Head of Development & Communications


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, dynamic, and entrepreneurial Head of Development & Communications (Head of DevComm). The Head of DevComm will set the organizational vision for development and communication, lead and inspire a high-performing team to actualize that vision and work collaboratively with the Leadership Team to achieve success. Reporting to the CEO, the Head of DevComm is a member of CollegeSpring’s Leadership Team and can be based in Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; or, Oakland, CA. This is a full-time exempt position reporting directly to the CEO.

Success for the Head of DevComm includes:

  • Fundraising success, including setting and achieving CollegeSpring’s $3.6M (in FY20) fundraising goal annually for individuals and institutions.
  • Achieving long-term revenue sustainability goals (including diversification, localization, and scalable engagement of individual donors) such that CollegeSpring has a clear and realistic path for long-term sustainability.
  • Building and maintaining a national brand and applying public relations and communications strategies that mobilize CollegeSpring’s network and position CollegeSpring as a thought-leader in the education and social justice sectors.
  • Building, developing, and managing a high-performing and collaborative DevComm team. As part of this work, develop the structures, processes, systems, and tools that will enable the team to make progress against the Department’s key goals.
  • Setting and meeting organization-wide goals as part of a seven-person Leadership Team.
  • Building organizational culture, exemplifying CollegeSpring’s values in team and org-wide settings.


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. Ability to train and coach others to fundraise. 
  • Communication Skills: Strong writing skills; excellent attention to detail. Comfort 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.
  • Relationship Building & Management Skills: 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. 
  • Strategic Thinking & Planning Skills: Ability to identify our priorities, brainstorm possible paths, dig into the data, and chart a path. Use strategic thinking to create plans, budgets, etc to make our priorities and goals actionable and help us drive toward outcomes. 
  • Leadership Skills: Hold the organizational priorities as well as individual goals. Strong vision for success and a path to achieve it. Act with agency and urgency. Ability to create vision and rally others even when faced with ambiguity or incomplete information. Takes ownership when needed. 
  • People Management Skills: Able to properly steward organizational resources to create the workforce plan to achieve goals. The ability to convey confidence in others’ ability to be successful, especially at challenging new tasks; delegating significant responsibility and authority; correctly balancing directing, coaching and supporting.
  • As a member of the Leadership Team, the ability to balance organizational, departmental, personal and external priorities. Strong systems thinking skills. Able to balance the micro and the macro. Able to strongly advocate and articulate point of view but also able to buy into and communicate organizational decisions (whether the two are aligned or not).  Strong team player with a dedicated commitment to strengthening the organization. Approaches problems with a sense of ownership and leading with solutions. Proactively act when there are gaps, overcoming ambiguity to lead with clarity and agency. Strong decision making skills and able to assess when to act, even if information is missing. 
As the incoming Head 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 10 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 significant major donors ($100K+), foundations, and corporate partnerships
  • Experience managing relationships with a Board of Trustees and supporting their fundraising activities
  • Collaborative, decisive, motivating, and engaging style
  • High standards of excellence combined with a supportive and growth-oriented management style
  • 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.