Chief Development Officer

Chief Development Officer

Hiring Organization Information

Organization Name: 
James Wegmeyer
United States

Position Information

Employment Type: 
Full time
Experience Level: 
Salary Range: 
Job Category: 
Organizational Overview: 

About Treehouse:  Treehouse is a rapidly growing nonprofit with a 30-year history of addressing the academic and other essential support needs of children, youth and young adults experiencing foster care. Our services operate throughout Washington State, and we are an emerging leader in the national foster care conversation. 

Nationwide only about half of youth in foster care graduate from high school. That’s why Treehouse partners with youth in care statewide as they set and achieve goals to earn their diplomas and make plans for the future.

Join a team that is passionately committed to youth succeeding. With a mission of giving kids and youth in foster care a childhood and a future, we provide education-focused coaching. We partner to offer experiences and essentials that foster community connections, exploration and growth. We fight for systems changes and join forces to pass landmark reforms that reduce inequities responsible for unjust barriers.

Well-loved, community-based and fiercely optimistic, Treehouse is uniquely positioned to partner with youth, schools, organizations, caregivers, social workers and funders. Together, we improve outcomes from childhood through high school graduation and beyond, including a successful launch into adulthood. 

Role Responsibilities: 

We welcome alumni of care and encourage qualified individuals of every race, national origin, religion, age, disability or ability status, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to apply. 


Position Summary:

This position offers exciting opportunities to:

• Drive the strategy and execution for growth in fundraising with diverse constituents and communities across Washington State through the continued development of a robust resource development program.

• Model adaptability in priorities and leadership, facilitating essential departmental activities and supporting the diverse, thriving culture of an evolving organization. 

• Demonstrate motivation by taking initiative and supporting initiative in others to help the team and the organization achieve goals. Consistently look for ways to improve processes and contribute. 

• Compassionately lead agency practices that value diversity, equity and inclusion; demonstrating respect to different generations, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.  Communicate hopefully and honestly with and about individuals different from you.

• Model commitment by being “All-in” as an employee and a leader, offering extra time, effort and support to the team and organization whenever necessary. 

• Display excellent written and oral communication by tailoring messages to specific audiences that drive critical fundraising efforts; including resonating within diverse communities and constituents. Provide a thoughtful and comprehensive donor experience and work to foster lasting relationships between Treehouse and supporters. Connect supporters to the Treehouse mission. 

• Proactively recognize the value of collaboration within and outside the organization, with colleagues, direct reports and supporters; establishing shared goals and finding pathways to reach them.  Ask for help when needed and offer help when opportunities arise. 

• Model resilience when faced with setbacks.  Resourcefully get things done even when the path is not easy or apparent. Brainstorm solutions with the team and constantly seek the best way to accomplish the work that is in the best interest of the youth we serve, our supporters and the agency. 

• Accountably meet deadlines, goals, and deliverables.  Answerable for individual responsibilities. Demonstrate the connection between Development and overall agency work. 

• Deliver and receive candid, sincere, open and professional feedback.  Regularly request feedback from others.  Participate in difficult conversations about the work to reach the best answer for the youth we serve, our supporters and the agency. 

• Display analytical, strategic, critical-thinking skills and the ability to use data to inform decisions by considering a better vision of what could be and identifying the steps it will take to get there. 


Essential Functions:  

Organizational Strategic Planning and Implementation:

• As a member of Executive Team, participate in strategy development, effective management, decision-making, staff communication and other activities to support achievement of overall agency goals. 

• Work effectively within a cross functional Leadership Team, establishing strategies for management of the organization, contributing to management decision-making, staff communication and acknowledgement, and other activities to support a healthy culture within a diverse organization.

• Work with Executive team to foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization. 

Department Planning:

• Lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated fundraising model that emphasizes the cycle of acquisition, investment, and stewardship and includes measurable goals, strategies and tactics. 

• Lead annual development planning process, producing a written, measurable strategic development plan for Executive leadership and Board review and approval. 

Department Management:

• Ensure that development efforts meet or exceed industry standards in intercultural relevance, ethics and professionalism.

• Develop and foster an inclusive workplace that values diversity, leading with equity and inclusion, demonstrating emotional intelligence, and being trauma informed.

• Lead the implementation, management, evaluation and regular reporting of fundraising goals, strategies and tactics. Share results with team, management and Board of Directors.

• Oversee preparation of departmental written materials to secure gifts and grants. 

• Collaborate with Director of Philanthropic Services and Director of Marketing and Communications to ensure coordinated visibility and outreach efforts to support fundraising and community outreach goals among diverse communities statewide. 

• Oversee an accountable and dynamic Volunteer program. 

• Lead acquisition, cultivation and steward activities with key stakeholders, including Board members, current and potential donors, grantors, volunteers and ambassadors. 

Community Partnerships and Representation

• Serve as a visible Treehouse leader. 

• Strategically engage the Board of Directors and Young Professionals Board in development activities, maximizing their time, skills and influence. 

• Actively interact and network in broader and diverse communities and among professional groups, corporate leaders and current donors to enhance development and community outreach objectives. 

• Represent Treehouse in the community, serving as an inspirational spokesperson for Treehouse at community and organization functions. 

Staff Development and Supervision:

• Support staff and volunteers to implement giving strategies that meet revenue goals and engage diverse donors and communities. 

• Oversee departmental professional development efforts, contributing to the development of appropriate goals and work plans, coaching performance, and providing necessary support to ensure both successful individual performance and effective team and cross team performance.  

• Maximize volunteer contributions to enhance Treehouse’s organizational performance and strengthen community support.

Resource Development:

• Personally cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of diverse major and transformational donors and partners.

Direct Reports:  

• Director of Philanthropic Services, Director of Institutional Giving, Major Gifts Director, Director of Community Resources, Director of Marketing and Communications.

Additional Functions: 

• Attend Board and appropriate committee meetings, monthly all-staff meetings and bi-annual staff retreats

• Other duties as assigned.

Candidate Qualifications: 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


• A Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Marketing, Communications, Advertising or related field OR relevant experience building development and fundraising expertise.

• 8-10 years in Development, with five years successful experience as Director of Development in a comparable nonprofit organization. 

• Demonstrated knowledge of best practices in fundraising principles and techniques; including incorporating effective equity and inclusion strategies. 

• Proven experience in planning and strategy development for effective fundraising efforts, including experience in major gifts, foundation giving, corporate giving, and special event planning. 

• Proven experience in developing successful relationships and demonstrating intercultural competence with Board members, donors and other volunteers in a non-profit organization, including effectiveness in directing board fundraising activities. 

• Demonstrated ability to build positive and effective working relationships with individuals of various ages, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities.

• Personal experience soliciting major individual and/or institutional gifts of $50,000 and above. 

• Proven ability to successfully manage the day-to-day functioning of a department and effectively supervise department staff. 

• Ability to organize and analyze data into effective and meaningful reports or presentations. 

• Excellent written and oral communication skills. 

• Regular attendance and punctuality required. 

• Ability and aptitude with Microsoft Office Suite and other technology necessary for successful day-to-day functioning in business environment. 

• Reliable transportation, current driver's license and at least minimum WA State driver insurance coverage required if driving on Treehouse business.  Driving record must be approved by Treehouse insurance provider.

• Must satisfy Washington State criminal background requirements for working with youth and vulnerable adults.


• Master’s Degree in Business, Marketing, Communications, Advertising or related field. 

• Fundraising certificate and/or equivalent continuing professional development or education. 


Physical and Mental Requirements: 

• Mental Effort - attention to detail, interacting with others in-person, email, and web conferencing such as Zoom; using critical thinking skills to strategize, develop and implement business plans; create and edit documents, participate in meetings.  

• Emotional Effort – recognize and respect personal boundaries of self and others, adapt to changing environment/stress, deal with unexpected emotional support needs of self and others. 

• Physical Requirements - long periods of sitting, working on a computer, using the phone, working with office equipment, traveling to other offices and venues.

• Working Conditions - typical business office environment and working remotely. Treehouse’s Seattle office is a dog friendly work environment.


To apply, please provide your resume and cover letter to Treehouse's Careers website explaining how you meet the required skills and abilities. This position will be open until filled, with the initial review of applications anticipated for January 4, 2021.


This position pays $160,000.00 annually, exempt. Treehouse also offers a generous paid time off plan, free medical, dental, vision, and 403(b) plan.

The job description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment. Treehouse reserves the right to revise or change job duties and responsibilities as the need arises. Requirements are representative of minimum levels of knowledge, skills, and experience required.

If you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our online application system as a result of a disability, you may request an accommodation by contacting the Human Resource Department at

How to Apply

Application Contact:
Application Deadline: 
Open until filled
Application Instructions: 
To apply, please provide your resume and cover letter to Treehouse's Careers website explaining how you meet the required skills and abilities. This position will be open until filled, with the initial review of applications anticipated for January 4, 2021.