Development Guild DDI Seeks Chief Development Officer for UP Education Network

December 20, 2018 – Executive recruitment firm Development Guild DDI, which focuses on the non-profit sector, has been retained to find a chief development officer for Boston-based UP Education Network, a school management organization. The assignment is being led by Katharine Kaplan, vice president of the search firm.

The chief development officer is responsible for leading all fundraising efforts for UP Education Network, including individual and corporate giving, state and federal funding opportunities, and the design and execution of capital campaigns, said Development Guild DDI. As the first-ever C-level development leader for the organization, the new CDO will be charged with setting the vision and strategy for development efforts for the network.

The individual will also serve as a frontline fundraiser, building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders to generate revenue to accelerate UP Education Network’s impact. The CDO will report directly to the CEO and serve on the group’s senior leadership team.

A Critical Role

Key responsibilities of the role include overseeing all efforts to meet UP Education Network’s s philanthropic income projections through direct fundraising and supervision of development department activities to maintain and diversify UP Education Network’s annual fundraising target, said Development Guild DDI. The CDO will also be expected to identify, cultivate and steward new and existing individual, foundation, government and corporate donors and build on current stewardship activities to deepen relationships with current donors. The individual will also provide strategic guidance to the leadership team and board, identifying key opportunities and strategies to increase revenue across all channels of philanthropy, including capital campaigns.

The job further requires that the CDO work in partnership with UP Education Network’s communications team, overseeing strategy and execution of all high-profile philanthropic events, showcasing the network’s schools’ and the organization’s work, among other responsibilities, said Development Guild DDI.

Candidates should have more than seven years of development/fundraising experience; a history of managing capital campaigns and a proven track record in major gift cultivation and solicitation, raising at least $2 million annually; demonstrated success in writing and managing complex national and federal grants; and have a strong belief in UP Education Network’s core values: students, community, humility, resilience and humor.

Improving Schools

Other qualifications include: exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including an ability to sell the organization to an external audience and experience writing quarterly and annual reports that detail organizational progress; strategic planning ability, organization and discipline – the ability to chart a course of action, establish measurable deliverables, and stay the course; an “outcome orientation” with the ability to effectively manage multiple responsibilities while maintaining the big picture as it relates to our mission and the financial success of the organization. Prospects must have a bachelor’s degree, but an advanced degree is preferred.


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Founded in 2010, UP Education Network is the largest non-profit school network in Massachusetts. It is one of the few in the country that is successfully tackling the challenges of in-district school turnaround, said Development Guild DDI. Since its founding, the non-profit has grown from one school serving 480 students to a network of six tuition-free public schools—three in Boston, two in Lawrence, and one in Springfield—serving more than 3,000 of the state’s historically underserved students.

Development Guild DDI, which has offices in New York and Boston, focuses on the non-profit sector. Founded in 1978, it helps align leadership around a strategic vision with its planning, executive search and fundraising services. The firm works with clients nationwide, partnering with leaders in academic medicine, higher education, arts and culture, human service and others.

Arts and Fundraising

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 Protection of Animals, College of the Holy Cross, Partners in Health, University of Rhode Island Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Cancer Society.

Ms. Kaplan specializes in executive search, leading client projects and serving as a senior member of the search firm’s candidate outreach team. Some of her clients have included: Bancroft School, Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, Simmons College, Beaver Country Day School, Northeastern University, From the Top, Carroll Center for the Blind, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Salvation Army of Massachusetts and Perkins School for the Blind.

Prior to Development Guild DDI, Ms. Kaplan’s professional work focused on arts fundraising, including serving as assistant director of major gifts at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She studied English literature and women’s studies at the University of Massachusetts and holds certifications in planned giving and futures and options trading.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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