Chief Development Officer

Position Overview:
Salary: $115,000 – $130,000 DOE/neg.
Reports to: President & CEO
Location: San Diego, CA
Direct Reports: 4 (Senior Development Associate, Grants Officer, Special Events Coordinator and Development Associate/Data Management)

Who We Are:

Second Chance is the most creative solution to the challenge of re-entry that exists today. Social impact and self-sufficiency are at the very core of everything we do.

  • Our Mission: To disrupt the cycles of incarceration and poverty by helping people find their way to self-sufficiency.
  • Our vision: Second Chance offers the most effective evidenced based solutions for reducing recidivism, unemployment and homelessness, empowering our clients to make sustainable personal changes that positively impact society.
  • Our programs: Second Chance offers 5 interrelated programs, each staffed by a dedicated team of caring professionals. Through this continuum, we help over a 1,000 San Diegans each year to receive the services they needed to get back on their feet. Our wrap-around services include transitional housing, behavioral health treatment and job readiness training, to help our participants reach self-sufficiency. Founded in 1993, we are the most effective solution for reducing recidivism, unemployment and homelessness. Please visit us at


Position Summary:

Second Chance is about to launch the largest and most important expansion in the history of our organization. To support this significant growth, we have created a new C-level development position, focused not on sustaining, but on growing our annual fundraising capabilities. The new Chief Development Officer will have wide latitude to use her/his imagination to fundraise in groundbreaking new ways and will be provided with all the tools and resources to be successful. Creativity and strategic thinking will be essential!

Our organization has some of San Diego’s most prominent philanthropists amongst our donors and supporters, who are deeply committed to our mission and our success. We have recently invested significant resources to complete a comprehensive development study, providing the new CDO with a roadmap for executing these efforts. This is truly an opportunity to build something that’s never been done before in San Diego and make a huge difference in multiple communities. Specifically, the new CDO will oversee all fundraising operations for both Second Chance and our new Second Chance Academy, which will be co-branded with a national partner organization. She/he will personally work with all of our top donors, including the $1M+ level.

Launching in 2019, the Second Chance Academy will ultimately house up to 200 participants on a new $15M + campus and is projected to grow our organization to an annual operating budget of $12M over the next 3 years. This is an extremely high-profile initiative, with close support and participation from the County Board of Supervisors, District Attorney’s Office, Probation, Judiciary, Public Defender and other law enforcement agencies. As our most senior fundraising executive, the CDO will help ensure we stay on track to reach these goals and achieve this phenomenal growth.


Strategic Priorities:

  1. Build a culture of philanthropy across the organization
    • Train staff on ways they can support development efforts in their various positions
    • Meet with current and past donors to gather ideas for improving development practices and strategies for future campaigns
  2. Work closely with the Board to achieve its giving potential
    • Increase the level of Board engagement and giving
    • Coach Board members on best practices and activating their giving networks
    • Assist in recruiting board members with giving capacity
  3. In conjunction with other stakeholders, review and rebrand the organization and its messaging
    • Ensure all marketing and communications efforts closely support the development strategy
    • Conduct an analysis of the organization’s use of special events for fundraising and brand awareness purposes, recommend a strategy for if/how special events will continue to be used
  4. Technology:
    • Conduct a thorough analysis of the organization’s use of technology as related to development
    • Leverage technology and data across all development strategies and practices
    • Select and implement new a CRM/donor database system
    • Train and mentor staff across the organization on the use of fundraising technology
    • Clean and update donor data and prospect lists


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The primary focus will be to integrate a comprehensive development strategy with Second Chance’s current operational needs and vision for the future. The CDO will have a personal portfolio of top donors and prospects and will be expected to solicit and close major gifts. As such, the position requires an energetic, articulate, outgoing, well-organized, strategic-minded and data-driven individual who can successfully build and maintain relationships at all levels. Key responsibilities include:

  • Develop and execute strategies for all of Second Chance’s fundraising areas including campaigns, individual giving, major gifts, planned giving, special events, grants, corporate sponsorships and an annual fund.
  • Work directly with donors at multiple levels including prospecting, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Coordinate fundraising efforts for an integrated campaign encompassing annual operations, capital improvements, and endowment expansion.
  • Plan and execute a moves management approach to individual and institutional giving.
  • Serve as a close strategic advisor and partner to the President and CEO, as well as a member of Second Chance’s senior management team.
  • Serve as the senior liaison to the Board of Directors and its committees in all development-related areas.
  • Integrate development and marketing/communications strategies to maximize Second Chance’s brand exposure and fundraising opportunities.
  • Build and maintain critical relationships with key local organizations and partners.
  • Coach, mentor, develop and manage Second Chance’s development team members.
  • Manage the implementation and use of a CRM system, ensuring donor privacy, data accuracy and timeliness of acknowledgements and reporting.
  • Provide timely data-driven analytics for all fundraising activities and performance against development plan.
  • Establish policies, systems, and procedures, with a special emphasis on professionalism and ethical standards, for soliciting, acknowledging, tracking, and reporting gifts.
  • Oversee Second Chance’s website and social media outreach
  • Oversee design and production of donor recognition and appreciation communications.
  • Provide input and editorial support as needed for grant applications; newsletters, PR, external communications.


Other Qualities and Requirements:

  • Inspired by the Second Chance mission and capable of inspiring others.
  • A consensus builder with a sense of humor.
  • Capability to effectively lead, inspire and mentor a staff of 4 development professionals.
  • Ability to think analytically and synthesize complex or diverse information.
  • Ability to analyze and streamline workflows and other business processes, at both the departmental and organizational levels.
  • Ability to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner.
  • Strong relationship builder.
  • Highly collaborative, and able to promote communication between team members.
  • Possesses excellent change management skills.
  • Enjoys coaching, mentoring and building teams, and enhancing workplace culture.
  • Ability to work in a highly creative, fluid and fast-paced environment.
  • Strong time management skills; a self-starter, strong at multi-tasking, and able to work both independently and in teams.
  • Exceptional writing and proofreading skills; ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a wide variety of audiences through various mediums (verbal, print, online).
  • Demonstrates strong personal initiative and the ability to drive projects through to completion.
  • Poised and professional in all scenarios.
  • Skilled public speaker and networker. Able to communicate in public settings effectively and with diplomacy, sensitivity and discretion as needed
  • Expert storyteller who can drive personal connection with Second Chance’s mission.
  • Ability to motivate and collaborate successfully with a dedicated Board of local leaders and business professionals.


Education and Experience:

  • 5+ years of development experience, including major gift solicitation and stewardship.
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
  • Experience developing and managing annual budgets over $750,000.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, engage, manage and retain a large volunteer base.
  • A history of working directly with board members in support of fundraising efforts.
  • Demonstrated development experience, including cultivating and soliciting major support from individuals, foundations and corporations.
  • Prior direct responsibility for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding gifts of $10,000 or more.
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely with the President/CEO and Board leadership to recruit board member candidates capable of soliciting or giving major gifts.
  • Practical marketing experience covering both print and digital/social media.
  • Proficient with technology and adept at switching to/integrating new systems and platforms.
  • Strong leadership skills to mentor and motivate development staff to reach development goals.