Organization: National Safety Council

Location: Itasca, IL

Express Interest

National Safety Council:

The nation’s leading safety advocate for more than 100 years, the National Safety Council (“NSC”) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road. NSC advances this mission by engaging businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to help eliminate the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. – preventable injuries.

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC, with local chapters and global networks and more than 50,000 members, is committed to helping keep people safe wherever they are. The organization has a multi-pronged approach, engaging both the public and member organizations through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

NSC advances their mission by partnering with others and has made tremendous impact through:

  • Public Education on Safety Issues: NSC spotlights trends in unintentional injuries and death through their leadership of the Road to Zero Coalition, creation of the MyCarDoesWhat public education campaign, and sponsoring Distracted Driving Awareness Month;
  • Effective Advocacy: The most trusted names in safety, NSC is the go to source for information about preventable deaths – from addressing opioid misuse to texting while driving. Advocating for safety legislation, regulations and policies at the federal, state and local level, the NSC CEO and senior leadership team are invited to testify before Congress, participate in national advisory panels and frequently contribute to major network news programs and national and trade print media;
  • High Value Safety Training: Trusted worldwide and armed with the latest research, every year NSC instructors teach millions of people with courses designed by the NSC in the areas of defensive driving, first aid and CPR, and OSHA compliance;
  • Engagement with Safety Professionals: The leading source for research-based safety solutions, education and best practices to prevent unintentional injuries and death in workplaces. The NSC Congress and Expo is attended by over 15,000 (with over 1,000 exhibitors). It is the largest annual show for environment, health and safety professionals;
  • The Campbell Institute at NSC: The global center of excellence for environmental health and safety, the Campbell Institute at NSCcollaborates with top performing organizations to share research and best practices widely across industries; and
  • Awards: NSC recognizes individuals and organizations that have made critical contributions to safety through the Green Cross for Safety Awards, the Campbell Award and the Distinguished Service to Safety Award.

Headquartered in Itasca, IL, NSC has 20 local chapters throughout the U.S. The entire U.S. population and  13,500+ member companies rely on the National Safety Council for information, resources, and training to keep employees and communities safe.

Currently, NSC is a $65 million organization. Approximately 90% of its revenue comes from products and services, 5% from grants, and 5% from fundraising.

For more information, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Chief Development Officer (“CDO”) is a newly created leadership role at NSC. Through this hire, NSC will reach a new level of philanthropic success that will support safety advocacy, education and research. Fundamentally, the CDO will help forge new relationships to build NSC’s visibility, impact and advocacy.

The CDO serves as lead strategist for national fundraising development, creating the organization’s yearly fundraising development plan and leading the development team in execution of that plan. The position is responsible for providing leadership and staff support to the NSC Trustees, the board’s fundraising committee. In collaboration with others, the CDO will identify and develop clear fundraising opportunities related to the overall agency mission and specific to existing and newly launched programs and initiatives.

The CDO will be member of the executive team. Together with the executive team and working in close partnership with the CEO, Board Members, Trustees and development team, the CDO will lead a strategic, creative and entrepreneurial development program that will support NSC’s ongoing successes and future growth.

S/he will oversee and lead the development team, currently consisting of seven development professionals. The CDO will actively manage a donor portfolio by personally participating in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. As a senior leader, s/he will lead strategy and planning creating a culture of philanthropy organization-wide. S/he will collaborate with the CEO, executive team and Trustees to ensure that they are effectively supported and leveraged to achieve fundraising goals.

Specific responsibilities in this role include:

  • Establishing state-of-the-art development capability by inspiring a high-performing development operation with a high level of professionalism and dedication;
  • Cultivating new revenue sources by creatively and strategically expanding the donor base, ranging from grassroots to high profile individual donors;
  • Developing new relationships with major national foundations and deepening relationships with corporations resulting in increased contributed funds;
  • Planning and executing large-scale advocacy campaigns and events to generate sponsorship and funds, including the annual Green Cross for Safety Gala;
  • Ensuring philanthropy and fund development are consistent with the organization’s values, mission, vision and plans;
  • Increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the development team by serving as a coach and mentor, motivating team members with energy and passion and ensuring clear expectations and accountability; and
  • Positioning NSC for long-term sustainable success through strong and growing philanthropic support, leading and inspiring a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization.

Candidate Profile:

The CDO will be a focused, self-motivated and proven development executive who is deeply invested in NSC’s vision. S/he will be a natural leader and collaborator with a curious mindset. The ideal candidate will have the following personal qualities and characteristics:

An Expert in Development

The CDO will be a results-driven and experienced leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success within a complex and entrepreneurial environment. S/he will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels on a national basis. S/he will be energized by the prospect of building a culture of philanthropy and leading the development department, implementing processes and best practices. S/he will be a confident partner with the CEO and executive team providing strategic guidance in the cultivation of candidates. S/he will have demonstrated experience successfully soliciting individuals and corporations. A tactical leader, s/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The CDO will have a motivating approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from stakeholders. S/he will be a charismatic leader who can establish rapport and open communication with all constituents and successfully convey the NSC’s mission and objectives. Collaborating closely with the CEO and executive team, the CDO will implement a comprehensive and multi-faceted donor communication and stewardship strategy ensuring donor satisfaction. S/he will be able to develop a strong working relationship with key leaders and be a proactive communicator at all times. An influencer by nature, the CDO will be skilled in the principles of persuasion.

‘Ambassador’ for the National Safety Council

The CDO will work tirelessly as an ‘Ambassador’ for NSC’s mission. S/he will be able to build rapport and promote NSC with all constituents. As an external voice of the organization, s/he will articulate and broaden the vision of the organization to its current supporting community and future stakeholders. S/he will build strong brand equity and awareness internally and externally. S/he will establish partnerships and seek opportunities to promote NSC. The CDO will be a dynamic, energetic and credible leader, which will be conveyed both internally to the organization and externally.

A Passion for the Mission

The CDO will have a curious mindset, sense of urgency and strong desire to join the national effort to keep people safe. S/he will ensure that fund development aligns with NSC’s mission and vision. S/he will embrace NSC’s culture while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. A safety advocate and enthusiast, the CDO will be an energetic leader who treats others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred.


Marissa Martin and Chartíse Clark of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here or email Marissa and Chartíse directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

As a leadership, research, education and advocacy organization, NSC strives to achieve diversity among its members and staff.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit