Director of Development & Communications (CA)


At CollegeSpring we equip schools and teachers with the tools to help students confidently prepare for the SAT and ACT. These tests are a critical part of college admissions, and every student deserves a chance to prepare. Yet test prep courses and private tutoring are often costly or hard to access. Our programs reduce this inequity by bringing high quality test preparation into schools. We build Test Confidence™ by training, supporting, and providing ongoing coaching to teachers at our partner schools to deliver the CollegeSpring curriculum to their students. Since 2008, CollegeSpring has helped provide school-day test prep to over 30,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and New York.


CollegeSpring is seeking an experienced and entreperneurial Director of Development & Communications (Director of DevComm) to join a high-performing team working towards ambitious development and communications goals. The Director of DevComm will work collaboratively with a four-person team to tailor the organization’s development and communication strategies for two key markets: Los Angeles, CA and the Bay Area. Reporting to the Head of DevComm, the Director of DevComm will be based in Los Angeles, CA.

Success for the Director of DevComm includes: 

  • Fundraising success, including achieving CollegeSpring’s $3.6M (FY20) organizational fundraising goal by meeting or exceeding Bay Area and Los Angeles targets ($1M), with a focus on opening up new opportunities for CollegeSpring.
  • Contribute to long-term revenue sustainability goals by: stewarding existing donors and inspiring them to increase their engagement and support over time; and, identifying, securing and growing a portfolio of new donors.
  • Finding and elevating local success stories to communicate with CollegeSpring constituents about the impact of the program more broadly.
  • Working collaboratively with the Development & Communications team to develop the structures, processes, systems and tools that will enable the team to make progress against the Department’s key goals.

What You’ll Do

Success will be achieved through responsibilities including, but not limited to:

  • Fundraising Acumen: Demonstrated success in thinking creatively and strategically about revenue diversification and ability to effectively develop and implement plans in support of revenue growth. Experience moving opportunities through all stages of the fundraising lifecycle–from prospect identification to successfully closing a gift, thanking, and stewarding. Ability to think critically about a donor motivations and barriers, and how you can leverage existing connections to forge new and/or stronger relationships. Ability to build and improve systems and tools for development operations, including databases, reporting, and donor research tools.
  • Communication Skills: Strong writing skills, comfortable drafting communication in other people’s voices. Ability to anticipate questions and needs of audiences. Able to leverage communication to inspire, influence, drive people to action, support decision making and build relationships. Ability to support others in building their communications skills. Translate national development plans into localized annual, quarterly and monthly plans in order to deliver on development goals, with a particular focus on identifying and opening new opportunities. Produce high-quality written communications by:
    • Drafting, proofreading and editing communications
    • Compiling data and supplementary materials (financial reports, news articles, statistics on programmatic initiatives, anecdotes, etc.)
    • Work with DevComm team to adapt templates and other materials as needed
  • Relationship Building & Management Skills: Lead fundraising in California to meet ambitious annual targets, which will increase year-over-year. Deep curiosity in learning about people and their needs. Interpersonal and adaptable skills to navigate a lot of different personalities, power structures, and varying priorities. Ability to be aware of self, and regulate emotions, as well as being able to understand other people’s emotions when displayed. Able to be a true thought partner with stakeholders and add value to relationships. Ability to support others in their relationship building and management skills. Actively serve as a key steward and liaison for major donors and foundations in California, hosting site visits, planning events, and coordinating meetings that deepen donors’ commitment to CollegeSpring. 
  • Collaboration Skills: Awareness of when to lean in and step back, when to leverage expertise of self and others. Ability to mine for and manage conflict and debate. Commitment to accountability in the process of collaboration. Ability to support others in their collaboration skills. Work with the Head of DevComm, DevComm Manager, and DevComm Coordinator to develop, execute, and refine fundraising strategies to create the most effective and efficient revenue model possible for CollegeSpring. Work closely with the  Head of DevComm (and CEO as needed) to plan and execute a sequence of communications, actions and events for each donor in the portfolio to increase their understanding of and commitment to CollegeSpring.
  • Project Management Skills: Demonstrated success in thinking creatively and strategically about revenue diversification and ability to effectively develop and implement plans in support of revenue growth. Strong command and management of stakeholder roles in project completion and sign off.  Ability to prioritize communication of the project and work with broader stakeholder group as a part of overall project planning. Ability to manage up, down and across the organization. Ability to manage a project in a timely way that stays under budget. Ability to support others in their project management skills. Lead the design and execution of local fundraising events to ensure prospective donors are powerfully supported and engaged. Plan and run inspiring events and school visits including: managing all logistics and preparation; creating and compiling materials; coordinating hosts and speakers, and managing execution of follow-up. Maintain clear and comprehensive systems that align with departmental best practices. This includes but is not limited to donor tracking systems and data management in Salesforce.
As the incoming Director of DevComm, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:
  • Passion and commitment to the mission and vision of CollegeSpring
  • At least 7 years of professional experience with a focus on relationship management 
  • Proven track record of growing revenue generation; experience in either the private or nonprofit sector is valued, while cross-sector experience would be ideal
  • Experience managing major donors ($10K+), foundations, and corporate partnerships
  • Familiarity with Los Angeles and Bay Area philanthropic landscapes preferred 
  • High standards of excellence combined with a growth-oriented mindset
  • Culturally competent regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. Able to have difficult and effective conversations about race and equity while meeting someone where they are
  • Aligned in thought and action with CollegeSpring’s core values: 
    • Excellence Is Our Standard. We believe in the potential of people, the power of ambitious goals, and supporting each other to achieve excellence.
    • Learning Drives Us. Every day we learn, improve, adapt, and make the changes that propel our progress.
    • Challenges Are Opportunities. A can-do attitude and growth mindset can move mountains.
    • Relationships Fuel Impact. Accountability, trust, and communication are the cornerstones of the relationships, internal and external, which make our impact possible.
    • Equity is Our Aim. We center historically marginalized perspectives and continuously eliminate disparities that affect us and our work.

How To Apply

Submit resume and cover letter to [email protected]. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

CollegeSpring is committed to equal employment opportunity, including decisions regarding employment, for all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, special disabled veteran or Vietnam Era Veteran status or other protected status. CollegeSpring is also committed to creating a diverse, open workplace, and we encourage applicants who are members of one or more protected categories.