Chief Advancement Officer, Helen Keller Services


Helen Keller Services is a national organization whose mission is to enable individuals who are blind, visually impaired, DeafBlind, or have combined hearing and vision loss to live, work, and thrive in the communities of their choice. Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, and with services offered across the country, HKS offers programs through two divisions: Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC) and Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB).

Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC) is the only national comprehensive vocational and rehabilitation program that provides information, referral, support, and training exclusively to youths and adults who have a combined hearing and vision loss, their families, and the professionals who work with them.

Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) is a comprehensive rehabilitation program serving individuals of all ages, who are blind or visually impaired and who may have additional disabilities, living in the New York metropolitan area.

HKS has an annual operating budget of over $100 million and staff of approximately 300 across 11 locations throughout the US. It relies on funds from public programs (state and federal), grants, legacies, private donations, earnings from an investment portfolio, and fundraising activities.

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This position reports directly to ­­­­the Chief Executive Officer and leads the Development Team. Direct reports include Major Gifts Officer and Coordinator of Events, Director of Grants Management, and Government Relations Specialist.


The major focus of the Chief Advancement Officer is to cultivate relationships with corporations for the purpose of engaging the employees of the corporations in the HKS mission; implement strategies, including training, to support diversity among corporate workforces; work with HKS employment services to connect individuals who are blind, have low vision, and are DeafBlind with job opportunities; develop sponsorships and conduct fundraising. The Chief Advancement Officer will work closely with other departments to ensure that activities and agreements align with the organization’s goals and objectives.

Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

Corporate Relationships

  • Identify potential corporate partners and cultivate working relationships to address mutual goals including employee engagement, accessibility of products and services, training, sponsorships, and funding.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with corporations through regular communication and networking.
  • Create proposals and presentations in collaboration with marketing to effectively communicate and align goals and values.
  • Collaborate with HKS team members to ensure that sponsorship agreements are fulfilled; collaborate with marketing to ensure sponsors receive the agreed-upon benefits.
  • Monitor and report on the effectiveness of agreements and adjust strategies as needed.
  • Ensure compliance with agreements and that legal requirements are met.


  • Create and direct all aspects of development efforts, including the creation of a comprehensive fundraising strategic plan.
  • Work with Major Gifts Officer to develop and execute strategy for expanding donor base and major giving program.
  • Work with CEO, board chair, and other key board members to train, encourage, and support their efforts to develop major donors with a focus on corporate partnerships.
  • Oversee creating and writing of foundation, corporate, and government proposals, and solicitation materials; maintain a timeline of when contract deliverables are due.
  • Develop and ensure appropriate management systems which enable the conducting of large-scale fundraising solicitations, the subsequent recording and tracking of results, and provide effective stewardship for all donors.
  • Ensure that philanthropy, fund development, and major gift-giving are carried out in keeping with the organization’s values, mission, vision, and plans.
  • Oversee and grow special events to maximize the visibility of HKS and cultivate new potential donors.

Government Relations

  • Coordinate with the senior executive team, program managers/directors, as well as regional directors, to lobby and solicit local and state governments.
  • Oversee government grants, proposals, reports, and grant implementation.


  • Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in managing corporate sponsorships and CSR efforts in the private sector, corporate partnership management, or comparable development experience within the nonprofit sector.
  • Achievement in donor and funder identification and cultivation; able to generate revenue from corporations, federal and state agencies, individual donors, and foundations; demonstrated success driving revenue growth in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and leading high-performing teams and collaborating cross-functionally across an organization.
  • Excellent communicator; inspiring ambassador able to raise awareness both locally and nationally; ability to influence and engage a wide range of funders and build long-term relationships.
  • Passionate about increasing access to education, employment, independence, and community integration for persons with disabilities.
  • Flexibility to work at various locations based on need (Brooklyn, Sands Point, Hempstead); this position is not remote.
  • Out-of-state travel may be required.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.


Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.

To make a nomination, provide a referral, or for additional information, please use the contact information below. To apply, please submit a resume and/or vita, and cover letter to:


Coleman Lew Canny Bowen
6101 Carnegie Blvd., Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28209
Chris Shade, Consultant