Hiring in the non profit world is a tricky game. You are usually on a smaller budget than your private sector counterparts, and are in need of a candidate with very specific skills. This makes hiring for a position as important as Chief Development Officer almost impossible. If you are in need of a new Chief Development officer, do not fear! Use these following steps on how to hire a Chief of Development officer for your non profit.

How to Hire a Chief Development Officer

Define the Job

First and foremost, you need to define exactly what the position entails. Will they need to do fundraising? What exactly will they be responsible for in your non profit? Knowing exactly what you want your candidate to do will help immensely when you put your job listing out there. It will allow for targeted applications, and less unqualified people getting through the pipeline.

Knowing exactly what you want your new Chief Development Officer to do in their position will also help with our next step, Consulting Your Network!

Consult Your Network

Nearly 60% of jobs are filled via people’s networks, and that shouldn’t surprise you. Recruiters like to have the extra layer of protection that comes with having someone vouch for the skills and personality of a candidate. Looking at your LinkedIn profile for people currently in Chief Development Officer positions will also help with defining what you want your candidate to have experience wise. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find a candidate via a job board, it just means that it will be a much harder process to do so.

To make this process as simple as possible, our next step is key!

Hire an Executive Search Firm

At the end of the day, the role of a Chief Development Officer is too important to get wrong. Consult with an executive search firm that specializes in non profit recruiting. Commonly, executive search firms have tried-and-true search processes that guarantee a successful candidate placement. Additionally, recruiters have the connections, knowledge, and experience needed to ensure a smooth and successful job search and job transition. Stop wondering how to hire a Chief Development Officer, and utilize an executive search firm to take the pressure off your shoulders and hire the perfect candidate.


Y Scouts is a purpose-based, performance-proven leadership search and development firm focused on transforming how people and organizations connect to work that matters. When you’re ready to hire a new leader, Contact Y Scouts. If you are looking for your next leadership role within a purpose-driven, performance-focused organization, please join the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

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