Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a leading national organization focusing on mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder, which affects over 21 million Americans, accounts for over 50% of the nation’s suicides every year, and costs $23 billion in lost workdays and other workplace losses.

Through our extensive online and print resources and our support groups and chapters, DBSA reaches millions of people each year with in-person and online peer support; current, readily understandable information about depression and bipolar disorder; and empowering tools focused on an integrated approach to wellness.

DBSA publishes in peer-reviewed medical journals and conducts surveys on issues of importance to individuals living with mood disorders and those treating these disorders.

DBSA’s prestigious 40-member Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders. SAB members review DBSA publications and programs for medical and scientific accuracy. In addition, SAB members present at DBSA conferences, author peer-reviewed manuscripts on behalf of the organization, and represent DBSA to the media.

DBSA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and depends upon public support to achieve its vital mission to empower and educate peers…and save lives. Roughly 85% of DBSA’s budget comes from charitable contributions, which include gifts and grants from corporations, foundations, individuals, and government agencies. The remaining 15% of DBSA’s budget comes from earned revenues, chapter affiliation and membership fees, program dues, contracted work in training and consultation, and event and publication fees.

DBSA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DBSA recognizes the unique ways identity, culture, and access affect people living with mood disorders. We strive to create safe and inclusive spaces for individuals to feel empowered on their own path to wellness. DBSA seeks to create equitable access to peer support services and mental health resources and advocate for all individuals with a lived experience with a mood disorder, regardless of cultural and social identity or systemic barriers.

Our Team Values


  • Perform at the highest standards. We strive for best in class.
  • Be honest in our interactions and develop trusting relationships.
  • Take personal, and where appropriate, team responsibility for results.
  • Acknowledge what we don’t know.


  • Demonstrate a willingness to continuously learn, grow, and change.
  • Celebrate our differences.
  • Be present, curious, and receptive to new and different ideas and situations.


  • Ask for help and reciprocate help when needed.
  • Respect each other’s perspectives, experiences, and sensitivities.
  • Be mindful of our individual impact on the work environment.
  • Speak with thoughtfulness. We think before we speak.


  • Show a willingness to give up personal ownership for the greater good/outcome.
  • Work together to foster individual and organizational growth.
  • Create an environment where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Have a holistic view of the work of the organization.
  • Remain flexible to achieve optimal outcomes.

Dedication to an Equitable Workplace

DBSA is committed to equal employment opportunity for all employees, and to providing employees with a work environment free of any form of discrimination and harassment. DBSA is committed to achieving a diverse workforce through our equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training. At DBSA, we make a point to celebrate our differences and respect each other’s unique perspectives. In fact, it is core to the work we do.

Sr. Director of Development

In collaboration with DBSA’s senior leadership and the board of directors, the Sr. Director will create and implement a development plan that guides all aspects of the organization’s fundraising strategy, including annual, corporate and foundations, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and biotech industry partners, individual gifts, and planned giving programs. The plan will build on DBSA’s current fundraising success and focus on implementing a proactive and strategic relationship management approach.

DBSA recently completed a feasibility study and is in the early planning stages of embarking on a multi-year comprehensive campaign to expand our peer support programs and establish an endowment, while also increasing annual giving. This plan includes creating a formal major gifts program with a focus on individual giving while building upon our current donor engagement strategies.

The Sr. Director of Development will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DBSA. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Sr. Director of Development will work collaboratively across the organization to ensure continued growth. The successful candidate will work to expand the culture of philanthropy at DBSA and continue the organization’s efforts to build a comprehensive development program that meaningfully engages existing donors and attracts new supporters. This leader will play an essential role in setting measurable, short- and long-term goals and establishing metrics to evaluate achievement. The Sr. Director will supervise three full-time fundraising staff members with the potential of adding a fourth staff member in fall 2024, focusing on major gifts. Additional development staffing will be based on the organization’s revenue growth.


The Sr. Director of Development position includes the following primary responsibilities:

Fundraising & Management

  • In partnership with the CEO, leads the development team by developing and implementing workplans, setting short- and long-term strategies, and determining revenue goals.
  • Motivates and supervises the development team members, establishing measurable goals and metrics for activity.
  • Builds upon the current comprehensive campaign plans for DBSA, encompassing annual giving, corporations, foundations, industry partners, major gifts, and planned giving programs. A successful track record with growing earned income programs is a plus.
  • Builds and manages an initial portfolio of 25-75 high-capacity individuals and organizations capable of giving six- to seven-figure gifts, moving these donors and prospects through the donor cycle. Assists the CEO and campaign co-chairs in developing and executing moves management strategies for high-profile donors.
  • Works collaboratively with the development team to steward and expand the current donor base and oversee growth strategies, while using strategic relationship management practices to track the activity, including providing strategic direction for the annual giving program and donor-based communications.
  • Serves as the primary staff liaison to the board’s development committee, developing and managing board fundraising strategies, educating board members about their fundraising role, and supporting their engagement. These opportunities may also extend to DBSA’s Scientific Advisory Board.
  • Coaches DBSA leadership, staff, and select volunteers in building and executing fundraising strategies and solicitations. Supports the fundraising role of the CEO by providing guidance and preparation on donor strategy and outreach.

Donor Relations

  • Works diligently to establish influential relationships nationwide within the mood disorder community, including industry partners, corporations, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals.
  • Identifies opportunities, relationships, and partnerships for new and increased revenue generation.
  • Serves as a cultural leader who can tell DBSA’s impactful story and inspire giving.

Operations & Systems

  • Manages the development department’s budget, utilizes fiscally responsible spending practices, and makes strategic decisions with the CEO and CFO to have the highest return on investment while working collaboratively to achieve organizational goals.
  • Evaluates, analyzes, and interprets fundraising data and information to advance development activities while applying fundraising best practices to DBSA’s work.
  • Serves as primary liaison with program staff to interpret information related to new and existing programming and alignment with funding prospects in all donor categories.
  • Fosters an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration, and oversees the professional development of fundraising staff, including initiating training and mentoring opportunities for staff to enhance their skillsets in fundraising and relationship management.
  • Identifies measurements necessary for fundraising, both qualitative and quantitative, and oversees the use of Raiser’s Edge data capture, analysis, and reporting.

Other duties

  • Develops and maintains positive, collaborative working relationships with the senior leadership team, staff, board, volunteers, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Travel (local and national) and attend evening and weekend events, as needed.
  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee of this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


  • These recommended qualifications and related work experience are suggestive only. They are not intended to limit or restrict employees or applicants in any way. They are guidelines for selection purposes; alternative qualifications may be substituted if sufficient to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position. The requirements of this position are subject to change with or without prior notice.
  • Successful fundraising track record of at least 10 years developing and implementing strategies resulting in organizational growth.
    3+ years of major gifts experience and knowledge of moves management cultivation strategies.
  • Employee and senior volunteer management experience (5+ years).
  • Knowledge and experience with fundraising database management, analysis, and reporting. Utilization of Raiser’s Edge NXT is a plus.
    Experience working in science, medicine, research, or mental health settings. Working with earned income partnerships, including pharmaceutical companies, is a plus.
  • Passion for the mission of DBSA.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


  • Salary Information: $125,000 – $150,000 annually, commensurate with experience.
    This is a full-time position with generous benefits, including health, dental, vision, disability, 401K, and life insurance.
    The position will primarily work standard hours of 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, with flexible start/end times possible. Periodic evening or weekend hours may be required.
  • Currently, this position will require two days (Monday & Wednesday) in the office. DBSA is headquartered in the Chicago Loop. The candidate may work the remaining workdays either from the office or remotely.


  • DBSA is committed to equal employment opportunity for all employees, and to providing employees with a work environment free of any form of discrimination and harassment. DBSA is committed to achieving a diverse workforce through our equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.
  • At DBSA, we make a point to celebrate our differences and respect each other’s unique perspectives. In fact, it is core to the work we do. DBSA encourages our employees to bring their authentic selves to work, where they receive a wholehearted welcome.

Please direct resumes and cover letters to Resumes without a cover letter will not be considered.