August 24, 2020 – Executive recruitment firm Development Guild DDI, which focuses on the non-profit sector, has been selected by US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing, to find a chief development officer. Leading the assignment is senior consultant Jesse Bryan.
“US Sailing is seeking a chief development officer to work closely with the CEO, the foundation chair and board of directors to design, lead and implement a sustainable development strategy to increase philanthropic revenue for its mission and programs, including youth development and the Olympics,” said Development Guild DDI. “This person will build on an established base and work with passionate leaders pursuing sustainable resources to support the future of the sport.”
Key responsibilities for the chief development officer role will focus on development, board management, and leadership and management, said the search firm. The new CDO will be expected to partner with US Sailing’s CEO and board to take the organization’s comprehensive fundraising program to the next level, particularly in the area of individual giving and major gifts. In tandem with the CEO and board, the individual will formulate and execute customized strategies to cultivate and solicit prospects and donors. He or she will also be charged with soliciting major gifts from top prospects and/or partner with appropriate leadership in gift solicitations.
Other duties of the job will include engaging board members around short-term and long-term fundraising goals through board liaison work. The CDO must also serve as a key strategist and member of US Sailing’s senior leadership team. The individual will be expected to lead development team towards building and maintaining robust, data-driven systems to support a dynamic development operation. As appropriate, the CDO will also determine the need for and recruit talented professionals to join a successful development team.
Candidates should have 10-plus years of progressively responsible development experience in high performing fundraising programs, said Development Guild DDI. Demonstrated ability to secure funds through donor engagement, including six and seven figure major gifts, and grow a donor prospect base is essential. Prospects must also have a metrics-driven, entrepreneurial mindset that informs strategy and work; experience in building, managing and mentoring development staff; and the ability to translate board goals into achievable steps.
US Sailing was originally organized as the North American Yacht Racing Union (NAYRU) in 1897. The non-profit’s mission is to provide leadership for the sport of sailing in the U.S. Key program priorities for US Sailing include the Olympics, youth development and growing the sport. US Sailing is guided by more than 50 committees and 300-plus active volunteers who serve on those committees. All areas of the sport are represented, from training and education to offshore big boat racing. US Sailing administers 17 national championships for juniors, adult men and women, and sailors with disabilities, in various forms of fleet racing, match racing and team racing.
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.
Mr. Bryan came to Development Guild DDI from Heidrick & Struggles, where he worked for 10 years providing candidate research and outreach for the firm’s education, nonprofit and social enterprise clients. His client projects include: Beyond Conflict, Cohen Veterans Bioscience, Fountain House, Emerson College, Montefiore Einstein, Mount Sinai Health System, Partners in Health and UMiami.
Earlier this year, Development Guild DDI placed Tricia Hart as chief development officer for the environmental group Greenpeace. Managing director Sherry Ettleson led the assignment. Ms. Hart most recently served as national director of marketing and engagement at Amnesty International USA, where she expanded direct mail and digital giving programs to generate $30 million of the organization’s $46 million budget. In her new role with Greenpeace, Ms. Hart leads a fast-growing and comprehensive program of canvassing, direct mail, digital fundraising and major gifts from individuals and foundations.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media