In the United States, too few students have access to effective, high-performing public schools. At The City Fund (TCF), we work to increase educational opportunity for students and families by partnering with city and state leaders to create innovative public school systems. We believe that public schools do best when educators have the power to make decisions that meet the diverse needs of their students, when families are provided the information and access to choose the best schools for their children, and when schools are held accountable for helping all students succeed. We’re inspired by the growing number of cities that have empowered educators to dramatically expand opportunities for students in public schools. We believe that circumstances can change for children and families in the communities we serve, because we have seen these efforts work.
What We Do
The City Fund is a national non-profit organization that provides financial support and expertise to local leaders seeking to improve the educational opportunities available in their cities. Our team consists of experienced education and nonprofit leaders; members of The City Fund team are committed to working as individuals and as a collective to put their experience and skills to work in support of transforming educational opportunities for all students.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We believe that the work in cities will only succeed if it is led by leaders who reflect the students and families they serve. We are investing in diverse leaders to increase the number of Black and LatinX leaders who hold roles as superintendents, non-profit executives, and other city level roles.
What You’ll Do
Reporting to a senior partner on the TCF team, the Director of Development will lead the effort to identify funders to support the vision and mission of The City Fund. To do this, you’ll have the opportunity to create a sophisticated and dynamic system to research potential funding partners, to deeply understand them and their commitment to TCF’s vision and mission, and to devise thoughtful strategies for engaging them with TCF’s senior leadership team and members of the board for exploration of mutually beneficial partnership. You will also support regional leaders that TCF supports with their efforts to raise major gifts. The TCF team will rely on you to create a portfolio tracking system that will ensure awareness of adequate funding sources and points. TCF’s philosophy related to funding is less about the number of funders, and more about the development of high-caliber funding partnerships. The organization is apt to seek funders who believe deeply in the work, and who are willing to commit in ways that reflect that shared belief. Additionally, you will have the chance to write grant proposals to support the vision and mission of the organization and create a system for reporting to the TCF team and its board. Your work as the Director of Development has the potential to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and their families by creating possibilities that don’t currently or consistently exist for them in the realm of access to world class education in the cities TCF supports.
What You’ll Own
As Director of Development, you will focus on the following bodies of work:
1. Identify Potential Funders through Multifaceted Research
- Engaging in extensive network outreach to build on existing connections with high net-worth individuals and major foundations in regions that TCF serves to explore possibilities for funding partnership
- Establishing a plan for outreach to identified major gift donors that includes senior leaders and members of the TCF board when appropriate
- Working closely with TCF partners in cities the organization serves to identify potential funders
- Collaborating with the Director of Communications to promote the work of TCF in venues and mediums that will generate the most fruitful level of interest in funding partnership
- Providing regular updates to TCF senior leaders and board members regarding the identification of possible major gift funders
2. Build Relationships and Create Connections with Potential Funders
- Connecting directly with prospective funders on a regular basis through a planned communication structure to establish relationship and rapport
- Examining connections between members of various boards and exploring their respective networks to determine if other relationships exist that could lead to other potential sources of funding
- Collaborating with existing funders to understand how they are connected, and how their networks might lead to productive funding partnerships
3. Develop a Portfolio Tracking and Management System
- Reviewing current state of funds and partnerships in the TCF portfolio to deepen understanding of the schedule of donations and where gaps might exist
- Creating a communication and reporting mechanism to ensure regular dissemination of information to senior leaders and board members in the organization
- Preparing written materials, in conjunction with the TCF Chief of Staff, to share with or present to TCF board members on a regular basis
4. Write Grant Proposals and Maintain Corresponding Update Reports
- Researching and identifying grant opportunities, both regionally and nationally, that align with TCF’s vision, mission, and philosophies
- Crafting grant proposals that represent the vision, mission, and values of TCF, and that clearly establish the urgency in the work
- Providing regular reports to TCF senior leaders and board members on grant research, application, and securement
What Skills You’ll Need to Be Successful
- Your experience and research have inspired the ability to explore networks and discover connections in surprising and beneficial ways. You collaborate with other members of the TCF team to consider the needs of stakeholders in the TCF system, and to seek funding sources that align philosophically and propel financially. You are both confident in communicating TCF’s vision and mission through multiple mediums in order to generate awareness in an exclusive audience of potential funders, and humble when it comes to the ultimate close. You apply your professional experience and knowledge to build bridges between existing contacts and those in their networks.
- You thrive in finding ways to bring people together for the purpose of generating financial support for TCF to bring its vision to fruition. You embrace TCF’s funding philosophy of quality over quantity and focus on relationships with existing and potential funders that reflect this belief. Your approach demonstrates a commitment to creating meaningful connections and symbiotic relationships between TCF and its key funders.
Committed Relationship Building
- As the Director of Development, you embody a commitment to working with others to create a compelling message to represent TCF in building relationships with funders. You are comfortable with working independently as a member of a virtual team and know when and how to manage up and work with busy partners and senior leaders as accelerants to your work. You care more about the results of the work than getting public attention or credit. You have the experience, finesse, awareness, and ability to bring the right people together at the right times both within the TCF organization and beyond it to inspire potential funders to make financial commitments to the organization that will sustain TCF’s efforts into the future.
- Relationships matter to you, and it shows in how you create connections with others in your efforts to identify potential funders. As Director of Development, trust between you and potential funders is essential. Your way of learning about and expressing interest in their work and curiosity engenders a sense of credibility in the organization’s mission.
- In the process of building relationships, you are able to identify the information needed to clarify situations, seek information from appropriate sources, and use skillful inquiry to determine the best next steps to move a potential funder to the next level of conversation. Your leadership strength manifests itself in bringing people together to coalesce around a common vision for students and communicating effectively and inclusively – and in a way that leads to successful funding partnerships with those committed to TCF’s work.
- Connecting purposefully, intentionally, and masterfully with others in various ways is clearly a strength in your repertoire in the realm of communications leadership. You express yourself with clarity, grace, style, and awareness in conversations and interactions with others. You are an expert in planning and delivering communication that makes an impact, and in supporting others to do the same in ways that fully and appropriately represent the TCF brand.
- The TCF communication architecture you design and implement represents TCF as an organization that exists to create opportunities and define possibilities for students and leaders in urban settings. You are fearless when it comes to navigating conflict in media relations, and are acutely prepared for crisis response. You instill confidence in TCF stakeholders by empowering them with information at just the right times. You live to build, promote, and protect the TCF brand based on the organization’s mission of service. You are completely committed to supporting the team to create life-changing opportunities for children through the collective work.
What You’ll Bring
- Evidence of experience with large donor development, particularly from high net worth individuals and/or major foundations (a plus, though not required for the role)
- Diverse background in fields like management consulting, the legal field, or investment banking can be helpful to this role
- Understanding of current climate and corresponding sense of urgency to create change in urban school districts
- Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion values and belief that this is what impacts our work the most
- Discipline and drive to work individually, and to succeed collaboratively with the TCF team and partners
- Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, and to prioritize work efforts to execute overall strategy
- Willingness to travel an average of 2 times per month
- Comfort with leading the development of potential funder relationships, and collaborating with senior leaders or TCF board members to finalize commitments
- Deep commitment to propelling TCF’s vision and mission through the generation of significant funding relationships from a small group of seriously committed funders and fellow believers in the work
How To Apply
Qualified candidates for the role of Director of Development must submit a letter of interest tailored to this opportunity and a resume that clearly demonstrates the aforementioned qualifications to TCF@AlmaAdvisoryGroup.com. Candidates invited to move forward in the interview process can look forward to an engaging, inspiring, and inclusive experience that illuminates the potential match between the candidate and the expertise, commitment, and skills that the Director of Development role will require.