Posted on September 7, 2012
Director of Development
Boston Debate League
Boston Debate League - Director of Development
Boston Debate League (BDL) is a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to support academic debate teams in local high schools and trains BPS teachers to use debate as part of their classroom practice. Since its founding in 2005, Boston Debate League (BDL) has quickly become a major force in the education reform movement. BDL brings together an active community of students, teachers, administrators, and community leaders devoted to improving the education and life skills of disadvantaged urban youth in Boston. Their mission is to measurably improve students’ academic achievement and their expectations of themselves by engaging as many Boston public high school and middle school students as possible through academic debate.
Impressed by BDL’s extraordinary success as a pilot program, Boston Public Schools has doubled its investment in debate in each of the last two years. This support has enabled BDL to expand from one full-time staff member to eight, to grow the After-School Debate League (ADL) from 25 students to almost 600, and to expand the Evidence Based Argumentation (EBA) professional development program from 25 teachers to over 400.
BDL is continuing its growth with a massive expansion, evolving from an organization that changes the lives of a few individual students to one that transforms the academic culture of entire schools and the district itself. The focus over the next three years is to go deep in existing member schools, building large debate teams and supporting hundreds of teachers as they use debate to transform the academic atmosphere and expectations in their classrooms. Learn more at: www.bostondebate.org
Boston Debate League is currently seeking a strategic and creative development professional to join their team in the role of Director of Development. Reporting directly to and working closely with the Executive Director, the Director of Development will play a critical role in the growth of this dynamic and high-impact organization by spearheading and overseeing all efforts related to fundraising and development. Specifically, the Director of Development will craft an ambitious and strategic development plan for the organization and lead the organization to execute against that plan. This person will also play a key role in the leadership of the organization, collaborating closely with all staff.
The Director of Development will also partner with the Executive Director in creating and executing marketing, communications and public relations strategies to ensure articulation of BDL’s desired image and position publicly and among its constituents and stakeholders, strengthen brand awareness, and promote the mission of Boston Debate League to the public. S/he will be an aggressive, active advocate for BDL in promoting community partnerships and in community relations.
As a valued member of BDL senior team, the Director of Development will be joining an organization that is positioned for tremendous growth and poised to become a national model in urban education.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will be an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting BDL. S/he will need to expand and diversify BDL’s donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members and volunteers to secure new funding sources for BDL’s initiatives. In addition, the Development Director will work closely with the Board of Directors and Advisory Council members as they take on a more active fundraising role. Specifically, the Director of Development will be responsible for:
- Developing and executing a strategic plan for development with an effective and efficient stewardship process and infrastructure (financial reporting, donor/prospect record system).
- Through effective networking, continuously pursue and acquire new funding sources, including local/regional family foundations and trusts, actively engaging Board members, Advisory Council members and other volunteers in the discovery process.
- Systematically finding, engaging and developing relationships with donors who understand and support BDL’s work, including former debaters, education enthusiasts, and people who have a passion for helping underserved youth.
- Developing a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization; helping staff understand how to recognize prospects and participate in the process of moving prospects and donors through the development cycle.
- Ensuring effective stewardship of donors through timely and proper acknowledgement of gifts, appropriate donor recognition strategies, honoring donors’ intent, ensuring the use of philanthropic funds to further BDL’s mission and achievements and informing donors of the impact of their gifts.
- Ensuring that contacts and relationships with current foundation donor sources and major funders are effectively stewarded and cultivated to maximize potential for sustained/renewed support.
- Guiding the strategy for communications and branding for BDL, including website and public relations messages and collateral to consistently articulate BDL’s mission.
- Directly supervising a Grants Manager and supporting the growth and development of foundation relations.
- Preparing detailed reports of activity and progress towards goals for review by Executive Director and Board of Directors on a regular basis.
The ideal candidate for this position is an energetic and dedicated development professional, has a proven track record achieving ambitious growth goals, is a sophisticated relationship-builder, communicator, and entrepreneurial manager who is prepared to be responsible for both the big picture strategy and the hands-on implementation of this strategy.
Other qualities and criteria expected in the candidate include:
- A self-starter who uses an entrepreneurial approach to building and guiding a development program and has the ability to reach out to a broader community to promote the mission of the Boston Debate League.
- A keen understanding of marketing and communications and their role in advancing the mission of the Boston Debate league to the public; the ability to provide messages that project a clearly defined sense of the BDL’s mission, values, achievements, activities and potential.
- Excellent planning and execution skills; achieves strategic goals in a well-organized fashion while still possessing high energy, creativity and imagination; can evaluate priorities to maximize the use of resources and return on investment.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with Board members and volunteers, providing strong support, inspiring them to productive action.
- Exceptional interpersonal and superior written and oral skills; the ability to understand and translate information for all audiences; clarity, crispness, and elegance in writing and speaking.
- Ability to engage, interact effectively with, and earn the respect of all the constituencies of the Boston Debate League community.
- A very strong work ethic, supported by commitment and follow-through; enthusiasm for working in a start-up environment.
- High degree of initiative, discretion and maturity yet comfortable working in an entrepreneurial environment and willing to contribute as needed to an emerging organization.
- Demonstrated passion for urban education reform and youth.
- Strong preference for candidates familiar with the Boston philanthropic market.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.
Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, to Steve Stein at http://jobs.cgcareers.org/application.aspx?id=1943. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Boston Debate League offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills.
Boston Debate League is an equal opportunity employer.
About Commongood Careers:
Boston Debate League has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for a Director of Development. Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of the nation’s most innovative and high-performing nonprofit organizations. Since its founding in 2006, Commongood Careers has completed over 500 searches at 150 organizations in 26 states. Founded and staffed by nonprofit professionals, Commongood Careers offers personalized, engaged services to jobseekers and organizations throughout the hiring process, as well as access to a wealth of knowledge about nonprofit careers. Learn more about nonprofit jobs at Commongood Careers.