Director of Development (DY)

DreamYard Mission and History:

DreamYard, founded in 1994, is a Bronx-based organization that uses the arts, social justice pedagogy and digital and connected learning to inspire youth, public schools and communities. DreamYard’s yearlong arts programs develop artistic voices, nurture young peoples’ desire to make change and cultivate the skills necessary to reach positive goals. By committing to sustained learning opportunities along an educational pathway, with 45 partnering public schools K-12th Grade, with our own DY Prep HS School and at the DreamYard Art Center in Morrisania, DreamYard supports young people as they work toward higher learning, meaningful careers and social action.  We seek to be effective locally while having a national impact through partnerships, collaboration and learning exchanges.

Anti-racism Commitment:

At DreamYard, we commit to being an anti-racist organization. We lead with race because we operate in a country founded on the genocide of Indigenous people, the enslavement of African people, and the oppression of countless others. We acknowledge the role this history plays in perpetuating inequity and dominant white culture.

  • We are intentionally building a path toward racial equity by:
  • Challenging oppression and its intersections
  • Using art and education as a platform to offer a hopeful vision of the future
  • Identifying and uplifting the power and cultural assets that exist within our community of educators, artists, dreamers, young people and life-long learners
  • Encouraging the principles of justice, unity, equity, creativity, and joy
  • Transforming policies, procedures, practices, and programs (for example: striving for transparency and equity in pay and compensation structures regardless of race, culture, gender, ethnicity, creed, etc)
  • Understanding our staff, community members and partners are at different levels on the anti-racist continuum and embracing that we all have a place in this work

The Community

DreamYard is focused in the Bronx, a borough that possesses incredible cultural, human and economic assets. In addition to work throughout the Bronx, DreamYard partners with local, national and international communities using the arts to build bridges to opportunity. The organization believes that the arts are a necessary part of developing our local assets to their greatest potential.

The Position

The Director of Development collaborates closely with the Co-Executive Directors to build and manage a growing number of mid-major level donors at DreamYard, and will lead the Development team at DreamYard.  

Reports to: Co-Executive Directors

Manages: Two direct reports, the Development and Communications Manager, and the Manager of Institutional Giving.

Development Team Management and Collaboration

  • Develop a comprehensive annual development plan in collaboration with Co-Executive Directors and Development Managers;
  • Guide, support, and supervise the Manager of Institutional Giving and the Manager of Development & Communications;
    • Oversee all fundraising campaigns and appeals, including annual appeal, Giving Tuesday, and events including the Annual Benefit;
    • Manage workflow of grant cycles and develops strategy around grant cycle / funding;
  • Project forecasts for the organization’s operating budget in collaboration with the Finance Department and Co-Executive Directors;
  • Develop and manage the yearly Development budget, track monthly expenses, and hold quarterly check-ins with Finance;
  • Co-develop and co-facilitate the Development and Finance quarterly retreats.
  • Finalize the Development calendar – including annual report and various fundraising materials throughout the year;
  • Attend regular Development Meetings and contribute to maintaining an accurate agenda;
  • Identify and support professional development opportunities to help strengthen the Development Department as a whole;
  • Evaluate and advocate for the efficiency and advancement of our team’s tools and processes including: Raiser’s Edge NXT, financial audit preparation, documentation, finance/development reports;  

Management of Mid-Major Level Donors & Board Relationships

Board of Directors, Young Professionals Committee (Jr. Board), Corporate Partners, Foundations, Individual donors

  • Prospect, steward, and manage relationships with mid-major level donors & Board of Directors;
  • Help develop strategy for cultivating and securing institutional and corporate partners as well as major donors, including the co-creation of pitch decks and proposals to solicit support;
  • Serve as the primary business contact; send regular updates of special accomplishments & events taking place at DreamYard to these constituents;
  • Assist the Executive Directors in establishing and cultivating relationships with key individuals at corporate institutions and major donors in our network;
  • Send timely communications on any committed and/or outstanding pledges;
  • Plan, organize and coordinate special events, including but not limited to: DreamYard’s Annual Benefit, service days, investment pitch events, and special initiatives—(i.e.: Poetry Slam Finals at Joe’s Pub, Annual Benefit);

Organization Responsibilities

  • Develop the organization’s Annual Report in collaboration with Development Managers;
  • Strategize, advocate for and support the roll out, onboarding, and evaluation of organization-wide data collection systems that support our fundraising efforts;
  • Participate in regular Leadership Team meetings and provide leadership throughout the organization as it relates to development, building a culture of philanthropy, and setting organizational goals aligned with DreamYard’s organizational mission, values, and commitment to racial equity;
  • Assist with large-scale organization-wide events as needed;

Who You Are:

  • Committed to Black liberation and the dismantling of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous practices within nonprofit fundraising both personally and professionally;
  • Demonstrated experience in managing a team and supporting their career development;
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and executing a comprehensive development plan;
  • Demonstrated experience in cultivating, closing, and stewarding gifts at every level;
  • Demonstrated experience in event management and planning;
  • A collaborative self-starter who believes in the power of community and working together;
  • A well-connected fundraiser with a passion for diversifying our donor base—racially, socio-economically, etc;


  • 7+ years of progressively responsible experience in non-profit fundraising;
  • Strong project management and implementation skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and general communication skills;
  • Confidence sharing DreamYard’s work and stories with Board members, donors and community partners;
  • Ability to relate to diverse groups of people from all social and economic segments of the community;
  • Demonstrated creative problem solving and strategic planning skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to gracefully manage tight timelines in a fast-paced working environment and multiple projects concurrently;
  • The ability to collaborate effectively with team members and volunteers to achieve organizational development goals;
  • Strong attention to detail, especially in getting to know individual donors, their interests and connections to the organization;
  • Strong leadership skills, with an emphasis on listening, empathy, collaboration and effective communication based on honest feedback and radical candor;
  • Experience in database management, fundraising, relationship management, event planning, digital marketing management, etc. Platforms include but are not limited to: Raiser’s Edge 7, Raiser’s Edge NXT, SquareSpace.

To Apply

Please submit (1) a resume, (2) a cover letter providing more in-depth information on your academic and professional experience, (3) a writing sample (3) pages maximum), and (4) contact information for at least three academic or professional references via e-mail by September 30, 2020 to the e-mail address below.  

Portia Hawkins-Bond

Director of Human Resources, DreamYard

E-mail: [email protected]


In the Subject Line of the email: Director of Development


About DreamYard

DreamYard offers competitive salaries, an excellent benefits package, and  generous paid time off; starting salary for this position is commensurate with experience and with similar positions citywide.

DreamYard is committed to the principles of arts education, educational reform and social justice, and fashions its programs to specifically address the needs of urban communities that are typically underrepresented because of race, sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Accordingly, we welcome and encourage applications from a diverse range of individuals. Bronx based and Spanish-speaking applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. DreamYard Project, Inc. employs without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, or any other attribute not related to superior performance.









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