Chief Advancement Officer

Posted on 11 January 23 by Mat Peisert

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Job Description

Position Profile: Chief Advancement Officer – First Children's Finance

kpCompanies is leading the search for the next Chief Advancement Officer for First Children’s Finance. This will be a highly visible and inspiring leader with the vision to move First Children’s Finance forward while building on its 30 years of success. Key areas include: strategy development, fund development, leadership, communications and marketing.


THE ORGANIZATION: First Children’s Finance

The mission of First Children’s Finance (FCF) is to grow the supply and business sustainability of excellent child care. Founded in 1991, FCF provides business and financial assistance to business owners and leaders in the field of Early Care and Education. To achieve our goals, FCF works on three levels: Individual Business Level, Community Level and Systems Level. FCF is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis that provides business development programs and/or financing to ECE providers in multiple states, with regional offices in four: Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and Vermont.



The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will serve as a critical member of the executive management team. In collaboration with the CEO and Executive Team, the CAO will 


Lead all aspects of a full-scale development effort including annual central office and grant fundraising, individual and major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation giving, loan fund investment, e-fundraising, fundraising events, endowment, donor mailings and database management, special projects, and stewardship 


  • Articulate and implement the strategic vision and leadership of FCF
  • Promote the diversification of funding through effective resource stewardship with an adequate mix of government funding, earned revenue and private philanthropic support.
  • Manage the annual budget and support the achievement of funding goals.
  • Raise FCF’s profile through external communications.




Fund Development 

  • Serve as the primary mentor and thought leader around fundraising for the organization and build on approaches to leverage First Children’s Finance connections in the fundraising space. 
  • Devise and execute fundraising strategies, establish performance indicators, and optimize operations and technology for productivity and effectiveness. 
  • Develop annual and long-term fundraising plans and ensure alignment with the organizational strategic plan.
  • Directly oversees the writing of funding proposals and fundraising support documentation.
  • Collaborate with the CEO, the Chief Program Officer, and leadership team in executing strategic outreach and engagement with potential and existing funders.
  • Develop and standardize internal processes for improved collaboration with area directors to advance fundraising efforts for their areas and the organization as whole as well as monitor progress against fundraising goals.
  • Track revenue and fundraising trends, and use the information to predict future opportunities for expansion efforts and avoid any downtrends in individual, corporate or foundation gifts.
  • Collaborate with internal and external marketing and fundraising experts providing support in messaging, approaches, and technology.
  • Steer and oversee the creation of the highest quality proposals and reports. 
  • Vet and oversee fundraising contractors and consultants.
  • Review and refine fundraising operations.
  • Ensure close collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer and Finance Team, especially in the creation of strategic and timely proposal financials, budgets, and expenditure reports.
  • Leads and implements major initiatives for the organization as directed by the CEO.


Communication and Marketing 

  • Oversee all aspects of marketing and communications including management of the organizational brand.
  • Lead the development and implementation of strategies and activities to promote FCF to clients, partners, funders, and the community at large.
  • Raises awareness of the organization and its primary goals through outreach efforts, regular events, publications, and media relations.
  • Directly supervise the Director of Communication; develop a high-performance team culture focused on leadership and accountability, continuous learning, collaboration, measurement and goal achievement.
  • Collaborate with outside communications experts, providing support in messaging, approaches, and technology.



  • Develops and maintains a diverse effective organization through the selection, training, compensation, review, and motivation of fund development and communications staff.
  • Develops and maintains a program for high performance standards and sound employee relations at all levels of the organization.
  • Provides input into the strategic planning process.
  • Provides positive guidance and direction to employees, assists them in their professional development.



Below are some of the typical requirements for a Chief Advancement Officer (CAO). We recognize that skill sets can be a complex combination of experiences. Even if your background does not exactly match these requirements but you have a passion for our work, we would love to hear from you and we recognize the value of transferable skills.

  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience, with a preferred emphasis on fundraising, marketing, communications, public relations, or business
  • Minimum of seven (7) years of increasingly progressive work experience demonstrating competency in comprehensive development, community relations, and communications/marketing
  • Knowledge of fund development including development planning, annual giving, earned revenue and donor cultivation
  • Successful history of securing significant funding from a variety of sources, including government contracts 
  • Knowledge of communications planning, social media and public relations
  • Excellent interpersonal, management, verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated understanding and support of FCF’s mission



Interested candidates should submit cover letter, resume, and salary expectations no later than 9:00pm on Friday, February 10th, 2023. You can apply in the following ways:

  1. Apply via email to Mat Peisert at
  2. Apply online at:


Equity & Salary Disclosure

We believe in practices that create real equity and pay parity regardless of background or identity and we freely discuss compensation with all qualified candidates the first time we interview them. Saving the salary discussion for the first conversation allows us to fully understand the needs of each candidate and to ensure that qualified candidates, even those who’ve historically been overlooked and/or underpaid, don’t self-select out of the processes based on salary alone, as our experience and research suggests. In addition to those who opt out because they fear the salary may be out of reach for them, we equally don’t want to miss out on conversations with candidates who are slightly over the range when in some cases the total compensation including factors such as bonuses, flexibility, and better health benefits, etc. may exceed expectations. Finally, as a search firm – we are always looking for top-notch talent to introduce to our clients. Should the salary or any other requirement not be a fit, there is often a chance that someone on our team is working on another position you may be a better fit for. If you would like to discuss your qualifications for this role as well as discuss salary and compensation - just give us a call, we’d be happy to discuss!


  • All submissions received in strictest confidence. Both kpCompanies and First Children’s Finance are equal opportunity employers.

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