The Chief Development Officer: Beyond Fundraising is a guide not only to those preparing for or serving in the role of CDO but also to those charged with selecting, appointing, and supporting CDOs. It includes ten chapters, each presenting a role beyond frontline fundraising and fundraising program management in which today’s top CDOs excel: Relationship Builder in Chief; Shaper of a Culture that Embraces Philanthropic Partnership; Visible Leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Strategist and Planner; Trusted Advisor on Board Matters; Thought Partner; Visionary and Confident Sight Raiser; Resilient Optimist; Talent Magnet; and Mentor, Sponsor, and Ally to Future CDOs. Each chapter includes a description of the elements of the role, illustrations of how CDOs excel, and advice on preparing for the role.
The book encourages anyone with an interest in the CDO position to take steps to prepare well ahead of stepping into the position. It also encourages mentors, supervisors, and other industry leaders to identify those with potential for success in the CDO role, provide resources such as this book, and create opportunities for them to gain experience and skill that they will need when they step into this complex, challenging, yet extremely important and deeply rewarding role.
Ronald J. Schiller Founding Partner of the Aspen Leadership Group, and former Vice President of the University of Chicago, is a nationally recognized advisor to nonprofit leaders. He is the author of four books: The Chief Development Officer: Beyond Fundraising; Belief and Confidence: Donors Talk About Successful Philanthropic Partnership; Raising Your Organization’s Largest Gifts: A Principal Gifts Handbook; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Advancement: Strengthening Engagement and Fundraising Through Inclusion.
Foreword by Susan Paresky
CHAPTER ONE: Relationship Builder in Chief
CHAPTER TWO: Shaper of a Culture that Embraces Philanthropic Partnership
CHAPTER THREE: Visible Leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
CHAPTER FOUR: Strategist and Planner
CHAPTER FIVE: Trusted Advisor on Board Matters
CHAPTER SIX: Thought Partner
CHAPTER SEVEN: Visionary and Confident Sight Raiser
CHAPTER EIGHT: Resilient Optimist
CHAPTER NINE: Talent Magnet
CHAPTER TEN: Mentor, Sponsor, and Ally to Future CDOs
Appendix: Individuals Interviewed and Surveyed
About the Author
There is probably not another person on the planet who understands the rapidly evolving role of a Chief Development Officer more than Ron Schiller. He has lived it; he has advised others living it; and, fortunately for the rest of us, he has a great deal to share in teaching all stakeholders how to do it well. I unreservedly recommend this extremely readable book to current CDOs, anyone aspiring to become one, and all those who work with one and want them to succeed.
The first edition of this book was my motivator to move into the Vice President of Development role. Using Ron’s outline, I could easily assess how my skills and interests matched the responsibilities of modern CDOs. Nothing can prepare you fully for being in the CDO seat, but this book helps you prioritize your first activities, prepare a plan of action for your division, coordinate effectively with cabinet colleagues, and quickly advance your CEO's vision from day one. This is a must-read if you aspire to, or currently occupy, the CDO role.
Ron Schiller has updated his book at a time of challenge and unprecedented circumstances for nonprofits, fundraising, and philanthropy. In this book, Ron offers advice that is both practical and elevated. He addresses the need for new ways of doing things, while always reaffirming the human and humane nature of the work that is a hallmark of his practice and his values.
Ron’s first addition of The Chief Development Officer brought new insight to the role and broadened the understanding of how CDO’s play a crucial role the success of the organizations they serve. The second edition brings new emphasis on the ever-expanding expectations, rapidly changing economic, public policy, and institution-wide challenges and demands expected for one of the organizations most important leaders.
In this second edition, Ron provides a thorough and insightful view of what it takes to be a successful CDO and captures how the position has continued to evolve in the ever-changing and growingly complex world of advancement and higher education. Ron provides a keen assessment of the skills and focus necessary for the role today, while prompting practitioners, CEOs, and board members alike to reflect on how the position may continue to best serve their institutions. It is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand what success means for a CDO.
Ron Schiller's book is full of genuine wisdom, the type only a true friend would share with you. The author understands the complexities of our work and how to communicate them to our boards, bosses and colleagues. Make it your key reference and your organization will flourish.