Since 1986, Student Sponsor Partners (SSP) has been providing at-risk students in New York City with the opportunity to get a quality, non-public high school education through the financial support and one-to-one guidance of a sponsor. SSP serves youths who are academically at-risk, financially disadvantaged, and socially needy (with roughly three-quarters of our population coming from single-parent homes). Each SSP student is paired with a Sponsor, who provides tuition assistance for the student to attend a private high school and serves as a role model and academic coach until graduation day. The combination of a committed Sponsor and a challenging scholastic environment dramatically improves SSP students' prospects, not only for earning their diplomas but also for achieving real and lasting life-success after high school.


SSP has made a positive impact in the New York community and uses metrics to show case their results.

  • 97% of the 222 graduates of the Class of 2016 were accepted to college.
  • $64 million in tuition for SSP students to receive a private school education.
  • Currently, 1157 students are enrolled in 23 partner schools.
  • SSP has provided nearly 7,000 low-income students with a quality high school education.
  • Annually, mentors collectively spend over 5,000 hours volunteering their time to mentor SSP students. 

SSP has a full time staff of 11 and an operating budget of approximately $7.5 Million. For more information about Student Sponsor Partners, please visit their website at


Position Summary

Student Sponsor Partners (SSP) is seeking a Director of Development to oversee the Development Department. The Director of Development is responsible for the preparation and management of an overall comprehensive fundraising plan, short and long term strategy, and action plans in order to meet the financial goals determined by the Executive Director and Board. 

This will be accomplished through an array of strategies including, but not limited to, soliciting and stewardship of major donors, foundations, corporate support, annual campaigns, events, and other fundraising.


The position calls for a person who is highly organized and capable of handling a variety of tasks simultaneously. It is important to be self-directed, confident, personable and able to effectively manage a high degree of exposure to the public and to high net worth individuals. She/he should be a polished and highly effective communicator with excellent written and verbal communication skills. The individual must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and to manage the ebb and flow of projects as priorities change, always with an exceptional eye for detail and accuracy and high proficiency in meeting deadlines. This position requires a team-oriented person who understands the dynamic of working with a management team and board members to achieve organizational goals. Tenacity, ethics, creativity, and a strong sense of curiosity are helpful characteristics. A heart and passion for improving the lives of children are essential. 

Essential Duties & Primary Responsibilities

Meet Annual Revenue Goals

  • Work with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to develop a fundraising plan which includes strategies and timelines.
  • Recruit, train, supervise, develop, and evaluate the performance of development staff in accordance with SSP’s vision and fundraising goals.
  • Develop an annual operating plan and budget to support the comprehensive fundraising plan and submit for appropriate review and approval.
  • Determine and develop appropriate and diverse approaches to fundraising campaigns with financial sponsors/donors to fund 300+ incoming students per year.
  • Run annual appeals and other grassroots outreach, and manage annual fund dinner and other special events.
  • Solicit major gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals.
  • Research and identify individuals, foundations, and corporations that have potential to support SSP’s programming (restricted funds) and operations (unrestricted funds). Prepare letters of inquiry, grant proposals, funding requests and other materials to solicit funds, and schedule presentations and follow-up as appropriate.
  • Work with the Board of Directors and Sponsors Recruitment Committee to expand potential donor list and renew existing donors in order to support/sponsor 300+ students’ tuition.

Identify, Cultivate and Solicit New Donors

  • Have an understanding of the current philanthropic landscape and develop a strategy to acquire major donors/sponsors and increase their level of engagement and giving with the organization.
  • Create opportunities for the Executive Director and Board members to meet new, qualified potential donors.
  • Develop and coordinate the day-to-day activities of the fundraising department including, but not limited to, direct mail, email marketing, tailored/personal communications, social media, and personalized donor solicitations.
  • Work with the Development Team to cultivate and maintain relationships with key partnering corporations and foundations.
    • Schedule speaking engagements and special events such as the “Day of Giving”.
    • Work with key corporate partners to increase engagement and identify potential sponsorship opportunities.
    • Manage cause-marketing and, when appropriate, crowd-funding projects or other social media initiatives that support individual giving.

Retain Existing Donors & Re-Engage Lapsed Donors

  • Manage correspondence for the annual fund and work closely with staff of the Development department to ensure efficient, accurate and consistent donor stewardship.
  • Develop talking points and scripts for communication to donors.
  • Collaborate with Executive Director to create and update timeline and work plans for effective donor relations, including donor recognition, donor appeals, and donor interactions with the organization.
  • Maintain accurate records and keep the Executive Director apprised of all related interactions with major donors, partners and/or board members.
  • Ensure that donor records are properly maintained and updated in Raiser’s Edge.
  • Assure the accuracy and transparency of all development records and adherence to all accounting and legal requirements for such records.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred.
  • Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) Certification preferred.
  • Superior presentation and interpersonal skills and the capacity to inspire and motivate prospective individual donors and volunteers.
  • 8 to 10 years of not-for-profit fundraising, preferably within private schools or higher education organizations.
  • Experience in working with Board Members in setting fundraising strategy and accomplishing annual fundraising goals.
  • Demonstrated track record of successful fundraising experience that includes major gift programs, grant writing, annual appeals, donor stewardship and database management, special events, corporate/foundation giving, management of restricted & unrestricted grants, and donor cultivation and recognition.
  • Strong familiarity with the network of philanthropy and employee volunteerism in New York City.
  • Experience supervising staff; capability of working with a wide range of people in a team-oriented manner.
  • Ability to strategically develop and drive ideas from conception to completion, extremely goal oriented.
  • Some evening and weekend work required as needed.
  • Skills in Microsoft Office Suite, inclusive of Excel and Power Point, required.
  • Knowledge and experience in Raiser’s Edge and other fundraising software packages preferred.
  • Experience with online giving and social media outlets required. 


An attractive and competitive package, commensurate with level of experience. 

For More Information, Please Contact:

Sue Waterbury, Vice President

Kelsey Blagdon, Senior Associate

DRG – Executive Search Consultants

275 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016


To apply or to nominate a candidate

please submit a résumé and Cover Letter to:

Email: [email protected]

Fax: (212) 983-1687

Visit us:

This position description is based upon material provided by Student Sponsor Partners.

Student Sponsor Partners is an equal opportunity employer. 

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