Chief Development Officer

The German Marshall Fund of United States Chief Development Officer
Location Washington, United States
Application deadline 29 July 2019
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary 180-250k
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The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a private, non-partisan, American, public policy and grant making institution dedicated to promoting understanding and cooperation between North America and Europe on transatlantic and global issues.

GMF does this by:

  • supporting individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic sphere,
  • convening leaders and members of the policy and business communities,
  • contributing research and analysis on transatlantic topics,
  • providing exchange opportunities to foster renewed commitment to the transatlantic relationship.

Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has seven offices in Europe: Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, Bucharest, and Warsaw.

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) leads GMF’s external fundraising efforts, and is responsible for strategy, revenue generation, and stewardship of funding relationships.

Key roles and responsibilities

The CDO manages a transatlantic Partnerships team based in our Washington headquarters, Berlin and Brussels. Within the GMF executive team, and as a secondary role, the CDO also has general oversight of the Communications team.

The Partnerships team drives GMF’s external revenue effort in concert with programs and offices across the organization. The team executes state of the art business development strategies to generate funding for GMF policy, leadership and civil society work including funder prospecting and stewardship, as well as coordination with all programs and offices on proposals, relationship management and reporting. The team also manages the internal processes that support the recording of revenues and maintain funder database information. The Communications team, led by the Director of Communications, develops and leads the organization’s communications strategy and manages all communications related to publications, website, events, and social media.

The CDO reports directly to GMF’s president and is a member of the six-person Executive Team. They key focus of the position is external revenue generation in support of the GMF mission and organizational strategy. Central to the CDO role is instilling a culture of fundraising and business development throughout the organization ensuring that fundraising is aligned with GMF’s values and priorities, working closely with GMF’s President, Executive Team and Board of Trustees.

The CDO is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Partnerships team, including personnel management and professional development. The director of the Communications team, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of that team, reports to the CDO and will look to the CDO for strategic guidance and for support on the Executive Team.

Essential duties/Responsibilities:


  • Provide leadership, vision, and direction to increase, diversify, and sustain GMF’s donor base
  • Develop an organization-wide strategy for revenue generation and enhanced sustainability; identify and build the team, systems and processes to implement that strategy and define outcomes, activities and responsibilities
  • Develop fundraising targets and revenue goals; identify areas of required investment, performance measures and milestones
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and secure new funding sources
  • Monitor and advise on the evolving priorities of government and foundation funders
  • Provide strategic input to support external communications across GMF


  • Positively and professionally represent the organization in all engagement efforts; recognize the nuances of transatlantic policy issues and cultivate relevant relationships
  • Develop and steward relationships with funding partners
  • Leverage the networks of the president, Executive Team, program and office directors and Board of Trustees to engage with prospective funders


  • Work closely with the leaders of GMF’s policy, leadership, and civil society programs to collect information on new and existing projects for proposals and reports and to develop strategies for positioning requests to new funders; cooperate closely with program leaders to determine appropriate outcome measures for new proposals
  • Support program teams on grant applications and reporting
  • Work closely with Finance and CFO to ensure accurate accounting of all financial information and to develop external revenue projections
  • Raise awareness within GMF of the fundraising process: needs, constraints and fundamental principles of the fundraising activity; clearly communicate fundraising goals and the strategies to achieve them; mobilize internal partners for effective fundraising actions


  • Proactively research and identify funders of interest to GMF through prospect research and targeted strategies for engagement; track and manage existing funding relationships; develop funding and partnership proposals to meet individual funder needs
  • Work with GMF leaders of policy, leadership and civil society programs to fashion compelling narratives, proposals and reports
  • Oversee the effective operation of all fundraising systems – donor database, donor reports, recognition, etc.
  • Apply data and analytics to assess and drive revenue growth
  • Build the partnership team’s capacity for grant writing, reporting and, reporting, allocation and compliance
  • Maintain current knowledge of fundraising, partnership and industry issues and trends


  • Manage teams: demonstrate commitment to excellence by ensuring high standards of performance, project planning, effective use of systems, tools and resources, and a working environment conducive to teamwork, continuous learning and innovation
  • Motivate and inspire staff to proactively contribute to strategic objectives; encourage dialogue and collaboration across U.S.- and Europe-based team members.

Experience and skills expected of the post holder

  • Minimum of 10+ years of leadership and management experience, preferably in public policy or other relevant organizations, including demonstrated ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage performance of teams
  • Demonstrated ability to increase external revenue and to identify and secure institutional and project funds
  • Ability to engage independently with major individual and corporate donors and to secure revenue from these sources. Strong knowledge of non-profit fundraising within an international, policy-oriented organization
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills (written and oral) – ability to communicate clearly, concisely and engagingly with team members, trustees, and external audiences; strong listening skills
  • Experience in results management, monitoring and the use of data to “tell the story”
  • Proven ability to co-create with a variety of partners and stakeholders, identifying and building on convergent interests
  • Ability to leverage an international network of personal contacts in the fundraising arena and to work in an international and multicultural environment
  • Success in coaching executive level staff to achieve fundraising success
  • Deep experience developing proposals and reports for government funders
  • Superior project management skills – including planning, analysis and decision making
  • Strong base of knowledge of current trends in charitable giving, including major gifts and planned giving; knowledge of current trends in communications
  • Adept at putting creative ideas forward; taking initiative and solving problems with creative approaches
  • Dynamic, self motivated and focused with proactive approach
  • Willingness to travel internationally
  • Graduate degree preferred

GMF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.