Director, Development

Washington D.C.
Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Jul 05, 2017
Aug 09, 2017
Full Time


At Achieve, we are committed to making sure every student graduates from high school ready to succeed in the college or career of their choice. Created in 1996 by a bipartisan group of governors and business leaders, Achieve is leading the effort to make college and career readiness a priority across the country so that students graduating from high school are academically prepared for postsecondary success. When states want to collaborate on education policy or practice, they come to Achieve. For more information about the work of Achieve, visit 


The Director, Development will develop and execute annual development plans to meet organizational goals, including the implementation of short- and long-range strategies necessary to fund Achieve’s strategic and operating plans and priorities over the long term. The Director is also responsible for partnering with the President to develop and execute strategies to proactively engage Achieve’s Board of Directors.


Fund Development 

  • Formulate and execute strategic and operating plans for development to secure annual and multi-year commitments that advance Achieve’s strategic goals. Priorities include fully funding Achieve’s strategic plan and operating requirements; diversifying funding sources; and enabling Achieve to attract and retain world-class personnel.
  • Build on the existing strong donor base and network of supporters to secure ongoing funding from top corporate, foundation, and individual donors through direct solicitations and by staffing executives and board members as required.
  • Access and manage appropriate staff and consultants in development activities as required to effectively solicit corporate, foundation, and individual donors.
  • Co-develop and oversee production of proposals, and other solicitation vehicles, with staff:  providing information on specific donor requirements; sharing models of successful proposals; consulting on project scopes of work; presentation of information to meet donor requirements, and editorial assistance to staff in grant preparation. 
  • Oversee and manage all stewardship activities: meeting grant compliance requirements through timely, accurate, and regular reporting (both narrative and financial); recommending and executing best practice relationship management; supporting staff in cultivating and nurturing relationships with donors; and providing regular briefings to executives on execution of the development strategy. Identify and relationship build new donors in the foundation, corporate, and individual-giving arenas.
  • Plan, organize, and manage events to cultivate new prospects or support the goals of existing funders.
  • Work with CFO and finance unit in organizational and proposal budgeting, ensuring alignment with strategic priorities and grant obligations.

Board Relations 

  • Manage board member inclusion in strategically supporting Achieve’s development activities. Provide support, and appropriate training and guidance, for board member engagement.
  • Support board and board committees, including: presenting on development activities; preparing communications with board; and staffing meetings and other events.

Working Relationships
•    Internal: Executive team, donor relationship managers, grant managers, and development officer.
•    External: Including but not limited to: board of directors, foundation program officers, corporate giving officers, potential major gift donors, and, as needed, content and expert consultants. 

Bachelor’s degree required. Candidate should have 10+ years of related work experience (time spent on advanced degree attainment can substitute for work experience), which may include, but is not limited to devising and implementing multi-strategy fundraising plans or a combination of experience in external/corporate relations, communications and fund development with a demonstrated ability to deliver results.

  • Deep experience leading, developing, and implementing fundraising strategies that build donor loyalty and engage private foundation, corporate and individual donors
  • Contacts and knowledge of major donors, grant makers, and philanthropic trends in science, STEM, and/or education spaces; demonstrable ability to effectively prospect potential donors across categories
  • Experience managing grant application processes, both independently and in collaboration with senior leaders and staff members
  • Capacity to be a trusted advisor/partner to the executive team and staff alike; ability to coach and mentor program staff in order to build an understanding of operating in a grant funded environment, and the impact fundraising and grants funding has on organizational health and effectiveness.
  • Ability to digest program and content knowledge in Achieve’s space; analyze and determine opportunities and threats; and capability to translate/align them to issues/interests of funders  
  • Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills are critical, with the ability to easily change writing style and voice to fit audience; Documented experience producing professional, persuasive materials for the public and clear and concise report and grant writing. (Writing sample to be assessed.)
  • Demonstrated excellent oral communication skills: Highly-developed listening, speaking and presentation and interpersonal skills; Ability to comfortably present complex material to groups including donors, prospects, program staff within the organization and members of the Board of Directors and its committees; Sensitivity to others’ points of view in order to influence behavior, change an opinion, or turn a situation around
  • Ability to translate ideas into actionable plans and adjust course as needed to ensure that goals are attained
  • Entrepreneurial and creative mindset with the ability to work effectively collaborative environment, and direct and work in harmony with a diverse group of highly motivated and capable individuals
  • Conspicuously passionate about nonprofit service, able to align quickly with Achieve’s mission and programs, and manifest strategic leadership, professionalism, and interpersonal acumen
  • Highly organized with strong attention to detail and high degree of flexibility.
  • Works well under pressure and with the ability to manage multiple projects and conflicting deadlines 
  • Strong experience managing and developing budgets and people
  • Strong computer skills and donor or development software knowledge.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to with the position title in the subject line.

Similar jobs