Chief Development Officer

Samaritans (New Kensington Group)

Job Description

Samaritans, Inc. is the leading suicide prevention organization in Massachusetts, providing lifesaving services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Samaritans envisions a world without suicide. Our mission is to prevent suicide and offer hope and support to those affected. For nearly 50 years, Samaritans volunteers – selected, trained and supported by a dedicated professional staff – have provided compassionate and non-judgmental support, free of charge, to callers through its Helpline, and now to texters as well.

This growing organization provides prevention, intervention, and postvention services that make our communities healthier and happier, and reduces the stigma associated with suicide and mental health concerns. We provide a working environment that celebrates the positive lifesaving work that occurs here each and every day.

Samaritans works to prevent suicide and support those who have lost someone to suicide throughout Greater Boston and MetroWest Massachusetts. Our services are free, confidential, and nonjudgmental. We are located in downtown Boston.


The Chief Development Officer plays a key leadership role at Samaritans leading the annual development efforts and overseeing the development team.  The Chief Development Officer, who reports to the Chief Executive Officer, manages key elements of the Samaritans’ fundraising plan, including annual fund, development operations, corporate/foundation relations, and strategic oversight of events, including the signature Breakfast for Hope in the Spring and the 5K in the fall. The Chief Development Officer will also work closely with the Chief Campaign Officer, who is overseeing the Every Conversation Counts Campaign, a $26M capital raise to scale Samaritans’ programs and impact.  The position oversees a team of three staff members, including the Director of Corporate/Foundation Relations, Director of Events, and Senior Development Coordinator.  The ability to connect with the mission, vision and values of Samaritans is vital; familiarity with the issue of suicide prevention is a plus.

1.      Implement a comprehensive fundraising program.
a.      Implement fundraising strategies and programs, including a special emphasis on corporate partnerships, foundation relations initiatives, and individual giving that increase the organization’s support;
b.     Provide leadership, strategic direction, management and coordination for all aspects of the program’s development efforts; 
c.      Prepare the annual fundraising plan in collaboration with the CEO and Chief Campaign Officer for presentation to Senior Management and the Board of Directors; provide detailed reports about the fundraising progress to the CEO and Senior Management on a regular basis;
d.     Guide the individual giving program through direct mail, electronic solicitations, monthly giving program, and loyalty recognition program.  Work with the Director of Marketing to develop theme, messages, and strategy;
e.      Oversee prospect cultivation, donor stewardship and recognition programs, as well as all annual giving programs;
f.       Develop event strategy and oversee established annual fundraising events, especially Samaritans’ signature events, Breakfast for Home and 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention, and develop plan for event revenue growth and expansion;
2.     Raise the philanthropic resources necessary to support and grow Samaritans programs and initiatives.
a.      Manage a portfolio of corporate, foundation, and individual prospects and donors who have the potential to contribute charitable gifts to the organization.  Cultivate, solicit and close charitable gifts to support the achievement of the annual revenue goals;
b.     Identify new funding prospects to support the organization;
c.      Develop and lead Samaritans’ corporate partnership and foundation relations programs, maintaining regular correspondence with each;
d.     Serve as a passionate proponent of the organization and its mission;
e.      Appropriately represent the organization, its board and staff leadership to donors and prospects.
3.      Work collaboratively with volunteer and staff leadership across the region to enhance their fundraising skills and to support their revenue generating efforts.
a.      Partner with staff and volunteer leaders to deploy their time and attention to leverage significant revenue generating opportunities.  Coordinate fundraising efforts for the development committee of the Board of Directors, Samaritans Council, event committees, and other key fundraising team members;  
b.     Work effectively with the Board of Directors and other key volunteers, leveraging their talents, resources and ideas to enhance fundraising activities; understand the Board’s giving patterns and desired involvement; enhance board members’ ability to identify fundraising opportunities and encourage their ongoing participation as donors and solicitors; 
c.      Build strong relationships with the program’s leadership and staff; understand Samaritans’ mentoring programs; work collaboratively with program staff to integrate innovative development strategies throughout the program; 
d.     Manage the development team.  Supervise staff members to ensure team success;
e.      Work closely with Director of Marketing and Communications to integrate effective messaging and branding throughout development functions and develop integrated strategy for the organization.
f.       Lead, mentor and inspire staff and volunteers with fundraising and marketing responsibilities to excel in their roles.  Strategically grow staffing capacity as growth in resources allow.  Create working environment that is rewarding to staff and volunteers;
g.     Recruit and motivate community and business volunteers to increase philanthropic attainment;
h.      Collaborate with Every Conversation Counts Campaign staff to ensure accurate tracking of gifts, stewardship of donors, and consistent messaging;
i.        Lead staff and volunteers to institutionalize philanthropy and fund development within the organization.  Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization.  Assure that the organization’s culture, systems and procedures support fund development and vice versa.
4.     Oversee excellence in development operations to support fund development programs and activities.
a.      Oversee Salesforce CRM management to support development program;
b.     Oversee internal operations, gift entry and acknowledgement, web-based giving platform, data integrity, reporting and analysis; 
c.      Build and manage development department budget, develop revenue projections, and reconcile monthly revenue reports with finance. Participate in board finance committee;
d.     Ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to support the program’s future fundraising goals; 
5.      Serve as a member of Samaritans’ senior management team to advance the organization’s goals.
a.      First and foremost, maintain focus on achievement of the organization-wide goals, and build and implement the comprehensive fundraising program to support achievement of the goals set forth in Samaritans’ annual and long-term strategic plan/s;
b.     Provide counsel and guidance to the Chief Executive Officer and members of the senior staff team in order to incorporate the development and marketing perspective;
c.      Embrace a culture focused on strong vertical and horizontal communication lines throughout the organization;
d.     Serve as a proactive problem solver;
e.      Ensure that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in accordance with the organization’s mission, vision and values;
f.       Help establish performance measures, monitor results and help the CEO, development committee(s) and board evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s fund development program.  Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to board and senior leaders as needed.

·        Must possess strong verbal and written communication skills, including ability to make effective and persuasive verbal and written presentations to volunteers, staff, industry peers, board members, donors, and others.  
·        Ability to communicate and interact effectively with others at all levels within and outside the organization.  
·        Resolving conflicts and internal issues appropriately, sharing and receiving feedback in productive ways.  
·        Some travel may be required for events and trainings.  
·        Flexibility in meeting demands and remaining positive during interactions is essential. 
·        Flexibility in working hours appropriate for donor events is required.
·        Successfully completes the staff befriending training.
·        Operates successfully independently but functions well as a member of a team.  
·        Minimum 7 years of broad development experience. Preference for work in small or medium size shops.  Prefer for work in human service organizations where the beneficiary is less likely to be the donor.
·        Strong team building and staff management skills. 
·        Experience with annual fund, stewardship and cultivation strategies, direct mail, development operations, and corporate/foundation strategies required.
·        Planning and project management skills with attention to detail necessary to complete work on time and manage competing priorities.  
·        Expertise with Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Sharepoint, Teams), fundraising software such as Raiser’s Edge or Salesforce, and peer-to-peer fundraising platform such as Classy. 
·        Ability to work with sensitive and confidential material.

Minimum starting annual salary is $150K and will be set based on experience and skill set. 
  • Employer matched 401(k) Plan
  • Short and Long-Term Disability coverage as well as Life Insurance
  • Health, Dental and Vision insurance
  • Healthcare and Childcare FSA, Commuter Benefits and Employee Assistance Program
·        Generous Vacation (New hires start with 10 days), Sick (8 days) and Personal Time Off (5 days)
  •  Paid Family Medical Leave benefits
  • Travel Reimbursement
  • 14 paid holidays

Samaritans’ employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption. An offer is contingent upon proof that the candidate is fully vaccinated or qualifies for an exemption.  All employees are working a hybrid schedule with an average of 2 days per week in the office, after a period of onboarding for new hires.

**Out of state applicants will be required to relocate to Massachusetts within six months of employment and also work the same hybrid schedule as all employees. 

Please send your resume, compensation requirements and brief cover letter* explaining your interest in the position, and how you learned about this opportunity. Send an email to with the title of this job post in the subject line. 

Samaritans is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

*Applications that are missing a resume or cover letter may not be considered

To learn more about Samaritans, please visit: