Chief Development Officer

Job Posted 9/15/2023
Charles Darwin Foundation
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Job Description

The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1959
with an operational base in the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO world heritage site located 1,000
kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. All research programs operate from the Charles Darwin
Research Station (CDRS) under the mission of CDF to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to
Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action, in order to safeguard one of the
world’s most important natural treasures.

Objective of the position

The Charles Darwin Foundation is seeking an experienced and versatile Chief Development Officer
(CDO) who will be responsible for developing, implementing, and managing all aspects of the
fundraising strategy for the organization. This includes annual unrestricted and restricted support,
the execution of a strategic growth campaign for fundraising, and the identification and engagement
of new prospective donors at the highest levels.


The position forms part of CDF’s executive leadership team and reports to the Executive Director.
The CDO works closely with area Directors particularly Finance, Marketing and Communications,
and Science. S/he must also coordinate with individual scientists and will interact periodically with
the Board of Directors. The CDO will lead a dynamic team of five professionals.

Minimum Requirements

• Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in communications, international affairs, conservation, business,
philanthropic studies, or related field.
• A minimum of 8 years’ experience in a leadership role in fundraising/philanthropy.
• At least 5 years’ experience in international fundraising.
• Proven track record of developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to secure
corporate, foundation, and government grants.
• Proven track record of securing significant gifts ($100,000 and above) from individual private
donors and of meeting and exceeding fundraising goals.
• Experience in building and managing a comprehensive fundraising operation, including
developing, managing, and supervising a multi-disciplinary and multi-national team, with staff
working remotely.
• Knowledge of non-profit financial management, as well as project and budget analysis and
• Experience in connecting philanthropy with social enterprise and/or retail programs.
• Working knowledge of charitable giving vehicles.
• An understanding of science and the environment.
• Ability to work in a dynamic environment that presents numerous opportunities, as well as
unforeseen events and challenges, and one that is characterized by limited logistical resources
and geographic isolation.
• Proven ability to envision and articulate a clear direction, formulate new development strategies,
and inspire others to generate and implement innovative fundraising ideas that support the
organization’s Strategic Plan.
• Willing to travel frequently and at times for extensive periods.
• Fluent in conversational Spanish and English; excellent English writing skills; strong Spanish
writing skills.
• Proficiency in MS Office and Salesforce or a similar database.
• Strong leadership skills
• Strategic-minded and highly organized
• Outstanding interpersonal communication skills
• Diplomatic communications and service oriented
• Excellent writing skills
• Strong team work ethic
• Initiative and creativity
• Adaptable and able to work under pressure
• Plan, implement, and lead a comprehensive fundraising program that secures financial
resources to support CDF’s conservation goals in the Galapagos Islands.
• Align fundraising priorities and goals with the current strategic goals of the Foundation as outlined
in the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, working closely with the Executive Director, Board of Directors,
and executive leadership team and staff to establish fundraising priorities and goals.
• Develop and implement a fundraising plan for each fundraising stream to achieve short- and
long-term goals. Including:
• Increase annual operational (unrestricted) and research (restricted) support to at least
$12 million annually within the next 3-5 years.
• Maintain, manage, and raise funds from the current portfolio of major gift donors and
• Diversify and grow fundraising streams to include small sum, major, planned, principal,
foundation, and corporate support.
• Work closely with Director for Marketing and Communications to maximize opportunities
for fundraising and stewardship through all messaging media and descriptive materials.
• Develop systems and manage resources needed to carry out fundraising plans and activities,
using industry best practices:
• Develop, implement, and ensure compliance with gift-related policies and procedures.
• Ensure that CDF fundraising activities meet ethical fundraising standards and are
conducted with confidentiality and respect for prospects and donors.
• Coordinate fundraising activities with all areas of the organization, as well as
governmental and non-governmental agency partners.
• Manage fundraising team budget.
• Participate in CDF and in Friends of Charles Darwin Foundation (FCDF) 501c3 board
meetings as required.
• Provide leadership and advise Executive Director, executive team, scientific staff, and others in
fundraising activities.
• Supervise, coach, support, and direct the fundraising team and their activities to meet strategic
and annual fundraising goals.
• Hire, train, and onboard newly hired fundraising staff.
• Comply with the policies, procedures and regulations of the Institution.

Employment Conditions

Ideally, the CDO will be based in Puerto Ayora at the Charles Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz,
Galapagos, Ecuador. Other bases of operation will also be considered as long as CDO is willing to
expend considerable time in Galapagos (at least 50%). Extensive travel is anticipated for this position
(20-30%) and ability to alter plans and schedules at short notice is expected.

The Chief Development Officer will faithfully comply with the rules, regulations and procedure
manuals of the CDF, as well as strictly observe and comply with the rules and regulations of the
Galapagos National Park Directorate.

Salary and benefits will be negotiated according to the qualifications of the candidate.

• Please note that it is prohibited to bring domestic pets into the Galapagos Islands.

To apply

Those interested should send the following information;
• A letter of interest in English (2 pages maximum), describing your interest in the position and
skills according to the minimum requirements outlined above.
• The names and email addresses of three professional references and two personal

Please send all the necessary documents in a single PDF file. If you n