needs.
  • Lead, develop and execute strategies for all of Girl Scout San Diego’s fundraising areas including campaigns, major gifts, individual giving, planned giving, special events, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and an annual fund.

Internal Management:

  • Serve as a close strategic advisor and partner to the CEO, as well as a member of the Executive Leadership team.
  • Serve as liaison to the Board of Directors and the Philanthropy Committee. Support other Board committees, as needed, in development-related areas.
  • Build a culture of philanthropy across the organization and our Board, demonstrating how all can be stronger advocates for Girl Scouts San Diego in the community.
  • Work to foster a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring the highest level of internal and external customer service.
  • Coach, mentor, develop and manage Girl Scout San Diego’s development team members.
  • Create and manage clear success metrics, holding others accountable to achieving those goals.

Donor Relations & Communication:

  • Maintain a personal portfolio of approximately 70-100 top donors and prospects to solicit and close major gifts.
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of GSSD program offerings and services to articulate need and impact to donors.
  • Build and maintain critical relationships with key local organizations and partners.
  • Provide outstanding customer service and support to donors, volunteers, staff and other community contacts.
  • Create and implement innovative strategies for securing new and untapped funding resources.
  • Integrate development with marketing/communications strategies to maximize Girl Scout San Diego’s brand exposure and fundraising opportunities in collaboration with the marketing team.

Fundraising Operations:

  • Plan and execute a moves management approach to individual and institutional giving.
  • Refine and/or establish policies, systems and procedures, with a special emphasis on professionalism and ethical standards, for soliciting, acknowledging, tracking, and reporting gifts.
  • Assist with the planning and implementation of events to deliver a superb donor experience and meet fundraising goals.
  • Supervise the appropriate use of donor software and reporting, ensuring donor privacy, data accuracy and timeliness of acknowledgments and reporting.
  • Leverage technology and data across all development strategies and practices.

Attributes & Work Style:

  • Visionary: A strategic thinker who can drive the vision for Girl Scouts San Diego’s fundraising efforts, which ultimately benefits the lives of girls throughout our community.
  • Servant-Leader: Leads with humility, empathy and awareness; actively contributes to employees’ ability to reach their goals and thrive at GSSD.
  • Collaborative: Fosters a respectful, transparent, and collaborative work environment.
  • Community-minded: Skilled at connecting with individuals across all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds in the community.
  • Proactive & Perseverant: A self-starter who demonstrates strong personal initiative and the ability to drive projects through to completion.
  • Positive: Charismatic, warm and welcoming; a true “people-person.”
  • Growth Mindset: Says “yes” to appropriate, new opportunities and ideas for GSSD.
  • Analytical: Ability to carefully study issues, identify trends and formulate new ideas.
  • Metrics-Driven: An innovative thinker, pairing ideas with solutions and measurable outcomes.
  • Adaptive: Comfortable with multi-tasking; able to work both independently and in teams.
  • Reflective: Skilled at receiving and giving feedback and performance critiques.
  • Tact & Diplomacy: Patient, willing and able to have the difficult conversations as required.
  • Communicative: Strong written and oral communication skills. An effective public speaker and representative of the organization.
  • Flexible: Ability to work evenings and weekends as required.

Education & Experience:

  • 10+ years of professional experience in nonprofit fundraising (full cycle), with proven results and achievement in campaign development and major/principle gifts.
  • Complete end-to-end understanding of fundraising strategies, systems, and processes.
  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s preferred; Certificate in Fund Raising Management preferred.
  • Experienced in constructing, articulating and implementing a strategic development plan.
  • Prior direct responsibility for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding gifts of $10,000 or more.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets over $2M.
  • Strong leadership skills to mentor and motivate development staff to reach development goals.
  • A history of working directly with board members in support of fundraising efforts.
  • Knowledge of local and regional corporate and foundation communities; preexisting connection to the San Diego community preferred.
  • Strong analytical skills and use of data to drive fundraising, partnership decisions and forecasting.
  • An expert storyteller who can channel personal connection to GSSD’s mission.
  • Belief in the mission and values of Girl Scouting; willing to subscribe to the principles expressed in the Girl Scouts Promise and Law.


Blair Search Partners
550 West B Street, 4th Floor, San Diego, CA 92101

Liliane Lendvai, Director

Trevor Blair, Principal

Girls Scout - San Diego