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Chief Development Officer, Historic Charleston Foundation
Historic Charleston Foundation in Charleston, South Carolina
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Date Posted 03/18/2018
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled


Located in Charleston, SC, consistently ranked as a top travel destination and a highly desirable place to live and work, Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) is an independent nonprofit that champions the historic authenticity, cultural character and livability of the Charleston region through advocacy, stewardship and community engagement.

The Foundation recently celebrated its 70th Anniversary with the successful completion of a multi-million-dollar capital campaign, and the organization’s newly appointed President and CEO is a well-known preservationist with vision and a great deal of preservation and urban planning experience. With new executive leadership in place and a talented and motivated Board of Trustees, the organization is poised to rise to the next level.

A preservation organization with national renown, HCF has been a leader in the national preservation movement through creative programming and advocacy. HCF was the first organization in the country to create a revolving fund to actively purchase and protect endangered historic structures, has successfully executed entire neighborhood revitalizations programs and proactively engages in community issues such as growth management, balancing tourism with livability and the threat of coastal flooding.


HCF is seeking a results-oriented, high-achieving, creative and entrepreneurial Chief Development Officer to help grow the funding goals of the organization. This individual will have the personal characteristics necessary to focus, motivate, and inspire professional staff and to attract and cultivate donor prospects. The Chief Development Officer will work with the President & CEO to create and implement a long-term growth plan for individual, corporate and major giving. This position will be responsible for the oversight of donor pipelines, devising strategies for identifying and cultivating prospective donors, briefing and solicitations, and stewardship. This position will oversee the development team on other major initiatives including data management, sponsorships, mass market fundraising and special events.

The position reports to the President & CEO and will also work with members of the Board of Trustees, National Advisory Council and the Executive Committee of the Board.

This is a full-time, exempt position. We offer competitive salary and benefits.

Essential Job Functions

  • Develop and deliver upon a comprehensive and motivational development and stewardship plan.
  • Expertise in fundraising campaigns and activities, including the annual fund, major gifts, planned giving, grants, sponsorships and donor cultivation and stewardship.
  • Mobilize the Board of Trustees and Staff in their role in donor relations and maximize their strengths and networks to encourage a collaborative fundraising culture.
  • Develop and manage Development Department staff to meet organizational needs.
  • The successful candidate will have a passion for historic preservation.

All members of the staff of Historic Charleston Foundation are called on, from time to time, to support cooperative Foundation programs that are held after normal working hours and on weekends and to assist with projects that may lie outside their primary areas of responsibility.

Position Duties         

  • Produce and implement strategic development plans and programs to support organizational funding objectives.
  • Ability to lead/facilitate strategic planning as it relates to identifying funding needs and building a comprehensive philanthropy program to serve the organization’s mission, vision and goals.
  • Determine and manage departmental budgets, funding targets and planning.
  • Expand stewardship operations and foster growth within a culture of philanthropy.
  • Increase donor giving from past, current, and future donors to reach and surpass fundraising goals.
  • Build strong and mutually beneficial relationships with all institutional stakeholders.
  • Plan and execute a broad donor cultivation agenda with an emphasis on donor engagement.
  • Plan/manage special events as part of a broader cultivation and donor engagement strategy.
  • Manage the National Advisory Council.
  • Represent the Development Department at public functions, Board of Trustees meetings and special events as appropriate.

Education & Experience Requirements

The Chief Development Officer will be a visionary, dynamic, creative leader with the personal characteristics necessary to focus, motivate, and inspire professional staff and to attract and cultivate donor prospects at all levels. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess:

  • A bachelor’s degree is required. A master’s degree or higher educational attainment is preferred.
  • A minimum of 10 years of demonstrated achievement in a philanthropic leadership role.
  • A strong record of significant achievement in major, planned, and principal gift fundraising.
  • A substantial history of closing 5 and 6+ figure gifts.
  • Proven success in building productive, long-term relationships with donors.
  • Experience or at least appreciation for the role and development of philanthropic branding, positioning, and communications delivery.
  • Professional skills in preparing and presenting proposals.
  • A steady temperament, outgoing personality, high energy level, and good sense of humor.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications skills.
  • A collaborative, team-oriented style with the ability to organize, manage, and motivate staff and donors effectively.
  • Resourcefulness, creativity and tenacity to meet goals and desired outcomes.

Proficiency with fundraising software, data management systems and Microsoft Office.

Application Details and Instructions

Please email a cover letter and resume, as one document to cellis@historiccharleston.org.

Historic Charleston Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to recruiting and maintaining a diverse staff; individuals from all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

To learn more about Historic Charleston Foundation, please visit www.historiccharleston.org.


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