Chief Development & Communications Officer

Breakthrough Central Texas Remote
chief development communications communications officer communications fundraising community team revenue development communications strategy leadership executive director
January 19, 2023
Breakthrough Central Texas
Austin, TX


Founded in 2002, Breakthrough is a postsecondary access and completion nonprofit with the mission of supporting students to become first-generation college graduates. We start our partnership with students and their families early, in middle school and high school, and make a commitment to helping the student realize their goals of a postsecondary degree. By combining out-of-school learning experiences, advising, and a long-term commitment, we help students overcome barriers to success in the secondary and higher education system. We are student-centric, believing firmly in the potential of all students. We are committed for the long run, helping our students navigate the transition from middle school to high school to postsecondary institutions with a comprehensive and individualized approach to supporting their path to academic success. Breakthrough’s programs and services are effective and based on the evidence of research and in the lived experience of our students. Currently, Breakthrough Central Texas annually serves approximately 2,700 students across the greater Austin region and in colleges across the country.  

Breakthrough Central Texas is proud of the many, diverse students who work hard in school and participate in Breakthrough. Credit for their success goes first and foremost to the students and the family members who support them every day. While Breakthrough participants are consistently outperforming their peers in on-time high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment, and postsecondary degree and certificate attainment, the organization recognizes that more needs to be done to improve its programs and services. With our current strategic plan, the organization’s North Star is to end the inequity in college attainment rates across the greater Austin region. To reach that goal, Breakthrough is growing its core 12-year model to serve approximately 3,000 students in Central Texas by 2025 and investing in new strategies to expand its impact even further. 


By working for Breakthrough Central Texas, you will help students achieve their dreams of success and receive the high-quality education they deserve. Breakthrough is an organization committed to its students and recognizes that our greatest resource to support them is our dedicated and talented staff.  If you believe all young people deserve the opportunity to achieve postsecondary success and you desire to work at an organization committed to its employees and building the strongest team culture anywhere, then join us! 


The Chief Development & Communications Officer (CDCO) is responsible for developing and implementing fundraising and communications strategies and spearhead Breakthrough’s strategic revenue growth. The CDCO will expand and continue to diversify the organization’s fundraising capacity in both philanthropic and non-philanthropic revenue. The CDCO will be expected to successfully close $1M and larger gifts, run multi-million dollar campaigns, secure large government grants, and support our ability to market and communicate our work with current and potential stakeholders. The current revenue goal for FY 2023 is $9M and is expected to increase in future years. The CDCO is a member of Breakthorugh’s leadership team, reporting directly to the Executive Director, liaising with the Board of Trustees in their role as fundraisers and communicators, and overseeing a talented team of development and communications professionals working across multiple streams of work. Specific responsibilities of the Chief Development & Communications Officer include:

Fundraising Leadership and Strategy 

  • Develop and execute a multiyear strategy to build Breakthrough’s revenue in both philanthropic and non-philanthropic sources, including but not limited to multiyear campaigns, increasing engagement of individuals, corporations, and foundations, securing government investments through city, county, district, IHE, and federal sources of dollars, and evaluating opportunities for fee for service and earned income revenue. 
  • As part of that multi year strategy, develop and oversee Breakthrough’s approach to community-centric and ethical fundraising that supports the values of the organization and its mission and vision.
  • Prepare and execute annual development plans that could include annual campaigns, major gifts portfolios, donor cultivation and stewardship activities, prospect identification, corporate solicitation and engagement,  government grant and research opportunities, corporate and family foundation grant management, fundraising events, planned giving, and endowments. 
  • Review and evaluate existing fundraising goals and strategies and identify opportunities for growth and improved efficiency.
  • Manage the team to successfully complete an annual grants calendar, including proposals, submissions, and reporting. 
  • Manage the team to maintain and improve the fundraising database system to ensure accurate and timely data collection, coding, analysis, reporting and acknowledgement, including online and credit card giving.
  • Provide regular reports to executive director, Board of Directors, funders and other community members, including results to date, recent activity, priority actions, and progress on fundraising strategies and campaigns. 
  • Ensure community engagement opportunities, including community programs and fundraising events, are well designed to meet the needs of all stakeholders from students to donors 

Communications and Marketing

  • Develop Breakthrough’s strategy for effective marketing and communications to support the organization’s revenue goals and strategic direction, including its position as a leader in postsecondary access and success and in educational equity.
  • Oversee the team’s execution of marketing and communications efforts, including but not limited to brand imaging and messaging, website content, press coverage, newsletters, annual report, mailings, email, material and collateral creation, and social media.
  • Represent Breakthrough to the community by coordinating opportunities and serving as speaker and representative at external fairs, group visits, corporate luncheons, awards ceremonies, cultivation visits, etc.
  • Support the communications team to serve as a resource to other departments in their efforts to create materials, communicate to students, families, and partners, and attract students, families, volunteers, and partners to support the organization's ability to realize its missions.

Organizational Leadership 

  • Support and guide the Board of Trustees in their cultivation and solicitation of donations in a community centric fundraising model.
  • In partnership with the Executive Director and other members of the leadership, develop and cultivate the organization’s vision for realizing its mission alongside the community.
  • Design and oversee staffing structure and organizational systems that improve impact and efficiency of the development department and how it interacts with the rest of the organization.
  • Develop and manage departmental budget that support the strategy of the development and communications department.
  • Provide oversight and support of the Breakthrough Internship Network as it seeks to expand opportunities for internships for Breakthrough students in companies across the Austin region. Support with other initiatives as needed.
  • Support other organizational initiatives as needed with a lens to developing sustaining funding and Breakthrough’s position in the market across the range of community stakeholders. 
  • Perform other job-related duties as required,


The CDCO will report to the Executive Director.  This role will have five direct reports and four indirect reports. 


  • Competitive salary between $90,000-$140,000 depending on experience and qualifications
  • Health, dental and vision insurance; Breakthrough pays 100% of employee only premiums 
  • Long-term disability and life insurance 
  • Matching 401K retirement plan 
  • Thirty days of annualized PTO 
  • Generous leave policy

Breakthrough Central Texas is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its relations with its applicants, staff members, and families, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. People of diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

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