Charles E. Smith Life Communities,
Vice President of Development and Community Engagement

Rockville, MD


Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC) is one of the largest and most highly regarded nonprofit elder care organizations in the nation. Originally founded in 1910 as the Hebrew Home for the Aged, CESLC now serves 1,100 older adults daily in multiple residences situated on its beautiful 38-acre campus in Rockville, Maryland.

With an operating budget of over $90 million, CESLCs 1,000 team members include: physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, dining and recreational staff and others, who live the organizational value of derech eretz (service excellence) to fulfill the CESLC mission of providing a continuum of quality services for older adults and their families.

Located on campus is the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, offering 556 skilled nursing beds (including a 103 bed Post Acute Care Center) at two separate but adjacent facilities; Smith-Kogod Residence and Wasserman Residence. Hebrew Home is the largest nursing home in the mid-Atlantic region and enjoys a 97% resident satisfaction rating, a five-star quality rating, and works in close alignment with its referring hospitals to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults in Montgomery County, MD.

Additional residences and programs on the CESLC campus include:
- Cohen-Rosen House, a national award winning, 18 unit assisted living residence for older adults who are experiencing cognitive decline

- ElderSAFE" Center, a shelter, education, and advocacy center for older adults who experienced financial, physical or emotional abuse by a spouse, family member or caregiver

- Hirsh Health Center, an outpatient clinic for primary medical care and rehabilitation therapies

- Home Care Solutions, a private-duty home service agency jointly owned with Augustine Home Health

- Landow House, a 60 unit assisted living residence

- Revitz House, a 250 unit, affordable independent living residence (HUD subsidized)

- Ring House, a 250 unit, market-rate independent living residence


Since our founding, Charles E. Smith Life Communities has enjoyed significant growth and support to expand and modernize facilities and services to meet the changing needs of the growing population of older adults. Under Charles E. Smiths leadership and with his philanthropic engagement, the Rockville campus was constructed in the 1960s, to house the Hebrew Home as well as the Jewish Social Services Agency and the Jewish Community Center. In 2006, in
recognition of a $12M gift to the Hebrew Home from the family of Charles E. Smith, the organization adopted its current name, Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC).

As we look to the future, CESLC is exploring expanding to an additional location in the region and broadening the services and programs it provides. The leadership of CESLC is currently updating its strategic map for 2018-2020, based upon six pillars of strength: quality care, experience, people, growth, financial performance, and community.

To learn more about CESLC, go to

To be viewed and supported by their community as a leader and provider of choice in delivering innovative and compassionate services for elders.

- Tikkun Olam  Repairing the World Through Acts of Kindness through kindness , compassion, caring

- Tzedek  Justice  Doing What is Right through integrity, ethical practices, accountability, responsible stewardship, and generosity of spirit

- Limud  A Commitment to Growth and Learning through quality, competence, and personal and professional growth

- Derech Eretz  Fulfilling our Mission through service excellence, respect, and dignity


The culture of CESLC is one of its most distinguishing qualities. Unequivocally dedicated to delivering exceptional quality/customer service and to providing an excellent work environment, CESLC has embraced an organization-wide Drive for Excellence initiative that is deeply embedded in their operations.

CESLC benefits from an active, engaged Board of Governors that works in close partnership with senior management. The culture of CESLC emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, open and honest communication, and encourages creativity and initiative. No surprises is a common refrain; all situations, including difficult ones, are addressed openly in a truthful, direct way. Warmth, compassion, dignity, respect, and strong bonds of trust are fundamental to the organization. Humor is an important element as well.

Our culture is also fast-paced, farsighted, strategic, and data-driven. Being resident-centered and providing the highest quality services possible are an absolute imperative. CESLC is a large, sophisticated, and complex organization that very successfully integrates a strong mission-driven ethic with quality care, tight financial controls, and effective, businesslike management.


Reporting directly to the CEO, the Vice President of Development and Community Engagement (Vice President) serves as the chief development officer, tasked with leading all fundraising programs and strategy development in alignment with the Board of Governors, key stakeholders, CESLC senior management member, and the philanthropic community.

Fundraising is a priority for the CEO and the CESLC Board of Governors, and hence the Vice President plays the critical role in providing expertise and leadership in expanding the organizations current fundraising capacity. The Vice President is responsible for developing and implementing a new development plan with clear strategies and supporting action plans to achieve financial growth in the following categories: major gifts, planned giving, direct mail, corporate sponsorships, and the annual (Guardian) campaign. Additionally, the Vice President will support the CEO with creating meaningful experiences for the organizations lay leaders and oversee the development and delivery of impactful community engagement and volunteer opportunities.

Integral to the success of the Vice President will be the ability to develop and manage an effective fundraising program and team that will ultimately allow him/her to devote a majority of their own time to working externally in developing and successfully soliciting major gift prospects.

CESLC has a storied history with deep roots in the Greater Washington philanthropic community. While maintaining and growing those existing relationships, the Vice President must be creative in developing strategies that will achieve the acquisition of new donors who represent the next generation of philanthropists.

The Vice President must be focused, strategic, and possess exceptional planning, management and interpersonal skills. The Vice President will direct and manage the Development Office, which presently comprises eight (8) team members. S/he must be a skillful leader, effective in recruiting, supervising, and mentoring a group of professionals.

As a key member of the senior management group, s/he will participate in all strategic and policy decisions.



- Establish goals and create and implement strategic plans for all fundraising activities, including: major gifts, planned giving, direct mail, corporate sponsorships, and the annual (Guardian) campaign. Work with the CEO, Development Committee Chair, board members, other stakeholders and staff, to successfully execute the plans.

- Build and grow a fundraising program that draws financial support from a diverse platform of sources to ensure that CESLC can rely upon diverse funding streams.

- Ensure that internal systems are in place for effective donor acquisition and donor stewardship programs.

- Assure that existing and new development initiatives, campaigns, events, and outreach programs engage CESLCs existing donors, attract new donors and encourage current donors into higher levels of support.

- Establish and implement clear strategies, that include the effective engagement of the CEO and lay leaders (as necessary) to cultivate and solicit major gifts.

- Serve as a dynamic leader in building and maintaining a successful fundraising culture among CESLC board members, stakeholders, and the philanthropic community.

- Keeps abreast of industry trends relating to philanthropy and community engagement.

- Lead the Development Department to develop and achieve strategic and operational goals. Allocate resources within the office to meet fundraising goals for both staff-driven and volunteer-driven programs.

- Recruit, train, supervise, and mentor department to ensure a knowledgeable, skilled, motivated and accountable fundraising team.

- Lead and foster a culture that promotes teamwork, professional growth in alignment with CESLCs mission and values, while pursuing an effective fundraising program that supports the departments fundraising and community engagement goals/key results.

- Oversee all fundraising events; align awards and recognition programs to recognize donors, volunteers and other members of the CESLC community for their efforts.

- Serve as an articulate and highly active and visible spokesperson to the donor community and a variety of key constituencies to enhance recognition and support for CESLC.

- Identify and implement best practices and new technologies to incorporate into existing development activities in order to achieve departments key results/goals.

- Provide appropriate oversight of development systems and procedures; control expenses associated with CESLC fundraising and work closely with the CFO to assure accurate reporting of financial results.

- Work in partnership with the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing to ensure that CESLCs marketing and communications strategies align with the CESLC case for support as understood by private donors, government funding agencies, foundations and other stakeholders.

- Serve as the staff liaison to the Development Committee including:

- Foster and maintain a meaningful working relationship with the Committee Chair and coordinate meeting schedules, agendas, and production of supplemental materials and reports.

- Work in partnership with the CEO and other senior management staff in support of the CESLCs strategic map and priority projects.


- Minimum of 10 years senior experience directing a large comprehensive fundraising program in a similarly sized and complex organization.

- A proven track record of success, innovation, and progressive accomplishments in fundraising with experience in all or most areas, such as annual, capital and endowment campaigns, major gifts, planned giving, and institutional giving.

- Demonstrated success as a development executive with the ability to effectively create and implement a fundraising strategic plan and operation in cooperation with engaged lay leaders.

- Proven success in asking for and closing major gifts and in building and maintaining long-term relationships with major individual donors and foundations.

- A team manager who equally understands the realities of building consensus in decision-making and of effecting follow-through.

- Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and Raisers Edge software


- Team-oriented personality and style.

- Strong leadership ability and skills necessary for developing and sustaining a culture of accountability where the professional and support staff are motivated to achieve the organizations key results/goals within the context of the organizations values.

- Knowledge of and sensitivity to Jewish culture.

- Presence and high comfort level in interacting effectively with sophisticated volunteer leadership and other important constituencies.

- Excellent written, interpersonal and verbal communication and presentation skills.

- Outstanding organizational skills, with the ability to complete projects on a timely basis and to manage multiple priorities.

- Minimum of an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university.


David Hinsley Cheng, Managing Partner
Tani Weissman, Junior Associate

Please submit a resume and cover letter
Fax: 212-983-1687

This search began in September 2017 and is currently active. This position description is based upon material provided by Charles E. Smith Life Communities, an equal opportunity employer.