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Featured Employers
Chief Development Officer
Company: Rainforest Alliance
Location: Global, NY
Employment Type: Full Time
Date Posted: 07/29/2021
Expire Date: 09/29/2021
Job Categories: Natural Resources
Job Description
Chief Development Officer
The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. To achieve our mission, we partner with diverse allies around the world to drive positive change across global supply chains and in many of our most critically important natural landscapes.

Our alliance spans 70 countries and includes farmers and forest communities, companies, governments, civil society, and millions of individuals. Together we work to protect forests and biodiversity, take action on climate, and promote the rights and improve the livelihoods of rural people.

As an international nonprofit organization with more than 30 years of experience in sustainability transformation, we understand that the social and economic well-being of rural communities is tightly connected to ecosystem health. This knowledge has shaped our rigorous programs to advance sustainable land-use and commodity production.

At the Rainforest Alliance we combat climate change, protect forests and biodiversity, promote human rights, and improve livelihoods. The enormity of the social and environmental challenges we are facing requires working together in a broad alliance. This is why we bring farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers together to change the way the world produces, sources, and consumes.

To protect nature and improve lives it’s becoming increasingly urgent that we approach the way we use our land and produce food and other products in more sustainable ways. For this to succeed we need to fundamentally change the way that businesses operate and source, and the choices we all make as consumers.

Our growing global alliance aims to transform our relationship with our natural resources and each other, to create a better future for people and nature together.

Position summary:
The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is a member of the Rainforest Alliance Leadership Team reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer. The CDO leads the creation and execution of a global multi-year integrated fundraising strategy in support of Rainforest Alliance mission and strategy. Leading a large international portfolio of institutional relations, individual philanthropy, citizen membership, and connecting with our partners, Board of Directors, and relevant platforms, the CDO will work with internal and external stakeholders to build fundraising revenue models across multiple investment sources to advance our mission.

The CDO leads our efforts to mobilize resources (capital and capabilities) and fuel RA’s operating model by channeling resources to strategic priorities in support of farm and forest communities, landscape-scale alliances, corporate leadership, and advocacy efforts.

The CDO leads our Institutional Fundraising Team, our Philanthropy, and Membership teams, driving out-of-the door high level engagements with RA's partners. Working closely with senior leaders in the organization and with the Chief Global Engagement Officer, the Chief Program Officer, and RA's Marketing and Innovation Functions, to fully leverage revenues across public and private sources at global, regional and local levels.

The CDO provides vision and strategic leadership to coordinate resources across RA’s integrated raised revenue portfolio, working closely with our Chief Financial Officer to meet budget targets. The incumbent will have extensive experience and a proven track record working with public donors, individual philanthropy, and corporate sectors, demonstrated by a portfolio of successes in each function, to scale up integrated strategic outcomes across sectors and landscapes.


The CDO is an enterprise leader and will provide leadership internally to teams and peers and help to improve organizational effectiveness. Externally, this role will help build our partner alliance and fuel investments expanding the reach and visibility of the organization globally. A successful CDO will set strategies and oversee execution of all development activities for the organization including those related to individual major gifts, foundations, bi-laterals and multilaterals, membership, corporations, special events and campaigns. They can represent RA externally driving high level engagements and growing our funding pipeline to support RA's mission. Heading the development teams, this role will be responsible for driving a significant increase in annual raised revenue to close the gap between our ambitious outcomes and financial requirements.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• The Rainforest Alliance’s Core Values are Impact, Change, Collaboration, Openness and Trust and as such they form the basis of the behaviours we demonstrate;
• Create and implement a comprehensive integrated global fundraising strategy to be executed in collaboration with RA functions across markets, programs, marketing, innovation, finance and talent;
• Ensure the growth of RA’s raised revenue line, with a targeted increase of 15%+ annually over the next three years, ensuring alignment with programmatic priorities and capacity;
• Identify and develop new raised revenue streams, helping to diversify RA’s funding base and supporting the continuous support and growth of existing programs and new strategic initiatives;
• Cultivate and develop a new network of high worth individual donors for the organization, ensuring consistent high-level and long-term relationships;
• A track record of bringing in multi-million-dollar support is required and an impactful creative partnership approach to fundraising is essential;
• Create and strengthen, in collaboration with the internal account managers, highly strategic relationships with foundations, governments and NGO funding partners, individual donors, and other stakeholders as required by the Global Engagement and Programs teams;
• Develop and maintain comprehensive knowledge of program priorities;
• Give guidance and direction to teams/groups by setting the right boundaries and by stimulating cooperation, commitment, and team spirit. Creating a motivating, inspiring and supporting climate to execute plans effectively across a culturally and geographically diverse organization;
• Work with program and finance staff at key Rainforest Alliance offices to create specific local fundraising plans and advance their implementation;
• Represent and negotiate on RA’s behalf at global meetings, conferences and round tables;
• Act as the primary executive leadership team member responsible for liaising with the Development and Nominating and Governance Committees working closely with the committee chairs to create board, individual, and committee goals and to generally facilitate the work of those committees.;
• With the leadership team and Nominating Committee members, identify, cultivate and recruit new board members embedding Diversity & Inclusion throughout the recruitment experience to improve inclusion, growth, and trust, fostering authenticity and steward existing members whilst structuring the organization with accountability for D&I initiatives;
• Working closely and engaging with the Marketing and Communications team to ensure close collaboration between broader consumer engagement and membership engagement and;
• Oversee and develop systems for: campaign activities, donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship.

People and Operations Management
Develop and manage an annual budget; manage and oversee a team expense budget. The CDO will manage a geographically dispersed team of staff and will be responsible for ensuring an effective structure of the teams. This role will also be responsible for motivating and engaging staff and providing timely guidance and support as well as opportunities for growth.

Other essential duties and responsibilities
• Carry out all responsibilities in accordance with RA’s core values;
• Motivate, lead, and supervise a group of direct reports;
• Lead by example on determining and promoting clear authority, individual accountability, localized decision making, decision-focused meetings, and the timely and clear communication of decisions;
• Facilitate the cultivation of appropriate skills to continuously enhance working relationships within this role and across the entire organization;
• Plan, assign, and direct work; appraise performance; reward and mitigate issues with employees; address complaints and resolve problems;
• Selling the Vision: Ensure Staff understand and embrace the organizational strategy by creating a clear view of the future and;
• Coaching and Mentoring: Provide timely, clear guidance to help others excel on the job and meet key goals and accountabilities.

Communication Skills:
• Impeccable writing, editing and verbal communication skills

Foreign Language Skills:
• Written and verbal proficiency in languages other than English such as Spanish, French, or Bahasa is a plus

General Work Skills:
• Demonstrated team management and leadership skills with the ability to interact culturally, and diplomatically with diverse individuals from a wide range of backgrounds;
• Must be able to build and lead a lean team of dedicated professionals and have a collaborative, enabling, inspiring, motivating work style;
• Must be able to delegate responsibility and authority, as appropriate;
• Ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment;
• Willing to work flexibly to accommodate the global distribution of staff operating across various time zones;
• Demonstrate an awareness of one’s own strengths and development needs, as well as the impact of own behaviour on others, have accurate self-insight:
• Offer fresh, innovative ideas and unconventional approaches to strategies that create market and brand value show valuable entrepreneurship skills;
• An innovative, entrepreneurial mindset and;
• A team player, able to inspire, engage and motivate others.

Travel Requirements:
Ability to travel up to about 20% per year.

Commensurate with experience.

Deadline: August 13, 2021

Only candidates authorized to work in the locations in which we are registered will be considered.

The Rainforest Alliance encourages diversity and inclusion across the global organization. With this commitment to diversity, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, colour, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, disability and any other protected group.

If you have any questions about the job vacancy, please contact the HR department: recruitment@ra.org

Qualifications & Requirements
• Extensive experience (at least 15 years) and a proven track record in global fundraising and business development;
• Must hold a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree preferred), ideally in a field related to fundraising, grant-writing, business administration, or have substantial equivalent experience;
• Must have demonstrated significant success and impact in previous work at a global level on issues ideally related to the mission of Rainforest Alliance;
• Experience working in a global, culturally diverse team is essential; and experience as an executive leader in an international organization is a plus;
• Boots on the ground background in conservation, sustainable agriculture, forestry, climate change, human rights, workers’ rights or international development and understanding of related issues highly desirable;
• Experience with government grants in the domestic and international spaces strongly desired;
• Experience building relations and partnerships with individual donors, corporations, foundations, and NGOs is a plus;
• Experience launching and evaluating fundraising campaigns through: direct marketing, online fundraising, events, direct mail, crowd funding, major gifts and;
• Substantial experience with natural resources management, sustainability, and/or international development. Substantial experience in communications and marketing is a plus.
Contact Information
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