Development Director (SFF)

About Us

The Sobrato Family is committed to building a strong and vibrant Silicon Valley community through business and philanthropic leadership. The Sobrato Family Foundation (Foundation) operates primarily as a place-based grant maker that invests in organizations serving the residents most in need in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Southern Alameda counties. The Foundation utilizes both real estate and cash to achieve a positive local impact, by providing in-kind office and meeting space at its three nonprofit centers in Redwood Shores, San Jose and Milpitas; awarding multi-year grants for general operating support to a wide-range of Silicon Valley nonprofits; and implementing two place-based strategic grantmaking approaches focused on expanding opportunities for low-income beneficiaries: the 21st Century Education and the Pathways for Success programs.

In addition, the Foundation developed the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) model, to accelerate the success of English Learner (EL) students in preschool and elementary school. The model was developed in 2007-2008, piloted in three schools in 2008-2013, and has been rapidly replicating since 2013 – with over 100 active sites that are located in Silicon Valley, other parts of the Bay Area, the Sacramento region, the Central Valley, and in Southern California.

Over the next 12 months, SEAL is launching as an independent nonprofit organization with a focus on research, policy/advocacy, and practice. As a complement to SEAL’s growth, the Foundation has begun to pursue opportunities for statewide advocacy around the needs of English Learner students, and for advancing research-based education policy that will better support this critical, rapidly growing population of children in California.

About the Model

The SEAL model is a comprehensive approach of intensive, enriched language education for the implementation of next generation content standards, with a strong focus on building the capacity of educators and public school systems to fully support the learning needs of their youngest English Learners. SEAL was designed and founded by Dr. Laurie Olsen, a national expert in English Learner education who is now a strategic advisor to SEAL, and Dr. Anya Hurwitz serves as its Executive Director. Core principles of the model include: viewing bilingualism and EL students as an asset; all students and EL’s in particular learn best through thematic, hands-on, exploratory and inquiry-based curriculum and pedagogy; oral language development is foundational to literacy; students achieve more quickly and at a higher level when they pursue schooling in systems that are aligned, coherent, and which provide consistency in learning strategies across the early education environment and primary grades in K-12. The SEAL model is a research-based approach, intended to support educators in enacting the best current knowledge about child development and academic learning for English Learners. The model has also been replicated with a desire to demonstrate to policymakers, and others interested in shaping policy, how school systems can be incentivized and supported to make substantial shifts in practice that reflect current or potential policy imperatives.

Summary Statement

Reporting to the Executive Director and being a member of the Senior Leadership Team, The Director of Development will be responsible to create and oversee the implementation of a strategic approach to fundraising that includes increasing new investments over the next 5 years to approximately $3 million annually from major gifts, corporate donations, grant solicitation, in-kind resources and ongoing cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors throughout the community and region. As a member of the SEAL leadership team, the Development Director will contribute to the overall planning and management of the SEAL enterprise – holding multiple priorities to deliver in his/her specific domain of responsibility of fund development, while also supporting the organization’s goals for development in other areas such as training, research and evaluation, internal operations, etc. To support the expected growth of the SEAL model, as well as our expanding strategies around policy and advocacy for English Learners, the Director of Development may also be tasked to identify on-going organizational development needs regarding internal capacity to support communication in our fund development work. Specifically, should the SEAL team include the future addition of a communication specialist, the Director of Development will be expected to provide supervision and support to such a role – around clear priorities that reflect deeper capacity and sophistication in our work with the Board, funding partners and other stakeholders. 

Essential Functions and Description of Duties

  • BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Support and help lead the overall organization’s business planning activities, playing a key role in refining the strategic business plan that guides both SEAL’s philanthropic strategy along with the fee-for-service revenue strategy. Help develop and present key “pitch” materials/products.
  • DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND MANAGEMENT: Plan fund development activities and collaborate with the Executive Director to create a fund development plan which increases revenues to support the strategic direction of the organization. Develop strategy and growth business/marketing plans in conjunction with executive leadership. Monitor field, industry and national trends and forecast to develop growth priorities and strategies for fund raising. Conduct market research, monitor and analyze market trends. Develop and manage timelines for various fundraising activities to ensure strategic plans and critical fund raising processes are carried out in a timely manner. Develop, write and implement annual marketing and fund development initiatives and plans. Recommend annual giving and campaign strategies to the President. Research sources of philanthropic support and submit proposals and grants to fund organizational initiatives. Monitor and evaluate all fundraising activities to ensure that the fundraising goals are being achieved. Manage portfolio of major gift prospects and donors.
  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Build relationships with community stakeholders to advance the mission and fundraising goals of the organization. Engage volunteers for special fund development projects using volunteer management best practices. Promote our organization, its many services, and our Brand/Image to stakeholders, other organizations, other interested parties, and to the communities whenever possible. Establish and maintain relationships with representatives of the community, media, and families of persons served, other stakeholders, and all potential donors.
  • ANNUAL REPORT & COMMUNICATIONS: Coordinate the design, printing and distribution of marketing and communication materials for development efforts. Prepare and submit grant applications as outlined in the fund development plan to generate funds for the organization. Manage public and media relations for the organization. Write Annual Report and issue approved communications as directed. Prepare and is editor of all internal and external corporate communications including support for organization newsletter. Develop a comprehensive communication plan to promote the organization to its donors and maximize public awareness of the fundraising activities of the organization. Lead, plan, and coordinate donor and media contacts, visits, and activities, and attends events as necessary to develop and sustain positive donor and media relationships.
  • BOARD & ORGANIZATIONAL ENGAGEMENT: Work with Board President, Board members and the Executive Director to engage others as appropriate in fund raising activities. Plan and manage the annual fund drive, major gifts, and planned giving initiatives and programs. Implement capital campaigns as appropriate. Oversee the planning and execution of special fundraising events with donors and potential donors as specified in the fund development plan to generate funds for the organization. Foster an understanding of philanthropy within the organization. Oversee the development and continuous improvement of services, policies, processes, and programs to meet or exceed fundraising goals. Help create a culture and environment that attracts, develops and retains qualified employees/associates. Create a shared vision with staff and demonstrate the ability to articulate it clearly. Develop, energize and motivate staff through example, coaching, and teaching
  • RECORD KEEPING: Manage and maintain donor database and all records related to fund development including the administration of a donor mailing list and database which respects the privacy and confidentiality of donor information. Identify and develop corporate, community and individual prospects for the organization's fundraising priorities. Coordinate in-kind donations and make decisions regarding the issuing of receipts. Lead and coordinate employees to maintain records of donors and grants, preparing letters of appreciation, and special events. 
  • BUDGETING AND REPORTING: Lead financial planning. Develop budgets and achieve financial targets. Develop and manage fund development budget, including the annual income and expenditure budget for the fund development program. Prepares regular reports on progress, budgets, receipts and expenditure related to fundraising and the management of the fund development activities. Monitor expenses and analyze budget reports on fund development and recommend changes as necessary.

Qualifications, Skills, Experience and Education

  • A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in a related field is required, and a certification as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) is strongly preferred. 
  • Minimum of 7-10 years of experience of progressively-responsible fundraising experience, including organizational-wide leadership. The ideal candidate will possess an extremely high comfort level asking for contributions and gifts from donors. Exceptional communication skills (verbal and written) along with ease and comfort presenting to large and small groups of individuals is essential. 
  • Strong computer skills including proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, as well as social media applications; experience with fundraising software (such as Blackbaud or Raiser’s Edge) is required; experience in Mac environment preferred.
  • Expert relationship management skills, working well independently and within a multi-faceted team - and experience managing a team of colleagues that enhance organizational effectiveness- demonstrating robust flexibility, collaboration, creativity, and comfort with ambiguity. 
  • Passion for educational equity and serving marginalized students and communities, specifically English Learners and immigrants.
  • Exceptional organizational and multi-tasking skills, ability to be proactive and constantly prioritize responsibilities and track progress in a fast moving and rapidly changing environment. Develop new and unique ways to improve the finances of the organization and to create new opportunities.
  • Exceptional initiative, vision, and enthusiasm to develop and implement short and long-term strategies, with the ability to motivate staff, colleagues and external partners and create a culture of continuous quality improvement in service delivery and innovation.
  • Persuasive communicator and external representative, spoken and written, to powerfully convey the core principles and specific policies the organization and its advocacy partners are trying to advance. 
  • Extraordinary judgment, diligence and attention to detail. Anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of donors to meet or exceed their expectations within the organizational parameters.
  • Assess situations to determine the importance, urgency and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization.

Additional Information

  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Highly competitive benefits package
  • Full-time, exempt position

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, welcomes a diverse pool of applicants, and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. Foundation policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, military service, legally protected medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. 

Physical Demands and Working Conditions

This is a full-time, forty-hour per week position, though additional hours and evenings may be necessary to attend events and functions. Work will include long periods of sitting and standing and driving, so reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license is required. Time will be spent on the phone and sitting in front of a computer. Some lifting up to 15 pounds may be required. 

To Apply

Click to apply online. 

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