The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is the executive leader of Big Thought’s (Organization) Development and Communications departments. The CAO advises the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on all matters related to the Organization’s fundraising, communication and advocacy strategies, and directs both the Fundraising and Communications teams to advance the Organization’s mission.
Essential Job Duties:
Oversee all Advancement functions:
Fundraising: Develop and execute strategies for the cultivation and conversion of foundation, individual, corporate and planned giving prospects, based on fundraising goals set by the CEO and Board leadership; Serve as principal fundraiser for the Organization, identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors and prospects; Cultivate and increase the Organization’s contributed income from national funders; Establish, implement and manage revenue goals, performance objectives and action plans for members of the Organization’s Fundraising team.
Brand Management: Develop and execute comprehensive PR and marketing strategies; Build the digital brand and strategy to tell strategic stories that advance the Organization’s mission; Establish, implement and manage goals, performance objectives and action plans for members of the Organization’s Communications team.
Advocacy: Develop and execute a comprehensive Organizational Advocacy Plan; Work with others within the Organization to ensure the effectiveness of Advocacy efforts;
Guide and advise the CEO and the Executive Leadership Team in establishing short and long range organizational Advancement goals, consistent with the Organization’s Strategic Plan;
Collaborate with the CFO to develop and manage an annual expense budget supporting Advancement efforts;
Establish and direct best-practice standards, policies and procedures for Advancement efforts;
Ensure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, policies and agreements;
Work collaboratively with Programs and other departments to ensure that Advancement efforts (Fundraising, Communications and Advocacy) include stories/narratives/insights that are aligned, effective and consistent with the mission and goals of the Organization.
General Job Duties and Expectations:
Serve as spokesperson for the Organization: 1) at presentations with donors/prospects, 2) in defining the Organization’s “brand” and 3) when managing crisis communications;
Conduct departmental meetings;
Represent Advancement on the Executive Leadership Team;
Work closely with both Development and Communications committees of the Board of Directors on various fundraising and marketing initiatives.
Required Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution;
Master’s degree from an accredited institution, preferred;
CFRE accreditation a plus;
10-15 years of experience and a demonstrated track record of accomplishments in nonprofit fundraising;
Experience in marketing and communications management;
Experience in a senior leadership role in a nonprofit preferred;
Strong strategic leadership, communication and organizational skills and experience in the development, management, support of and the inspiration of staff in carrying out Advancement strategies and goals;
Effective work relationships with staff, board, volunteers and partners;
Well-developed interpersonal communication skills and strong writing ability;
Ability to organize and synthesize data in an understandable format for a variety of audiences;
Ability to respond well to shifting priorities and changing work situations; ability to work effectively in ambiguous situations; ability to develop new skills to remain competitive; ability to adapt to change; ability to find merit in differing positions and adapt strategies in response to new information or changes to a situation;
Ability to exercise initiative, sound judgment and problem-solving techniques;
Highly organized and self-directed
About Big Thought
Founded in 1987, Dallas-based Big Thought is one of the nation's leading nonprofits focused on building partnerships that allow all children access to quality learning opportunities. For 30 years, Big Thought has worked with local and national partners to bring tailored creative learning opportunities to kids in Dallas neighborhoods with the greatest need. Big Thought focuses on programs that work with elementary, middle, and high school students to unlock their full potential and set them on a path to success.