Chief Development Officer – AFB

Job Category: Executive
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: AFB headquarters are based in Arlington VA. Position is remote within the U.S. with the opportunity for hybrid if located in the Arlington

About the American Foundation for the Blind

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that creates equal opportunities and expands possibilities through advocacy, thought leadership, and strategic partnerships. Since 1921, AFB has been a leader in addressing the most pressing needs of people with visual impairments and their families, breaking down societal barriers, and promoting broad systemic change.

Publisher of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness for over a century and counting, AFB is also proud to steward the accessible Helen Keller Archives, honoring the legacy of our most famous ambassador.

Position Overview

Reporting to the President & CEO, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) will create a truly world-class fundraising organization, building on the strengths of a 100+ year old, well-known disability nonprofit that seeks to diversify its funding and philanthropic programs. The CDO serves on and works closely with the Senior Leadership Team, contributes to the development of AFB programs to ensure financial sustainability, and oversees a staff of two and external contractual support. AFB’s annual operating budget is $6.5 million, with contributed revenue budgeted at $1.8 million. Its investment portfolio is valued at approximately $31 million.

The ideal candidate will be a visionary and strategic leader who has a track record of effectively operationalizing and implementing development strategies into actionable plans and tangible results across a variety of revenue streams, with an emphasis on major gifts and grants; cultivating a culture of philanthropy among staff and board; mentoring staff; and nurturing strategic relationships and partnerships.

Responsibility Overview

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive resource development strategy, operating plans, and departmental leadership. Lead and manage all aspects of the fundraising program, including but not limited to major and individual giving, direct mail and online campaigns, foundation and corporate partnerships, planned giving initiatives, and events.
  • Provide leadership, strategic direction, and oversight of AFB’s resource development efforts. Oversee the development of annual plans and budgets for each resource development function, tracking mechanisms to ensure that budget and revenue goals are monitored and achieved, and accurate and comprehensive donor and prospect record systems.
  • Manage a portfolio of high-level individual and institutional supporters. Secure significant funding through effective cultivation and stewardship of key partners.
  • Integrate AFB’s brand and messaging in donor communications. Collaborate closely with AFB’s Communications Team to ensure the alignment, coordination, and integration of AFB’s image, message, and values in donor communications.
  • Contribute the development of AFB programs and initiatives. Collaborate closely with the Senior Leadership Team and key staff in ensuring programs and initiatives are designed to incorporate elements of central importance to funders, that strategic fundraising plans in support of programs and initiatives are developed and executed, and that donor reporting requirements are met.
  • Build a culture of philanthropy. Work with all stakeholder groups to create a powerful culture of philanthropy at AFB. Support the President & CEO, key staff, and the Board of Trustees in executing their responsibilities in cultivating and nurturing donor relationships with individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Develop and communicate organization-wide plans, strategies, information, vision, and values throughout the group and organization.
  • Supervise and mentor departmental staff. Adhere to AFB’s policies and practices regarding recruitment and orientation; communicate expectations, policies, information, goals, mission, and strategy; support staff in areas of job responsibilities, problem resolution, and benefits; identify professional development opportunities; ensure policies and procedure compliance; and address areas requiring improvement and opportunities for rewards and recognition.
  • Engage the Board of Trustees. Provide information and support to the Board of Trustees, as appropriate, and foster trustee engagement. Serve as primary staff liaison and provide support to the Resource Development Committee of the Board, integrating and stimulating the fundraising efforts of the Board of Trustees. Work with the Senior Leadership Team and other board committees to maximize the performance of the Resource Development Committee.
  • Perform other duties and special projects, as assigned.


In addition to being a mission-driven individual with a belief in and commitment to AFB’s work and objectives, candidates should have the following experience and qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent plus 10 years fundraising experience, at least five of which must have been spent overseeing all aspects of fundraising. CFRE designation preferred. Successful management of professional staff and key volunteers a must, with a proven experience and ability to lead, direct, coach, and mentor team in achieving organizational goals. Knowledge of or interest in disability-related issues preferred. Fundraising for a systemic change organization preferred. Requires excellent interpersonal and written and oral communication skills and the ability to effectively present, in public and one-on-one, the aims and values of the organization to numerous audiences, including leadership volunteers, major donors, the media, and professionals in the blindness field. Must possess demonstrated appreciation for the level of detail, discretion, and good judgment necessary for effective solicitation and cultivation of donors and supporters. Demonstrated skill in effectively utilizing donor database records in moves management and prospect cultivation. Travel is required (approximately 15% of time)


AFB headquarters are based in Arlington, VA. Position is remote within the U.S. with the opportunity for hybrid if located in the Arlington, VA area. Strong preference given to applicants residing in VA, MD, DC, WV, NY, NJ, PA, or FL.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary based on experience, market analysis and location.

AFB offers a competitive benefits package, including:

Paid leave (vacation and sick leave combined)

Paid holidays

Flex-time and telecommuting

Competitive health, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage

Flexible spending account program that allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible medical expenses incurred by themselves or family members.

403(b) retirement savings plans, including employer contributions

Family Leave

Life insurance

Enhanced short- and long-term disability coverage

Accidental death or dismemberment coverage

Free, confidential access to counseling and referral services on a variety of personal and work/life issues for employees and their family members

Tuition Reimbursement

How to Apply

Interested parties, please email a Cover Letter and a Resume/CV to

Equal Employment Opportunity

At AFB we do not just accept difference, we celebrate it. AFB is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact Human Resources at

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