Chief Development Officer

Breakthrough New York




Fundraising / Business Development


NY - New York metropolitan area

About the Organization

Breakthrough New York empowers motivated students from low-income communities to achieve a college degree and reach their fullest potential. Our tuition-free program supports over 500 students and their families from 7th grade through college. We accept middle school students who are furthest from high-quality educational opportunities, yet show promise and potential: 99% of students identify as persons of color; 76% qualify for free-or-reduced lunch; and 66% will be the first in their families to graduate college.

As a ten-year program, Breakthrough New York supports students and their families through key transition points in their academic journeys. We provide academic enrichment through summer and after-school opportunities; coach students to gain admissions into selective high schools and colleges, and expose students to diverse interests and careers so they can shape their own trajectories.

In addition to nurturing individual talent, we cultivate a thriving community of like-minded peers and mentors who encourage each other's ambitions and passions. Personalized mentorship and holistic support are signature elements of our model, with over 200 near-peer seasonal staff and volunteers who work with students at each stage of our continuum.

The Breakthrough model works: over 98% of Breakthrough students graduate from college preparatory high schools and over 90% graduate from college. Learn more at Breakthrough's website.

About the Position

The Chief Development Officer will serve as a key leadership team member responsible for revenue strategy, fundraising efforts, marketing communications, and external engagement. The CDO will report directly to the Executive Director and will work closely with the Board of Directors to strategically communicate BTNY's impact and need to a wide range of external constituents, ensuring thoughtful cultivation of current and prospective donors so that ultimately BTNY has the resources needed to achieve its mission.

The CDO will lead all aspects of BTNY's development operations and build on the existing team structure, as well as its network of support, to increase revenue in order to meet the needs of its growing program. The CDO will continue to scale fundraising to meet the annual operational needs of our larger program (currently $3.5 million) and will expand our reserves to support future, strategic growth.

In addition to these individual responsibilities, the CDO is an important part of a larger team of passionate, dedicated individuals. The full team rolls up their sleeves to support all-hands-on-deck initiatives, and honors the strengths and experiences of students and families both in internal work and external communications.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Fundraising Strategy and Execution

  • Create an annual revenue plan and long-term growth strategy based on strategic analysis, forecasting, and modeling that aligns with our + strategic goals and meets or exceeds our annual budget
  • Directly engage the Board of Directors and Associates Board on their giving and fundraising strategies and solicit their feedback and networks to advance BTNY's development strategy
  • Act as chief fundraiser, cultivating new prospects and securing gifts from individual donors, corporate partners, and foundations, with particular emphasis on major donors
  • Oversee the launch of a state AmeriCorps partnership and other multi-year grant opportunities
  • Plan and lead the execution of major campaigns and stewardship pieces (year-end appeal, Annual Report, etc.)
  • Plan donor-facing events, including the annual gala, program visits, and investors calls
  • Manage external consultants and vendors who work closely with the external relations team
  • Manage the department's budget and effectively communicate budget decisions and parameters to team members
  • Set clear benchmarks for the team, regularly reflect on progress through data tracking and analysis, and adjust tactics as necessary to meet revenue goals; ensure data is tracked in Salesforce
  • Ensure data and giving integrity, overseeing gift operations and Salesforce records, coordinating with the Finance Senior Director on the audit and budgeting, and reporting BTNY's results to donors on a regular basis

Organizational Leadership

  • Contribute to the development and execution of BTNY's organizational strategy as an integral member of BTNY's Senior Leadership Team
  • Manage and develop 3 FTE on BTNY's external relations team, thoughtfully serving as a supervisor and coach
  • Support with board recruitment, onboarding, and governance; provide ongoing engagement opportunities to encourage directors' engagement with and understanding of the organization

Marketing and Communications

  • Set Breakthrough New York's overarching case for support and core messages, ensuring consistent and up-to-date messaging about the organization and its impact to all stakeholders
  • Build an overarching marketing program that drives outcomes in fundraising and supports admissions outreach, teaching fellow recruitment, and student/family engagement
  • Direct communications strategy to connect with and broaden Breakthrough New York's community of support utilizing a range of formats: BTNY website and blog, social media, print collateral, news media, etc.
  • Collaborate with program team to source, honor, and accurately represent student and family experiences Ensure consistency in brand usage inside and outside the organization

Community Engagement

  • Support the development of BTNY's alumni engagement strategy to allow for former program participants to stay meaningfully connected with and continue to have an impact on the BTNY community
  • Support with the recruitment of 200+ volunteers for one-day and long-term commitments
  • Support the external relations team in building an institutional partnerships strategy (e.g. university partners, researchers, and local government officials) that contributes to BTNY's long-term sustainability

Candidate Requirements:

  • 8+ years of professional experience and a track record of success in non-profit fundraising across a variety of revenue streams with experiencing closing gifts at the $100K+ level
  • Skilled staff manager, with experience building and leading teams and guiding team members' growth and development
  • Experience leading or collaborating with a Board of Directors
  • Experience with successful partnership development and management
  • Deep knowledge of Salesforce, both in managing details such a gift processing and reports in developing donor insights to drive the broader fundraising strategy
  • Strong critical and reflective thinking with the ability to make strategic and data-driven decisions
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills with strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work efficiently and effectively to balance management and execution of short- and long-term projects
  • An authentic and clear passion for Breakthrough's mission; an approach to fundraising and philanthropy that is highly aligned to the organization's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Demonstrates excellence in Breakthrough New York's Core Values:
    • Student-Centered
    • Committed to Social Justice
    • Community Driven
    • Principled
    • Lifelong Learners
    • All in


This position will be completed from BTNY's downtown offices, with the expectation that the Chief Development Officer will spend two days per week in the office. Some presence at program events around the city will be required.

Compensation and benefits:

Breakthrough New York strongly believes in selecting the top, qualified candidates. The salary range for this position is $125k -$135k.

Finally, working at Breakthrough New York gives you the opportunity to work with an AMAZING team, build skills as a non-profit professional, work in an environment with plenty of growth opportunities, and make breakthroughs happen for NYC students.

Breakthrough NY is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, or current employment status.

On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact