Chelsea, MA

Chief Development Officer, Roca Inc.

The Organization


Roca’s mission is to be a relentless force in disrupting incarceration and poverty by partnering with young adults, the police, and systems at the center of urban violence to create safety, address trauma, and find hope.

We relentlessly find and work with the people who drive the most violence, in the places they are, and work with them over time to support them in changing behaviors that perpetuate urban violence in order to help them find the peace they need to thrive. 

Who We Serve: 16-to-24 year olds who are the primary victims and/or drivers of urban violence. These young people:

·       are involved in criminal justice system;

·       have no high-school degree/GED and/or have low literacy skills;

·       have no formal/sustained employment history;

·       are involved with guns, gangs, and drugs;

·       have failed out or dropped out of programs, schools, and jobs; and,

·       may be young parents. 

These young people have experienced extensive trauma. Their fear does not turn off. Mistreatment and neglect have shaped their worldview and they are hyper-vigilant about threats. This level of trauma makes it extremely difficult for Roca’s young people to engage, without significant intervention, in helpful services that other youth may be able to access with ease.

Roca’s Intervention Model, grounded in CBT, has generated impressive results with the young people most likely to drive crime and violence. Roca and many partners in the field[1] believe our program model has national relevance for our most traumatized young people who are not ready, willing, or able to be served in existing educational, life skills or workforce development programs for youth.

Consistent with this research, Roca’s approach is rooted in understanding brain development, neuroplasticity, and the impact of trauma on the brain; built on the foundational theories of Cognitive Behavioral Theory, Stages of Change and Systems Change; and guided by the following beliefs:

  •  Violence is the result of unmet basic needs, unaddressed trauma, and lack of connection and understanding. We must impact violence to impact poverty;
  • When we understand the impact of trauma on brain development and how it affects thinking, feeling, and doing, we can create and improve the ways in which we work to heal trauma and build skills that help people move toward change;
  • People only change when they are ready, but people don’t just “get ready” when they are stuck in survival mode and are unsafe;
  • Behaviors have consequences and we are all accountable for our behaviors.  When we can learn to slow down and act from intention, we often do better;
  • The majority of urban violence is driven by a small number of people in predictable places, and triggered by well understood behaviors (gangs, drugs, guns);
  • When young parents have the skills they need to regulate themselves they are better prepared to successfully parent their children
  • Systems change cannot happen unless people change within those systems; and,
  •  Reducing urban violence is a fundamental measure of racial and economic justice.

Knowing this, Roca does not wait for young people or systems to come to us.  We relentlessly outreach and build relationships with young people to create safety and stability; use cognitive behavioral theory and peacemaking circles to address trauma; help young adults build the skills they need to change their behaviors; partner with systems so we can all get better at supporting these young people; and, provide opportunities to practice skills, relapse, and repeat.  We do this in order to help young people address their trauma, stay out of prison, and get and keep jobs – and we work with systems partners to impact policy and practice changes that help the highest risk young people improve their lives.

Governed by a 12-member Board of Directors, Roca has steadily increased its annual revenue to $17.1M ($14.1M in Massachusetts and $3M in Maryland) through several philanthropic and government-funded sources, including: federal and state contracts, pay-for-success contracting, private family foundations, corporations and individual donors. Over the next several years, Roca’s development efforts will be focused on increasing individual and corporate philanthropy, which will contribute to the organization’s continued recent growth.

Roca’s administrative offices are located in Chelsea, MA with program locations in Boston, MA, Lynn, MA, Holyoke, MA, Springfield, MA and Baltimore, Maryland.  The Young Men’s Program operates in all of the locations. The Young Mother’s Program is currently operating in the Chelsea and Springfield locations.

[1]     Key partners include Urban Institute, Abt Associates, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, the U.S. Center for the Study of Social Policy, Results for America, Open Fields, and more

Position Overview


This is a rare opportunity for a bold, entrepreneurial, and experienced fundraising professional to join a high impact organization at a transformational moment. Roca Inc., has an extraordinary track record of results and creating real change in the lives of high-risk, marginalized youth, and has recently expanded its reach to Baltimore, bringing a range of new opportunities and potential supporters.

The Chief Development Officer, will work in close partnership with Founder and CEO Molly Baldwin, the Board of Directors (National and Baltimore), and Roca staff and partners to develop and implement comprehensive fundraising and revenue generating strategies, with a particular emphasis on corporate and individual funding. The Chief Development Officer will join a collaborative, and networked experienced team that includes expertise in outcomes based funding, government funding, foundation and corporate support, key events, and individual support.


The Chief Development Officer will be an experienced and charismatic leader who will take a hands-on approach to building a best-in-class development program. Specific responsibilities will include:

•      Providing leadership and coordination to the networked team focused on revenue development and fundraising.

•     Working closely with the Roca Board of Directors and key staff to provide strategic direction and innovation to the revenue equation for Roca and expanding partnerships with foundations and corporations.

•     Expanding the culture of philanthropy at Roca by serving as a senior advisor to the CEO on all issues related to development and providing effective leadership to the development team as well as the Board of Directors.

•     Leading Roca’s Board in the process of identifying and seizing near-and long-term opportunities for stewardship, expanding revenue, and organizational visibility, ultimately creating a foundation for long-term financial sustainability.

•     Representing Roca in the donor community, deepening existing donor relationships and building new ones.

•     Building fundraising presence, networks, and credibility in key markets, with the ultimate goal of ensuring long-term sustainable funding for Roca in Massachusetts, Baltimore, and future endeavors.

•     Growing individual and corporate giving from approximately $1M in FY’19 to $3M annually over the next 3 – 4 years in Massachusetts.

•     Continually evaluating and improving all fundraising systems, workflows, and processes to ensure maximum effectiveness.

•     Planning, writing and implementing development and fundraising plan including individual gifts, major gifts, corporate support, events, and planned giving.

•     Supervising, coaching and developing several staff.


The ideal candidate will also bring a genuine passion for Roca’s mission coupled with deep experience driving fundraising success and a desire to play a critical role in Roca’s long-term growth trajectory.

·       Bachelor’s degree and/or related experience.

·       10-plus years of experience in a fundraising capacity.

·       This is a full-time position located in Chelsea, MA. Willingness to travel to other sites required.

·       Demonstrated ability to develop and implement comprehensive fundraising strategies that include a range of funding sources and result in organizational growth.

·       Proven success and ability to prospect, pursue, and cultivate new individual and corporate donors, experience closing four- five- and six-figure gifts.

·       Demonstrated experience raising a minimum of $2 million per year.

·       Knowledge of donor database management preferably detailed knowledge of Salesforce.

·       The ability to serve as an effective thought partner who knows how to set others up for success.

·       Previous experience working with Boards of Directors on enhancing fundraising capacity.

·       Ability to be flexible and adaptable with work schedule based on development events.

·       Ability to positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives.

·       Ability to multitask and take initiative.

·       Strong strategic thinking, planning, and execution skills, with the ability to take an idea from conception to implementation, collaborating with peers and partners to achieve desired outcomes.

·       Exceptional communication and relationship building skills, able to inspire, influence, and educate a wide range of stakeholders.

·       Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.

·       Ability to influence a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships.

·       Entrepreneurial spirit; takes initiative and actively seeks to deepen current donor relationships and to forge new ones.

·       Criminal background and driving record check required.

·       The desire to work in a fast-growing, extraordinarily mission-driven organization with strong values of consistency, openness and mutual respect.

·       An empathetic, charismatic leader who has strong faith in humanity and treats others with respect.

·       Ability to travel around the service area

·       Valid state issued driver’s license

·       Criminal background and current driving record check

·       Willingness and ability to work outside of normal business hours, and Holidays and/or weekends as needed.

·       Ability to work with diverse cultures

·       Strong attendance and high energy

How To Apply

Please submit at thoughtful coverletter and an update resume.  Please click here to apply.

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