Commongood Careers Nonprofit Job Listings

News: Commongood Careers is now part of Koya Leadership Partners. Learn More »

Chief Development Officer
Akilah Foundation
Development and Fundraising
Washington D.C.

About Us and Our Philosophy:
The Akilah Foundation is a 501c3 organization dedicated to fundraising for unique schools and educational products for the African market. Our innovative and affordable education products prepare students in Africa with today’s most in-demand skills and ensure a seamless transition into their careers. Our vision is to build Africa’s largest education company that empowers all young people with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue their dreams.

The Akilah Foundation is currently raising funds for the flagship product, the Akilah Institute, which is the only women’s college in Rwanda, with a unique competency-based, careers-focused education model that has an 88% job placement rate. We’ve built our reputation on delivering high-quality, market-relevant education, and we’re leveraging technology to deliver our proven model to exponentially more students. Moving forward, the Akilah Foundation will raise funds for new campuses in Rwanda and Uganda as we develop a network of schools across sub-Saharan Africa, as well as new initiatives to develop certificate courses, in-company trainings, and pilots in secondary education, all toward our aim of serving 1 million students by 2030. 

We are poised for rapid and exciting growth over the next five years, and beyond, as we continue to expand our philanthropic partnerships with leading foundations, corporations, and social impact investors. To learn more, please visit

Equal Employment Opportunity
The Akilah Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or non-disqualifying physical or mental handicap or disability.

The Opportunity: 
The Akilah Foundation is seeking an experienced, energetic development professional to lead our growing development team during a sensational period of expansion. You will craft, implement, and manage a diversified fundraising strategy.

As part of the Executive Team, you will develop a creative approach to fundraising —increasing the revenue we rely on to bolster our campuses, students, and the surrounding communities. You will leverage our existing donor base of influential individuals and family foundations, and you will identify and cultivate new individual and institutional funding relationships in order to meet our ambitious goals of enhanced visibility and financial stability.

Key Responsibilities:
Design and Direct the Development Strategy for the Akilah Foundation
  • Devise, implement, and oversee a multi-faceted development strategy, including major donors, grants, and special events, positioning us to achieve and exceed annual revenue goals as we look to grow from ~$2M to ~$5M in the next 5 years.
  • Develop the necessary systems, tools, and processes to support an exponential increase in our annual budget. 
  • Work closely with the communications and marketing team on all development communications.
  • Engage our Board of Directors, including the Development Committee, Global Advisory Council, and Corporate Leadership Council in outreach and fundraising efforts.
  • Manage all development-related campus visits and ensure follow-up that leads to donor conversion.
Drive and Steward Major Gifts
  • Oversee the operations of our major gifts and individual giving strategy: prospecting, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Identify new networks of supporters and partners to expand and diversify our funding base.
  • Manage a personal portfolio of individuals and/or foundations.
Lead our Fundraising Team
  • Manage a team of four development staff.
  • Refine and build our team’s fundraising capabilities and processes.
  • Energize and involve volunteers, board members, event committees, partners and funders.
  • Lead staff to successfully organize 1-2 signature events each year that raise awareness and resources for the organization.
Engage with our Community
  • Network and enlist the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations, building relationships with current and future donors.
  • Share our work and mission with the broader community and attract new funding sources.
  • Represent the organization at donor meetings, selected conferences and networking events.

Your Qualifications:
As the incoming Chief Development Officer, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:
  • You bring at least ten years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, with a strong track record of successfully cultivating relationships and raising funds in accordance with annual performance targets.
  • You demonstrate proven leadership and organizational management skills, with the ability to motivate staff during an ambitious period of growth.
  • You possess a talent for delivering persuasive and compelling presentations about our work and expansion. 
  • You offer the ability to deepen ties with partners, board members, and donors to accomplish fundraising goals.
  • You are skilled in prioritizing critical tasks with grace and tenacious follow up in a fast-paced startup environment.
  • You share our passion for creating a new model of education in Africa and are excited by the opportunity to innovate in order to fulfill our ambitious mission.
  • You approach your work with a commitment to building a positive organizational culture that values continuous learning, excellence, transparency, honest feedback, perseverance, and sense of humor. 
How to Join Our Team: 
Using the link below, please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Karen Sherman. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Travel Requirements:
The Chief Development Officer will be required to travel for business development and donor/investor prospecting. The expected travel commitment is 5 days/month on average, with some seasonal variation. 

About our Partner: Commongood Careers
The Akilah Foundation has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for a Chief Development Officer. Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of high-impact nonprofits. With an approach that leverages robust talent networks, recruitment and search management expertise, and a deep understanding of our clients’ missions and cultures, we help organizations secure the talent they need to create greater social impact. Since our founding in 2005, Commongood Careers has led more than 800 searches at 275 organizations in 33 states, making us one of the most experienced and dedicated nonprofit search firms in the country. Learn more about nonprofit job opportunities at Commongood Careers.

Would you like to apply to this job?

Apply for the Chief Development Officer position

Previous MonthNext Month