Organization: Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled

Location: Boston, MA

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Helping Hands is currently seeking a Chief Development Officer to manage all aspects of the organization’s fundraising, communications, and donor outreach programs. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) will design, execute, and oversee a comprehensive development strategy for Helping Hands, including but not limited to the solicitation of financial support through individual giving, workplace giving, major gifts, foundation grants, special events, and corporate support. The CDO will maintain and strengthen existing donor relationships while cultivating new prospects in order to increase the visibility, impact, and financial resources for Helping Hands.

The CDO will have primary responsibility for establishing and implementing the development infrastructure needed to grow a $1.5M budget to $2.0M over the course of a five-year period. The CDO manages a development staff responsible for maintenance of appropriate systems to support fundraising and communications including but not limited to volunteer and donor management, research and cultivation, creation of publications, social media, website maintenance, database management, gift processing, and recognition.

The CDO designs and oversees the implementation of a unified external communications plan including newsletters and other print publications, annual appeals, website maintenance and updates, annual reports, e-newsletters, and social media. The CDO works together with the ED to evaluate media opportunities and support public relations as well as to support applicant marketing efforts driven by Placement Staff.

Working together with the Executive Director and Development Committee, CDO will participate in a comprehensive plan for developing key external alliances and partner with board members as they actively engage in fundraising, donor cultivation, and capital campaign activities. Helping Hands is currently in the second year of a five-year strategic plan that will culminate with the launch of a capital campaign in support of a new facility.


The Chief Development Officer will be responsible for the following:

Key Responsibilities

  • Construct, articulate, and implement annual development and external communications plans. Partner with the Executive Director and Board to ensure adequate staffing and financial resources to execute these plans successfully.
  • Lead the creation of a comprehensive development strategy for cultivation of corporate and foundation grants, individual giving, workplace giving, special events, and major gifts. Actively engage with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, senior staff, and volunteers to achieve the fulfillment of annual fundraising goals.
  • Assume primary responsibility for oversight of all grant and major gift proposals; participate in and/or assign responsibilities for the development and execution of all proposals including writing, scheduling, and archiving.
  • Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to the Board, Executive Director, Development Committee, and Development staff. Research funding sources and trends, and make recommendations to help position Helping Hands ahead of major funding changes and allow the organization to proactively evaluate opportunities.
  • Develop and implement a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors. Manage and monitor prospect research activities and major gifts strategies developed by Director of Individual Giving. Partner with Director of Individual Giving, Executive Director, and Board members (as appropriate) to solicit major gifts.
  • Identify, develop, and mentor Development staff. Evaluate performance, establish priorities, and set annual goals for Development staff members with input from the Executive Director.
  • Collaborate with Board Treasurer, Executive Director, and accounting staff to understand and support the organization’s financial strategy, annual operating needs, and special project funding. Actively participate in the development of the annual operating budget and special project budgeting. Participate as a non-voting member of the Board Finance Committee.
  • Manage fundraising and development expense budget and co-manage the marketing and communications budgets.
  • Oversee special events including management of vendors, budget oversight, event committee, and appropriate delegation of assignments and responsibilities to development staff and volunteers.
  • Collaborate with Executive Director, Board of Directors, Development staff, volunteers, and consultants to design and execute capital campaign activities.
  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to advance Helping Hands’ brand identity; broaden awareness of its programs and priorities; and increase the visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Attend all Board meetings as in order to report on the progress of the development and communications program, motivate strategic thinking regarding development, and actively engage individual board members to participate in fundraising initiatives.
  • Partner with Development Committee Chair(s) to prepare agendas and materials for Development Committee meetings.
  • Work with Executive Director to make recommendations for Development Committee members and/or potential Board member nominations.
  • Participate on other Board Committees and non-Board Committees as requested by the Executive Director.


Ideal candidates should have:

  • A bachelor’s degree minimum, master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum eight to ten years of demonstrated fund development experience, including corporate and foundation grants acquisition and management, individual giving, workplace giving, special events, and major gifts. Preference will be given to candidates that have successful capital campaign experience. Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) also preferred.
  • Moderate financial skills including ability to understand and seek unique funding opportunities for a $1.5-2M annual operating budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage staff and a small group outside vendors and/or consultants.
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office. Preference will be given to candidates with Raiser’s Edge experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong initiative and motivation, with the ability to excel in a demanding, multifaceted environment.

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Helping Hands offers a strong benefits plan, including healthcare and dental coverage, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, life insurance, and long-term disability.

To Apply:

Helping Hands has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Liz Lombard at

Helping Hands provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Helping Hands complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

About Helping Hands:

Since 1979, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled, Inc. (Helping Hands) has been helping adults with spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairments throughout the U.S. live more independent and engaged lives. Helping Hands does this by providing them, free of charge, with a unique service animal: a highly trained service monkey to help with their daily tasks. The only organization of its kind, Helping Hands raises and trains these special service animals, carefully matching them with appropriate recipients across the nation, and providing active support and care for the duration of each placement.

Helping Hands has grown from an innovative idea into a successful, national nonprofit organization that offers independence and hope to individuals living with impaired mobility and severe physical disabilities. Co-founded by M.J. Willard, Ed.D and Judi Zazula, M.S., OTR/L in Boston, MA, Helping Hands placed its first monkey helper in 1979. Since 2006, Executive Director Megan Talbert has overseen all aspects of the organization: monkey training, monkey health care, animal retirement, recipient applications, new placement, active placement, and the youth education program.

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About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits 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