Raising A Reader MA is an evidence-based early literacy organization dedicated to helping families of young children (age 0-6) develop, practice and maintain habits of reading together at home. Our work, which both increases access to books and offers families tools and support for strengthening the culture of reading at home, is driven by more than 30 years of research that shows the single most significant factor influencing a child's academic achievement is being regularly read to by their parents/caregivers before starting kindergarten.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Currently in Massachusetts, two thirds of low-income children enter kindergarten without the literacy skills they need to succeed. Raising A Reader MA (RAR-MA) directly addresses this need by providing the books and parent training to make sure that all children enter kindergarten with a foundation for success. Since its founding in 2006, Raising A Reader MA annually serves about 10,000 children (ages 0-6). Over the next few years, Raising A Reader MA plans to deepen its impact in Massachusetts. We are looking for an experienced and well-connected development professional to refine our strategy and lead our development work, with a particular focus on increasing individual giving.
The Director of Development provides high level strategic leadership, execution, and operational management of the organization’s development activities, while also focusing on increasing the organization's ability to attract and retain individual donors. This person will be responsible for working with the Executive Director and Board to strategically target the right development efforts to grow revenues and relationships over time. Currently the organization raises approximately $1,000,000 per year, about half from foundations, and half from events and individuals. Development efforts are currently led by the Executive Director, and supported by a contract part-time Grant Writer, and a Development Manager.
Increased support from individuals, including major gifts, has been identified as key to Raising A Reader MA’s long-term sustainability and potential growth in quality and reach. The Director of Development will build on that work, providing overall development strategy and leadership, with a particular focus on developing and executing the organization’s short- and long-term fundraising strategies for high-level individual giving as well as strategies that build on Raising A Reader MA’s signature and successful Dinner with an Author Gala and other events. The position will add the experience and additional bandwidth needed to target development efforts, work smart, coordinate and lead those efforts across roles, and strategically build on organizational strengths to improve return on investment, conversion of events attendees to donors, and donor retention.
As the leader of a small but strong development team, the Director of Development will need to guide the work of other team members and concurrently move the individuals and major gifts strategy forward. Since RAR-MA operates in Boston and Gateway cities across the Commonwealth, RAR-MA staff is adept at working collaboratively and remotely using electronic shared tools. Work time for the Director of Development can be flexible with some in-office time and some remote work, while recognizing that donor meetings, board meetings, events, quarterly staff meetings, and other needs may require flexibility throughout the day and evening.
This person will report to the Executive Director and provide valued input and leadership across all initiatives as a member of the 3-person executive team that also includes the Director of Programs and Operations. The Director of Development will work closely with the Board and is the primary staff liaison to the Board Development committee.
The successful candidate will be drawn to the RAR-MA staff culture that values a close, congenial spirit of family, and is laser-focused on mission and the communities and families served. Our team works co-creatively, cooperatively, and collaboratively. The successful candidate will become an expert in Raising A Reader MA programming and be able to speak passionately and compellingly about the impact of the organization, and partner with program staff to stay current and fluent on all successes, impact data and programmatic innovations.
- Build on recent development strategy planning by refining and executing annual plan for fundraising, including identification of growth areas, measures of success, return on investment, and supporting metrics
- Drive and execute identification, research, cultivation and stewardship work to attract new donors, deepen relationships with existing donors and ensure a rewarding donor experience to increase retention and giving annually
- Utilize the capabilities of the existing CRM system (Salesforce) to manage the entire donation process, and produce reports that inform development efforts
- Oversee events, making use of outside events consultants if cost-effective in maximizing staff time and return on investment
- Oversee grants, including weekly pipeline reviews and whole organization participation in grant preparation, site visits, and reporting that strengthens grants capacity, making use of contract grant writer as needed
- Supervise and support Development Manager in managing the gift entry and acknowledgement process, maintaining CRM data, preparing fundraising-related communications including digital content, email campaigns, and giving campaigns, and in events execution
- Work with the Director of Programs and Operations to ensure revenue reporting is accurate and consistent with acceptable accounting practices
- Manage development budget and revenue forecasting
- Be ready, willing, and able to take on other duties as needed to support the staff team and move the organization forward
- Strong passion for our mission
- Proven record of accomplishment in fundraising, particularly in the areas of individuals and major gifts, with a working knowledge of all other aspects of fundraising
- Highly developed interpersonal skills, affinity for networking, and high level of confidence, professionalism and poise in front of others
- Eagerness to learn, grow, and stay on top of trends in philanthropy and early literacy
- Excellent ability to write and edit persuasive materials
- Exceptional time management, project management and organizational skills focused on both short-term and long-term strategy
- Demonstrated ability to work autonomously and effectively without close supervision
- Willingness to function effectively as a member of a team, and to participate in activities that will contribute to the organization’s overall success
- Strong understanding and practice of cultural humility and respect for others
- Proficiency in Salesforce or other CRM systems. Solid information technology skills.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent life/professional experience
Raising A Reader MA encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position, and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law. We celebrate the diversity of our world and our community, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity.
To apply: Please send ONE PDF FILE, including a resume, cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and a brief writing sample to email@example.com. Please state where you learned of this opportunity.