DREAM, Director of Development

DREAM - New York - Full time


DREAM (formerly known as DREAM Charter School and Harlem RBI), is an innovative educational and youth development organization, serving over 2,500 East Harlem and South Bronx youth by providing free, high-quality summer and after-school programs to youth ages 5- 22 years in an intensive multi-year commitment that connects youth and families to age-appropriate programs and passionate professional staff over me.

DREAM is seeking a charismatic, bold, values-based leader to join its Advancement Team as the Director of Development. Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, the Director of Development will also work closely with the Executive Director and DREAM’s Board of Directors to design, articulate, and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy for the organization that is aligned to achieve its ambitious 10-year strategic plan. Candidates must also understand and value DREAM’s comprehensive approach to youth development and inspire, lead, and motivate DREAM staff to drive outcomes that support youth in recognizing their potential and realizing their dreams.

Like all DREAM employees, the Director of Development (DoD) should demonstrate a strong commitment to the mission and values of DREAM and should have substantial expertise in all areas of responsibility. Come join an organization that has been the winner of the Nonprofit Excellence Award – Silver Prize for Overall Management Excellence by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York and was recently recognized as one of the “50 Best Nonprofits to Work For” by The Nonprofit Times.


DREAM’s Advancement Team is comprised of its Communications, Development, and Events teams. They are brand stewards, relationship builders, and experience creators who work internally and externally to advance DREAM’s mission to level the playing field for all children to recognize their potential and realize their dreams.

DREAM has an ambitious 10-year strategic plan that includes raising $20M in annual operational support and an additional $50M in capital to help reach its goal of expanding to serve 2,500 students in New York City through its PreK-12 schools. DREAM’s fundraising efforts enable it to provide an extended-day, extended-year school model that is focused on the whole child and is transforming lives.

As the Leader of the Development Team, the ideal candidate will ensure the team is equipped to manage a rich network of existing individual, institutional, and corporate supporters, and be focused on cultivating a new, more diverse donor base. DREAM’s Development Team partners closely with its Communications and Events colleagues to amplify DREAM’s brand in innovative ways that help grow major gifts and secure bigger and longer-term institutional investments that leverage public contributions and help ensure sustainability.

The ideal candidate will embrace their challenge with enthusiasm and skill, and appreciate the tremendous opportunity presented to make their mark with a high caliber organization that will value their contributions and support their professional growth. The DoD is responsible for managing a robust fundraising program that raises over $20 million annually through a combination of major gifts, events, corporate sponsorships, and institutional giving. The DoD will manage an experienced development team charged with increasing revenue and in-kind support to fulfill the organization’s mission.


Key Responsibilities of the Director of Development include:

  • In collaboration with the Chief Advancement Officer and other Advancement teams, lead the development team in implementing a comprehensive development strategy aligned with the organization's goals and priorities;
  • Partner with and support the Chief Advancement Officer, Executive Director, and Board of Directors in advancing DREAM’s fundraising goals;
  • Work closely with the Board to inspire greater participation with development efforts, capitalizing on the resources, talents, and networks that the Board offers;
  • Motivate, coach, and manage the development team to ensure professional growth and attainment of team-wide and individual goals;
  • Strategically leverage DREAM’s schools, programs and staff as a cultivation tool for donors, foundations, and other partners interested in supporting DREAM’s mission;
  • Steward and grow the pipeline of major gift donors and manage a portfolio of individual and corporate donors, including the direct solicitation of major gifts and planned giving;
  • Oversee an institutional giving team that identifies, cultivates, and sustains multi-year foundation partnerships that provide long-term sustainability for the organization;
  • Provide support for the planning, execution, and follow-up to fundraising events including our signature fundraising event, DREAM Gala;
  • Partner with Director of Advancement Operations on building infrastructure for streamlined fundraising operations with a particular focus on alignment between development and finance teams;
  • Monitor key fundraising innovations and philanthropic issues and provide recommended actions to the Chief Advancement Officer.
  • Reinforce a culture of philanthropy among all staff, volunteers, and donors;
  • Support the Chief Advancement Officer, Executive Director, and Board of Directors in other development-related initiatives as needed.

*Hours are generally 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM with both early morning and evening events and meetings as a significant part of the role.


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Director of Development candidate will be:

  • A strategic thinker with a relentless focus on improving systems, coordinating efforts, using data to drive decision making, and an unwavering commitment to reaching goals;
  • A proven track record of success in team leadership and developing people;
  • Sustained successful leadership achieving fundraising goals in an executive role in a nonprofit organization. An exemplary reputation with stature and credibility;
  • Proven ability for bringing together different departments within an organization to work together toward a shared vision and goals;
  • Extensive experience as a fundraiser and/or in sales with a proven track record of success in personally cultivating, soliciting, and securing major gifts;
  • An ability to secure funding from diverse sources – including major donors, foundations, and corporations;
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage government support. Success designing and managing comprehensive campaigns to secure both operating and capital funding;
  • A commitment to diversity, specifically, the ability to interact professionally with dedicated Board and staff members who have diverse backgrounds, professional skills, and perspectives;
  • Flexibility and a proven ability to innovate and find creative solutions to challenges;
  • A working knowledge of the New York City funding community, its leaders and trends;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • A passion for driving towards DREAM’s mission and commitment to the communities we serve.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. All full-time employees receive an excellent benefits package including health and dental insurance, a 403B retirement account, life insurance, twenty days paid vacation per year and access to a full range of social services through our Employee Assistance Program.


Please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter addressed to Chanda Gibson, Chief Advancement Officer through our application portal at https://careers.edgilityconsulting.com/#/jobs/215. For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Ron Rapatalo at rrapatalo@edgilityconsulting.com,

DREAM provides equal opportunity for all applicants and employees. 

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