Chief Development Officer (CDO)

Posted by

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Published 2 days ago

What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.  

Today, we are an alliance of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and a national office who work in communities across the United States to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need. NAMI advocates for all who are affected by mental illness, both the individuals and the people in their lives. In particular, we work to address disparities and injustices and to promote dignity and inclusion for all people with mental illness and their families. In addition to being advocates, we educate, we listen, and we lead as evidenced by our public awareness campaigns, the range of numerous programs we provide, and our strong public policy. 

We currently have an opening for a Chief Development Officer (CDO). The CDO directs NAMI’s national efforts to establish and maintain relationships with corporations and external organizations to gain direct and indirect financial support, resources and meaningful mission-related benefits for NAMI. The CDO will lead and motivate the fundraising team in order to meet the required financial needs of NAMI. Plans, coordinates and assures implementation of strategies to develop donors and contributions to support the organization. Assures development and maintenance of appropriate systems to fund development including but not limited to donor management, research and cultivation, gift processing and recognition. Maintains accountability and compliance standards for donors and funding sources. The organization’s culture calls for someone who is emotionally mature, adaptable, collaborative and extremely passionate about mental health care.


  • Develop and manage national corporate relations strategy. 
  • Establish and maintain corporate relationships. 
  • Support Alliance on fundraising
  • Participate with the Chief Executive Officer, staff and board in charting the organization’s
  • course in fund development.
  • Keep informed of developments in philanthropy and fund development as well as the general fields of management and the not-for-profit sector; inform the Chief Executive Officer, development team and board on current trends, issues, problems and activities in order to facilitate policy making. Recommend policy positions concerning fund development.
  • Develop, implement and manage corporate events.  
  •  Manage grant request process.  
  •  Create and manage programmatic activities, as appropriate, that relate to corporate partnerships.   
  •  Explore, develop and manage NAMI activities with or for external organizations (ie, CME conferences).   
  •  Represent NAMI at industry meetings, advisory boards, conferences and other functions. 
  • Manage department staff and budget. Serve on Executive Management Team. Interact with Board of Directors Development Committee.  
  • Provide advice and counsel to Chief Executive Officer on issues relating to industry-related issues and activities.  
  • Develop corporate guidelines and monitor compliance with all corporate relationships. 
  • Develop materials for use in communicating with corporate sponsors. 
  • Meet or exceed fundraising and development targets established within annual budgeting process. Participate in the development of future operating and capital plans. Develop other key metrics and targets to monitor the organization’s philanthropic activity
  • Develop, manage and deliver a clearly defined fundraising strategy (incorporating a related communication plan) which will ensure sustainable revenue for the running costs of NAMI and build suitable level of reserves. 
  • Provide strong leadership for the fundraising department team members and ensure that organizational and individual fundraising targets are met, through instilling a creative, commercial, adaptable and positive team environment. 
  • Develop and maintain NAMI fundraising strategy which maximizes NAMI’s voluntary income as well as raising its profile and enhancing its reputation. 
  • Grow the portfolio of the eight major fundraising areas of NAMI – Major Donors, Direct Mail, Online Giving, Planned Giving, Foundation Grants, Government Grants, Special Events and Professional Memberships. 
  • Work collaboratively as a key member of the NAMI Executive Leadership Team, contributing to planning and strategy development. 
  • Work closely with the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors to facilitate development activities and engage key donors and prospects, as well as ensure that the fundraising strategy supports overall organizational strategy and complements the financial programs and advocacy strategies.  
  • Assist in the planning, coordination and management of special fundraising and donor development events to cultivate support from members, major donors, corporate partners and prospects.  
  • Develop and manage a donor database to ensure accurate and up-to-date data, with proper coding. 
  • Oversee grant-writing work. 
  • Ensure consistent messaging and representation of the NAMI brand across all fundraising communications.
  • Occasional overnight travel required.


  • 15+ years of experience in development roles. 
  • Knowledge and experience working in the corporate/business sector. 
  • Membership in a professional fundraising association is expected. Baseline certification in fundraising, the CFRE(Certified Fund Raising Professional) is preferred.
  • Proven capacity to work independently with limited direct oversight.
  • Marketing background.
  • Significant people and organizational skills.
  • BA/BS in related field (e.g., marketing, public relations), Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in implementing fundraising strategies.   
  • Advanced organizational and management skills, strategic thinking, capacity to see both larger picture and detailed steps needed to achieve goals.
  • Well organized with a proven ability to work in a demanding, multiple task environment.   
  • Strong interpersonal skills; a strong service orientation; detail oriented. 
  • Excellent presentation skills. 
  • Familiarity with Salesforce software or a similar, advanced, development information management system.
  • Personal and professional integrity, flexibility and leadership qualities.

This position is based in Arlington, VA.

Must pass background check.

Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V

What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health…

Details at a glance

  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Executive


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Arlington, VA
Associated Location
4301 Wilson Boulevard, Third Floor, Arlington, VA 22203

How to Apply

Please visit

Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V

Please visit

Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.