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What Is a Chief Development Officer and How to Become One

What Is a Chief Development Officer?

A chief development officer (CDO) is an executive-level employee at a business or non-profit. As a CDO, your job duties include overseeing the financial stability, fundraising, or growth of the organization. You maintain close communication with internal executive officers, such as the CEO and CFO, advising them on strategies to improve donor relations or increase revenue while providing input for yearly budgets and other financial issues. Qualifications for this career include experience working in a senior business development position, such as a Director of In-House Consulting or Corporate Strategy. You should also have experience in improving business revenue and productivity. To succeed in this role, you must have a strong desire to do research, analyze data, and be able to work well alone and with others. A CDO typically has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA as well as strong leadership and communication skills.

How to Become a Chief Development Officer

The primary qualifications for getting a job as a chief development officer are a bachelor's degree and many years of industry experience. Most employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in a relevant field, so it is strongly worth considering whether or not to pursue your education to that point. Additional industry licenses and certifications can help you advance your career and stand out from other chief development officers. Many chief development officers work long hours, so the ability to be flexible with your schedule is essential to this role. Helpful skills include attention to detail, creativity, and analytical thinking.