Chief Development Officer

Creative Action - Austin, Texas

Job Category: Development

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Compensation: $75000 - $85000

About Our Organization

Creative Action is a nationally-recognized youth arts education organization in Austin, Texas serving more than 20,000 students of all ages each year. Through interactive classroom performances, after school residencies, and community-based programs, our team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers and confident leaders in their communities. 

Our team of more than 150 employees are committed to core company values: Dream Big, Stand Up, Create Community, Strive for Excellence and Have Fun. Through policy making, hiring practices, task forces, allyships and developing co-conspirators, we are committed to being an anti-racist and inclusive organization.


Job Summary

The Chief Development Officer is a key member of a dynamic senior management team who plays a crucial role in securing the organization’s success through fund development. The CDO oversees, plans, coordinates and assures implementation of strategies to develop donors and contributions to support the organization, including targeted strategies to secure donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources. The CDO fosters a culture of philanthropy within the organization and assures the development and maintenance of appropriate systems for fund development including, but not limited to, volunteer and donor management, research and cultivation, grant development, and gift processing and stewardship.  


Our ideal candidate is an innovative, passionate, and entrepreneurial leader who:


  • Excels at developing, implementing and evaluating creative, high-level strategy to build and sustain a dedicated donor base

  • Can raise money to support a cause, and isn’t afraid to ask cultivated donors for their support

  • Builds authentic relationships with supporters bolstered by thoughtful and personalized stewardship

  • Thinks creatively, dreams big and isn’t afraid to try new things

  • Thrives when collaborating with others and coaches teams of staff and volunteers with expert skill

  • Generates meaningful partnerships across communities with a particular focus on connecting with businesses and organizations that center People of Color

  • Aligns with Creative Action’s values and commitment to dismantling white supremacist culture and fostering racial equity




  • Participates with the Executive Director, staff and Board of Directors to define the organization’s mission and strategic direction. 

  • Oversees the organization’s fund development activities including: major gifts, planned giving, grants, annual giving, special events, communications, and donor stewardship. The CDO will lead efforts with individuals and major gifts and collaborate with a team to address all other activities.

  • Manages the day-to-day operations of the development function including donor research, prospecting and cultivation, gift solicitation, gift recognition and reporting.

  • Supports staff and Board role in fundraising through planning, coaching, reporting and motivating

  • Designs and assures implementation of cost-effective fund development programs, employing economy while maintaining an acceptable level of quality and solid return on investment. 

  • Plans and oversees fundraising events to make sure all donor needs are met and fundraising goals are achieved 

  • Collaborates extensively with the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer to implement strategies to attract and sustain supporters

  • Manages a small team including: Development Coordinator, Grant Coordinator and contract special event management staff



Job Qualifications & Requirements

Comprehensive management skills and experience are required including short and long-term strategic planning, directing and motivating staff, oral and written communication skills, marketing and financial management, organizational behavior and development, and governance. 


  • Significant proven experience in cultivating donors, prospects, and managing a development program.

  • Demonstrated success in generating increased funds from individual donors, including securing major gifts, defined as $10,000+.

  • Favorable experience leading and managing a staff. Readily delegates, coaches, empowers, and holds others accountable. An effective team leader and team player.

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of fund-raising management with demonstrated experience in implementing and managing a successful, scaled, comprehensive fundraising program to achieve or exceed goals.

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of grant administration

  • Knowledge and experience in the following areas is required: the nature and dimensions of philanthropy, ethics, motivations for giving and volunteering, research and cultivation practices, standard fundraising techniques including face-to-face solicitation, proposal writing, special events, telephone solicitation, and direct mail, and, development office functions including gift processing, prospect and donor histories, and fundraising reporting.



Additional Details

Competitive salary, health plan contributions, life insurance, long-term disability, and an employee assistance program. We also offer paid time off + a fun and flexible work environment.

Creative Action is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and equity in the workplace. We strongly encourage those who reflect the communities we serve to apply, including bilingual individuals and/or people of color.

How to Apply

Take some time to familiarize yourself with our organization, what we do, and what we believe in. Then, if this seems like a community you’d like to be a part of, please email your resume and a cover letter to