Spark Job Description: Development Director


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Spark Job Description: Development Director

  1. 1. Job Description: Development DirectorSan Francisco, CAPosition OverviewSpark has experienced tremendous growth in the past three years, and places a strong focus onsustainable, well-managed financial support to ensure the program’s stability and success. We areseeking a Development Director to lead Spark through the next phase of its growth, providing funding tosupport Spark’s national expansion. The Development Director will be responsible for raisingapproximately $1.75 million in 2011, shaping the organization’s development strategy and building thefoundation for further growth in the coming years. This position is based in San Francisco (thoughcandidates based in Chicago or Los Angeles will also be considered) and will include occasional travel toSpark’s offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and eventual sites beyond. The Development Director will be acritical member of our senior management team, reporting directly to the Executive Director andmeeting regularly with the organization’s major individual and institutional donors.Organization ProfileSpark ( is an award-winning, growing youth apprenticeship program. Sparkworks to reduce the high-school dropout rate with a unique apprenticeship approach, focused on at-riskmiddle-school students. In partnership with public schools in underserved communities, Spark createsone-on-one apprenticeships in real workplaces, where youth explore careers and develop the skills andmotivation to succeed academically. Funded by a number of major foundations, including the PackardFoundation, Cowell Foundation, as well as leading companies like Genentech and Gap, Spark isdemonstrating a powerful new approach to the high-school dropout crisis, one that draws in newresources by turning workplaces into learning places.Spark has managed rapid growth in the past two years, moving from a local to statewide organization,with a 2011 budget of approximately $1.6 million. This year, Spark is beginning its first growth outside ofCalifornia, with a launch in Chicago. This growth is guided by a core management team and anexperienced Board of Directors, drawing together leaders from the business, education, andphilanthropic communities.Spark was awarded the prestigious Draper Richards Fellowship in 2008, given to five early-stage non-profits from around the world with the highest potential for “broad social impact.” In January 2010,Spark won the Ashoka Fellowship, one of the top honors for social innovation worldwide. With this andother support, Spark is building a foundation for national scale.Spark’s Core Values: • Self-Actualization: Empowering people to confidently pursue their interests and live their values, driven by intrinsic motivation. • Community: Fostering connections among people and organizations to meet individual and shared goals. • Democracy: Collaboratively involving all stakeholders in decision-making. • Transparency: Encouraging honest communication and actively seeking feedback for understanding and growth. • Positivity: Planning for and expecting the best from every situation and person, and finding the opportunities in each challenge.Spark Program 251 Rhode Island St, Ste 205 Tel: 415-626-5470 Page San Francisco, CA 94103 Fax: 415-354-8491
  2. 2. Responsibilities: • Create & Lead Fund Development Strategy: Craft a comprehensive fundraising strategy to enable sustainable growth, including individual, foundation, and corporate donors, and exploring potential government support in future years. Ensure that Spark’s development team reaches fundraising goals of approximately $1.75 million in 2011, growing to over $2.5 million per year by 2013. • Lead External Relationships with Current & Potential Donors: o Lead relationship-building strategy and activities with major individual donors, personally developing relationships with key donors and prospective donors, and coaching senior staff to do the same. Continually build Spark’s pipeline of potential supporters, building on referrals from Board members, current advocates, and research. Drive individual giving from $285,000 in 2010 to over $500,000 in 2011. o Lead institutional donor cultivation, supervising grantwriting activities and supporting key relationships, driving institutional (corporate and foundation) giving from $775,000 in 2010 to over $1m in 2011, as Spark adds additional geographies. o Lead Spark’s fundraising launch into new markets, focused on Chicago in 2011, and an expected east-coast launch during 2012-2013 school year. o Oversee and support Development and Communications Manager in putting on Spark’s signature fundraising events. • Coach Internal Leaders: Coach senior staff (specifically, Managing Directors for each region) and Board members on how to effectively fundraise, helping them to identify potential donors, expand boards, cultivate potential donors, and steward ongoing donors. Work closely with the Executive Director in developing his donor pipeline. • Lead the Development Team: Lead the Development team, building on its culture and productivity as a positive, cohesive, highly functioning group. o Manage two full-time staff – the Development and Communications Manager and Grants Manager, both based in San Francisco. o Support eventual hiring of development staff in remote offices. • Develop National Strategy & Fundraising Infrastructure: o Work closely with other members of Spark’s executive management team to craft overall organizational strategy and goals. o Communicate with colleagues across the organization to integrate development and program activities and ensure that commitments are properly fulfilled. o Working with other senior leaders in the organization to support Spark’s media and public relations strategy.Spark Program 251 Rhode Island St, Ste 205 Tel: 415-626-5470 Page San Francisco, CA 94103 Fax: 415-354-8491
  3. 3. Qualifications: All candidates should have a passion for Spark’s mission, demonstrated effectiveness asa leader, and excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. Additional qualificationsinclude: • Minimum three years non-profit development or business development experience, preferably in an education environment; for-profit experience welcomed; • Minimum two years experience in managing a team of direct reports; • Minimum two years work experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented organization; • History of dedicated volunteer activity and/or commitment to non-profit organizations; • Demonstrated ability to plan and execute major gift activities, including the ability to ask for and close gifts of $100,000 and above; • Positive initiative and mature judgment; • Results-driven; • Highly organized, self-motivated, and able to manage complex projects, competing priorities and tight deadlines; • Highly internet savvy, with experience in online donor management as well as with Word and Excel. • Able to cultivate, solicit, and steward donors and prospects, asking questions and using listening skills to encourage prospects and donors to talk about themselves and their activities; • Prior success working closely and building relationships with diverse groups of people; • Legally eligible to work in the United States; no sponsorship provided; • Comfortable giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback, and acting as a coach or mentor to staff.To be successful as a member of the Spark team, you will also: • Have a passion for Spark’s mission and a strong desire to impact an up-and-coming non-profit organization • Thrive in a fast-paced, creative and fun environment • Have a sense of humor, even under stress • Have a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness • Have a strong work ethic, take initiative, and require minimal directionCompensation & Benefits • Salary: Commensurate with experience. • Health Benefits: Full health coverage is provided, including medical, dental, and vision, with premiums paid 100% by Spark, and subsidized premiums for dependents. • Retirement Benefits: Spark offers a Simple IRA plan and will match retirement contributions dollar-for-dollar up to 3% of salary. • Learning Benefits: Spark staff and students are fellow learners, and the organization highly values the staff’s personal learning pursuits. To that end, there are several opportunities for staff to “walk the talk” and experience the excitement of being a Spark student:Spark Program 251 Rhode Island St, Ste 205 Tel: 415-626-5470 Page San Francisco, CA 94103 Fax: 415-354-8491
  4. 4. o Annual Paid Sabbatical: One week of paid time off each year, in addition to other paid time off, for the pursuit of a personal learning opportunity. The sabbatical includes a learning stipend to support expenses related to the learning experience. o Personal Apprenticeships & Flexibility for Volunteer Opportunities: Spark strongly supports its staff in pursuing personal apprenticeships or volunteer activities, and will provide flexibility in schedule, including the use of some work hours, to ensure that staff can pursue learning and volunteering opportunities important to them. o Professional Training Account: To pursue your choice of professional training opportunities, including workshops, conferences, books, etc. • Paid Time Off (PTO): Spark has a unique flexible time-off policy, which empowers staff to collaboratively determine and schedule time off as needed. Rather than setting and tracking specific numbers of days off, Spark staff may take time off based on the status of their work- related goals and results within the organization. This policy is part of Spark’s focus on a balanced and healthy life for staff. • Non-monetary compensation: The opportunity to be an integral member of an energetic, innovative, hard-working and rapidly growing team, within an organization that has the potential to significantly change American middle-school education.Application Timeline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Targetstart date in May 2011.Contact:Please send a cover letter and resume by email with "Development Director " in the subject line to ChrisBalme, Executive Director, at is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from all individuals regardless ofage, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, and evaluate all candidates based on merit.Spark Program 251 Rhode Island St, Ste 205 Tel: 415-626-5470 Page San Francisco, CA 94103 Fax: 415-354-8491