Job Title: Chief Development Officer

Reports To: Executive Director

Department: Development

FLSA Status: Exempt

Job Status: Full-Time

Location: Hybrid (in main office, program sites, home)

Salary Range:  $135,000-165,000 (Benefits Included)



At LEAP we believe in the transformational power of the arts. Wed as a grassroots movement with just four schools. Today, our teaching artists serve 25,000 youth across the city in over 140 New York City public schools. Every day, our educational arts programs inspire diverse school communities to be more engaged in learning and build critical skills. Our quality educational arts programs promote access and equity for New York City students underserved in the arts. 


Culture Statement: LEAP is a group of diverse and passionate individuals working together to prioritize youth and pursue our mission.


Our Goals

We collaborate to accomplish goals and are accountable to ourselves and others. 

We strive for excellence, reflect on results, and celebrate success. 

Our Peers

We foster relationships through intentional communication and attentive listening. 

We welcome feedback with a growth mindset and offer feedback with empathy. 

Our Space

We build trust through transparency, honesty, and humility. 

We respect and attempt to meet each other’s needs at work.

Our Community

We are inclusive and value the differences among us. 

We listen to and acknowledge the voices of those we serve. 

Position Overview:

The Chief Development Officer will report to the Executive Director and will be a key member of LEAP’s Senior Management Team and  lead a team of talented, dedicated, and passionate  full time fundraising professionals. A transformational leader, Chief Development Officer is responsible for setting and leading LEAP’s fundraising agenda by creatively and collaboratively growing current fundraising activities and campaigns as well as  identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and sustaining new relationships with donors and prospects. In close partnership and collaboration with members of the Board of Directors, Senior Management, and key colleagues, the Chief Development Officer will advance a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization and build a portfolio of new donors aligned with LEAP’s mission and values. The ideal candidate will bring experience launching and leading campaigns and be motivated by the challenge to build a fundraising and communications program that has great potential to grow significantly in the next several years. The role is based in Manhattan and LEAP operates in all five boroughs; the position will be hybrid with significant in-person responsibilities meeting with staff and donors in many locations throughout NYC.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Development Strategy & Leadership

  • Create and implement short and long term strategies to increase philanthropic support through individual and major gifts, annual campaigns, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, special events, planned giving and government support.

  • Develop an approach to fundraising from all sources that is aligned to LEAP’s values, consistent with our culture, and respectful and inclusive of the communities we serve.

  • Create annual fundraising goals and projections and share regular updates on progress towards goals with Senior Management and the Board of Directors.

  • Build strong working relationships with leaders and colleagues while deepening their understanding of resource development and building a culture of philanthropy.

  • Lead the Board Development Committee and work with the entire  Board of Directors to leverage their networks, relationships, and ideas to generate funding opportunities in support of existing campaigns and new initiatives.

  • Represent the organization in a variety of settings including meetings with potential funding sources, public and elected officials, community members, and other external stakeholders.

  • Maintain knowledge and exhibit leadership in the NYC funding environment as it relates to public education, youth services, arts education and all related public funding entities. 


Institutional and Grants Fundraising:

  • Collaborate on the development of inspiring language that presents LEAP’s mission and vision and describes the organization’s impact in the most compelling way

  • Review requests for proposals from public and private institutions and collaborate with staff to develop a strategic response to funding opportunities.

  • Support full time staff in managing the annual grants calendar and oversee the development and submission of large public and private grant proposals throughout the year.

  • Host meetings and visits for program officers and other representatives to share the inspiring work of the organization.

Individual Giving and Fundraising Events

  • Serve as the organization’s fundraising leader in convening groups and holding meetings to share the mission, generate enthusiasm, and inspire action among donors.

  • Create and implement  a multi-year major gifts plan building on existing relationships and new opportunities.

  • Collaborate on the success of multiple campaigns per year by setting goals, designing the campaign, directing outreach, soliciting gifts, and reporting results.

  • Raise gifts from individual donors through direct mail, monthly giving, email campaigns, social media, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, donor-advised funds, and other means.

  • Develop and lead multiple fundraising events that are inspired by the talents and passion of our youth and staff and raise funds to support our programs. 

  • Ensure that all donors are acknowledged and celebrated with robust donor appreciation and relationship-building activities


Communications and External Relations

  • Collaborate with colleagues on campaigns, publications, and other activities that increase the visibility of the organization and establish LEAP as a leader in creative youth development

  • Develop and resource a social media strategy with  frequent and sustained activity to significantly grow LEAP’s online and social media presence

  • Lead the development of language and messaging that inspires donors, partners, and other stakeholders to provide support and maintain a long term relationship

  • Ensure coverage of key events throughout various online and traditional media outlets.

Board Engagement

  • Collaborate with colleagues to engage Board members throughout the year in various activities including program visits, celebrations, retreats, and other mission-driven experiences

  • Develop annual Board engagement plans that set goals and outline each members’ commitment to resource development and participation in fundraising efforts

  • Provide regular reports on fundraising progress, opportunities, and challenges to the Board in an effort to deepen their understanding, motivate them to action, and celebrate success


  • Minimum of ten (10) years’ experience in fundraising leadership in the nonprofit sector and/or higher education

  • Bachelor’s Degree required with additional training or certification in fundraising a plus 

  • Track record of success in raising significant funds through some or all of the following: major gifts from individuals, annual giving campaigns, special events, innovative partnerships, corporations, foundations, and government.

  • An inspiring, motivating, and joyful fundraising leader with a vision for how to build a successful community-centric fundraising program from the beginning.

  • Must have highly developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to engage individuals and diverse groups of people with ease.

  • An effective and compelling storyteller with the ability to passionately communicate LEAP’s mission and the impact of our work.

  • Well versed with Salesforce or other donor management software as well as Google suite

  • Demonstrated experience building and launching new fundraising programs and capacities from the ground up

  • Experience with Board engagement including mobilizing the group toward achievement of resource development goal


    LEAP provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to age, citizenship, color, disability status, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, protected veteran status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.



Please note:  In accordance with organizational policy, LEAP do not  sponsor individuals on O-1 visas.


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