Director of Development

  • Anywhere

Presidio Hill School


Presidio Hill School
San Francisco, CA 

Job Title: Director of Development
Status: Full-Time, non-exempt, 12-month
Reports To: Head of School
Start Date: Flexible, Early 2021

School Description 

Presidio Hill School is an independent, progressive school located in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco and serves a diverse population of approximately 220 students in transitional kindergarten to 8th grade, with a faculty and staff of approximately 45 people. Established in 1918 by artist-educator-activists Helen Salz and Flora Arnstein, Presidio Hill School is the oldest continuously operating progressive school in California, with a mission and history connected to social justice. Our vibrant, diverse, and supportive community continues to emphasize community and justice and encourages students to develop self-awareness, personal character, resilience, and an understanding of their role as stewards of the planet and citizens of the world.

Presidio Hill offers its students a challenging, project-based curriculum that attends to their intellectual and social-emotional needs and prepares them to be agents of positive social change. Learning at PHS is collaborative and active. We place great value on the arts as both an academic discipline and an essential element of a meaningful life. Situated on the edge of the Presidio, our school takes full and frequent advantage of the park’s 1,500 acres; whether they are studying science, art, social studies, or literature, the Presidio is a rich and vital “classroom” to our students.

Presidio Hill School strives to maintain a faculty and staff that reflects the broad range of diversity in the San Francisco Bay Area. Invested in the growth, happiness, and preparation of our teachers, we provide generous support for their professional development.

Position Overview

The school currently seeks a Director of Development to join the school’s senior administration and who will oversee all development initiatives at the school. The Director of Development works closely with the Head of School and other senior leaders, as well as with the Board of Trustees via the Development Committee of the Board. Under the direct supervision of the Head of School, the Director of Development, along with the Development Associate, plans and manages all fundraising activities, strategic development and endowment planning, as well as donor and alumni relations and management, volunteer supervision, and supporting all school growth initiatives such as capital campaigns.

Primary Responsibilities


  • Reports to the Head of School and works with the Board Development Committee and other seniors leaders at the School
  • Directly supervises the Development Associate, ensuring the Associate has regular and appropriate opportunities for leadership and growth related to fundraising and development, along with providing guidance and supervision to the Associate related to maintaining accurate databases and reporting, managing events and related communications, and further developing and successfully executing the school’s alumni relations
  • Communicate regularly and with accuracy with the Director of Finance and Operations to ensure the budget of the School and the work of the Development Office are aligned
  • Manage the budget of the Development Office
  • Proactively engage in the work of future planning as the school embarks on a strategic vision/plan
  • Lead the work of the Board’s Development Committee alongside the Development Committee Chair, setting meeting agendas, running meetings, distributing minutes and action items, and both managing and participating fully in the efforts of the committee
  • Undertake other duties as assigned by the Head of School

Fund Development

  • Devises and manages a program designed to attract maximum gift support to the school, including Annual Fund solicitation, planned giving programs, corporate and foundation support, and planning for major capital gifts and endowment growth
  • Directs and coordinates the school’s major and minor fundraisers, including Annual Fund, Walk-a-Thon, and Spring Fling, alongside the Development Associate, the Development Committee, and numerous parent/guardian volunteers
  • Work with Development Associate to maintain comprehensive and accurate records of all asks, pledges, and donations received
  • Create a strategy of growth for our recently established Endowment for Presidio Hill School, with specific realistic and ambitious goals and related action steps for the next 10 years, based on thorough research and understanding of best practices and creative approaches

Philanthropic Culture and Cultivation

  • Communicates regularly with administration, faculty and staff, parents/guardians and Board of Trustees to keep the culture of giving strong and positive across all constituencies
  • Develops a complete program of research into and an action plan of solicitation of the school’s key prospects
  • Consistently deliver an innovative, creative, and exceptional donor experience
  • Cultivate, solicit and steward donors, directly soliciting gifts, managing donor information with confidentiality and accuracy, engaging with current supporters to help open doors to prospective givers, and always prioritizing sustaining strong relationships
  • Work with the Director of Admission to welcome new families and to educate both prospective and current families on the opportunities available to support the school and on the importance of doing so
  • Participates in regular high-level professional development and engages as appropriate with colleagues from other institutions in order to continue to learn and grow and benefit the School
  • Represents the School and its leadership to the public and at meetings as assigned
  • Contributes to the overall life and community of the School wherever and whenever appropriate by working with children, families, faculty, administration and the Board of Trustees

Skills, Qualifications, and Experience

  • Ability to show multiple successful fund-raising and campaign initiatives and a proven record of success
  • A seasoned fund-raising professional who will welcome the opportunity to become deeply involved in the culture of Presidio Hill School
  • Ability to envision ambitious goals and develop and articulate strategies to achieve them
  • Exceptional communication, listening, oral and writing skills
  • Ability to connect with a wide variety of constituents in a friendly, warm, and professional manner
  • Successful experience with direct solicitation of major donors
  • Experience with building and managing an endowment program
  • Great organizational skills and ability to work independently in a methodical manner
  • Resonance with the mission of Presidio Hill School
  • Sensitivity to cultural difference
  • Love of children and ability and enthusiasm to engage with children including helping to supervise as needed for some lunch, recess, and/or dismissal periods weekly
  • An openness and enthusiasm to learn as an individual and as a professional
  • Willingness to share knowledge with colleagues and volunteers
  • Ability to collaborate with others, and to lead in a respectful and collegial manner
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Ability to handle stressful situations and change with a positive attitude

The successful candidate would ideally have the following background:

  • Minimum of a BA or BS degree; Master’s degree preferred
  • Five to eight years of demonstrated fundraising experience in a leadership role
  • Superb communication skills
  • Ability to and ease with speaking in public
  • Experience with all facets of a development office, from research to stewardship
  • Familiarity with fundraising databases
  • Comfort with working outside of typical work week hours as needed for special events

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, résumé, contact information for two to three references, and/or letters of reference via email (with “Director of Development” in the subject line) to Lisa Jeli (PHS Head of School): by January 10, 2021. 

To learn more about PHS, please visit our website.

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