Organization: Archdiocese of Chicago

Location: Chicago, IL

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About The Archdiocese of Chicago: 

The Archdiocese of Chicago is the third largest Archdiocese in the United States, serving more than 2.3 million Catholics in Cook and Lake Counties in northeastern Illinois. The Archdiocese of Chicago is comprised of 363 parishes, 240 Catholic schools, 40 cemeteries, and 4 seminaries, as well as well-known service organizations such as Catholic Charities, Mercy Home and Misericordia.

Installed as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago in November 2014, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich leads the Archdiocese of Chicago. Cupich’s previous roles include the leadership of the Rapid City, SD and Spokane, WA dioceses.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, under Archbishop Cupich’s leadership, is launching an effort to revitalize parish life by creating a culture of collaboration within the Archdiocese, revitalizing local decision-making and building stronger community partnerships. To help accomplish these objectives, the Archbishop is also transforming the Pastoral Center, the central administrative operation of the Archdiocese, by building a team of high-qualified professionals dedicated to the mission of the Catholic Church in Chicago. Under the leadership of Archbishop Cupich and his team, donors and staff members are optimistic and confident about the Church’s future.

The transformational effort at the Pastoral Center also includes a large-scale overhaul of the Archdiocese’s fundraising efforts. Outside of the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal, fundraising in the Archdiocese of Chicago has been traditionally focused at the local parish and school level through weekly offertories and local fundraising efforts. Going forward, the Archdiocese plans to develop significant development capabilities at the Archdiocesan level. These efforts are aimed at building the capacity of the Archdiocese to support parishes and schools in lower-income areas, to create stronger outreach in evangelization and religious education, to build strong life-long development programs for priests and to build new communications and technology capabilities at the Pastoral Center.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has seen strong initial success with its capital campaign, To Teach Who
Christ Is
. The $350 million campaign benefits local parish communities and shared ministries of the Church, with a particular focus on Catholic education. The Archdiocese of Chicago anticipates that this goal will be met and is looking to capitalize on the campaign’s performance and the Church’s growth potential during this exciting time.

For more information on the Archdiocese of Chicago, please visit

The Opportunity:

At this important moment in its history, the Archdiocese of Chicago seeks a top-tier Chief Development Officer (CDO) to transform its philanthropic outreach, thereby putting the Archdiocese of Chicago in a position to reach a new and inspiring level of philanthropic success. The overall goal is to provide the resources needed to support new vibrancy in evangelization, parish ministry, Catholic education and faith formation. Reporting to Archbishop Cupich, in close collaboration and partnership with Vicar General Fr. Ron Hicks, Moderator the Curia Fr. Steve Kanonik, and COO Betsy Bohlen, the CDO will work with the Archdiocesan senior team, the development team, bishops, pastors and parish staff, donors and other key constituents to advance the Archdiocese’s development efforts.

The CDO will oversee, manage and grow the development team, currently consisting of four development professionals as well as a team of ten currently supporting the capital campaign. The CDO will actively manage a donor portfolio by personally participating in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. As an Archdiocesan leader and member of the senior team, s/he will lead strategy and planning creating an organization-wide culture of stewardship.

The CDO will be instrumental in helping to achieve the Archdiocese of Chicago’s aspirational objectives by working in close collaboration with the with Archdiocesan leadership, setting the strategy for development efforts and executing on that plan.

Key success metrics for this new role include:

  • Establishing a state-of-the-art Archdiocesan development function by building a high-performing development team with a high level of professionalism and dedication and successfully installing and maintaining a strong donor database and other analytic, research and reporting tools to inform decision-making;
  • Building and nurturing a vibrant network of major donors who feel connected to and supportive of the mission of the Archdiocese of Chicago and appreciated for their generosity;
  • Achieving strong fundraising success for the Archdiocese through a robust and permanent major gift program, an enhanced Annual Catholic Appeal program and other relevant development programs;
  • Developing a well-functioning support model to assist parishes in a range of local fundraising and stewardship efforts, including offertory enhancement programs and local capital campaign efforts;
  • Coordinating all fundraising efforts by Pastoral Center agencies to ensure best practices and quality control as well as standard branding and messaging;
  • Establishing the necessary linkages with other Pastoral Center departments to ensure the establishment of a strong administrative infrastructure that supports effective fundraising efforts; and
  • Promoting a greater sense of stewardship and generosity toward the Archdiocese throughout the Catholic population of Cook and Lake Counties.

The CDO will focus his/her efforts on development activities for the Pastoral Center and for Archdiocesan parishes and schools. At the same time, the CDO will be expected to maintain collegial relationships and coordinate with the development staff at affiliated agencies such as Catholic Charities, Misericordia and Mercy Home as well as with the Big Shoulders Fund, which raises significant funds to support Catholic schools.

Candidate Profile:

The Chief Development Officer will be a bold and imaginative thinker and a strategic yet ‘hands-on’ executive who will establish and lead a best-in-class development program. As a leader within the Archdiocese of Chicago, s/he will bring a genuine passion for the mission of the Catholic Church in the Chicago area coupled with deep and proven experience driving fundraising success. The CDO will enhance the Archdiocese’s overall approach to advancement – one that creates a true culture of stewardship and accountability throughout the organization and improves and develops sustained success in contributed revenue.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

An Expert in Development:

The CDO will be an experienced leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success within a complex environment that is reflective of the cultural diversity and demographic richness of the Archdiocese of Chicago. S/he will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels, with particular focus on major donors and capital campaigns. In consultation with Archbishop Cupich and Archdiocesan leadership, the CDO will develop and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive and prioritized annual and multi-year development plan. S/he will be energized by the prospect of building and leading the development department, implementing processes and best practices. S/he will partner with bishops, pastors and parish staff to identify, cultivate and steward donors. 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.

A Relationship Builder and Communicator:

The CDO will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels with varied constituencies, including the Pastoral Center leadership team, bishops and pastors, the Archdiocesan Finance Council and School Board, donors, the development team, and other staff. S/he will be a confident and articulate communicator with the ability to work fluidly across all levels. The CDO will bring an inspirational approach to building collaboration and engagement with a wide range of fundraisers. S/he will be a high-energy leader who can talk with all constituents and successfully convey the Archdiocese’s objectives. Collaborating closely with Archbishop Cupich, the CDO will implement a comprehensive and multi-faceted donor communication and stewardship strategy. S/he will have a strong working relationship with key leaders and will be a proactive communicator at all times.

A Change Leader:

The CDO will be a change agent with the ability to successfully lead the Archdiocese through a period of fundraising transformation. The CDO will also recognize that the Archdiocese of Chicago is undergoing significant change in numerous areas and will be comfortable working and contributing in this environment. S/he will be a strategic and visionary leader who will establish a creative yet practical course of action for building a new development strategy for the Archdiocese that reflects the history and culture of the organization and the complexities that is faces. The CDO will have the skills to effectively build, develop and lead the development team. Fundamentally, the CDO will be a ‘change agent’ with the ability to successfully lead the Archdiocese through a period of fundraising transformation. The CDO will also recognize that the Archdiocese of Chicago is undergoing significant change in numerous areas and will be comfortable working and contributing in this environment.

An Action-Oriented Leader with Strong Execution Skills

The CDO will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. S/he will be a detail-oriented individual who functions well in a complex environment. The CDO will have experience effecting change in a large organization, strong organizational and process management skills and the ability to coordinate across departments. S/he will be an assertive and results-oriented leader with the ability to translate the Archdiocese’s development goals into clear objectives for the parish leaders and the development staff. The CDO will be a builder with the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results.

A Passion for the Mission of the Catholic Church:

The CDO will be a faithful and committed Catholic who will have a true passion for the mission of the Catholic Church. S/he will be energized by the prospect of working with Archbishop Cupich and his team to shape the future of the Catholic Church in Chicago. S/he will have a collaborative spirit and will be an empathic, charismatic 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 is preferred.


Marissa Martin, Alison P. Ranney and Melanie Damm 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 Melanie directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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