Executive Brief

Chief Development Officer
Saint John's Program for Real Change

St. John's Program for Real Change

Introduction - A Message from Saint John's Program:

Are you ready to be part of a truly transformative journey? At Saint John's Program for Real Change everyday lives are being reshaped, dreams reignited, and futures redefined. If you are a compassionate and driven person on the lookout for a purposeful career opportunity, look no further – because we have an extraordinary mission waiting for someone like you.

At Saint John's, we do not just offer jobs; we offer a chance to be an agent of positive change. Our program is not just a steppingstone; it is a launchpad for personal growth and professional success. Our team members are valued members of our community, destined to make a lasting impact.
We believe in the power of second chances and the strength of human resilience. With a legacy spanning decades, our program has empowered countless individuals to break free from the chains of homelessness and poverty. When you join us, you become part of an organization committed to restoring hope, rebuilding lives, and fostering a spirit of unwavering determination.
Imagine being part of a team that does not merely offer support, but rather builds a family where everyone's potential is nurtured and cherished. At Saint John's, you will find mentors who inspire, colleagues who uplift, and a sense of camaraderie that transcends the ordinary.

Our program is not just about giving back to individuals; it is about empowering an entire community. As you grow in your career, you will contribute to the greater vision of transforming lives, one success story at a time. When you choose to be a part of Saint John's, you join a force for good that ripples far beyond the workplace.

So, if you have a passion for making a real difference, Saint John's Program for Real Change welcomes you. Embrace this opportunity to embark on a journey that will touch hearts, inspire minds, and forever alter the trajectory of countless lives – including your own. Together, let us create a future where compassion, purpose, and success converge into an irresistible force for change.

Saint John’s Program for Real Change, located in Sacramento, California, supports women in crisis and their children through a comprehensive 12-18 month residential program developed to help them build a successful new life for themselves and their families.

Since 1985, Saint John’s has given more than 30,000 formerly homeless women and children the essential tools to change the trajectory of their lives. But real change is never easy.

Program residents commit to Saint John's long-term, all-encompassing program, covering every facet of their lives. All of this together sets them up for a successful new life and career once they exit their red doors.

Saint John's Vision:

End the generational cycle of trauma and homelessness.

Saint John's Mission:

Saint John’s Program for Real Change provides a safe space for women and children to heal and develop the skills necessary to transform their lives.

35,000 Lives Changed

Saint John's Program serves up to 550 women and children each year. On average, Saint John's provides 675 comprehensive service hours per month to every family we serve.

Determination is an integral part of the stories of the mothers who make it through the Saint John’s program. That’s because women suited for Saint John’s aren’t just ready for change. They’re ready to fight for it. And, more often than not, they’re strong enough to win.

The Opportunity - Chief Development Officer

St. John's Program - Chief Development Officer - Job Description (PDF Download)

The Chief Development Officer serves as senior strategic and visionary leader responsible for developing Saint John’s Program for Real Change community engagement strategy and all aspects of fundraising.

Essential Functions:

Design and Lead Development Strategy:
  • Develop and implement fundraising plans for the organization with the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Board of Directors, and development team.
  • Collaborate with the CFO in creating a Development Department budget with realistic assessments of projected revenue and expenses in alignment with the organization’s budget and programmatic needs.
  • Establish performance measures to monitor results and evaluate effectiveness of fundraising efforts, reporting regularly on progress toward fundraising goals.
  • Lead the Development Department staff and manage interdepartmental/cross-functional coordination and communication between Development, Finance, and Program teams.
  • Identify and implement strategies that support program and administrative staff members’ role in donor engagement and stewardship.
  • Support the Board of Directors’ related committees and provide leadership in pursuit of private fundraising.
  • Participate as a member of the Senior Leadership Team in the planning and strategic decision-making process for the agency; lead departmental staff meetings.
Relationship Management and Donor Stewardship:
  • Work in close partnership with the CEO, members of the Board of Directors, and volunteers to identify and cultivate prospective donors to the organization.
  • Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of new major gift donors.
  • Prepare written development—and/or oversee the development of—materials, including briefing memos to support the CEO’s engagement with donors, appeal letters, and other donor communications; and select funding proposals/applications and reports.
  • Conduct monthly engagement actions with donors and prospects, including in-person visits and tours, events, calls, direct ask meetings through a community centered approach.
  • Supervise all development staff to meet development goals.
  • Increase the overall giving of existing donors, with heavy emphasis on stewarding current donors into greater affinity and higher levels of support.
  • Oversee stewardship efforts to ensure that donors are well-informed, acknowledged, and appreciated in meaningful and timely ways.
  • Strengthen the planned giving program including prospect identification, cultivation events, and recognition activities.
Effective Development Team Leadership and Operations:
  • Build and provide inspirational leadership for a best-in-class performing development team with a high level of trust, professionalism, and dedication.
  • Oversee management of all Development Department activities including major gifts, annual individual and corporate giving, foundation and philanthropic grant writing, special events, marketing and communications, legacy giving and endowment building.
  • Develop and manage Development Department budgets to achieve and exceed annual fundraising targets, ensuring the highest return on fundraising cost investments.
  • Select, evaluate, and support the continuous learning and professional development of Development staff; manage consultants as needed.
  • Oversee reconciliation of development records in collaboration with the financial management team.
  • Oversee donor data and integrity.
Special Events Oversight:
  • Lead and manage event strategy, budget, and supervise event-related staff or committees responsible for planning and executing all fundraising events.
  • Review and approve event marketing materials to ensure alignment with the mission, vision, values, brand standards, and sponsorship recognition commitments.
  • Pursue opportunities for 3rd party fundraising and passive income generation.
Communications and Public Affairs:
  • Oversee the communications strategy and supervise the communication partners and related staff.
  • Oversee constituent-focused external communications, ensuring the CEO, donors, volunteers, clients, community partners, and staff are informed on timely topics to assure a consistent and engaging message to the public on behalf of the Center.
  • Participate in internal and external philanthropic and community events as a representative of Saint John’s Program for Real Change.
Community Engagement and Volunteer Management:
  • Oversee staff and partners for continued development of a high-level volunteer program, which supports operations, creating ongoing sources of volunteer leadership and community involvement.
  • Ensure volunteer program growth and Saint John’s Circle in coordination with programs and services to fulfill organizational need and achieve strategic goals.
  • Oversee a robust volunteer stewardship program that improves retention and encourages progressively deeper involvement with the organization.


  • Commitment to the mission and vision of Saint John’s Program for Real Change.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree is required; Advanced degree and/or Certificate in in Fundraising Management a plus. Any combination of experience, education, and training that would provide the equivalent knowledge and abilities may be considered as a substitute for formal education.
  • Computer/Office Equipment Skills: Must have superior proficiency working with Microsoft Office Suite and Zoom. Proficiency in Raiser’s Edge, Salesforce, or similar donor management and database software is strongly preferred.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in English is required.
  • Work Schedule: This position is primarily in-person. Flexibility is required to participate in regular evening and weekend events, meetings, and travel, as necessary.
  • Must have reliable automobile transportation with a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. This position requires travel throughout the greater Sacramento Region.
  • Physical Demands: The person in this position may be required to sit or stand for extended periods, move objects up to 50 pounds, ascend/descend stairs, operate office equipment, open and close filing cabinets and boxes, observe visitors, and communicate messages and tone by telephone.
  • Offer of employment may be contingent on satisfactory results of a criminal history background check and drug test.
  • Employees must be legally permitted to work in the United States.
  • Saint John’s Program for Real Change is a drug free workplace; employees may be subject to a drug test.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • Extensive development experience with a measurable track record of success in generating and implementing a comprehensive fundraising strategy and growing an organization’s development capacity.
  • At least 5 years of senior level development experience and progressively responsible team leadership in a 501(c)3 nonprofit as a development officer and/or development-related position.
  • Demonstrated expertise and success in a range of fundraising channels with particular focus on major gifts ($25,000+), individuals, corporate and foundation giving, and data-driven fundraising.
  • Proven attention to detail, organization, and timely follow-through.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets with a high level of precision.
  • Excellent verbal, written, interpersonal, and presentation communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to write and edit persuasive materials including successful proposals, stewardship materials, and other collateral.
  • Ability to professionally interact with a variety of constituencies and key stakeholders.
  • Experience in effectively coaching and mentoring junior staff, empowering volunteers in leadership roles, and working independently and as part of a highly collaborative team.
  • Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) credential is a plus.
Work Hours:

Full-time, flexible hours. Some weekday evenings, weekends, and travel required. This is an exempt role with a heavy emphasis on relationship building. The Chief Development Officer should be prepared for a schedule that includes being a visible presence at community and networking events and being available for evening meetings and presentations, and weekend events as needed.

  • 403b matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Vision insurance

Applications and Nominations

Don’t check off all the boxes or meet every single requirement? We have learned that potential candidates hesitate when applying for a job unless they meet every single requirement. Boyden Boston is dedicated to inclusivity and valuing diversity and equity in the workplace. If this opportunity excites you, but your background may not be a perfect match, we still encourage you to apply.

Contact Information

Saint John's Program for Real Change has partnered with Boyden Executive Search. For more information about this opportunity or to submit a cover letter and resume, please email:

Lisa Vuona
Managing Partner, Boston

Lisa Vuona has decades of experience in executive search and human resource management, primarily in the non-profit, healthcare and education sectors. She is distinguished by her track record and network, and by her approach, which combines the strategic power of data with a finely tuned ability to understand the client’s organization and identify high-caliber leaders who fit the culture.

Shaké Sulikyan 
Senior Advisor and Executive Search Consultant, Boston

Making the world a better place is Shaké Sulikyan’s mission in life. She has decades of experience in the nonprofit sector including senior leadership roles in healthcare, academic medicine, higher education, and social services. Shaké loves connecting nonprofit organizations and exceptional professionals and is honored to support social impact organizations throughout the United States. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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