Director of Development

Job Type

Full Time




315 West 36th St.
New York
United States


Organizational Overview:

At Literacy Trust, we believe education is a basic human right and access to high-quality literacy instruction is a cornerstone of our democracy. Our mission is to leverage what already exists in school communities to increase educational capacity in order to create fluent, motivated, self-confident readers.


Through our signature program, Reading Rescue, we provide professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school community members. Simultaneously, students are provided literacy intervention, particularly students of color in high-poverty neighborhoods. We strive to implement sustainable intervention models that eventually become a core component of the school’s literacy ecosystem. Reading Rescue is currently partnering with 90 New York City schools, reaching over 800 educators and 1500 students, throughout the five boroughs.


At Literacy Trust, we promote events, ideas, thinking, programs, and communities that inspire action in pursuit of universal access to literacy.

To learn more about Literacy Trust, please visit:

To learn more about Rescue Rescue please visit:

Position Summary:

Literacy Trust is seeking a strategic, energetic, and passionate Director of Development to develop and execute the fundraising strategy for this growing organization. With primary responsibility for developing new revenue sources (individual, corporate, and foundation) with long term sustainability, the Director of Development will work closely with the Executive Director to expand and oversee all donor relationships in order to diversify funding streams. Specifically, the Director of Development will build and manage a portfolio of individual donors, identify and pursue grant opportunities, leverage the Board, and lead the development and execution of strategic special events.

This is a tremendous opportunity for a results-oriented development professional to play a key role in establishing the processes for both external donor relations and internal development operations within a mission-driven organization. This person will play a key role in establishing an effective infrastructure for the development function at Literacy Trust. This leader must have a proven track record of results in fundraising, experience communicating and developing relationships with donors and colleagues, energy to work as a team with the Executive Directors in a fast-paced environment and have a passion for maximizing Literacy Trust's impact.

Position Outcomes

A successful Director of Development will:

  • Drive the design and implementation of a long-term strategic fundraising plan, in collaboration with the Executive Director and Board
  • Track prospects and acknowledging gifts, and develop processes for continual and accurate maintenance of the Simply 360 database
  • Develop new and expand existing best practices around fundraising operations and stewardship, with a particular focus on expanding individual and major gifts and diversifying funding streams
  • Assist the Executive Director in managing, leveraging, and developing the Board, including developing fundraising activities for the Board
  • Ensure that internal systems and processes are in place to support development activities

Key Responsibilities

In order to achieve the preceding outcomes, the Director of Development will:

Prospect Research

  • Research and prepare strategy and briefing materials on individual, corporate, government, and foundation donors and prospects and proactively identify opportunities for increased giving from donors and prospects
  • Lead all efforts to secure grants and corporate sponsorship, including drafting letters of intent, grant applications, and reports and drafting corporate sponsorship proposals

Major Gifts

  • Build and continuously expand a major gift pipeline by cultivating relationships with high net- worth individuals
  • Develop customized cultivation and solicitation plans for major gift donors and prospects, with a particular focus on increasing the number of individual donors

External Relations and Board Management

  • Develop agenda items and meeting materials for quarterly Board meetings, design and leverage Board fundraising activities, and brainstorm potential structure for Junior Board
  • Represent the Literacy Trust at local community events

Development Operations

  • Oversee fundraising database and provide regular reports to the Executive Director and Board tracking progress towards goals
  • Design all solicitation and stewardship correspondence and activities, including drafting acknowledgements and appeals, and developing and executing fundraising events


  • Bachelor’s degree, Master’s preferred
  • At least five years of relevant experience in nonprofit fundraising or external relations, including quantifiable fundraising successes across a variety of revenue streams
  • Experience building and executing fundraising strategies that identify and cultivate gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations, ideally with a track record of securing significant contributions
  • Motivation to set and achieve a desired goal and ability to plan, monitor, work towards it proactively
  • Ability to be both strategic and tactical when implementing solutions in a growing organization
  • Ability to utilize effective interpersonal skills and a variety of strategies and techniques to reach mutually beneficial goals over time
  • Ability to utilize verbal and writing skills to effectively communicate a message particular to an audience and to meet relevant goals, using a clear, concise, and compelling style
  • Understanding of the New York philanthropic landscape and national education funding landscape is preferable but not required
  • Ability to work independently in an innovative, fast-paced environment
  • Passion for Literacy Trust’s mission and impact and interest in investing external stakeholders in the work


Literacy Trust offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills.

Literacy Trust is an equal opportunity employer. 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Please send a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position, addressed to Dana Grau, Director of Operations, Literacy Trust at