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Chief Development Officer

Company: Mohonk Preserve
Date Posted: January 25, 2017

Chief Development Officer

Based in Mid-Hudson Valley, NY

Management Recruiters - Mid Hudson Valley is an executive search firm focused solely in serving the nonprofit sector.  We have a national practice and the large majority of our placements are executive leadership and senior fundraising professionals.

Our client is the Mohonk Preserve ( As a leader in protecting the Shawangunk Mountains, the Mohonk Preserve sets the standard for mountain stewardship and enhances access to nature. Using science to guide land management, the Preserve teaches others to conserve an ecosystem designated by The Nature Conservancy as one of the "Earth's Last Great Places." The Mohonk Preserve is NY State's largest nonprofit nature preserve, with over 16,000 members and supporters. The mission of the Mohonk Preserve is to protect the Shawangunk Mountains region and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world.

The Mohonk Preserve has retained us to recruit and place an experienced, skilled Chief Development Officer with them.

Position Overview

The Chief Development Officer ("CDO") is a Vice President level position. Under the direct supervision of the President, the CDO works with the President and Executive Management Team to consistently implement the strategic direction of the organization. The CDO partners with the President to lead high priority fundraising projects, plans and strategies, resulting in increased major and planned gifts and grants for program and capital support. The CDO oversees and communicates organizational priorities as approved by the President by working closely with the Management Team on the implementation and integration of programs focused on fundraising, development, membership, communications and marketing.

The CDO serves as a high-level partner and collaborator with the Vice President & CFO, as well as other key staff, to achieve fundraising goals and to provide executive leadership. The CDO directly oversees the Development and Communications Departments, ensuring that they meet workplan and revenue goals, and works in partnership with the Volunteer and Special Events team.

Key Responsibilities

Development 70%

  • Serves as key strategic planning officer for multi-year fundraising initiatives including annual fund, capital projects, planned and memorial giving, and member development;
  • Builds fundraising plan that balances operational and capital needs;
  • Ensures all fundraising priorities are linked to the Preserve's strategic plan;
  • Provides direct oversight of Development Department to lead team to success in achieving fundraising goals;
  • Serves as mentor and primary fundraising coach for all staff members;
  • Coordinates Board of Directors fundraising responsibilities and works directly with the group to train and facilitate fundraising goals to ensure they are achieved;
  • Writes fundraising case statement and revises as needed;
  • Maintains a portfolio of annual fund and capital donors capable of making gifts of $5,000 or more annually;
  • Works collaboratively with the Senior Development Officer on annual and long term fundraising goals;
  • Creatively ensures fundraising program continues to increase revenues annually;
  • Maintains high-level interface with the Manager of Grants and Organizational Funding to strategize on grants and ensure interdepartmental synergies for the organization's fundraising goals.
  • Expands new state, foundation, corporate, federal funding and partnership funding sources to advance Strategic Plan priorities;
  • Discover funding sources to strengthen the Preserve's fiscal standing with a balanced approach to long-term capital, endowment, and annual fund needs;

Communications, Public Relations & Audience Development 15%

  • Collaborates with Director of Marketing & Communications to build fundraising messaging for the organization that is people-centric and relevant to the community;
  • Collaborates with Director of Marketing and Communications on integrated outreach strategies and synergizes messaging with fundraising efforts, including e-blasts and social media;
  • Serves as a key Preserve spokesperson in coordination with the President and Director of Marketing & Communications, and represents the Preserve in fundraising matters as well as select relations with governments, community agencies, business leaders, other partner organizations, the communi­ty at large, and the general public;
  • Works with the President and Director of Marketing & Communications on outreach strategies to promote and publicize the benefits of the Preserve's initiatives to its donors;
  • Jointly with all staff, helps promote the Preserve's positive relationship and leadership position to its visitors, neighbors, and the Hudson Valley Region; and
  • Works with the Director of Marketing & Communications to ensure positive "brand ambassadorship" interactions and communications with constituents.

Administrative/Organizational 15%

  • Works with the President to cultivate a collegial, mission-driven, team-oriented work environment fostering productive working relationships and internal communications among the Management Team and staff;
  • Communicates throughout the Management Team to help solve problems and bring recommendations for solutions to President as needed;
  • Reports to, advises, and communicates regularly with the President to ensure transfer of information and knowledge, and to ensure day-to-day tactical program progress toward strategic goals and objectives;
  • Conducts peer research and other research and analysis; projects, and assesses/monitors/reports on key aspects of organizational performance metrics, and works with the President and Vice President & CFO on the design of program, revenue, staffing efficiency, and revenue and business modeling/planning strategies; and
  • Attends meetings including staff, committee, task force, and Board, as assigned by the President.


  • Bachelor's Degree (Master's Degree preferred) and at least 10 years of experience in non-profit or private sector management with a direct emphasis on fundraising and outreach;
  • A proven record of achievement of annual, capital, and endowment fundraising goals;
  • Exemplary public speaking, writing, and other communication skills with the ability to adapt to multiple audiences;
  • Strong conservation ethic and commitment to best practices in integrated natural area management;
  • A proven record of leadership and organizational skills working in nonprofit land conservation charities or related fields with solid understanding of environmental, natural resource protection, and land management issues;
  • Demonstrated senior-level managerial skills including ability to strategize, conceptualize, plan, organize, critically analyze, and follow through;
  • Well-developed project management and team-building skills, with ability to set clear priorities and delegate effectively for shared accountability. A team player with a passion for working collaboratively with strong, creative people, inspiring them to achieve common goals;
  • Mission-driven, action-oriented, problem-solver, open to new ways of working;
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills to work effectively with people at all levels:

           - ability to balance and tactfully negotiate among opposing viewpoints and to compromise when necessary;

           - sensitivity to work with diverse personalities;

           - ability to listen, give advice and respect the views and abilities of others

           - ability to collaborate with integrity, consistency, good judgment and a sense of humor;

  • Resilient and adaptable, with ability to lead in an environment of change, to anticipate and respond to opportunities/challenges, and to provide programmatic direction for positive evolution of the organization;
  • High degree of confidentiality;
  • Strong, demonstrated skills in writing and business presentations and interpersonal communication;
  • Advanced computer, file management and database skills (MS Office Suite; Outlook; non-profit accounting software, (i.e. Raiser's Edge, Financial Edge, other) with a willingness to learn new software and use available technology tools;
  • This position requires physical activity, such as hiking or other recreation on outdoor trails with varied terrain.
  • Willingness to travel and work frequent irregular hours, including some weekends, evenings, and/or holidays.

This is a full-time salaried position based in the Mohonk Preserve's New Paltz, NY office. The Mohonk Preserve offers a very competitive salary, as well as a comprehensive benefits package.

The Mohonk Preserve is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected categories covered under local law.

If you are interested in this excellent career opportunity, please email your resume and cover letter (Word documents only, please) to:

Nicole Hochberg

Executive Vice President

Management Recruiters – Mid Hudson Valley

Phone 845-227-3161