Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Blessings in a Backpack (Blessings) mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide
food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go
hungry. Each week of the school year, Blessings and its thousands of volunteers and partners
send a bag of food home with children who, during the week, are fed by the free and reducedprice meal program.
During the 2019-2020 school year, approximately 88,000 children at over 1,000 schools across
the country received a bag of weekend nutrition from Blessings in a Backpack each week.
Reporting to the chief executive officer, the Chief Development Officer serves as a key
leadership team member. In partnership with the chief executive officer, this position is
responsible for all national fundraising and development activities and results, leading the
national fundraising team. Additionally, the position works with the chapter and volunteer
support services teams to develop and support implementation of the fundraising strategy in
The successful candidate will help forge new relationships to build Blessings in a Backpack’s
visibility, impact, and financial resources. Working closely with the chief marketing officer, the
Chief Development Officer will also design and implement a comprehensive plan for developing
key external alliances by cultivating individual and philanthropic support.
The Chief Development Officer will have primary responsibility for establishing and
implementing the strategy and infrastructure needed to grow a $12M budget through the
solicitation of major gifts, individual giving, corporate and foundation support, and events on
the national level and supporting the replication of the strategy, processes, and procedures
within the chapter and volunteer levels.
She or he will expand and diversify Blessings in a Backpack’s donor base/pipeline and work
closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives. In addition, the Chief
Development Officer will work closely with the board of directors and support board members
as they take on a more active fundraising role.
It is expected that the amount raised by Blessings in a Backpack will increase in future years as
the Chief Development Officer systematically and effectively strengthens the organization's
overall fundraising capacity.
While the preference is that this position works from the Chicago office, this can be a remote
position located in any geographic area within the country.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
With a focus on increasing Blessings in a Backpack’s fundraising revenue and developing a
comprehensive and cohesive fundraising strategy across the organization, key responsibilities
- Develop and implement of the organization’s fundraising strategy, annual goals, and
business plan to reach those goals, including cultivation, solicitation, recognition, and
stewardship of individuals, corporations, foundations, and other philanthropic partners.
- Further expand the organization’s use of a cohesive fundraising strategy and procedures
that are tailored and implemented on the three levels of the organization: national,
chapter, and volunteer-driven community level.
- Manage a portfolio of high-level donors, working closely with the chief executive officer
and members of the Fund Development team.
- Track results to goals, including key performance indicators, revenue, and other
- Manage expenses for the national fund development team to gain the highest ROI
- Manage and support the national fundraising team as they engage and expand their
donor portfolios, implement their business plan, and grow professionally.
- Support and partner with the national board of directors as they strive to engage their
networks in Blessings in a Backpack’s work.
- As needed, represent Blessings in a Backpack in the community, including at public
appearances and speaking engagements.
- Model and support the organization’s culture with staff, volunteers, and other
- Stay apprised of advancements and changes pertinent to fundraising and the
development professions overall. Direct and lead adaptations in Blessings’ strategy and
practices in accordance with industry developments and changes.
The ideal candidate will be a proactive leader and strategic thinker with a proven track record in
fundraising and donor relationship management. Basic qualifications include:
- Bachelor’s degree required.
- Minimum seven years of fund development experience, including three years managerial.
- Proven track record of developing and implementing a fundraising strategy and team to
raise support from diverse sources, securing $1M annually.
- Experience in developing and implementing a strategic approach for the identification,
cultivation, solicitation, recognition, and stewardship of donor prospects, including
individuals, corporations, and foundations.
- Demonstrated excellence in organizational, managerial, and communications skills, both
written and verbal.
- Demonstrated commitment to accountability, measuring outcomes, and a resultsoriented culture with the ability to gather and analyze data.
- Desire to make an impact on the lives of food insecure children in at fast-paced,
- Knowledge of donor databases and proficiency in Microsoft Office programs.
- Ability to handle and prioritize multiple projects while maintaining attention to detail.
- Ability to work with diverse groups of people.
- Sound judgment, professionalism, and a positive attitude.
- Resourcefulness, creativity, and strong problem-solving skills
- Ability to travel nationally as needed, approximately 6-8 times a year
- Advanced degree in nonprofit or business management preferred.
- Fund development experience in an organization with a national/chapter structure
- Knowledge of Raisers Edge donor database
Medical Insurance, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Life Insurance, Short-Term Disability
Insurance, Paid Time Off, Paid Holidays, Paid Winter Break, Summer Fridays, FSA Plan, 403(b)
Relocation assistance is not available.
Interested individuals should send cover letter and resume to
It is our policy as an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer to provide equal opportunity to all
qualified persons and to administer all aspects and conditions of employment without regard to
race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic
origin, physical or mental disability, military service in employment, marital status, genetic
information, parental status, pregnancy, and/or any other protected classification, in accordance
with applicable federal, state , and local laws.