Director of Advancement

San Francisco, California
$97K -$115K + benefits
Apr 12, 2021
May 12, 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Experience Level



Position: Director of Advancement

Organization: Youth Speaks, Inc.

Supervisor: Executive Director

Direct Report(s): Grant Writer

Hours per week: 40 hours/week (full-time, exempt)

Compensation: $97K-$115K annually, DOE 



Organization Profile

Youth Speaks is a multi-faceted, BIPOC-led organization that understands that the power, insight, creativity, and passion of young people can change the world. Founded in 1996 in San Francisco, Youth Speaks is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs in the country. Presenters of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, reading series, and more, Youth Speaks also offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs during the school day, in the after-school hours, on weekends and evenings. All told, Youth Speaks provides free arts education to thousands of teens per year in the San Francisco Bay Area alone, and has helped create partner programs in over 60 cities across the United States.


Position Overview

Youth Speaks is looking for a passionate self-starter to anchor and own fundraising/development for the organization. The Director of Advancement (DA) will lead the build-out of a team that will ethically and joyfully secure sustainable funds to fuel Youth Speaks’ next 25 years. Our ideal candidate has a track record of success managing a portfolio of institutional funders and major donors leading to the successful close of multi-year, six-figure grants, is a strong communicator, has excellent writing and communication skills and is a natural relationship builder who will build lasting partnerships with foundation staff and major donors. The DA will report to the Executive Director of Youth Speaks and will be part of the Strategy Team (senior leadership team). They will work in close collaboration with the Executive Director, one part-time fundraiser for major gifts, a program liaison, and a contract grant writer. 


General Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Manage a portfolio of 20-30 institutional funders with the goal of securing renewals and cultivating new opportunities to raise at least $2-3 million annually towards current and future needs.
  • Lead the creation and implementation of a fundraising plan with the Executive Director, development and administrative staff, and Board Development Committee
  • Partner with the Executive Director in building a development department along with a strategic plan to grow the department as Youth Speaks and funding also grow
  • Develop overall fundraising strategy for Youth Speaks, including multi-year gifts for general operations/organizational capacity as well as project-specific funding
  • Work with the Executive Director to develop an earned revenue strategy
  • Play a key role in developing and implementing revenue through earned income
  • Management and oversight of Individual Giving Program, Institutional Giving Program, Corporate Support (cash & in-kind), Annual Fund, Special Events, Capital Campaign, and Membership 
  • Management and oversight of grant seeking and grant writing efforts
  • Support Executive Director in securing financial resources necessary for the organization
  • Identify and steward relationships with foundations, corporations, and individuals
  • Oversee a portfolio of institutional, individual, and corporate supporters and prospects; support ED, Producing Director and Board with their portfolios 
  • Oversee creation of development-centered marketing materials, and coordinate external messages to funders, community partners, corporate sponsors, individual donors, and the general public with staff marketing and communications team
  • Attend and research local and national events to cultivate relationships with stakeholders and community partners as directed by Executive Director
  • Coordinate with Finance Department on procedures and policies for tracking and reporting development activities
  • Work with Marketing to develop and implement strategy to support visibility and fundraising goals
  • Prepare and manage the Development Department expense budget
  • Track developments in philanthropy; engage with other senior development professionals across the philanthropic sector to learn about, assess and adopt best practices in financial resource and donor development   


People Management

  • Oversee, support, and mentor development staff (currently a part-time Development Compliance Manager, contracted fundraiser and contracted grant writer)
  • Work to support a culture and policy of shared leadership within the department and across the organization 



  • Develop creative strategies that effectively monetize Youth Speaks events and thoughtfully cultivate new relationships
  • Act as host of Youth Speaks fundraising and special events
  • Lead the cultivation and stewardship of annual Friendraiser table hosts and ambassadors for the organization 


Organizational Strategy & Planning 

  • Play a leading role in developing organizational strategy for Youth Speaks
  • Serve as the Executive Director’s strategic partner
  • Attend and participate in weekly Department Head Meetings
  • Demonstrate leadership as member of the Strategy Team (senior leadership team) 


Corporate Strategy, Sponsorships and Bookings 

  • Ethically cultivate and steward corporate supporters through poet booking opportunities, volunteer opportunities, event invitations, and more 
  • Oversee the creation of sponsorship letters, decks, and reports
  • Manage sponsorship benefits   


Board Development 

  • Attend and participate in board meetings, serving as a representative of the Development team
  • Help manage and document Board meetings and an annual Board retreat
  • Work in collaboration with the Board of Directors Development Committee; serve as the staff lead on the Board Development Committee; help identify/recruit non-board fundraising committee members 
  • Help create and institute give/gets for each board member 
  • Coordinate and support Board Members and other volunteers to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward current and potential donors and funders




  • Bachelor’s degree or at least 5 years of experience in relevant development/fundraising position(s) in recognition of the disproportionate access and barriers to higher education for certain communities
  • Nonprofit experience desirable
  • Experience developing diversified, revenue/fundraising plans for non-profit organizations
  • Experience using fundraising software/donor databases such as Network for Good
  • Experience creating and managing budgets
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationships management skills
  • Cultural competence and excellent cross-cultural communication skills
  • Lives in the San Francisco Bay Area or willing to relocate here



  • Experience working in the literary and/or performing arts
  • Experience working with youth/education
  • Experience developing plans for earned income/revenue
  • Speaks at least one language in addition to English



The Director of Advancement is a full-time, exempt position. We offer a competitive salary based on an annual nonprofit salary survey for similarly sized arts, culture and humanities organizations ($97k-$115k annually, DOE), and a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, health FSA, 401(k), and commuter benefits. Employees receive paid vacation, paid sick leave, and paid holidays/winter break annually


To Apply 

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter detailing your interest and experience to with the subject line “Director of Advancement” by Friday, May 7th, 2021.



Youth Speaks is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application. 

Youth Speaks will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance. 


*No phone calls please. Due to the anticipated volume of applications only candidates for interviews will be contacted, we appreciate your understanding of the resource constraints during Covid-19, working remotely, and caregiving obligations amongst others.

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