Chief Development Officer (CDO) Salary

Salaries for Chief Development Officers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($103K) per year. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Women make up a slight majority of Chief Development Officers (54 percent) survey respondents. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to slightly more than half. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$70,980 - $179,254

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$70,980 - $179,254  
$0.00 - $61,534  
Profit Sharing
$3,600 - $10,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$70,333 - $193,355  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 245
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Job Description for Chief Development Officer (CDO)

The chief development officer plays an important role in most non-profit companies and organizations related to coordinating volunteers and funding. It is typically a high-ranking executive position. This individual is tasked with the responsibility of seeing to an organization’s development and success. The chief development officer, or CDO, most commonly works under the CEO, or chief executive officer. The CDO also works mainly with the development board.


Chief Development Officer (CDO) Tasks

  • Recommend short- and long-range fund development plans and programs that support the organization’s values, mission and objectives.
  • Participate in short- and long-term strategic and operational planning for the organization.
  • Ensure that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in keeping with the organization’s values, mission, vision and plans.
  • Plan, coordinate and assure implementation of strategies to develop donors and contributions in support of the organization.
  • Maintain accountability and compliance standards for donors and funding sources.

Chief Development Officer (CDO) Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Chief Development Officer (CDO)

Survey takers who work as Chief Development Officers typically report just a few professional skills. Most notably, facility with People Management and Strategic Planning are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 51 percent and 22 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Media / Public Relations. Those proficient in Fundraising are, more often than not, also skilled in Media / Public Relations.

Pay by Experience Level for Chief Development Officer (CDO)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Chief Development Officers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $82K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $96K. Professionals who claim 10 to 20 years of experience can secure some pretty cushy paychecks; the median for this group is a six-figure $106K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $134K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

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Experience Affects Chief Development Officer (CDO) Salaries

up arrow 29%

National Average

up arrow 7%

up arrow 21%

Skills That Affect Chief Development Officer (CDO) Salaries

People Management
up arrow 51%

Strategic Planning
up arrow 22%

National Average

up arrow 2%

Marketing Communications
up arrow 2%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 46 votes.


54 %
46 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 75%
vision benefits Vision: 55% employee benefits None: 7%