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. Women make up a slight majority of Chief Development Officers (54 percent) survey respondents. Job satisfaction for Chief Development Officers is high. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to slightly more than half. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$70,980 - $182,197
MEDIAN: $103,464

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
$70,980 - $182,197  
$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 - $196,367  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 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)

Just a handful of professional skills are reported by Chief Development Officers who took the survey. Most notably, facility with People Management and Strategic Planning are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 50 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Media / Public Relations. Those familiar with Fundraising also tend to know 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 with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $78K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $96K. Experienced professionals — those with 10 to 20 years in the field — see salaries in the six-figure territory, securing around $108K on average. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $134K on average.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Chief Development Officer (CDO) Salaries

up arrow 29%

National Average

up arrow 8%

up arrow 25%

Skills That Affect Chief Development Officer (CDO) Salaries

People Management
up arrow 50%

Strategic Planning
up arrow 21%

National Average

up arrow 3%

Marketing Communications
up arrow 3%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 48 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%