Director of Development

The Primary School

Posted: 9/20/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Fundraising/Development

Primary domain: Education

City: East Palo Alto

Postal code: 94303

State: California

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:


The Primary School is expanding the boundaries of traditional education. Our holistic model weaves together education, health, and family support services to ensure underserved children have the system of care they need to lead meaningful and emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy lives. The Primary School was founded in 2015, and we  received seed funding by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.

Our approach has three defining characteristics:

  • We start early. We start working with parents and enroll children into our program as early as birth to reach them at their most critical stage in development. 
  • We work with - not around - families. We know that parents and caregivers are the most important people in a child’s life. We partner with them to enhance the education and health of their children.
  • We integrate multiple systems to serve the whole child. Our unique model unites health care and education, building a multi-disciplinary team and holistic system of care around a child’s full needs.

In 2016, we opened our flagship school in East Palo Alto, California, with our first class of four-year-olds. We have grown to serve nearly  300 children and their families via a 0-3 parent/child program, a preschool and elementary school.  

Our ultimate goal is to create a game-changing system of care for children that can be replicated across the country. To that end, we are building a model that can be effectively implemented in diverse communities and sustained on public funding. In 2019, we plan to both expand our student and family population in East Palo Alto and pursue opening our next site in Hayward, California.  It’s an exciting time to join the team!

Position Details:

Job Description:


The Director of Development is responsible for developing and implementing the current and longer-term fundraising strategy for The Primary School, in collaboration with the CEO and TPS leadership team. This role’s primary responsibility is to develop and operationalize fundraising systems and strategies as The Primary School grows. Additionally, this person will support the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors and supporters.


Strategy & Systems Development

  • In collaboration with TPS leadership, design and build the TPS development strategy to achieve current and long-term (3-5 year) goals for growth 
  • Translate high-level donor strategy into detailed annual implementation plan, including activities, priorities and milestones
  • Establish systems, processes, and tools to effectively implement development activities, including donor records, activities and priorities
  • Partnering with the Communications team, ensure fundraising communications, materials and messaging are representative of and aligned to broader TPS goals and mission.  
  • Work closely with the CEO and Medical Director to provide administrative and project management support for the board of directors and any advisory groups. 

Operationalize Development Systems

  • Develop project management system and tools to ensure robust cultivation and stewardship
  • Ensure successful implementation of development strategy through systems development, clear team responsibilities and timelines
  • Monitor TPS progress towards development goals, identify what is driving and impeding progress, develop solutions to address gaps and adjust course as necessary
  • Maintain the current donor database and development records, including requests, acknowledgements, and reporting requirements 
  • Identify structures and support the customization of a CRM system (Salesforce) to streamline development operations and workflow 
  • Lead the implementation to the new donor record system

Donor Cultivation & Stewardship

  • Drive staff and board team to achieve ambitious goals, resulting in multi-million dollars in new operating and capital commitments toward The Primary School's vision over the course of our current strategic plan 
  • Develop effective identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies of new donor prospects, current donors, and other supporters
  • Support TPS Leadership to build key donor relationships, strategically leveraging their time and workflow
  • Coordinate donor cultivation activities, including planning and administration of tours, events, and meetings to communicate TPS work to supporters to meet organizational goals
  • Develop and manage a system for regular written communications at every stage in the continuum, from identification through stewardship. 
  • Draft formal and informal written communications, including letters of introduction, grant proposals, grant reports, donor correspondence, prospect research briefs, organizational updates. This includes coordinating with TPS Finance, Policy, Communications and Program teams to ensure thorough and timely submissions.
  • Develop and implement donor and supporter communications calendar, ensuring regular touchpoints, partnering with Communications Manager. 

For all of these areas, the Director of Development will be responsible for:

  • Collaborating with program and functional leads from across the organization 
  • Developing and managing project plans, including coordination of other resources
  • Reporting regularly on progress
  • Managing project budget
  • Soliciting regular feedback to improve effectiveness and progress towards goals



  • You have 5-10+ years of experience in nonprofit management, specifically in fund development, program administration, staff recruitment, and/or project management.  
  • You have a track record of success in building fundraising systems and strategies for a growing organization, with a focus on major gifts from foundations and individuals 
  • You are adept at navigating all aspects of donor management and relationship cultivation, in particular discerning priorities of prospective investors and developing relationships into strategic partnerships and long-term support 
  • You are a strong grants manager, with the ability to track deadlines, draft compelling proposals and detailed reports, and knowledge of and experience supporting donor tracking software.
  • You are comfortable in ambiguity and environments that change rapidly environments.  You love the early stage of a growing organization.
  • You have practiced habits of organization and project management, and can quickly move back and forth between the 30,000 foot and on-the-ground levels.
  • You can juggle multiple priorities and take pride in consistently meeting deadlines.
  • You have strong communication skills, experience in writing formal and informal communications, and are comfortable with administrative work. You are able to translate complex content to key decision-makers and stakeholders.  
  • You are a natural problem solver, fixer and finder of resources; when the going gets tough, you are calm under pressure and show excellent judgment.
  • You get joy out of building efficient, user-friendly and results-oriented work flows and processes.
  • You have the ability to motivate peers and colleagues to get things done - with or without the leadership title.
  • You are extremely self-aware and self motivated, and have a strong desire to learn.
  • You want to work with and learn from all TPS team members, from early childhood education to parent coaching to community engagement.
  • You believe in the mission of The Primary School and that all children and families are capable of extraordinary things.
A Plus If
  • You have lived or worked in communities in which The Primary School is working--East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and/or Hayward, CA 


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply: 


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