• Full Time
  • Oakland
  • This position has been filled

Website Northern Light School

Independent School

Full Job Description

Position Overview:

The Director of Development will provide overall direction and leadership to Northern Light School’s fundraising functions, which include major gifts, institutional giving, individual giving, special events and grants for the organization. The Director of Development will spearhead the development and implementation of a robust fundraising strategy. NLS currently aims $2.8 million to $3 million annually from foundation, corporate, and individual sources with a desire to expand our fundraising over the next few years. The Director of Development will be instrumental in shaping the fundraising landscape of NLS, taking the lead in building out their fundraising strategy and capacity. This is an exciting chance for a seasoned development professional to make a significant impact on the students and families of NLS. The Director of Development will be a trusted and valued professional partner to the Head of School and Board of Directors. The Director of Development will supervise one development staff member.

Start Date: Summer 2024

General Duties and Responsibilities, listed but not limited to:

Strategic Planning: Develop and implement a strategic fundraising plan aligned with the organization’s mission and financial objectives.
Donor Engagement: Build and maintain relationships with individual donors, foundations and corporations to secure financial support.
Major Gifts: Cultivate and solicit major gifts from high-net-worth individuals, working closely with the leadership team and board members to expand the donor base.
Grant Writing and Proposal Development: Identify grant opportunities, prepare grant proposals, and manage the grant application process to secure funding from foundations and government agencies.
Stewardship: Implement effective stewardship strategies to recognize and retain donors, ensuring ongoing engagement and support.
Event Management: Oversee the planning and execution of fundraising events including galas, donor receptions, and community outreach programs.
Collaboration: Collaborate with other departments to integrate fundraising efforts with marketing, communications, and programmatic activities.
Financial Oversight: Monitor and report on fundraising performance, ensuring revenue goals are met and expenses are within budget.
Team Leadership: Supervise and motivate a fundraising team, providing guidance and mentorship.

The Ideal Candidate:

Five-plus years of significant nonprofit fundraising experience and proven track record of raising in excess of $2.5 million annually.
Two-plus years of experience in major donor cultivation and solicitation.
Proven track record of building donor relationships and closing gifts in the five- six- and seven-figure range.
A proven track record of maintaining effective relationships with donors and determining the optimal scenario for successful gift solicitation.
Ability to establish and monitor priorities, maintain flexibility and meet deadlines with limited direct supervision.
Exceptionally strong strategic thinking, analytical and prospect research skills, and goal orientation are essential.
Proven track record of managing, motivating and developing the full potential of a talented development staff.
Outstanding stewardship and relationship management skills with meticulous follow-through and excellent presentation skills while exercising creativity. Demonstrated donor recognition strategies.
Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies.
Works well under pressure in a demanding, fast paced work environment.
Ability to operate with purpose, urgency and accuracy.
Excellent interpersonal and communications skills with both internal and external constituencies, as well as written and verbal required.
Adept at crafting compelling and high-quality proposals, reports, solicitation letters and donor correspondence.
Proven experience in telling the story of an organization and its effectiveness. Excels at articulating organization goals, outcomes, objectives, and evaluation strategies to donors.
Leadership skills; proven results in collaboration and participation with internal and outside stakeholders.
Ability to engage and motivate groups of diverse individuals.
Solid comprehension of, and ability to articulate the NLS’s programming, mission, goals and accomplishments.
Experience with Planned Giving is a plus.
Excellent research skills.
Experience working in a recognized donor database system, Salesforce preferred.


Bachelor’s Degree is preferred. Advanced degree is a plus.


The Director of Development should embody the following personal characteristics:

Deep commitment to NLS goals and mission.
Personable, flexible, diplomatic, and respectful demeanor.
Proven ability to lead, mentor, and motivate teams.
Transparent in all work activities.
Well-organized and focused, dedicated to enhancing the development team’s effectiveness.
Proactive, solutions-oriented approach to work.
Skilled listener and strategist, capable of formulating well-organized plans.
Intrepid yet tactful, determined yet respectful of others’ concerns, and skilled negotiator.
Able to work both independently and collaboratively in a team environment.
Self-starter with a talent for building positive relationships.
Hard worker with a high energy level, willing to engage hands-on in development activities.
Adaptable to changing situations, with good judgment and consensus-building skills.
Impeccable integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, and a sense of humor.

Salary Range:

The target compensation range for this position is $96,000 to $115,000, which will be based upon background and experience. The position comes with full benefits, including:

100% employer paid health care
Dental and Vision Coverage
401K Retirement and Employer Match

Tagged as: K-6, Middle School