Chief Development Officer (GSP)

About GSP

The Texas Hill Country between San Antonio and Austin west of Interstate 35 is among the fastest growing regions in the country. Home to one of the most prolific freshwater sources in the world – the Edwards Aquifer – and to one of the largest concentrations of unique and endangered species in the world, this landscape along the eastern edge of the Hill Country is as unique and sensitive as it is beautiful. This “Country of 1100 springs” includes among others the four historic “fountain” springs that gave rise to the cities of Austin, San Marcos, New Braunfels and San Antonio. These ancient springs, among the largest of the Great Springs of Texas, are depicted on a 4,300-year old rock art pictograph in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, the oldest known map of Texas. They offer a compelling focus for a broad-scale regional conservation effort in the urbanizing I-35 corridor.  

The natural areas in this region are under pressure as never before from a large and growing influx of people who are drawn to it for many of the same reasons it has drawn people for over 12,000 years: good water, natural abundance, beauty, mild climate. How can we accommodate the influx of people without sacrificing this bountiful, beautiful land and its sacred waters? Our answer is the Great Springs Project, a bold, one-of-a-kind effort to create a corridor of conservation and watershed protection lands between San Antonio and Austin.  The result will be a “crown-jewel” first-of-its-kind public space in the heart of Texas. Working with local partners to align and expand collective efforts through this larger, more regional and compelling vision, the Great Springs Project will help inspire more action and enable us all to tap into public and private funding that might not otherwise be available.

The Great Springs Project, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit, has offices in San Antonio and Austin.

The Role of the Chief Development Officer

Job Purpose

Plan and lead all aspects of fundraising and the development team while collaborating with the CEO to develop and implement revenue strategies for Great Springs Project.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Development Officer (CDO) serves as a vital leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting the Great Springs Project and how it carries out its mission. The ideal candidate for Chief Development Officer is an experienced, entrepreneurial leader for a visionary regional land and water conservation initiative who will lead external communications and fundraising success for Great Springs Project. The CDO will design and implement a comprehensive plan for external communications while developing key relationships through cultivating, soliciting and stewarding philanthropic support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

The CDO will have primary responsibility for establishing and implementing the infrastructure to grow our early-stage development plan through major gifts, grants, special events, corporate and foundation support. S/he will grow and diversify GSP’s donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives.

S/he also oversees the Development & Communications team in creating external communications for the organization including maintaining the website, writing and executing quarterly newsletters, creating and implementing social media strategy, publicizing the work and financial support of the organization, overseeing messaging and visual documentation of GSP programming and all other events.

Ideal Candidate

  • Experience with and ability to raise funds through various combinations of philanthropy, investment and/or public funding sources
  • Ability to work cooperatively as well as lead, motivate and mentor a team of staff and/or volunteers for success including partnering with diverse groups of people and organizations at all levels
  • Background in one or more of: development, finance, business, nonprofit, or governmental sectors with knowledge and experience in private and public finance, commercial real estate, and/or business startups
  • Experience directing a major program, whole system, or other projects of strategic importance
  • Experience working with highly effective, multi-disciplinary teams and meeting deadlines
  • Ability to think both strategically and operationally
  • Ability to manage multiple, changing priorities in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong written and verbal communication and project management skills are essential
  • Personal passion for land and water protection and conservation

Primary Responsibilities

  • Support and partner with the CEO and board members on all major fundraising initiatives
  • Oversee and research funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position Great Springs Project ahead of major funding changes or trends
  • Assist in the development of grant requests from both public and private sources
  • Ensure adequate funding for operations and growth
  • Interface and engage diverse donor groups and direct fundraising efforts that yield high results
  • Actively work with the CEO and development staff to implement and continuously evaluate progress for a comprehensive development strategy
  • Have primary responsibility for development and execution of all proposals
  • Hire, train, develop, lead, and mentor the development team
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the development program
  • Manage and mentor development staff, including establishing and communicating fundraising goals, providing leadership on major gift cultivation and solicitation strategies and establishing regular performance evaluations
  • Provide the visionary leadership and management to assure that organization is well-respected, self-sufficient, and financially secure
  • Represent the organization and its mission to funders, supporters, community leaders, and the community at large
  • Establish and maintain relationships with various organizations throughout the state and utilize those relationships to strategically enhance the organization’s mission


  • Degree from an accredited college or university (Bachelor's or higher) in a relevant field
  • 5+ years of demonstrated ability to cultivate and successfully solicit 7-figure philanthropic gifts
  • Demonstrated ability to apply successful fundraising techniques, including networking, cultivation, solicitation and donor stewardship
  • Familiarity with complex financial “deals” including real estate, impact investing and/or blended financing sources
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) and public speaking skills
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight and also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside of the organization
  • Working knowledge of donor database procedures and best practices for successful use in a well-rounded fundraising program
  • High energy and passion for a natural conservation mission is essential
  • Knowledge of both natural and cultural resource management
  • In depth knowledge of corporate governance principles and managerial best practices
  • An analytical mind capable for “out-of-the-box” thinking to solve problems

Physical Demands

While performing this job employees may occasionally be required to talk, stand or sit for long periods of time, walk, climb stairs, key data, stoop, twist, bend, crawl, speak and hear. As GSP’s mission focus includes hiking, rivers and springs, it is expected that candidates for this role actively participate in hiking and swimming.  The physical demands and work environment listed here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable a person with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 Additional Information


  • Competitive salary & benefits package to be negotiated with qualified finalist(s)

Time & Location

  • Full time, with flexible schedule
  • Preferred residence in San Antonio, Austin or anywhere along the I-35 corridor with the ability to travel frequently within the region, regardless of home base.

To Apply

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, resume with a minimum of three professional references, and if desired, letter(s) of support to [email protected]


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