Fundraising and Advancement

SVP Development

  • The Obama Foundation
  • Flexible Location (Chicago, IL, New York, NY, or Washington, DC preferred)

This position has been filled.

The Obama Foundation is seeking a mission-driven leader for the critical role of SVP Development (“SVPD”).

Institution Overview

The Obama Foundation is focused on building the world as it ought to be. A world that is more inclusive and participatory. A world that is more generous. A world that is more just. A world where people discover and harness their own power and voice. A world where people see their lives as being deeply intertwined with the lives of others and see themselves as capable of transforming their communities for the better. The Foundation’s initiatives include the Obama Presidential Center, My Brother’s Keeper, and The Girls Opportunity Alliance.

The Position

The Obama Foundation is seeking a mission-driven leader for the critical role of SVP Development (“SVPD”). The SVPD directs and leads the Foundation’s efforts to advance donor understanding of and engagement with the programs and priorities of the organization, working closely with the CEO, President, Chief Financial Officer, leadership team and staff, and the Board of Directors. The SVPD is responsible for conceptualizing, organizing, and implementing a comprehensive and strategic development program that will sustain and fully leverage the reach of and support for the Obama Foundation to meet the organizational mission and strategy and ensure organizational sustainability.  Reporting to the Foundation CEO, the SVPD will serve as a key member of the leadership team.

  • In partnership with the CEO, President and Board of Directors, establish a strategic vision and operational plan for the Foundation’s fundraising activities. Develop and implement short and long-term plans for fundraising.
  • Manage a select portfolio of major and principal gift prospects, including individual and institutional sources, moving them through the stages of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Work with Major Gifts team to identify and cultivate new major and principal gift prospects.
  • Ensure ongoing prospect discovery and engagement at all levels of giving, including both traditional and non-traditional sources of potential support, as well as examination of existing donors that may have greater capacity.
  • Evaluate current Development department staffing needs and oversee recruitment, retention, training, management, mentoring, professional development, and evaluation of an efficient and highly professional team, complementing staff with consultants, as necessary.
  • Oversee the planning and execution of annual special events, including staff and volunteer participation therein. Maximize events and the visitor experience so they are highly valued by attendees and appropriately relate to engagement, stewardship, and/or major and principal gift strategies.
  • Support the existing Development team with training, team-building and other professional support to ensure collegiality and common vision. Utilize appropriate metrics on a team and individual basis to ensure accountability and results.
  • Prepare regular reports and presentations on fundraising activities for the CEO, senior management team, and the Board of Directors.
Key Selection Criteria
  • Ten or more years of proven leadership experience in planning and implementing a successful, comprehensive fundraising operation for a nonprofit organization.
  • Knowledge of and fundamental adherence to the principles, ethics, and best practices of modern fundraising, including the integration of various giving programs to diversify the funding base and cultivate greater donor commitments.
  • Experience working in or leading a diverse staff. Ability to lead, recruit, evaluate, and develop a diverse team of development professionals and contribute to the ongoing fostering of a high-functioning, results-oriented, multi-racial/multi-ethnic workforce.
  • Demonstrated success in developing the case for support and strategic, innovative fundraising plans, and executing those plans to grow fundraising and exceed goals. Demonstrated experience cultivating, training, building relationships with, and working in collaboration with executives, senior staff, and volunteer leaders on development-related activities, providing them with quality support and intelligence and increasing their comfort with and success in fundraising.
  • Successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six to seven-figures or greater.
  • A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of constituent engagement and connectivity, who will be driven by innovation in developing advancement best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.
  • The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. Working knowledge of modern data management practices and innovations that can streamline advancement processes and contribute to the integration of related functions.
  • Ability to travel on a national scale, as needed, consistent with public health guidelines.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

The Obama Foundation has retained the services of Diversified Search Group to assist in this search. Interested candidates please e-mail your cover letter and resume to


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