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Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area

Chief Development Officer
Reports to:
Chief Executive Officer
Oakland, CA (Hybrid)



Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area (MAWGBA) creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Its work brings joy and healing to the children who receive wishes — and to those who help grant them. Wishes not only bring children hope, but they also strengthen their families and communities by making life better for everyone involved in making each wish a reality. Research shows children who have wishes granted build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness, improving their quality of life and producing better health outcomes.

Founded in 1984, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area serves all children ages 2 ½ to 18 with life threatening illnesses from a territory that spans Monterey County to the Oregon border west of Interstate 5. Granting over 325 wishes a year, MAWGBA has a committed network of board membersand advisors as well as an extensive network of over 600 volunteers throughout its Northern California territory. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area has granted over 8600 wishes to date and remains committed to reaching its ambitious goal of granting the wish of every eligible child within its territory.



Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area seeks an experienced and motivated fundraiser to join and lead its development program. The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will oversee staff and activities of three key departments (Individual, Corporate, Events) collectively responsible for raising $7.2M in FY 22. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the senior management team, the CDO will design and manage comprehensive programs and strategies to diversify and grow MAWGBA’s revenue streams and increase the number of donors to the organization. The CDO will play a key role in the planning for MAWGBA’s 40 th anniversary celebration in 2024, aligning this important milestone with a national major gifts campaign currently in the planning stages at Make-A-Wish America (MAWA).

The CDO will manage a personal portfolio of donors and prospects and partner with the CEO on recruiting and managing the Board of Directors, Development Committee, and regional Advisory Councils. They will mentor and provide strategic direction and leadership to a current team of five talented direct reports, including the Senior Major Gifts Officer (75% FTE), Development Manager, Development Associate, VP of Corporate Development, and VP of Events. Other team members include the Senior Development Manager and Corporate Development Manager on the Corporate team and the Events Manager and Events Associate on the Events team.


Department Leadership

  • Develop and oversee the execution of a fundraising plan that increases revenue, playing an active, leadership role in securing individual gifts of $10K+

  • Provide overall management of MAWGBA’s individual giving, corporate development and events programs seeking opportunities to strengthen each area

  • Mentor and support development staff and ensure that they have appropriate opportunities for training and professional growth

  • Work closely with the CEO, COO, Board of Directors and development leadership staff to formulate and implement strategic plans and policies to meet the organization’s short and long-term objectives

  • Oversee and update fundraising processes to maximize philanthropic support and donor acquisition, ensuring compliance with IRS guidelines and the highest ethical standards

  • Serve as an ambassador of the organization, representing Make-A-Wish positively and professionally throughout the region and nationally

Individual Giving

  • Lead and establish priorities for MAWGBA’s individual giving programs, including major gifts, annual and workplace giving, direct response, planned giving, etc.

  • Establish annual revenue and activity goals and the metrics required to meet or exceed them. Develop timelines and revenue forecasts and expense projections

  • Manage a tailored portfolio of 50-75 assigned prospective donors at various stages of the fundraising cycle from identification through solicitation and stewardship

  • Collaborate with and support the CEO on prospect strategy, outreach, solicitation and stewardship for individual donors and the CEO’s own portfolio

  • Serve as primary contact for Make-A-Wish America (MAWA) and other chapters in leadership and major gifts

  • In anticipation of MAWGBA’s 40 th anniversary celebration as well as Make-A-Wish America’s national major gifts campaign, collaborate with the CEO and MAWA colleagues on strategic major gift initiatives for both the chapter and national program

  • Provide leadership and strategic direction to build a more robust planned giving program

  • Oversee and explore ways to strengthen MAWGBA’s donor recognition program

Wish It Forward (WIF)

  • Build out and manage the WIF program, MAWGBA’s wish alumni giving initiative, developing implementation strategies with the CEO, COO and colleagues

  • Assess program staffing needs, including recruiting a new Alumni Associate position to help drive the WIF program

  • Serve as a key liaison for the WIF council and sub-groups. Work with departments across MAWGBA to develop annual goals and objectives for volunteer groups

  • Design a plan for 40th anniversary celebrations/reunions for WIF families and young alums

  • Collaborate with other chapters and MAWA alumni leads to further refine the WIF program


Events and Corporate Development Program Oversight

  • Provide overall management and guidance to the MAWGBA Corporate Development and Events programs, including evaluating ROI and ensuring that internal processes are completed appropriately

  • Supervise, support, and review the performances of the Vice Presidents of Corporate Development and Events respectively and their overall programs/staff

  • Provide input on business plan development and monitor the Events and Corporate Development program budgets, fundraising goals, and activities


Board of Directors and Advisory Councils

  • Assist in staffing the Development Committee of the Board and providing input on nominations for the Board’s Governance Committee

  • Serve as staff leader of the Development Committee and East Bay Regional Advisory Council

  • Support and assist in the strategic recruitment of MAWGBA advisory councils and other volunteer committees as needed. Provide guidance and oversight to MAWGBA colleagues serving as staff liaisons to advisory councils and steering committees.


Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area encourages interest from a diverse candidate pool and seeks applicants with an appropriate combination of education, training, skills, lived experiences and voice to execute the necessary job functions of the role. The requirements listed are guidelines. Candidates may not satisfy every requirement or meet every qualification listed.



A Bachelor’s degree is required.


  • Twelve to fifteen years of progressively responsible non-profit development experience, including a minimum of five years staff supervisory experience

  • Proven skills in individual and institutional giving and a demonstrated track record of fundraising success

  • Deep knowledge of and experience in fundraising strategic planning and implementation

  • A strong record of raising five- and six-figure leadership/major gifts, either as a professional fundraiser or from a combination of professional and volunteer fundraising activities

  • Proven success inspiring people and managing positive working relationships with boards, volunteers, and staff to meet organizational goals

  • Experience identifying giving opportunities and developing donor-centric cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies

  • Demonstrated ability to engage and support volunteer leadership with their efforts in fundraising, consultation, and advocacy

  • Experience developing and managing fundraising budgets

  • Demonstrated record of successfully building relationships with and providing service to donors, prospects, and other relevant constituencies

  • Experience working with and knowledge of alumni programs and alumni giving a plus

  • Major/Leadership gifts campaign experience a plus




The successful candidate will have or be:

  • An effective team leader

  • A high level of initiative, attention to detail and strong organization skills

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to articulate programs in ways that meet the interests and passions of donors

  • Skill in successfully managing multiple projects on tight deadlines and under pressure in a dynamic and open environment

  • Deep understanding of development principles and regulations pertaining to charitable contributions

  • Strong financial skills, including the ability to develop budgets and management reports that present a clear financial picture of fundraising activities

  • Demonstrated success in fundraising best practices and achieving monetary goals

  • Open, supportive, and encouraging leadership style with a proven ability to create and maintain a collegial, positive and productive work environment

  • Unquestionable integrity and commitment to professional ethics, and the ability to responsibly handle sensitive and confidential information

  • Significant level of computer proficiency, including MS Office and relational databases; Salesforce experience preferred

  • Must be customer service-oriented, a team player and open to collaboration on a wide range of projects

  • Commitment to the Make-A-Wish mission and values

  • Able to travel in the 17-county territory and undertake some evening/weekend work

  • Must possess a valid driver’s license. Physical ability to drive a motor vehicle and lift 40lbs



A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered. To be considered for this position or for additional information, please contact and/or send resume and cover letter to:

David N. Randall


Randall Search Associates

415 769 4210



An Equal Opportunity Employer. Diversity makes us stronger. MAWGBA is committed to diversity in its service and creating an inclusive work culture and environment that is reflective of the San Francisco Bay Area. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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