Envision Consulting is hiring an

AbilityFirst - Chief Development Officer

Pasadena, United States




AbilityFirst stands for, and alongside, people with developmental disabilities and their families. We create a welcoming environment where everyone feels they belong and are valued. Our first consideration is always for the well-being of our participants, and — through the mutual trust that we share — each person is supported to achieve his or her personal best.  At AbilityFirst we look beyond disabilities, focus on capabilities and expand possibilities. AbilityFirst provides a variety of programs designed to help people with disabilities achieve their personal best throughout their lives. We do this by: creating targeted programming to help an individual successfully transition from childhood to adult life.


Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for the strategy, implementation, execution, expansion and monitoring of all aspects of resource development for AbilityFirst. The CDO manages all aspects of the agency’s fundraising plans, including major gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, grants, sponsorships, planned giving, and special events A highly collaborative leader, the CDO is a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, the CDO is part of the team that formulates and implement plans to meet AbilityFirst's short- and long-term objectives. 


Strategic Leadership

  • Works in conjunction with the CEO to develop and implement comprehensive, long- and short-term development plan to strengthen financial support and position AbilityFirst in accord with its mission, goals and objectives.
  • In conjunction with executive team, develop, implement and monitor programs that promote diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) within the organization.
  • Develops annual budget for the department for approval by the CEO. Manages implementation of the budget, and monitors expenditures and revenues throughout the year to ensure compliance with budget.
  • Provides leadership and educates Board members in fundraising. Recruits other leadership volunteers to work on various fundraising committees and projects.
  • Participates as a member of the executive team; develops long- and short-term plans, promotes the organization's goals and philosophies to staff, participates in management committees, develops and implements methods to improve income generation and control expenses, and actively cooperates with other departments in support of AbilityFirst's goals.

Individual and Annual Giving 

  • Develops and implements a planned approach to individuals and assigns responsibility for donor and prospect cultivation and solicitation to members of staff, volunteers and Board members according to special interests or capabilities.
  • Supervises development and implementation of direct mail campaigns including design/development of materials, selection of mailing list, implementation of campaign and evaluating results.   
  • Proactively develops and drives the strategic process for identification, cultivation, and solicitation securing major gift contributions from individuals.
  • Works with individual leadership at each center to develop, implement, meet and monitor annual fundraising goals. 
  • Develops and supervises implementation of special event fundraising.
  • Ensure equitable and inclusive practices for fund development, donor outreach, communications and storytelling.

Institutional Giving

  • Develops and implements a planned approach to foundations whose areas of interest coincide with those of AbilityFirst; develops effective working relationships with foundation staff to develop specific proposals for their consideration.
  • Serves as a public representative of the organization cultivating relationships with key corporate and foundation representatives to build awareness of and commitment to the mission. 
  • Prospects, builds, cultivates and expands AbilityFirst relationships with community businesses and corporations. Building opportunities for job placements and creating opportunities for involvement with the organization’s ongoing Capital Campaign. 

Supervisory Duties 

  • Performs managerial duties including interviewing and hiring staff, assigning and reviewing progress of work assignments and projects; conducting performance reviews and recommending increases; and developing the skills of staff.  
  • Administers the development and supervises the implementation of appropriate record-keeping systems for tracking donor gifts, mailing lists, cultivation of prospects, volunteer involvement, grant writing and other records.

Core Competencies

  • Communication
  • Job Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Skills
  • Project Management
  • Results Driven
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Strategic Thought 


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressive leadership experience in fund development for nonprofit organizations. 
  • Demonstrated and verifiable success in  fundraising including major donor cultivation and solicitation, grant writing, special event planning and organization, annual appeals and direct mail
  • Ability to use interpersonal skills to build strong relationships with potential funders, board members as well as internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience in producing and managing donors and special events.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of database management and development systems and an ability to manage and track funding prospects and potential donors.
  • Strong personal computer skills including spreadsheets, desktop publishing and word processing
  • Highly effective oral and written communications skills to represent the organization
  • Demonstrated management experience leading small teams.  
  • Current California driver’s license and a driving record acceptable to the Agency’s insurance carrier

Typically, these requirements may be met by a combination of an undergraduate degree in marketing, public relations, communications or related discipline and several years experience in increasingly responsible development positions.  Certification as a fundraising professional is preferred.  

The Chief Development Officer must be able to perform this job safely, without endangering the health or safety of him/herself or others. 


Salary Range is $160,000 - $200,000. The position is eligible for hybrid work with partial remote work from home, in-office position In Pasadena, Ca and in the community. Benefits include: Medical (Kaiser Permanente), Dental (Guardian PPO and DHMO), Vision, 403B Retirement Plan with corporate matching opportunity, company paid life, AD&D, short term and long-term Insurance, Voluntary life, and more.

AbilityFirst is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to addressing discriminatory practices and working toward racial equity. The equal employment opportunity policy of AbilityFirst provides fair and equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state and local law. AbilityFirst hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled.

Envision Consulting was retained by AbilityFirst for their search for a Chief Development Officer.

Applicants needing accommodation for any part of the application process may contact Envision Consulting at 626.889.7905 to request and arrange for assistance.

This job is no longer available

Enter your email address below to get notified whenever we find a similar job post.

Unsubscribe at any time.