September 29, 2023 – Virtually every industry needs top-drawer chief development officers. CDOs play a key role in planning, coordinating, and administering capital campaigns, corporate giving, and galvanizing new donors while keeping previous funders content. Implementing funding strategies that “keep the lights on,” according to recruiters specializing in the function, is Job No. 1. Non-profit specialist recruitment firm Development Guild DDI has assisted in the placement of Christine Stellar as the chief development officer for United South End Settlements (USES). In this role, she will work closely with USES CEO Jerrell Cox as a member of the senior leadership team to oversee and grow the organization’s fundraising programs and lead marketing and communications efforts.
“We are thrilled to welcome Christine to the USES community in this vital role,” said Mr. Cox. “Christine’s arrival marks an exciting chapter for our organization, as we embark on a journey to strengthen and grow our efforts to support families in achieving economic mobility. With Christine’s dedication and expertise, we’re confident that our mission will not only thrive but reach even greater heights.”
Ms. Stellar comes to USES with a background in fundraising, with a history of success cultivating relationships between corporate partners and mission-based organizations. She brings over a decade of fundraising experience to help further USES’ commitment to transformational family programming that offers accessibility, equity, and inclusion and leads to true belonging.
“With a deep-rooted passion for social justice and educational equity, Ms. Stellar has dedicated her career to closing the achievement and opportunity gaps,” the company said. After studying public policy at Cornell University and education at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Stellar gained real-life experience in the issues she studied during three years of teaching. Prior to joining USES, she served as the inaugural director of institutional advancement at SquashBusters. In that capacity, Ms. Stellar collaborated closely with the CEO to spearhead a transformative fundraising program, which saw annual contributions rise from $2 million to $4 million. She also supported a $13 million capital campaign. This initiative led to the construction of a new facility in Lawrence, MA, significantly expanding SquashBusters’ capacity to deliver services and make an impact on the community.
“It’s an honor to work alongside USES’ talented individuals and share their passion of supporting families,” said Ms. Stellar. “I’ve spent the vast majority of my career in kid- and family-facing organizations and am thrilled to be continuing that work at USES as we raise critical funds and awareness for incredible programs that lift families out of poverty. From USES’ leadership to its classroom teachers, to all the administrative and support staff, I’m inspired by the team’s love for and commitment to strengthening the community as a whole by supporting the families and children that live in it.”
United South End Settlements offers programs that support the whole family in achieving economic mobility. Since its founding 140 years ago, the organization has helped parents and caregivers develop their own capacity to reach their goals, increase their income and assets, and connect with new networks of people through one-on-one coaching combined with opportunities for personal development through Family Mobility programming.
Development Guild DDI, which has offices in New York and Boston, was founded in 1978. The firm helps clients align leadership around a strategic vision with its planning, executive search, and fundraising services. The firm works with non-profits nationwide, partnering with leaders in academic medicine, higher education, arts and culture, human services, and others.
Development Guild’s clients, which number more than 500, have included: Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Holocaust Memorial Museum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, College of the Holy Cross, Partners in Health, University of Rhode Island Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the American Cancer Society.
President William Weber, who co-founded the firm with Suzanne Weber in 1978, has focused his career on the convergence of strategic planning, philanthropy and leadership development, as well as the transformational impact it can have on an institution. His many clients have included: Boston University, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Johns Hopkins Medicine, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Mount Sinai Health System, National Coast Guard Museum Association, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Year Up.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media