Senior Director of Development-NYC

Center for Supportive Schools - New York, NY - Full time

Center for Supportive Schools - New York, NY - Full time


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About Center for Supportive Schools (CSS)

Founded in 1979, the Center for Supportive Schools (CSS) is a national education organization that is driven by the vision that one day, all children will thrive in schools that graduate them prepared for the rigors of college and lives filled with meaningful work, active citizenship, and personal fulfillment. Our vision is threatened by the crisis of disengagement in our nation’s schools, a crisis at the root of students dropping out of school and other high-risk behaviors. Some studies have found that between 40-60% of students are chronically disengaged from daily school life, as evidenced by losing interest in school and essentially giving up on trying to learn, achieve, and acquire new skills.

  • What we do. CSS solves for the disengagement crisis by helping schools become places students want to be. We leverage the resources already in schools to create safer and more supportive, engaging, and inspiring learning communities. Our work engages students as leaders, mentors, and educators who team up with faculty and staff to create vibrant learning environments.
  • Who we serve. CSS currently impacts 45,000 students annually with our programming. We are a national organization with a significant presence in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York City, and North Carolina, among other regions. While our programming is applicable to every middle school and high school in the country, most of our work is focused on economically disadvantaged communities since this is where the consequences of youth disengagement can be most devastating.
  • Our impact. Our work has been shown to improve the graduation rates of student participants by nine percentage points. We have also demonstrated improvements in attendance, discipline, and social and emotional skills.

Our solutions include:

  • Peer Group Connection (PGC): an evidence-based, school-based program that supports and eases students’ successful transitions into middle and high school by tapping into the power of older students to create a nurturing environment for incoming students.
  • Teen Prevention Education Program (Teen PEP): an evidence-based, school-based program that utilizes peer-to-peer education to increase responsible decision-making among students around issues of sexual health.
  • Student & Family Advisory (SFA): a research-based school-wide practice that provides all students in middle and high school with the support they need to feel attached to school, to succeed in school, and to graduate ready for the rigors of college and high quality careers.
  • Achievement Mentoring (AM): a school-based prevention and intervention program, developed by Dr. Brenna Bry, that pairs adult school staff with students in one-to-one mentoring relationships proven to reduce problem behaviors and improve academics among students at risk of dropping out of high school.
  • Campaign Connect/Community Schools: a comprehensive, data-driven and relationship-based approach to engaging the school community in coordinated initiatives designed to improve student outcomes.

CSS is a fast-paced, collegial, and team-oriented environment where each staff member plays a critical role in changing life trajectories for students and transforming school cultures.

For more information about CSS, visit:

Position Description

Title:Senior Director of Development

General Position Description: Reporting to the Managing Director of Communications & Development and the Executive Director, New York City, the full-time Senior Director of Development will perform two essential functions: (1) to secure funds from individual donors in support of CSS’s general operations and growth; and (2) to secure funds from national sources and from NYC-based foundations and corporations, as well as schools, school districts, and government agencies, to support CSS’s strategic initiatives in New York City.

Detailed Position Responsibilities:

The Senior Director will:

Secure funds from individual donors

  • Design a system for generating multiple-year unrestricted funding.
  • Coordinate friendraising and fundraising events.
  • Develop effective messaging and marketing materials that customize CSS's appeal to different constituents.
  • Support CSS Board of Trustees to act as effective fundraisers on behalf of the organization.
  • Develop an engagement plan for alumni of CSS programming that builds awareness and affiliation with CSS as an organization and engenders progressively deeper levels of engagement with CSS.
  • Identify potential donors, including alumni of CSS programs.
  • Engage prospects.
  • Cultivate lifelong donors, advocates, and champions of our work.
  • Secure investments in growth, financial health, and continued relevance of CSS.

Secure funds to support CSS’s strategic initiatives in New York City

  • Cultivate and maintain strong, trusting, respectful relationships with a wide range of individuals and organizations.
  • Research and identify funding prospects to support CSS’s New York City-based efforts.
  • Collaborate with appropriate CSS staff to evaluate and respond to relevant funding opportunities including writing compelling proposal narratives and developing project budgets.
  • Conduct the full range of activities required to prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals from inception to application in accordance with proposal guidelines and deadlines.
  • Manage and steward grants once they are received by the organization including preparing and submitting reports to funders on current grant progress and implementation as required.


  • Attend and facilitate relevant internal and external meetings, including those outside of New York City as appropriate.
  • Attend and present at networking and fund development events, including those outside of New York City as needed.
  • Support Managing Directors in other New York City-based and national efforts as needed.
  • May be responsible for speaking and writing about all of CSS’s offerings and solutions noted above.

Candidate Qualifications

Education:Bachelor’s degree required

Professional Experiences and Personal Qualities/Skills:

The ideal candidate will demonstrate exceptional abilities to plan, prioritize, organize, balance, and complete multiple complex projects, often with competing deadlines. He/she will be adept at creating excitement and energy around CSS’s mission, solutions, and offerings and will demonstrate the ability to encourage others’ enthusiasm and support for the organization.

He/she will also demonstrate the following characteristics:

Excellent listening, writing, and speaking skills

  • Grant-writing experience preferred
  • Experience with identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual donors

Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships internally and externally and to develop and manage effective teams

Highly effective time-management, goal-setting, problem-solving, and decision-making skills

Ability to gather, analyze, synthesize, and communicate information from various sources

Strong public speaking and group facilitation skills

Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively

Flexibility, resourcefulness, and willingness to work evenings and weekends when required for successful and timely completion of projects

Ability to use discretion and judgment in handling confidential and sensitive information

Knowledge of and enthusiastic commitment to the organization’s mission, solutions, and offerings

Computer skills required, including Microsoft Outlook and Word

Preference will be given to applicants with the following qualifications, though this experience is not required:

Experience leading social media, online marketing, email marketing campaigns, and website development and management preferred

Demonstrated success developing and implementing strategic communications and marketing campaigns

Experience leveraging video and multimedia work within a strategic communications plan

Experience handling media relations with an eye for opportunities and risks, as well as the ability to identify the story and generate interest and enthusiasm in others

Supervisors: Dr. Margo Ross, Managing Director of Communications & Development, and Ms. Erin O’Leary, Executive Director, New York City.

Location: The Senior Director will be based in New York City. Frequent travel will be required within New York City and New Jersey, and occasionally beyond.

Schedule and Salary:The anticipated starting date for this position is January 2018. Salary is competitive and based on experience.

To Apply

Interested applicants are requested to apply immediately by emailing a cover letter and CV/résumé to Please include (1) the title of the position in the subject line of your email and (2) where you found the position posting in your cover letter. If possible, please email all documents in PDF format. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Center for Supportive Schools is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff. CSS’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action related policies are available upon request.

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Experience Level

Mid Level

Center for Supportive Schools

We are driven by the vision that one day, all children will thrive in schools that graduate them prepared for the rigors of college and lives filled with meaningful work, active citizenship, and personal fulfillment.

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