Managing Director of Development

  • Job posted by Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN)

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience




New York
New York
United States


About the Organization:

What began in 1996 as The Young Women’s Leadership School providing an all-girls, high quality, college preparatory education in East Harlem, has grown to serve 8,000 girls in our 5 New York City and 15 national affiliate schools, and 18,000 students through our school-based college counseling program. 

Today, The Student Leadership Network (SLN) makes college accessible for students from low-income communities and first generation college students through two life-changing programs: The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS), a network of high-performing all-girls public secondary schools, and the CollegeBound Initiative (CBI), a school-based college access program for young women and men.  

To date, nearly 100% of TYWLS students graduate from high school and are accepted to college, and all five NYC TWYLS’ schools are the highest performing in their districts. Since 2001, nearly 100% of the students participating in CBI were accepted to college and have received over $450 million in aid and scholarships. We are currently impacting 26,000 students nationwide. To learn more, visit 

About the Position:

The Managing Director (MD) of Development joins the organization at an exciting and pivotal time in its existence as YWLN rebrands as the Student Leadership Network, better reflecting its support of both of young women and men. The organization is launching an ambitious five year strategic plan focused on significantly scaling regional and national impact, leveraging digital platforms and increasing the visibility of students.  The organization has also invested in the design of a comprehensive, robust strategic fundraising plan for FY19, giving the incoming MD of Development a strong foundation from which to build and execute initially. 

With that in mind, the MD of Development will determine the vision and strategy for FY20 and beyond; lead a team of seven, projected to raise $11M in FY19, in all aspects of fundraising (special events, online giving, major and individual gifts, corporate partnerships and institutional giving), and ensure the systems, structures, practices and effectiveness of the fundraising shop align with the strategic priorities and growth. 

Reporting to the Executive Director and serving as an integral member of the senior leadership team and contributor to org-wide strategic planning, the MD of Development will lead strategy, ensure excellent execution, and serve as a front-line fundraiser. The MD will also build the development team’s capacity in pipeline building, stewardship, forecasting, and leveraging and partnering with the ED. 

Ideal candidates are exceptional at both strategy and execution and are outstanding managers who lead teams to outcomes. This person is also a skilled relationship manager and front line fundraiser with a track record of successful fundraising and increasing revenue in high growth organizations.

Outcomes & Responsibilities Include:

Development Strategy, Vision and Leadership:

  • Lead the operationalizing and ensure execution of the FY19 strategic fundraising plan; set vision and strategy and ensure execution of FY20 and beyond
  • Effectively hire, lead, manage and develop development team members to raise $11M this year; ensuring they are outcomes focused, high performing, collaborative and innovative
  • Build best in class major gift program; design and execute robust major gift stewardship plan; directly manage relationship with major givers
  • Lead the Individual Giving Director to ensure he/she increases revenue by 120%/ doubling in revenue by FY21
  • Implement tactics and strategies to ensure increases in institutional giving
  • Support the ED to develop and implement strategies to drive the effectiveness of the board, including recruitment efforts
  • Actively collaborate with peers on YWLN’s leadership team on organizational priorities and practices; serve as a strategic thought partner to the Executive Director

Development Operations:

  • Lead and support systems building and tools to ensure the development function operates optimally and supports a strong partnership with the ED
  • Ensure the ED is prepared and supported to be external with board members, board prospects, major givers and key foundation partners & prospects; Support team in being more external facing, meeting with supporters and prospects
  • Manage our Development Operations Associate to strengthen and oversee development and systems and operations (e.g. donor communications, acknowledgement systems, database).
  • Report regularly on status of fundraising efforts to Executive Director, funders and Board of Directors.
  • Lead and facilitate work of board committees and directly manage relationships with board members.  
  • Collaborate with our MD of Finance & Administration on relevant matters, including efforts to lead and facilitate work of the Board of Directors’ finance committee.
  • Collaborate closely with the MD of Communications on fundraising, development of campaigns and event strategies and tactics
  • Report regularly on status of fundraising efforts to Executive Director, funders and Board of Directors

Key Qualifications:

  • Passion for YWLN’s mission and vision to make college a reality for students from low income communities and first-generation college students
  • Minimum of 15 years experience in with at least 5 years experience in a senior management role fundraising.
  • Significant experience managing large, multi-layered teams to meet ambitious results through effective talent management practices
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with high-net worth individuals
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing a comprehensive development strategy
  • Direct experience as a front line fundraiser; specific expertise in individual or major gifts preferred
  • Track record designing effective development fundraising strategy and tactics; ability to translate strategic thinking into action plans and output
  • Experience leading teams through high growth and change; ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
  • Expertise, credibility, presence, and confidence to gain the credibility and respect of high-performing Board of Directors
  • Excellent and persuasive communicator as demonstrated by exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior leaders, board members and staff
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative
  • Innovative thinker, idea generator, problem solver
  • Bachelor's degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred

Compensation & Benefits: Competitive/commensurate with experience. Medical, Dental, Vision, and 401K matching.

Application instructions: This search is being managed by Axis Talent Partners. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their passion for the mission and qualifications for the position to:


Medical, Dental, Vision, and 401K matching.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

This search is being managed by Axis Talent Partners. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their passion for the mission and qualifications for the position to: