About Us


Chief Development Officer

Chief Development Officer

Download PDF

Background and Opportunity
Established in 1911 and headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, Delta Waterfowl Foundation is a $9MM nonprofit organization with 54 staff and 45,000 members operating in both Canada and the United States.  Delta’s mission is producing ducks and securing the future of waterfowling.

Science remains a key pillar of Delta’s approach to advocating the right solutions for duck and duck hunters, whether it relates to duck biology, management techniques, or policy issues. It is an organization poised for growth, possessing accumulated wisdom and learning of a century of experience, but with a contemporary view on how to accomplish what is needed for ducks and duck hunters.  With legions of waterfowl hunters at the ready to secure the future of ducks and duck hunting, Delta endeavors to be the voice for the duck hunters, an advocate for the duck, and a guardian of habitat.

Position Summary
The Chief Development Officer serves as a key leadership team member and active participant in making strategic decisions affecting Delta Waterfowl. In partnership with the senior management team, this position is responsible for major gifts activities including strategic gifts, planned gifts, life memberships, corporate and cumulative giving. The Chief Development Officer has the primary responsibility of establishing and implementing the infrastructure needed to grow the major gifts revenue.

The Opportunity
An incoming Chief Development Officer will lead the fundraising function for a historically research-focused, yet passionate organization, poised to have a significant impact on waterfowl populations and to shape a very positive future for waterfowl and waterfowl hunting for generations to come.  

Primary Responsibilities
Work with Senior Leadership, Board members and regional Development Directors to increase major gifts revenue from individual donors, corporations, and foundations.

  • Provide leadership, vision and strategic thinking to generate the fundraising needed to advance the mission of Delta Waterfowl Foundation.
  • Partner with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, and Chief Science Officer to develop fundraising and program initiatives.
  • Expand and diversify the donor base/pipeline.
  • Develop new funding mechanisms.
  • Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to the board and other senior staff.
  • Identify, develop, and mentor the Major Gifts team.
  • Partner with the COO in oversight of the other philanthropic activities of Delta as well as meet revenue goals monthly, quarterly, and annually.
  • Partner with the VP of Marketing to oversee the development of all departmental and organizational materials such as handout books, pamphlets, pins, and other pieces for stewardship and cultivation.
  • Oversee all wealth capacity research mechanisms.
  • Moderate to extensive travel is required.
  • Position location TBD; St. Louis, MO; Memphis, TN; Dallas, TX, Bismarck, ND
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Desired Background and Personal Attributes

  • 10+ years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization with demonstrated success in major gifts fundraising.
  • A commitment to Delta Waterfowl’s mission and a demonstrated passion for hunting, wildlife and habitat conservation.
  • Bachelor’s degree. MBA preferred or a combination of equivalent education and experience.
  • CFRE preferred.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including telephone skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with staff across departments.
  • Excellent computer skills, including MS Office and donor database experience. Salesforce experience preferred.
  • Trustworthy and possessing the highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards.
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement an annual strategic fundraising plan.

Employee Commitments

Passionate, Personal and Authentic
We embrace our mission to spread the message of conservation. We strive to make each interaction personal and meaningful.

Trustworthy and Accountable
We seek to earn the trust of our donors, the public and each other by being transparent and truthful, respecting confidentiality and adhering at all times to the highest professional standards.

Resourceful and Adaptable
We are innovative in how we accomplish our goals, cost effective in our operations and flexible in embracing opportunities.

Highly Professional
We take pride in our work. We recognize that our work with the public, donors and volunteers reflects on our team and Delta Waterfowl. We are committed to the highest standards of professionalism.

We achieve success only through the combined efforts of many. We seek partnerships in respective regions and build on the skills and strengths of staff and volunteers to accomplish our goals.

We are fearless in our pursuit of the mission, with our views supported by the best science and reason of the day. When advocating strongly, we remain magnanimous at all times.


Delta Waterfowl Foundation has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search.
Please send your resume, expression of interest, and salary history to:
Chris Spagnola, Senior Recruiting Associate, at
cspagnola@thinkingahead.com and Jessica Martinez, Recruiter, at jmartinez@thinkingahead.com