Chief Development Officer

Reports to: CEO
Compensation: $115,000 – $130,000 DOE/Neg.
Direct Reports: 4 (Development Manager, Development Operations Coordinator, Development Associate, Grant Writer-contract)
Location: Santa Ana, CA

Mission: to empower low-income youth from diverse backgrounds to strengthen self-esteem, self-discipline and a sense of accomplishment through dance, academic, and family programs.

Vision: to break the cycle of poverty in our community through generational change.

Organization: Founded in 1983, The Wooden Floor (TWF) in Santa Ana, California, is one of the foremost creative youth development nonprofit organizations in the country. TWF transforms the lives of young people in low-income communities through the power of dance and access to higher education. In Orange County and through its national licensed partners, TWF uses a long-term approach grounded in exploratory dance education to foster the confidence and gifts within each child to innovate, communicate, and collaborate – skills necessary for success in school and in life. 100% of students who graduate from TWF immediately enroll in higher education. Many of its graduates go on to pursue degrees in business, engineering, medicine, and the arts. TWF students become change agents and beacons of hope within their own families, their neighborhoods, our community, and our world. TWF has received numerous awards, including Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award, Afterschool Alliance & The MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Award, National Endowment for the Arts Access to Artistic Excellence Award, and the United States Presidents’ Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, “Coming Up Taller” Award.

Innovative Program Model:  Locally, in two Santa Ana locations, TWF serves nearly 500 students, for up to a 10-year journey from grades 3 through 12 after-school, through year-round dance education and performance opportunities that are strategically integrated with academic tutoring, college and career readiness, and family support services. Another approximately 3,000 students in grades 3 through 5 are served throughout Central Orange County with Dance Free Weeks – an in-school dance immersion program each fall. Nationally, TWF is scaling organizational impact through licensing of its program model, and signed its first licensed partner, CityDance DREAM in Washington, DC in November 2015.

TWF’s services are delivered by a team of 26 full-time and part-time staff members, in addition to contract faculty and accompanists.  The Annual Operating Budget for FY2018-2019 is $3.4 million. TWF is supported by its own Endowment Fund currently at $5 million.

Campaign: In January 2016, TWF launched the quiet phase of a 4-year, multimillion-dollar comprehensive campaign called Lift: The Campaign for The Wooden Floor. This major initiative will fund growth of TWF’s annual program operations, expansion to serve more children, and increase its Endowment to support long-term sustainability. TWF is anticipating the launch the public phase of the campaign in the summer of 2018 which is scheduled to conclude at the end of 2019.

The CDO is responsible for creating, leading, and expanding the organization’s funding strategies and infrastructure to meet current and future organizational needs. She/he will ensure TWF continues executing according to its Four Pillars of Financial Sustainability:

  • Diverse mix of revenue sources and fundraising methods: individuals, corporations, foundations, and events – 95% of the Annual Operating Budget is raised from private funds.
  • Forward funding model and sound budgeting/projections management
  • Increasing the Endowment Fund
  • The Wooden Floor Legacy Society (planned/deferred giving.)

The CDO manages a staff of 3 full-time employees: Development Manager (DM), Development Specialist (DS), Development Operations Coordinator (“DC”), in addition to a contract Grant Writer (GW).  The CDO staffs the Campaign Cabinet, Campaign Taskforces and Development Committee of the Board of Directors and attends Finance and Governance Committees as requested by the CEO.  Performance in this position is measured by successfully meeting annual/campaign fundraising goals and sustaining a productive, energetic team of staff, Board, major donors and community volunteers to move the organization forward.

The Chief Development Officer will partner strategically with the CEO who is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, in all fundraising areas and will also serve on the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). She/he will foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization, leading staff and volunteers to institutionalize philanthropy and fundraising best practices in all actions. With the upcoming public phase launch of Lift: The Campaign for The Wooden Floor (2016-2019), the CDO will play a key role in leveraging its successful fundraising results to build upon these efforts to expand its base of supporters to meet the strategic and financial requirements of the organization in the future.


  • Respect: Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a diverse team and to respect the unique needs, cultures, individuality, and diverse backgrounds of the internal team, students and families, partners, and Board of Directors.
  • Excellence: TWF strives for excellence in all ways. This means being strategic while having exceptional attention to detail.
  • Community: She/he works to build a community culture that is respectful, caring, open to differing views, and focused on the mission and what is best for the children. She/he builds a sense of team among staff, Board of Directors and volunteers in support of one another and the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.
  • Stewardship: The CDO ensures donor-centric, fiscally-sound, and responsible planning and decisions to achieve TWF’s long-term vision and goals.

Comprehensive Campaign Planning and Execution:

  • In partnership with CEO and Campaign Chairman, lead assessment of comprehensive campaign progress and future public phase strategies according to Campaign action plan and timeline.
  • Lead staff and Campaign volunteers in execution of donor and prospective donor identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts.
  • Organize, support and participate in leadership gift solicitations and proposal development.
  • Provide ongoing training and support to Campaign Cabinet and Board of Directors on fundraising best practices and areas of focus to increase participation in Campaign public phase.
  • Develop and oversee public-phase Campaign communications plan to engage all current supporters and incorporate donor acquisition efforts aligned with Campaign Plan.

Fundraising, Strategy Development, and Team Management:

  • Plan, manage, and implement all phases of the organization’s Annual Fund.
  • Develop and direct year-round strategies to cultivate new prospects and seek out new funding opportunities.
  • Oversee and advance moves management system for major gift donors and key prospects.
  • Manage team’s implementation of corporate sponsorships; research and identify potential sponsors; prepare proposals; and work with the Board to identify matches between each company’s program interests.
  • Cultivate and steward foundation relationships in partnership with CEO. Working with the GW and DC, oversee the execution of the grants applications and reports pipelines; follow up on each proposal to better build multi-layered relationships with funders and inform future applications.
  • Lead community volunteers/chairs to work with staff on planning all fundraising and cultivation events; oversee event strategies, budget development and staff’s execution of each event.

Relationship Development:

  • Attend external civic and cultural events in the community; represent the organization by speaking at public events as requested.
  • In partnership with CEO, develop Board and volunteer leadership through participation in Development and Governance committee meetings and ongoing donor cultivation efforts.
  • Participate in identifying and recruiting new Board candidates, and with on-boarding process for new Board members.

Budgeting, Planning, and Reporting:

  • In partnership with CEO and Controller (CONT) develop, assess, and manage tracking for appropriate annual and Campaign fundraising goals each year.
  • Oversee a plan for achieving those goals and establish a Development master calendar and matrix that outlines all fundraising activities, solicitations and stewardship opportunities.
  • Lead staff’s monitoring of fundraising results by category and/or appeal on an ongoing basis to help project, measure results, and to identify areas of highest priority or concern.
  • Develop donor recognition levels, affinity groups, upgrade strategies to sustain and build donor base.


  • Passion for moving young people forward
  • Mission driven; business minded
  • A fundamental optimist who sees challenging projects through to completion
  • Bachelor’s or advanced academic degree
  • 8+ years of professional fundraising experience in progressively challenging positions
  • CFRE credential (Certified Fund Raising Executive) is preferred
  • Experience managing development team, including staff development and management
  • Demonstrated results in developing comprehensive/capital campaigns and planned giving programs
  • Exceptional interpersonal, communication and writing skills
  • Knowledge of the Orange County philanthropic community
  • Demonstrated success in securing six-to-seven figure gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations
  • Demonstrated success in full-cycle fundraising including individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies.
  • Demonstrated success in working with nonprofit boards and/or community volunteers
  • Proficient in MS Word, Excel, Outlook and database software (ex: Raiser’s Edge)
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check
  • Possess a valid California Driver’s License and maintain a clean driving record


For more information or to apply, please contact:
Trevor Blair, Principal, Blair Search Partners