Chief Development Officer

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Published 9 days ago


Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center (Sportsmen’s) is committed to improving life opportunities for youth in Boston's Blue Hill Avenue Corridor, one of the most challenged communities in Boston, while welcoming a diverse community from the Greater Boston area. Our mission is to build leaders on the court, in the classroom and in the greater community by providing academic, wellness and social development programs alongside recreational and competitive tennis instruction for youth and adults.

Sportsmen’s was founded in 1961 on the premise that effective youth engagement leads to a productive adult life, which is key to elevating low-income families out of poverty and ultimately transforming our neighborhoods. Our core youth education and enrichment initiative, The Learning Center (TLC) at Sportsmen’s mission is to foster a “growth mindset” (a student’s belief that they can get better with effort) and build fundamental math and literacy skills to prepare youth to enter and graduate college. 

We provide/leverage high quality tennis to engage with youth, improve their academic outcomes, and open doors of opportunity for college and beyond. In 2008, we formalized our academic efforts by forming TLC and seeking funding for consistent tutors and more robust programs. In 2014, with the prevalence of obesity and chronic disease in our communities, we partnered with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to form the BWH Center for Community Wellness (CCW) at Sportsmen’s, which provides free health and wellness forums led by medical residents and fellows. Now, we have added a focus on social and emotional wellness, as many of our youth and families have experienced stress and trauma, including homelessness, violence and food insecurity. We believe this deep, multifaceted youth engagement gives children the tools necessary to graduate high school on time, complete post-secondary education and/or enter the workforce and live a productive and fulfilling life, which is key to elevating low-income families out of poverty and ultimately transforming our neighborhoods.

Sportsmen’s core programs serve over 6,000 residents (pre-Covid) annually and include:

  • TLC:  a comprehensive suite of out-of-school time educational and social enrichment programs for 200 students that works to close the performance gap among students in our community. TLC includes:
  • School to Sportsmen’s (STS) school year, daily academic support program that provides small group ELA, math and science instruction and individualized tutoring to 75 K-5 students which expands rather than replicates classroom activities. Operates September-June, M- F from 3-6pm.
  • Summer Learning Project (SLP) 6-week full-day (9am-5pm) academic enrichment program that targets up to 45 rising 3rd-4th graders from our partner schools to prevent summer learning loss.
  • HEY Sister & DEUCE gender-specific weekend programs offer over 80 girls and boys ages 7-17 a safe place to explore the many issues and challenges they face, build their self-advocacy skills and develop positive relations with peers and adult mentors throughout the school year.
  • YOUTH TENNIS:  Our youth tennis clinics, camps and lessons place local, low-income and/or minority youth on an intentional developmental pathway to college/post-secondary level high performance tennis.
  • HEALTH AND WELLNESS - Sportsmen’s offers a range of free life-changing health and wellness programs for all ages that includes:
  • CCW - provides free multidisciplinary health and wellness programs to help residents understand the social determinants of health, empowering them with knowledge and the tools to make small changes that can impact their entire family. CCW includes a fitness center which offers free daily fitness classes led by certified instructors and access to cardiovascular and weight training equipment. 
  • Match Point - provides students with physical activity and introduces tennis at schools and community-based organizations; it was created in response to increased juvenile obesity and the widespread lack of physical education and organized sports within Boston Public Schools. During the 2018-2019 school year, Match Point engaged 990 students at 10 schools in 10,405 hours of tennis instruction and fitness during the school day.
  • Volley Against Violence - our nationally-recognized police/community engagement initiative breaks down barriers between youth and police officers. VAV is a unique partnership that offers social intervention and prevention focused on: 1.) providing safe, nurturing out-of-school time options for youth that build life skills; and 2.) changing the perceptions between youth and police officers in both directions. VAV celebrated its 10- year anniversary in 2019, and has served more than 2,000 youth in Boston. The US Tennis Association (USTA) replicated VAV in 8 cities around the country thus far.
  • ADULT TENNIS – Adults play a pivotal role in furthering the Sportsmen’s mission. Our 300 adult members provide a deep sense of community, a source of revenue and a diverse pool of committed volunteers, while helping adults maintain an active lifestyle.

Sportsmen’s was the first indoor, non-profit tennis club in the US created by and for an inner-city African American community and maintains a focus on equity and access while welcoming individuals from all walks of life. We continue to be a leader and innovator in our efforts to transform our challenged and under-resourced community. The USTA recognized Sportsmen’s with the 2015 Organization of the Year, and the 2011 ICON Award for increasing diversity in tennis. In 2018, Tennis Industry Association named Sportsmen’s Chief Executive Officer their Grassroots Champion of the Year, and in 2019, the USTA presented her with a national award bestowed on one individual who exemplifies the goals of youth engagement.

Sportsmen’s annual operating budget of approximately $2.6M is currently comprised of approximately 38% in fee-for-service revenue with the remaining 62% of operating expenses, plus funds for capital improvements, secured through philanthropy (corporate and foundation grants, special events, individual donations).

In the early/nucleus fund phase of a very exciting effort to dramatically expand its reach throughout Boston, Sportsmen’s will expand its facilities and health, wellness and educational programs with resources from a $9 million capital campaign and overall $18 million comprehensive Campaign during the next 3-4 years. Already $3.9 million of capital funding has been raised through this effort.

To learn more about Sportsmen’s, see


Sportsmen’s Chief Development Officer leads the planning and implementation of a multi-year, comprehensive Campaign to significantly increase philanthropic revenue from individuals, corporations and foundations to support the organization’s mission and vision through capital and critical program expansion fundraising. The CDO will strengthen and facilitate relationships with current and future supporters, solicit contributions on behalf of the organization, and expand a community of philanthropic investors who share a belief in the unique role that Sportsmen’s plays in helping under-resourced young people and adults succeed.  In addition, the person in this position will work collaboratively with staff and volunteer leadership to leverage increased philanthropic support.

Candidates should be experienced fundraising leaders who have a track record of building comprehensive fundraising programs, raising significant resources that have grown over time, working in partnership with staff and volunteer teams and closing major gifts, particularly in environments without the natural donor constituencies enjoyed by colleges, hospitals, etc.

In partnership with the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors, this position is responsible for attracting major gifts for programmatic, operational, and capital priorities. The successful candidate will help forge new relationships to build Sportsmen’s visibility, impact, and financial resources.  The Chief Development Officer reports to the Chief Executive Officer and is a member of the organization’s senior management team.  The Chief Development Officer supervises a contract grant writer, Development Director who mostly focuses on special events and the Board of Directors Development Committee. An accomplished Fundraising Counsel has been retained to work in concert with the CEO and CDO in the near term to advise, guide and also accelerate the pace of the Campaign.  Qualified candidates that believe they have relevant skills that will make them successful in this role are encouraged to apply. 

Core Responsibilities:

  1. Raise the philanthropic resources necessary to support and grow Sportsmen’s prospects and donors, many of whom are members of Sportsmen’s programs and initiatives
  2. Manage a portfolio of prospects and donors who have the potential to provide significant charitable gifts to the organization.  Cultivate, solicit and close annual, major gift and multi-year contributions. Achieve revenue goals.
  3. Identify new funding prospects to support the organization, develop door opening strategies and, in many cases, be the primary entry point to execute.
  4. Develop and lead grant strategy, maintaining regular correspondence with foundations, donors, and board members with a long-term relationship approach;
  5. Serve as a passionate proponent of the organization and its mission.
  6. Appropriately represent the organization, its board and staff leadership to donors and prospects.

  1. Implement a comprehensive fundraising program.
  2. Implement fundraising strategies and programs, including a special emphasis on major giving, corporate partnerships, foundation relations initiatives, and deferred and planned giving, that increase the organization’s support from individuals, corporations, foundations and other sources;
  3. Provide leadership, strategic direction, management and coordination for all aspects of the program’s development efforts; 
  4. Drive major gift fundraising strategy and solicitation, engaging CEO and suitable board/volunteer leadership when advantageous.                                                                         
  5. Prepare the annual fundraising plan in collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer for presentation to the Board of Directors; provide detailed reports about the fundraising progress on a regular basis; 
  6. Oversee donor stewardship and recognition programs, as well as all annual giving programs;
  7. Develop event strategy and oversee established annual fundraising events; develop plan for event revenue growth and expansion;
  8. Drive Sportsmen’s membership program and member giving.
  9. Create Sportsmen’s publications, including event-specific materials, annual reports, and press releases.
  10. Ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to support the program’s future fundraising goals; 

  1. Work collaboratively with volunteer and staff leadership to enhance their fundraising skills and to support their revenue generating efforts.
  2. Partner with the Chief Executive Officer to deploy her time and attention to leverage the greatest revenue generating opportunities.  Coordinate fundraising efforts of Chief Executive Officer, Development Director, the Development Committee of the Board of Directors, and other key fundraising team members;  
  3. Work effectively with the Board of Directors and other key volunteers, leveraging their talents, resources and ideas to enhance fundraising activities; understand the Board’s giving patterns and desired involvement; enhance board members’ ability to identify fundraising opportunities and encourage their ongoing participation as donors and solicitors; 
  4. Build strong relationships with the program’s leadership and staff; understand Sportsmen’s programs; work collaboratively with program staff to integrate innovative development strategies throughout the program; 
  5. Manage the development team.   Lead, mentor and inspire staff and volunteers with fundraising responsibilities to excel in their roles.  Strategically grow staffing capacity as growth in resources allow.  Create a working environment that is rewarding to staff and volunteers.
  6. Recruit and motivate community and business volunteers to increase philanthropic attainment.
  7. Lead staff and volunteers to institutionalize philanthropy and fund development within the organization.  Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization.  Assure that the organization’s culture, systems and procedures support fund development and vice versa.

  1. Serve as a member of Sportsmen’s senior management team to advance the organization’s goals.
  2. First and foremost, maintain focus on achievement of the organization-wide goals, and build and implement the comprehensive fundraising program to support achievement of the goals set forth in Sportsmen’s annual and long-term strategic plan/s.
  3. Provide counsel and guidance to the Chief Executive Officer and members of the senior staff team in order to incorporate the development and marketing perspective.
  4. Embrace a culture focused on strong vertical and horizontal communication lines throughout the organization.
  5. Serve as a proactive problem solver.
  6. Ensure that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in accordance with the organization’s mission, vision and values.
  7. Help establish performance measures, monitor results and help the Chief Executive Officer, development committee(s) and board evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s fund development program.  Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to board and senior leaders as needed.


  • High energy and passion for Sportsmen’s mission is essential; commitment to youth development and social justice
  • Bachelor's degree required 
  • 5-plus years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization; demonstrated success in a development function (creating and managing relationships with multiple donor sources). 
  • Demonstrated experience in working as part of a team with a budget and defined goals 
  • Demonstrable track record of personally identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and closing individual donors, corporations and foundations
  • A record of measurable results in organizing and implementing such activities as: major gifts, annual funds, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving, direct response and special events
  • Capacity to conceptualize and plan events with a minimum of 500 attendees
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including board and staff members, donors, foundation and civic leaders 
  • Knowledge of Boston area as well as national and regional funders, foundations and corporations;
  • A solid understanding of nonprofit/for-profit fiscal management, principles and best practices
  • Experience implementing and managing a database system, preferably BlackBaud/Raiser’s Edge
  • Creative, resilient and strategic in approach
  • A track record as an effective communicator; highly developed skills in writing and speaking; competence at crafting proposals, donor correspondence and other kinds of materials; the ability to communicate the program’s mission and interests to a broad audience
  • Ability to give and receive feedback as a tool for growth
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • The ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time
  • Outstanding customer service skills
  • Passion for philanthropy and nonprofit work
  • Works well under pressure to meet deadlines

Valid Driver’s License and access to a car preferred.  

Sportsmen’s is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any individual, employee, or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status under federal, state or local law.

Sportsmen’s is committed to hiring staff who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. Candidates of color, bilingual and bicultural candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.  If you are interested in working at a well-established, fast-paced and supportive organization committed to serving children, adults and families, please apply. 


Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center (Sportsmen’s) is committed to improving life opportunities for youth in Boston's Blue Hill Avenue Corridor, one of the most challenged communities in Boston, while…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    July 15, 2021
  • Application Deadline
    June 30, 2021
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional Level


$125,000 - $150,000


Sportsmen's comprehensive benefits package include a suite of health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance along with our 401K plan with a 3% match. Employees are able to participate in any tennis programs we offer free of charge, and are welcome to utilize the on-site fitness center.

This position is eligible for up to three weeks of paid vacation per year for each of the first three years of service, and four weeks per year thereafter.

Sportsmen's comprehensive benefits package include a suite of health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance along with our 401K plan with a 3% match. Employees are able to…


950 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02124, USA

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