Aug 31, 2022

Chief Development Officer

$120,000 - $130,000 yearly
  • Leveled Talent
  • Los Angeles or New York
Full-Time Business Development Fundraising/Development Sales

Job Description

About Ghetto Film School

Ghetto Film School (GFS) is an award-winning nonprofit founded in 2000 to educate, develop and celebrate the next generation of great storytellers. Emphasizing grit, quality, practical skill-building, and college and career readiness, GFS supports over 8,000 ambitious, talented youth and young professionals each year through a groundbreaking curriculum focused on aptitude in the screen industries and 21s -Century Creative Economy readiness.100% free of charge, the diverse student body is 55% Hispanic and 35% Black and range from 14 to 34 years of age.

With locations in New York City (est. 2000), Los Angeles (est. 2014), and London (est. 2020), GFS equips students for top universities and careers in the creative industries through two tracks: the Fellows Program – an introductory education program for high school students, and the Roster – early-career support for alumni and young professionals. Our Fellows Program is a 30-month cinematic storytelling course for high school students. The Roster provides opportunities for GFS alumni and other young professionals so that media professions become more accessible to diverse future generations of visual storytellers. 


GFS has a current annual operating budget of approximately $9.2M. Sources include charitable support from corporations, foundations, individual donors, and government, as well as fee for service. In recent years, GFS has experienced significant growth. Its current strategic plan outlines a bold path forward, deepening investments in its field-leading programs, strengthening its roots in the communities it serves, and building its next-generation structure and staff. Three areas of critical investment underpin this plan. In addition to annual fundraising, a one-time catalytic campaign is envisioned to fund these investments, paving the way to secure GFS’ future and expand visibility and opportunity for the thousands of young visionaries impacted by its programs each year.

The Opportunity

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will drive the strategy and management of the GFS fundraising program. They will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), board, the Executive Directors of GFS New York, Los Angeles, and London, education and development teams, to create and lead the implementation of a plan to increase revenue sources for GFS. GFS is a hybrid workplace, and this position will be based in New York City or Los Angeles. 

The CDO is a key member of the Executive Team, reporting to the CEO, and managing the Marketing and Talent Relations lead. The CDO will also work closely with the Manager of Client Records and Accounts, Events Manager, Grant Writing Consultant, Program Evaluation, and Graphic Design consultants. 

The CDO is responsible for the following areas:


  • Foster GFS’ culture of philanthropy through collaborative partnerships with the senior leadership team and colleagues across the organization to advance institution-wide initiatives
  • Create and execute GFS’ annual fundraising plan to secure and increase the annual operating support and the reserve fund
  • Provide vision, direction, and management for GFS’ Development department, including major gifts, special events, annual appeals, institutional giving, special projects, and catalyst campaign planning
  • Support the CEO and Executive Directors of GFS NY, LA, and LDN in managing and stewarding their donor portfolios, preparing, and accompanying them at solicitations, as appropriate
  • Manage a personal portfolio of major donors and prospective donors
  • Identify new funding sources and develop creative strategies to build pipelines, engage new prospects, and re-engage lapsed donors and supporters
  • Ensure best practices and oversee department budget, administration, and performance evaluations
  • Lead the development and implementation of a $7.5 million catalyst campaign
  • Oversee the production of GFS’ annual fall Benefit in Los Angeles
  • Work with the Marketing and Talent Relations lead and Event Consultants to incorporate event attendees and donors into the implementation of The Donor Cycle

Institutional Giving

  • Seek, research, and cultivate potential foundation and corporate funders
  • Collaborate with the Grants Writing Consultant to complete applications 
  • Write reports and partner with the Director of Operations to prepare financial materials for all applications and grant management
  • Ensure timely submission of proposals, including advance review and approval by the Executive Directors and CEO, as appropriate

  • Work with the Marketing and Talent Relations lead and the Events Consultant to track revenue progress for the Benefit within a Salesforce campaign; reconcile Benefit revenue with the Finance team
  • Qualify and cultivate prospective donors and build GFS’ donor pipeline through research

Program Evaluation

  • Lead the design and implementation of a new, longitudinal program evaluation process at GFS with WolfBrown and Goldsmith Strategies. Over the next two years, WolfBrown and Goldsmith Strategies will develop research tools for the Fellows and Roster programs that will be embedded into GFS’ ongoing operations, reporting, and communication materials. 
  • Serve as liaison between WolfBrown and Goldsmith Strategies and the GFS team

Hiring Organization

Ghetto Film School


Ideal Qualifications

  • Enthusiasm for GFS’ organizational culture, mission, and strategic direction 
  • Dynamic self-starter with a track record of success in development leadership roles, preferably in film and the arts
  • Passionate about film, storytelling, and arts education
  • Proven track record in closing 6-7 figure sales or gifts in excess of 5 million dollars annually
  • Direct experience building and maintaining a robust pipeline of donors
  • Strategic thinking, diplomacy, and innovative approaches to problem-solving
  • A charismatic leader who builds strong relationships with others
  • Excellent cold pitching, presenting, writing, negotiating, and closing skills
  • An engaging spokesperson for GFS
  • Ideally, knowledge of the philanthropic, business, and government communities in New York, Los Angeles, and/or London
  • Sound judgment in maintaining the strictest confidentiality of donor information
  • Ability to inspire and mentor others
  • Ability to drive strategy, as well as being hands-on 
  • Knowledge of commonly used fundraising software
  • Ability to work well with others remotely
  • Flexibility and a positive attitude
  • Ability to travel to New York, Los Angeles, and London

Industry/Service Area

Arts/Culture and Humanities, Education, Youth Development



Application Instructions

We are excited to review your resume! To apply, please submit a resume and detailed cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position to

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so it is in the candidates’ best interest to apply as soon as possible. 

Please note: Only applicants who submit their resumes through our search partner Leveled Talent will be considered. 

Apply Now