Director of Development

  • Job posted by Leading Educators

Job Type

Full Time




New Orleans
United States




Leading Educators (LE) is a national nonprofit committed to ensuring that all students – no matter their background – have access to high quality teachers and schools. We partner with districts and charter management organizations to help highly effective teachers develop the content, pedagogical, and leadership skills needed to successfully design and deliver rigorous content in their classrooms and throughout their school. We work to strengthen the instructional skills of teacher leaders who, in turn, lead their peers in similar efforts through intensive job-embedded coaching, professional development, and powerful cohort-based learning experiences. Our goal is to extend the reach and impact of highly effective teachers, build internal capacity within school districts, and dramatically improve student outcomes. Please visit to learn more.


The Director of Development will be responsible for developing, managing and executing a diverse fundraising strategy, including the development of a robust and sustainable donor pipeline, while cultivating and stewarding existing funders. The Director will report to the Managing Director of Development and work closely with the CEO and executive leadership. The incumbent will develop and advance relationships with foundations to support the mission and work of Leading Educators.

The Director will demonstrate a proficiency in researching, identifying, cultivating and stewarding local, regional and national foundations. In partnership with the Storytelling and Communications team, the Director will develop strategy and messaging to increase the visibility of Leading Educators in the areas of foundation philanthropy. In this role, the incumbent will additionally be charged with building upon the personal and professional networks of the CEO, the Board of Directors, the executive leadership team, and existing philanthropic partners to successfully raise funds.

This is an exciting opportunity for a driven professional with strong philanthropic networks, demonstrated success in reaching ambitious fundraising goals, and an interest in helping to drive system-wide, catalytic improvements in K-12 education. The Director of Development is a new role that will be critical to Leading Educators' ability to raise essential support that will sustain the organization and expand its impact over the long-term.


Fundraising, Cultivation & Stewardship

·        Design and implement a multi-year strategy for ambitiously increasing the size and number of foundation gifts.

·        Build and leverage deep and authentic relationships with current and potential funding sources.

·        Demonstrate exceptional writing ability and deep program knowledge

·        Develop and draft fundraising proposals compelling donors to invest in Leading Educators' mission and programmatic priorities.

·        Development the new funding pipeline utilizing networking, prospecting and cold outreach.

·        Establish long-term partnerships and leverage existing relationships with foundation sector resulting in increased funding.

·        Create and present development plans and projections.

·        Leverage research, philanthropic landscape knowledge, fundraising expertise and internal resources and partnerships to make strategic recommendations;

·        Create framework for effective board member engagement.

·        Design and establish funder/prospect engagement events and oversee effective follow-up.

·        Track and analyze portfolio activity to ensure key deliverables and deadlines are met, and provide regular updates to the CEO and extended leadership team to continuously improve team strategy.

Strategic Organizational Planning and Management

·        Build and maintain systems to track, monitor and evaluate development efforts and measure progress against projected performance.

·        Partner with Storytelling and Communications to optimize proposal writing strategy.

·        Build systems and tools to strengthen collaboration, information-sharing, and efficiencies among teams.

·        Collaborate with other departments and staff to communicate initiatives, programming goals, and accomplishments to donors and funding stakeholders.



The ideal candidate will demonstrate:

  • 5 - 7 years of fundraising experience;
  • A passion for and commitment to educational equity;
  • Demonstrated acuity in the areas of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategy for foundation fundraising;
  • Track record of successful donor solicitation of major gifts from and foundations.
  • Proven proficiency in grant and proposal writing;
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills alongside comfort with technology
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize and describe funding needs in a way that is compelling to a diversity of external audiences
  • Ability to initiate and build sustainable relationships with prospective foundation donors;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated experience developing internal tools, systems, and processes to increase organizational effectiveness;
  • Confidentiality and integrity when managing sensitive information;
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • High level of organization and strong attention to detail as well as an ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment;
  • Ability to develop deep content knowledge quickly and to share that knowledge in effective and compelling ways with potential partners
  • The desire and ability to work collaboratively and virtually with staff members across teams;
  • Previous work with non-profits required; school-based or student-focused professional experience or previous work with educational non-profits preferred;
  • Bachelor's degree required; Master's degree preferred.
  • CFRE certification preferred.


Flexible location, with a preference for Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; or New Orleans, Louisiana.


Compensation is competitive, commensurate with experience. In addition, Leading Educators offers a very generous benefits package including 100% paid medical, dental, and vision coverage for individual employees. Additional premium costs are covered 60% by Leading Educators for partners and dependents on medical, dental, and vision plans. We also offer a 4% matching 401k plan, Flexible Spending Accounts for medical, childcare and commuter expenses, as well as an employer-sponsored Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Benefits are valued at or above $8,000 for employees.

Additionally, Leading Educators offers generous time off with pay in order to support a sustainable high performance work culture. During the first three years of employment, full time staff accrue 22 days a year. Five additional days are accrued after the third and sixth year of employment. Leading Educators also offers 16 additional paid days off for various

holidays, including three floating holidays staff may use at their discretion.


Leading Educators strongly values equity and challenges historical inequity with a persistent focus on dismantling systemic racism. We work towards a more just society and as such we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood.


Please apply through our online application at



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Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply