Chief Development Officer


Reports to: President and CEO
Compensation: $130,000 – 160,000 DOE/Neg.
Direct Reports: 2 (Grants Officer and Director of Development)
Location: San Diego, CA


Voices for Children (VFC) is the third largest Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in the nation, serving over 3,000 foster children annually in both San Diego and Riverside Counties. Founded in 1980, our organization was one of the earliest adopters of the “CASA” model of volunteer court advocacy. In 2006, the VFC board laid out an ambitious vision to “Serve Every Child” in need of CASA services, and over a decade, that vision is nearly realized.  Since launching “Serve Every Child,” VFC has grown significantly, from $1.9 million to our current annual budget of $6.4 million. Our network of highly trained CASA volunteers provides foster children with critical advocacy and support services.  In 2015, we added our new CASA program in Riverside County, which now serves an additional 250 children.  In total, VFC manages 1,600 CASA volunteers across 2 counties, with a professional staff of 78.  Our board of 27 leaders is extremely engaged, representing almost every part of San Diego County. Please visit to learn more about our incredible work.

Mission: Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).

Vision: Voices for Children believes that every child deserves a safe and permanent home and, to that end, will provide a trained CASA volunteer to every abused, abandoned, or neglected child who needs one, and advocate to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.


This is an exciting time to join VFC, as we wrap up our most successful year ever. The Chief Development Officer is a critical role, leading our development team and overseeing every aspect of our fundraising efforts. She/he will work closely with our President/CEO in the planning and execution of donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, corporate and foundation relations, government grant solicitation, and events. As one of the most senior and most visible representatives of Voices for Children, the Vice President of Philanthropy will also help integrate the development and marketing/communications areas to maximize VFC’s exposure and fundraising opportunities. She/he will foster and maintain critical relationships with key local and national organizations related to development work and will spend significant time out of the office in cultivation and solicitation meetings.

The Chief Development Officer reports directly to the President/CEO and retains overall responsibility for achieving VFC’s fundraising goals. She/he will also serve as a member of our senior management team. As such, the position requires an energetic, outgoing, well-organized, and strategic-minded individual who can successfully build and maintain relationships with VFC donors and patrons, Board and committee members, volunteers, and others who contribute to our organizational success.

Strategic priorities for the new Chief Development Officer include:
1. Building a strong corporate giving pipeline
2. Growing VFC’s individual and major gifts results
3. Increasing grant funding
4. Exploring additional new revenue sources
5. Partnering with VFC’s marketing department to develop cause-based marketing efforts, including retail campaigns and peer-to-peer campaigns
6. Adding a new Major Gifts Officer position to the development team


The primary focus will be to align development strategy with VFC’s current operational needs and vision for the future. The Chief Development Officer is charged with maintaining and increasing philanthropic revenue for the organization from individual and institutional funders. The CDO oversees the Grants Officer and Director of Development, integrating individual, corporate, and foundation giving through various tactics. The CDO will have a personal portfolio of top donors and prospects, and will be expected to solicit and close major gifts. Key responsibilities include:

  • Work closely with the President/CEO to design, plan and execute a comprehensive Development Plan aligning with VFC’s strategic master plan, which includes major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, and corporate sponsorships to increase support from members of the board of directors, key contributors, and other critical benefactors in the San Diego community to broaden the base of support for VFC.
  • Plan and execute a moves management approach to individual and institutional giving to increase major gifts.
  • Work with staff members, the Board of Directors, and other stakeholders to proactively enhance, expand, and execute development efforts, building current and new relationships.
  • Create and implement innovative strategies for securing new and untapped resources, including in-kind donations.
  • Coach, mentor, develop and manage VFC’s development team members.
  • Supervise the appropriate use of donor software and reporting, ensuring donor privacy, data accuracy and timeliness of acknowledgements and reporting
  • Establish policies, systems, and procedures, with a special emphasis on professionalism and ethical standards, for soliciting, acknowledging, tracking, and reporting gifts.
  • Develop solicitations/support materials with the intent of attracting new gifts and upgrading gifts from existing donors.
  • Oversee design and production of donor recognition and appreciation communications.
  • Work closely with the Development Committee Chair to strategize and implement their goals.
  • Work to foster a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring the highest level of internal and external customer service.
  • Supervise the Grants Officer to ensure that all grants meet VFC’s standards and support the mission and vision of the organization.
  • Meet with grants funders; develop strong working relationships with program officers, government officials, and others.
  • Develop annual grants strategy and oversee grants/reporting schedule to assure timely submissions and reports on all grant funding.
  • Provide editorial support as needed for grants.
  • Work in partnership with the President/CEO in cultivating new corporate, foundation, and government supporters for VFC, and stewarding current supporters.
  • Ensure high levels of service and stewardship to all grant funders.


  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher
  • 7+ years of development or sales experience, including endowment campaigns and major gifts.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets over $1M.
  • Expert storyteller who can drive personal connection to VFC’s mission.
  • Superb communication skills (in-person, written communication, phone and email).
  • Skilled public speaker and networker.
  • Proficient with technology and adept at switching to/integrating new systems and platforms.
  • Projects both entrepreneurial zeal and a growth mindset.
  • Strong leadership skills to mentor and motivate employees to reach development goals.
  • High level of organization, attention to detail, and accuracy.
  • 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.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Working knowledge of other software, including design software and database management software (Raiser’s Edge or a plus.

For more information or to apply, please contact:
Trevor Blair, Principal, Blair Search Partners
550 West B Street, 4th floor, San Diego, CA 92101