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Development Director

Who We Are…

Aspire Afterschool Learning (formerly Greenbrier Learning Center) is a non-profit organization based in South Arlington. Aspire provides robust, comprehensive, and high-quality afterschool and summer academic enrichment to historically underserved 3rd – 8th grade students. Our programs support and connect students, families, schools, and communities while using evidence-based methods to achieve results for students most impacted by the educational opportunity gap. Over 90% of our students improve their reading levels each year with our support.

Aspire’s values statement:

  • Growth: We Aspire to support our students to empower them to reach their goals. 
  • Connection: We Aspire to bring our community together to create a sense of belonging for our students and their families.
  • Equity & Access: We Aspire to provide access to the students and families most impacted by the educational opportunity gap and treat Aspire students and families with dignity, fairness, and respect. 
  • Excellence: We Aspire to strive for excellence in all that we do. 
  • Fun & Caring: We Aspire to approach every day with a nurturing spirit of playfulness and warmth.

You can learn more about Aspire and our work at www.aspireafterschool.org.

We’re Looking for a full-time Development Director…

Aspire Afterschool Learning is seeking a full-time (40 hours/week) Development Director to lead Aspire’s fundraising program. Working in collaboration with Aspire’s Executive Director and Development & Communications Coordinator, the Development Director plans and delivers on fundraising strategy that will increase private revenue from corporate, foundation, and individual giving partners from $1.3 M per year in FY 23 to $1.7 M per year in FY 26.

The Development Director will build relationships with individuals and organizations to secure and grow philanthropic support and partnerships. The ideal candidate should be a fundraising generalist with experience in individual donor cultivation at all giving levels including major gifts and planned giving, foundation giving, and corporate partnerships. Duties include donor engagement and moves management, planning Aspire’s annual fall fundraising event, and identifying strategies and opportunities for financial support through grants and sponsorships.

The Development Director reports to the Executive Director and will interact regularly with Aspire’s Board of Directors, including staffing the board’s Resource Generation Committee. The position is responsible for managing Aspire’s Development & Communications Coordinator and contract grant writer.

What You’ll Do…

Working closely with the Executive Director and within a small staff team environment, you will be responsible for:

Fundraising Strategy & Development 

  • Creating and implementing an annual development plan that reflects Aspire’s strategic priorities
  • In coordination with the Executive Director and Resource Generation Committee, develop annual revenue budgets and accompanying strategies to achieve revenue goals
  • Use a data-driven approach to frequently monitor progress towards goals and direct fundraising strategies and activities to ensure success, including increasing donor giving, engagement, and satisfaction
  • Proactively engage in problem solving and developing alternative strategies to address performance, budget variances, prospect moves management, and other challenges to reach revenue goals
  • Stay abreast and knowledgeable of development trends, communicate them to ED/Board, and integrate them within the development strategy/framework
  • Oversee gift acceptance and acknowledgment policies to ensure proper use of funds, increase donor satisfaction, and alignment with best-in-class practices
  • Champion fundraising strategy with board, including developing training materials and resources to support board members on various forms of fundraising (lead generation, cultivation)
  • Manage monthly reconciliation of major revenue sources and expenses

Individual Giving:

  • Oversee individual giving strategies, including annual appeal, direct mail, email appeals, and moves management to increase giving levels and cultivate and engage major donors
  • Develop and implement individual cultivation and solicitation strategies for different donor levels and prospects including:
  • Cultivate meaningful stewardship relationships with donors/prospects through personal communication, including event invitations, personal visits and calls, and written communications and mailings
  • Conduct regular donor meetings and tailor proposals/pitches to donor interests and implement ongoing cultivation strategies to grow major gifts
  • Work to identify prospects that can be elevated within Aspire’s individual giving portfolio
  • Manage, recruit, and engage monthly donors
  • Oversee the development and management of a board alumni giving circle
  • Work with Development & Communications Coordinator to implement full moves management cycles with donors to include tracking and recording prospect/donor information, prospect strategies, and meaningful contacts in donor database
  • Support and coach Development & Communications Coordinate in the creation, implementation, and management of special appeals, such as Giving Tuesday and our Summer and our End of Year appeal

Private Grants, Corporate, and Community Giving Management:

  • Oversee and reconfigure Aspire’s community giving and corporate sponsorship portfolio to attract, cultivate, engage, and maximize corporate and community giving
  • Manage and recruit corporate and community partners (civic and faith groups) and steward relationships with these constituents that will encourage giving and support Aspire’s mission
  • In tandem with the Development & Communications Coordinator and part-time Grants Contractor, work to cultivate and diversify Aspire’s private foundation portfolio, including drafting grant applications and reports, including:
  • Act as the main point of contact for Aspire’s Grants Contractor who will serve as a grant writer and reviewer, as needed and on select grants, including developing grant writing strategy
  • Serve as main point of contact for external grants administrators, including ensuring Aspire remains up to date on reporting and submission requirements
  • Ensure grant agreements are filed, and outcomes benchmarks are measured and reported in a timely manner prior to required deadlines
  • Support the Development & Communications Coordinator in meeting prospecting goals that identify new fundraising funding opportunities with corporations, community organizations, and foundations

Event Management

  • Plan and lead Aspire’s signature fall fundraising event, Achieving Afterschool Celebration, including:
  • Recruit, engage, and lead Event Steering Committee
  • Design of event theme, materials, and event program elements
  • Management of event sponsor recruitment and sponsor communications
  • Coordination of event venue, contractors, and caterer
  • Management of day-of event logistics, including staff and volunteer management
  • Work in tandem with the Event Steering Committee, Executive Director, Development & Communications Coordinator, and Board to successfully meet event goals
  • Ensure extensive, personal follow-up is conducted in a timely manner following events and that all events embody Aspire’s mission and values

Strategic Communications

  • Working alongside the Development & Communications Coordinator and Executive Director, develop a comprehensive and integrated communications strategy and calendar, increasing engagement with external partners (foundation, corporation, community, government), individual donors, and board members
  • Evaluate the success of strategic development and communication initiatives to optimize Aspire’s resources, while strengthening trust and relationships with donors, foundations, and other partners
  • Support the Development & Communications Coordinator in identifying meaningful and persuasive program stories to connect donors and funders with their impact, build program awareness, elevate Aspire within the Arlington community, and reflect the values and diversity of the community Aspire serves
  • Work in collaboration with Aspire’s program team to identify and demonstrate qualitative and quantitative program successes and measurements within Aspire communications
  • Oversee the consistent use of Aspire branding and language across all communication channels

Who Are You & Keys to Success…

To be successful in this position, you will have:

Functional Qualifications:

  • Minimum three to five years of direct fundraising experience, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual, foundation, and corporate donors.
  • Strong self-starter, ability to work independently and as part of a team, confident and creative in cultivating new donors, building relationships, and making asks
  • Excellent organizational and follow-through skills; strong attention to detail and deadlines
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, both verbal and written; able to communicate Aspire’s mission and story to various stakeholder audiences
  • Technology un-afraid and good working knowledge of Microsoft Office software and donor management systems
  • Preferred experience with donor and grant management databases, particularly Bloomerang and Instrumental
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships based on trust, respect, and reflective of Aspire’s values

Qualitative Qualifications:

  • Highly adaptable with the ability to work flexibly, creatively, and independently within a growing and evolving organization
  • A deep commitment to closing the educational opportunity gap
  • Excitement for Aspire’s mission and commitment to Aspire’s values
  • Strong problem-solving skills, creative thinking, and a can-do attitude

What Else You Should Know…

Aspire Afterschool Learning is a safe, inclusive workplace for people of all backgrounds and walks of life. We value having team members who reflect the students and families we serve, including from communities most impacted by the educational opportunity gap. Some candidates may see a long list of job requirements and feel discouraged because they don’t match every single bullet point; please apply anyway. We don’t believe in a “perfect” candidate because we believe in our core values of growth, connection, equity, and access.

Aspire Afterschool Learning does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, gender, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations.

The position is full-time (40 hours/week) and requires the ability to work from Aspire’s Arlington Mill site in South Arlington for at least one to two days/week. The hours are flexible. The salary for this position is $75,000/annual. We also offer a monthly health insurance stipend, 403b plan, flexible work schedule, positive working environment and culture, values-driven work, 15 vacation days during your first year of employment, 13 holidays, 5 wellness days, and two weeks off with pay during the winter holiday break.

How to Apply…

Please send a cover letter and resume to paula@aspireafterschool.org with “Development Director application” in the subject line. The position will remain open until filled; however, interviews with qualified candidates will begin immediately.