Chief Development Officer (CDO)

Melanoma Research Foundation
June 23, 2020
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Job Type


Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to conduct a search for a new Chief Development Officer (CDO) for Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), an incredible nonprofit organization with the mission of eradicating melanoma by accelerating medical research, while educating to and advocating for the melanoma community.

This executive leadership opportunity is for immediate hire and will work full-time in the Foundation’s office in beautiful downtown Washington D.C.


MRF is committed to:

  • Supporting medical research around finding effective treatments.
  • Educating patients and physicians on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Advocating for the community involvement in helping to raise awareness around the disease and the need for a cure.

The MRF is a multi-pronged foundation striving to have a complete impact on the fight to put an end to melanoma. It stands at the forefront of research and funding, patient care, and political lobbying and action.

The MRF is headquartered in the heart of beautiful Washington D.C. on K Street, just minutes away from the National Mall. Its office is just off the Metro in downtown D.C. and is located amidst a thriving professional community and a host of D.C. cultural institutions. D.C. boasts a beautiful city landscape and set of parks juxtaposed with the surrounding bustling urban environment. The city is also a notably short drive from breathtaking nature destinations in both Maryland and Virginia.


As the organization grows and evolves, the Melanoma Research Foundation is seeking an experienced, strategic, and collaborative development professional to be its next Chief Development Officer (CDO). With vision and creativity, balanced with strategy and planning, this individual will build upon existing programs to grow the organization’s revenue. Leading a team of various fundraising officers, the CDO will seek to improve internal processes and execute strategy to capitalize on the untapped development potential of the organization. The CDO will lead efforts around individual giving and major donor fundraising and will be wholly responsible for the foundation’s new multi-million-dollar endowment program.

The CDO will be a strategic thought-partner for – and report directly to – the CEO of the organization as a member of the senior leadership team. The CDO will also work closely with the Board of Directors, specifically the Board Development Committee. The Board and CEO have put in place an exciting strategic plan for the next number of years, including robust goals around growth and greater efficiency internally; this individual will play a key role in executing the development portion of the strategic plan.

This exciting role is ideal for an experienced development professional who has a proven track record of meeting and exceeding significant revenue goals around individual giving and major donors and who understands the landscape of fundraising in the nonprofit, health-oriented space.

Key requirements of this role include:

  • Proven record of securing $2 million or more annually in individual gifts.
  • Strong background in financial management, forecasting, budgeting and planning around development.
  • A passion for collaboration and staff mentoring/development.
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge.

This highly impactful role is best suited for a candidate who is comfortable with public speaking and representing the organization at various events, along with regularly engaging with donors and potential donors. This individual must also be highly adept at designing a multi-pronged development plan involving various fundraising vehicles with specific metrics to ultimately achieve the organization’s one-year and five-year goals.

Because MRF is a national organization, travel is required for this role. Travel expectations are anywhere from 30% to up to 50% of the time, depending on the organization’s development and fundraising goals and timeline.


Key responsibilities:

The CDO contributes to the MRF’s organizational effectiveness by meeting revenue goals and objectives of the Development department. These include:

  • Manage the Fundraising portion of the strategic plan, including creation of a robust fundraising plan for the coming year and beyond and effectively leading the development team in the plan’s execution
  • Serve as the key fundraiser for the organization’s new endowment program
  • Help guide strategy and solicit major national sponsorships for the MRF’s two key event programs: Galas and Miles for Melanoma
  • Personally secure at minimum $2 million in individual gifts
  • Manage a portfolio of 25+ high impact donors
  • Set annual revenue targets and departmental objectives

Additional duties include but are not limited to:


  • Establish a balanced mix of donor sources and fundraising programs to attract and retain donors and fundraising volunteers.
  • Oversee the organization’s direct mail and annual giving program, setting goals and strategy
  • Identify and address development issues that affect the well-being and efficacy of the organization.
  • Establish business processes that ensure the development function operates efficiently.
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy and ensure that fund development is executed in keeping with the organization's values, vision, and mission.
  • Establish performance measures, monitor results, and evaluate the efficacy of the fund development program.
  • Keep abreast of developments in philanthropy and fund development.
  • Maintain accountability and ensure compliance with all regulations and laws, as well as the code of ethics for fundraising professionals.

Personnel and Board

  • Provide coaching and guidance to Development staff.
  • Help to recruit, train, and motivate fundraising volunteers.
  • Develop annual giving plans for MRF board members and high level donors,.
  • Develop, implement, and administer fundraising policies for board-approval.



A Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of ten years of relevant experience, preferably in a nonprofit or foundation environment, is required. Significant experience managing, coaching and mentoring staff along with fostering a collaborative team atmosphere is required. This individual must demonstrate knowledge of planned giving vehicles, possess the ability to work diplomatically with high wealth individuals and board members and bring a track record of securing over $2 million in gifts. This individual must be able to travel 30-50% of the time on a national level.

The ideal candidate will bring experience with and/or a deep understanding of the world of healthcare and disease and an empathic approach to and understanding of the patient experience. Because MRF provides patient resources and advocacy, staff often interact with those who are diagnosed with cancer and families and friends who are impacted.

How To Apply

Melanoma Research Foundation has retained the services of Scion Executive Search, a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your resume and cover letter in Microsoft Word or PDF format via:

Please address questions about this opportunity to:

Scion Executive Search

Attn: Rebecca Lerol

Executive Recruiter

(888) 487-8850

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

Drop files here browse files ...
(Resume, Cover Letter, etc)

Comments are closed.

Are you sure you want to delete this file?