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Director of Development

Raising A Reader MA
Job Title: Director of Development
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November 1st, 2018
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Organizational Overview

Currently in Massachusetts, two thirds of low-income children enter kindergarten without the literacy skills they need to succeed. Raising A Reader 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 craft and refine our strategy, and lead our development work.

Position Summary

The Director of Development provides high level strategic leadership, execution, and operational management of the organization’s development program, while also focusing on developing RAR-MA capabilities in attracting and retaining 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 $750,000-$900,000 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.


A strategic planning process, supported by Bridgespan this past year, identified individual giving and major donor strategy as key to Raising A Readers 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 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. It is expected that the employee will flex work time and schedule week-to-week depending upon needs.

This person will report to the Executive Director and provide valued input 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 with attention to diversity, equity and inclusion. 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 members of the Program team to stay current and fluent on all successes, impact data and programmatic innovations.


Key Responsibilities                                                  

Development Strategy

  • 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

Development Execution

  • 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 Salesforce.com CRM to manage the entire donation process, and produce reports that inform development efforts
  • Oversee events, analyzing and leveraging use of outside events consultants if cost-effective in maximizing staff time and Return on Investment
  • Oversee and support Grant Writer with weekly pipeline reviews and whole organization participation in grant preparation, site visits, and reporting that strengthens grants capacity
  • 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. Solid information technology skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree

To apply: Please send a resume and cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position to careers@raisingareaderma.org.

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
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