Chief Development Officer - Vibrant Emotional Health

  • New York, NY
  • Full Time
  • Executive

About Vibrant Emotional Health

Formerly the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC), Vibrant Emotional Health has been at the forefront of promoting emotional well-being for all people for more than 50 years. As leaders, advocates, educators, and innovators in mental health, we have been raising awareness and offering support to everyone who is struggling. We work every single day to help save lives and assist people to get care anytime, anywhere, and in any way that works for them. We are unwavering in our belief that everyone can achieve emotional wellness with the right care and support. As part of our work, we administer the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in emotional distress across the United States. With nearly $85M in revenue, Vibrant operates a diverse portfolio of more than 30 national and local programs that offer life-changing support to millions of people every year.

Vibrant is currently undergoing a transformation, expanding both in size and programming. As the administrator of National Suicide Prevention Lifeline since its inception in 2005, Vibrant recently won the grant to launch a three-digit code for the Lifeline, 988, which will replace the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Vibrant knows that a national three-digit phone number can improve access to vital crisis services, improve the efficacy of suicide prevention efforts, and reduce the stigma about mental health and getting help. 

Through our state-of-the-art technology-enabled services, community wellness programs, and advocacy and education work, we are building a society in which emotional wellness can be a reality for everyone. For more information, please visit

About the Opportunity

Reporting to the CEO, this is an exciting opportunity for a driven, experienced, and innovative professional to establish a robust and sophisticated development function, building upon a recently completed growth plan and partnership with a global fundraising consulting firm. 

In this newly created role, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) will build out the team and develop a fundraising strategy, that works across all platforms, to expand and diversify Vibrant’s donor base/pipeline, with a particular emphasis on raising unrestricted funds. The CDO will work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives in bringing emotional health and crisis support to all people. In addition, the CDO will work closely with the Board of Directors and support Board members as they take on more active fundraising roles.

An ability to clearly communicate Vibrant’s mission, collaborate with colleagues, and build sustaining relationships with donors will be key in achieving success. The CDO will work closely with the President & CEO and the Board of Directors in all development and fundraising endeavors, as well collaborate with marketing and communications, new business development, and other Vibrant leadership and departments.  

It is expected that the CDO will not only bring to life the newly created growth plan, but will also systematically and significantly increase the department’s capacity for successful fundraising and be energized by the opportunity to both curate a team and strengthen the culture of philanthropy at Vibrant. 

Areas of Leadership

  • Executive leadership: Serve as a key member of the Leadership team, responsible for all fundraising and development function activities. Partner with other senior leaders, Board members, and development staff to continue to grow Vibrant’s reach and impact.
  • Raising funds: Manage a portfolio of top prospects and donors. Identify prospective individual and corporate donors and develop strategies to cultivate those relationships. Initiate and build strong donor relationships, maintain communications with donors and Board members, and collaborate with outside organizations to effectively execute fundraising initiatives for Vibrant. 
  • Vision, build, and implement a strategy for advancement at Vibrant: Develop and implement a comprehensive development plan, building on the recent growth plan, and including a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors, acknowledging gifts through public and private recognition, and addressing nuanced fundraising in government restricted brands. Set the strategy for and manage fundraising efforts, including digital, peer to peer, major gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation support, volunteer management, special events, and development communications.
  • Establish the structure, systems, and processes to build a thriving development function: Develop and build out the systems and infrastructure to create a high performing, successful development function. Establish a development communications strategy, including appeals, updates, and individual outreach, in partnership with the Marketing and Communications teams. Maintain donor files and giving statistics; provide and present statistical analysis to the Board and senior leaders. Manage systems and software to track and cultivate donors and prospects, including donor database and wealth screening tools.

Key Qualifications

  • Mission & Values Alignment: Deep belief in the mission and vision of Vibrant Emotional Health, its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and building an anti-racist organization. A commitment to work with individuals and families to help them achieve mental and emotional wellbeing. Alignment with our core values: lead the way; respect; commitment to excellence; be well. 
  • Executive & Organizational Leadership: Phenomenal organizational leader with a track record of working with and through other executive leaders and members of an organization to drive strategy at the organizational level. Leadership experience must include effective change management, vision setting, and innovation, and setting clear priorities, goals, and road maps at the enterprise level and for teams.
  • Team Leadership: Proven ability to manage and develop a thriving team of professionals at various levels. Astute driver of strategy, including managing teams through strategic pivots and changes. Able to engage and collaborate professionally with all levels of staff, board members, and constituencies.
  • Fundraising Expertise: Proven ability to set and drive inclusive and anti-racist fundraising strategies at the organizational level. Track record of building sustainable, successful fundraising programs. Ability to secure unrestricted funding at the six and seven figure level. Digitally savvy, and ability to leverage all of the fundraising tools of the moment to both raise funds and elevate an organization’s profile. An adept storyteller, able to motivate and inspire donors and stakeholders to action and support.
  • System & Process Development & Implementation: Experience leading the successful development and implementation of fundraising systems, processes, and infrastructure.

Vibrant Emotional Health is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to veteran status, uniformed service member status, race, creed, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, national origin, marital status, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, caregiver status or any other category protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

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