Position Title: Advancement Director
Reports to: Executive Director and Board of Directors
Supervises: Program staff as necessary
Overview of the Position
Are you passionate about fostering social justice through evidence-based and culturally informed practices? Do you care deeply about promoting equitable access to high-quality education? Do you enjoy both leading and collaborating to advance organizational impact through strategic fundraising, partnership development, and ensuring successful programming? If YES, consider joining our dynamic team in the fight for educational equity!
Helps Education Fund is looking for an experienced and equity-focused individual to collaborate with the Executive Director in two key areas: (1) advancing and executing a fundraising strategy that will sustain and enhance our mission, programs, and reach (~70% of the responsibilities); (2) assisting with high-level oversight and support for some of our projects and services (~30%).
The Ideal Candidate:
- is a self-motivated, service- and results-oriented leader with a passion for enhancing educational equity;
- has the ability to develop, manage, and execute the annual development calendar; and
- has a proven track record of advancement and fundraising from foundations, corporations, government sources, and/or individual donors.
Applicants should have at least 5-8 years of experience in developing and managing a successful fundraising program for a nonprofit organization, as well as at least some project implementation or management experience. Experience in the area of education (broadly defined) is preferred but not required. Prior experience in a Director role is not required.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
Helps Education Fund is committed to cultivating a diverse environment and continues to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, socio-economic class, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, record of arrest, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Since its inception in 2010, Helps Education Fund has maintained its mission of advancing educational equity by partnering with educators and community organizations that serve a high percentage of historically underserved students, schools, and families. Through collaborative partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally, we provide low- or no-cost programs and services that meaningfully improve student learning. These programs and services are collaboratively developed and rigorously evaluated, creating a true bridge that connects educational research and practice.
Although Helps Education Fund began in 2010 with only a small group of volunteers, we have grown to a diverse team of 20+ staff -- each of whom is passionate about improving educational equity through community engagement and authentic partnerships. We’re now looking for the right person to join our team to strategically advance our fundraising and programs, and help to make our work and impact even stronger.
Detailed Job Description
The Advancement Director will assist the Executive Director with refining and implementing the fundraising strategy in order to grow Helps Education Fund’s programs, services, and reach—all while staying true to the organization’s mission and commitment to high-quality programming. The ideal candidate has a proven track record of strategic and equity-focused thinking, leadership within nonprofit organizations, relationship building, and securing funding from a range of stakeholders (e.g., foundations, government sources, corporations, individual donors).
The primary responsibilities for the Advancement Director include:
Strategy and Planning
- Collaborate with the Executive Director (ED) and other leaders within the organization to enhance and execute annual and multi-year plans for fundraising and building operational capacity.
- Develop and execute annual and multi-year strategies for stewarding and expanding the network of friends and supporters of our organization, including foundations, corporations, major donors, annual giving donors, planned giving, and endowment donors.
- Work closely with the Philanthropy Committee to assist our advocates in becoming even stronger ambassadors, fundraisers, and stewards of Helps Education Fund.
- Promote an internal culture of philanthropy as an integral part of nonprofit success.
- Participate in project planning meetings as necessary to stay updated about operations within the organization’s various programs and services.
Advancement and Fundraising
- Help to improve, oversee, and implement the organization’s fundraising strategy, as related to foundations, corporate, government, individual giving, etc. This includes recommending and ensuring best practices and ethics in all areas of the fundraising strategy and helping the organization continue its programmatic and financial growth (our current annual budget is over $1 million).
- Establish strong familiarity with each of our programs and services to ensure success with advancement activities. Similarly, be able to communicate a broad understanding and awareness of the values articulated in Helps Education Fund’s mission, vision, and core values.
- Work closely with the ED, Board of Directors, and other Helps Education Fund staff to build relationships with partner organizations, grant officers, donors, and other charitable sources.
- Develop compelling, well-written, and organized grant proposals, and more generally, communicate the impact of our work (in writing and verbally) to potential donors, funders, and key stakeholders.
- Develop and manage a donor pipeline to include prospect identification, research, and working with executive level contacts through research and qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
- Collaborate with organizational staff and board members to develop and implement a comprehensive donor communications plan.
- Work with the Finance Committee to prepare accurate and timely analyses that capture and communicate fundraising results, variances, and performance trends within and across projects.
Program Operations and Oversight
- Collaborate with the ED and project teams for planning, organization, and high-level direction of Helps Education Fund programs and services.
- Work with the ED, Finance Committee, and project teams to create Impact Reports and related reports that are important to share with stakeholders, such as board members, partner organizations, volunteers, and funders.
- In collaboration with project directors and managers, assist the ED in providing operational oversight to promote project quality and support for all staff.
- Within and across projects, help to coordinate and lead budget reviews (e.g., annual, quarterly) and periodic forecast updates that can be shared with organizational staff and board members.
Skills, Experience, and Characteristics we are looking for when hiring the Helps Education Fund’s new Advancement Director:
The ideal candidate will possess experience and training to execute the responsibilities summarized in the job description and ideally demonstrate the following skills, experiences, and characteristics:
- Deep care for educational equity and social justice as well as experience with and passion for working with diverse populations and stakeholders.
- Proven track record of successfully soliciting donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources.
- Strong expository writing skills (e.g.,for example, strong proofreading/editing skills and an ability to produce written content that is clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct).
- Experience and success working with nonprofit Board of Directors to achieve organizational goals.
- Excellent interpersonal, organizational, communication, and negotiating skills to interact with a broad range of individuals in a professional and personable manner. Sense of humor is a plus and flexibility is a must!
- Self-driven, service- and results-oriented, collaborative, and able to set priorities and work on multiple projects (at times with competing tasks and deadlines) simultaneously.
- Demonstrated effectiveness and desire to work collaboratively, as well as experience and desire to supervise others, such as staff or interns.
- Willingness to operate in compliance with organizational policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements.
- Willingness to learn and be flexible.
- Excellent attention to detail.
- At least 5-8 years of experience in developing and managing a fundraising program, including donor cultivation, solicitation and recognition strategies, grant writing, and/or facilitating special events.
- Proficiency in software or technology commonly used for this job, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Google Docs or Sheets, Google Drive, and virtual communication tools such as Zoom or Google Meet.
Application Process and Details
Applicants are encouraged to apply by October 22, 2020, but we will continue accepting applications until the webpage for this job announcement states otherwise. A hiring committee will begin reviewing applications by October 23, 2020. Interviews will be scheduled with qualified applicants. The anticipated start date of this position is somewhat flexible, but we are aiming for it to be in early to mid November 2020.
To apply, email your resume and a cover letter to New.Hire@helpseducationfund.org. Please write in the subject line, “Advancement Director application - Your first and last name”
In addition, we ask that you write a response to the following question and attach it to your application email as a Word document or PDF:
As the person responsible for fundraising, you have just learned that one of your organization’s key projects has received less funding due to an economic downturn that is impacting the state and country. For the past four years this project had a $700,000 budget, but is now being funded at only 60%. Draft a memo in no more than 400 words explaining to the Board and the Executive Director what the organization’s best strategy is to address the situation and minimize the impact of this funding cut. Please provide any assumptions or special considerations taken into account. Although you may summarize a completely hypothetical scenario, you are welcome to integrate any past experiences from potentially similar circumstances.
At the final stages of the recruitment process, top applicants will also be asked for additional information, such as writing samples and a list of references.
Questions about the position should be sent to Dr. John Begeny, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.