Chief Development Officer for Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE)

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Organization Overview

Girl Scouts have been blazing trails and redefining what’s possible for girls everywhere since 1912! Today, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) serves approximately 11,000 Girl Scouts in grades K5-12, and 5,200 adults who believe in our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. With programs in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha counties, our programming creates opportunities for Girl Scouts to have fun, make new friends, lead the way on issues that are important to them, and learn new skills that set them up for success on all their future goals. Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges.

Partnering with trusted adult volunteers and the community, and driven by long-standing principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, GSWISE provides a unique Girl Scout experience that begins with the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Research shows that well-run youth development programs like Girl Scouts have huge benefits. GSWISE’s innovative program delivery strategies ensure the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) is accessible to all girls and GSWISE provides the tools and financial support needed to help them go on adventures, discover new interests, and be their best selves. They, in turn, learn to improve their communities, develop an understanding of their important place in a complex world, and practice everyday leadership.

Serving girls in economically distressed neighborhoods has been part of the Girl Scout landscape for over 50 years. As social and academic challenges to girls increase, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, the opportunities for co-curricular and after-school enrichment activities through schools continue to decline. Similarly, when less than 30% of women make up workers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, Girl Scouting supports increases a girls’ self-efficacy and self-confidence by providing STEM programming to grow the pipeline and change the narrative. Whether its outreach, STEM, life skills, or camp (including Camp Hero with hands-on exposure to protective services careers), GSWISE provides an opportunity for Girl Scouts to discover who they are, connect with others and take action.

Join us to lift up the next generation of women and help them find their own pathways to success. Then, watch Girl Scouts learn, grow, discover—and soar to new heights—with the pride of knowing you helped make it possible.

To learn even more about the dynamic and diverse environment and array of programs, please visit us:

Position Summary

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for cultivating a culture of philanthropy within the organization and for building relationships with a robust group of potential and current funders externally. This will include assuring the organization’s corporate culture, systems and procedures support fund development. The CDO will be externally focused on donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. The CDO will be responsible for managing the council’s Fund Development Team of the council’s Board of Directors coordinating fundraising campaigns, and identifying potential sources of funds (including individuals, foundations, corporations, annual giving, planned giving, and United Way, etc.). Additionally, the CDO will lead all stewardship and donor management efforts.

The Chief Development Officer provides professional expertise and support to the Fund Development Committee of the council’s Board of Directors in developing goals and plans to meet the council’s financial goals and objectives. The CDO is accountable for developing and implementing strategies to achieve the goals in keeping with best practices and established ethical standards, policies, and guidelines.

As a member the Senior Leadership Team, the Chief Development Officer also participates in the process of setting the organization’s strategic direction and short and long-term plans, and in translating the vision and corporate goals set by the council’s SLT and the Board of Directors into effective operational strategies and actions. The CDO will report to, and partner with, the CEO.

Major Accountabilities

  • Ensures that goals for all fundraising activities are developed and achieved by creating systems and processes to be used throughout the organization. This will involve creating strong organizational systems and data driven decision making.
  • Provides professional expertise and direction in all aspects of fundraising to the fund development staff and staff support to the Fund Development Committee of the council’s Board of Directors.
  • Participates in establishing fund development policies, procedures, plans, goals and budgets.
  • Creates, develops, and implements a comprehensive council fund development plan.
  • Works with Girl Scouts USA as needed on fund development, national campaigns and collateral, national conferences, and engagement on national teams as requested.
  • Works closely with the CEO, the council’s Board of Directors, the Marketing and Communications team, and other staff to develop strategies to promote the Girl Scout image for donor cultivation.

Key Responsibilities

  • Consistently seeks new funding sources and maintains relationships with current and past donors including a focus on external donor cultivation and solicitation. Must commit time and attention to engaging donors in meaningful and long-term partnerships with the council.
  • Establishes a presence in the community to increase the council’s visibility as a funding source for potential, current, and/ or past donors.
  • Leads the fund development team and manages the effective development and retention of high-performing fund development staff to ensure that they are equipped to help the council meet its fund development goals.
  • Recruits, coordinates, educates, and inspires staff and volunteers in fund development efforts. This includes creating opportunities for key senior leaders and volunteers to meet with donors and prospects.
  • Oversees all aspects of fund development including grant writing and submission, events, annual giving program, etc. and ensures that the donor database of the council is utilized and up-to-date.
  • Prepares speeches and public correspondence on behalf of the council, as necessary.
  • Interfaces/collaborates with other Girl Scout councils and GSUSA on national fund development events and initiatives; and identifies untapped markets of interest to generate ideas, programs and concepts to engage potential donors.
  • Ensures that diversity and pluralism are embraced and incorporated into the work of the council.


Primary Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and eight to ten years of high-level fund development management experience.
  • Previous managerial and supervisory experience and the ability to work with staff members from diverse backgrounds, to negotiate for resources and champion projects.
  • Excellent organizational skills, time management, project management, budget administration and networking capabilities.
  • Ability to provide leadership and think strategically.
  • Proven capability to: maintain a high degree of confidentiality; demonstrate communication abilities, both oral and written; work in a collaborative, service-focused environment.
  • Demonstrably strong analytical skills, as well as problem-solving and conflict management capabilities.
  • Clear understanding of accountability in carrying out duties with a high degree of confidentiality.
  • Ability to demonstrate and articulate a genuine passion for the Girl Scout Mission and a willingness to subscribe to the philosophy of the Girl Scout program and enroll as a Girl Scout member.
  • Daily access to dependable transportation. Valid driver’s license, compliance with the council’s policy of automobile insurance limits, and a driving record that meets the requirements for coverage of the council’s business auto insurance carrier.
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions:
  • Sufficient eye-to-hand coordination to successfully operate a computer keyboard
  • Ability to sit upright for extended periods of time
  • Sufficient visual acuity to make appropriate judgments with regard to financial materials
  • Ability to travel to and/or attend offsite meetings up to 30% percent of the time including weekends and evenings

Instructions for Applicants

To apply, please email all items below, combined into one document, to no later than 1:00 p.m. CT August 23, 2022:

  • letter describing your qualifications for this position and your interest in GSWISE’s mission
  • detailed and updated resume and
  • The names of, your relationship to, and the contact information for, three professional references.

Please note: References will not be contacted until a candidate has been notified; All offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of thorough background checks; All inquiries and interactions with potential candidates are kept in strict confidence. The position will remain open until it is filled.

The Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast is an equal opportunity employer.

The Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast offers a generous suite of benefits to its valued staff members.

Leading Transitions is committed to the vitality of mission-based, nonprofit, philanthropic and community-centered efforts and organizations, and their leaders. The firm’s inclusive practices provide the flexibility and creativity necessary to adapt to the intricacies and dynamics of any community. We believe that periods of change are transformational and bring great new opportunities.

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