Philadelphia Director of Development: Summer Search

Posted November 20th, 2014 at 11:09 am.

Summer Search is an $18M national youth development non-profit in seven cities across the country. Since 1990, we’ve worked with low-income high school students to transform what they believe is possible for them­selves. We help them develop the skills and character traits they need to become college educated leaders who give back to their families and communities. We make a long-term investment in these students, at least five years, from high school through college. We partner each student with a professional mentor and build a circle of relationships around them. Then, we offer them experiential opportunities that crack open their view of the world and ultimately reveal what they’re capable of. Summer Search alumni, typically the first in their families to earn a college degree, are beacons of change who give back to their families and communities. 77% of Summer Search students are on track to get a college degree within 6 years; contrast that with fewer than 1 in 10 of their peers. 80% of surveyed alumni volunteered for social cause.

Powered by a successful $20M national growth campaign, Summer Search launched our five-year strategic plan in 2013 with the goal of serving more than 3,500 students by 2017. As the link between positive character traits and a child’s future success continues to gain widespread national attention, Summer Search stands at an exciting inflection point in its history. Recognized by the Non-Profit Times in both 2013 and 2014 as one of the 50 Best Non-Profits to Work for, Summer Search’s success can be attributed to our stellar team and we hope you will consider joining us. For more information, please visit

Position Overview:

Summer Search Philadelphia has seen tremendous growth since its founding in 2006 and is now seeking a passionate, entrepreneurial, and results-oriented Director of Development to build the program’s fundraising capacity. Partnering with Summer Search National’s Deputy Chief Development Officer and Philadelphia’s Executive Director, the Director of Development will manage a portfolio of major donors and prospects, with the goal of raising approximately $900K in 2015. In addition, the Director of Development will supervise the Development and Operations Assistant, working collaboratively to ensure excellent development operations. This is an ideal opportunity for an experienced professional who is motivated to lead both the internal development operations and external donor relations of a highly successful youth development program.


  • Oversee Summer Search Philadelphia’s development function, including building and implementing a strategic plan, in order to achieve a fundraising goal of approximately $900K in 2015 and grow to $1.3M in 2017
  • Assume personal responsibility for managing an existing portfolio of 100-125 individual donors and family foundations, with the goal of raising over $750,000 annually
  • Identify, research, qualify and cultivate new major gift prospects with the capacity to make five- and six-figure gifts
  • Build donor-specific cultivation strategies, leveraging staff and Board leadership to solicit and steward prospects and donors
  • Act as a key liaison to the Board, working with the group to promote a culture of philanthropy and offering proactive support and guidance for their development activities
  • Supervise and mentor Philadelphia’s Development and Operations Assistant in order to ensure excellent development operations, including research, gift acknowledgment, and data tracking and analysis against fundraising goals
  • Collaborate with local and national development staff to support key network-wide partnerships with corporate, foundation, and individual donors
  • Serve as the project management and strategic lead for Philadelphia’s signature annual fundraising dinner, with administrative and logistical support from the Development and Operations Assistant
  • Represent Summer Search at key networking opportunities and community events with external stakeholders


  • At least five years of professional experience in the non-profit development field, with a successful history of advancing individual relationships toward increased support, ideally at the five-figure level and six-figure level
  • Proven success in growing a fundraising budget by creating and executing effective strategies
  • Demonstrated experience and/or passion for Summer Search’s mission of helping low-income youth realize their potential and achieve academic success
  • Proven ability to build strong and trusting partnerships, with both internal and external stakeholders, bringing a professional and warm demeanor and astute communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to and track record of managing, analyzing and using data to build, implement and adjust fundraising strategy as needed
  • Demonstrated experience in managing fundraising events
  • Experience with fundraising databases and Excel required (Raiser’s Edge preferred)
  • Prior experience in serving as a liaison to Board development activities preferred
  • Staff management experience preferred
  • Results- and mission-driven team player who thrives in an authentic, feedback-driven culture and excels in an entrepreneurial setting
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Strong attention to detail; organized and systematic in follow-through with all stakeholders
Filed under: Management Level by Margie DuBrow

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