Senior Director, Development and External Relations: College Possible

About College Possible

As one of the largest and most successful college access and success programs in the country, since 2000 College Possible has helped put more than 59,000 students from disinvested communities on the path to economic mobility via completion of a college degree. Its proven near-peer coaching model, delivered by recent college graduates serving as AmeriCorps members, provides high-touch interventions proven to help students navigate and overcome the most common barriers to college access, retention and degree completion. Nationwide, College Possible students are three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years than their peers from similar backgrounds.

College Possible is a growing nonprofit coaching students from low-income backgrounds to and through college to break the cycle of poverty and empower the next generation of leaders. Our model has earned national recognition: the inaugural Evergreen National Education Award recognized our leadership in increasing access to and success in college for students from low-income backgrounds. It also earns top of-field results: a Harvard study found that the program more than doubles a student’s chance of enrolling in a four-year college, and our students are four times more likely to become college graduates than their low-income peers. College Possible has a budget of $33 million, more than 128 full-time employees and more than 321 AmeriCorps and VISTA service members. During the 2021-22 schoolyear, we will reach an estimated 21,245 students in all 50 states, with the support of 169 partner high schools and 107 partner colleges.

College Possible is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeks to build a diverse workforce to create impact in partnership with the communities we serve. We welcome a diverse pool of qualified applicants. For each of its positions, College Possible is mindful about what best serves our students, and seeks to hire staff with relevant experience, skills and aptitude, and a commitment to the power of education. To learn more read our Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, College Possible operates: regional sites in Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA; College Forward in Austin, TX; and has Catalyze partnerships in California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee. Learn more at

Your Role as Sr. Director, Development External Relations

The Senior Director of Development External Relations works closely with the Executive Director to translate org wide and site strategies into an actionable plan for all fundraising activities including corporations, foundations, individuals, other community organizations and government. This position is responsible for leading the development and communications team and leading on the implementation of the site’s fundraising plan including grant proposals and reports, prospecting, solicitation, relationship building, portfolio management, data analysis, special events, as well as the design and implementation of the site’s marketing and communications plan.

Prospecting and Cultivation: Responsible for prospecting and donor research for new donations, working with the National Development Operations team as needed. Strategize and work with the Executive Director to implement cultivation techniques to inspire prospective supporters to become donors and increase the number of donors to the annual operating fund.

Relationship Building and Stewardship: Build on existing relationships and improve donor retention through a meaningful stewardship strategy. Manage portfolio of leadership and major donors. Leverage Executive Director and advisory board members in these efforts.

Portfolio Management: Lead the development team in the assignment of individual and institutional prospects, donors and supporters to portfolios ensuring that the team is set up for success in meeting the needs of, and deepening partnerships with, key constituents. The Senior Director of External Relations also maintains a portfolio of key individual and institutional supporters.

Planning and Analysis: Work closely with the Executive Director and local advisory board of directors to move organizational priorities forward through the annual fundraising, communications and marketing plans and supervision and oversight of the external relations team all with the broad goal of achieving revenue goals. Oversee the creation of site performance metrics for the Philadelphia development team to track and analyze progress towards achieving revenue and communications goals.

Communications and Marketing: Responsible for the Communications, Marketing and Public Relations efforts for College Possible Philadelphia, working with the National Communications Team to produce and distribute print and electronic communications, secure media exposure and raise the profile of the site.

Special Events: Work closely with the Executive Director and local board of directors to create a multiyear plan for special events designed to support the long-term revenue goals of College Possible Philadelphia. Oversee the external relations team in the planning, execution and follow-up of the special events as identified in the multi-year plan.

Other Duties as Assigned.

What You Bring

• Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree and/or CFRE helpful.

Related Work Experience:

• At least five years of leadership/oversight of development and communication teams. Experience demonstrating increasing levels of responsibility.
• Supervisory experience required.
• Experience with AmeriCorps, VISTA, or other service programs preferred.

Computer/Software Skills:
• Experience with Raiser’s Edge, Salesforce, or other CRM preferred.
• Strong computer skills, including demonstrated proficiency in MS Office Products.

Other Skills, Abilities and Requirements:
• Proven ability to prospect, secure and steward high level donor relationships resulting in sustainable revenue.
• Significant commitment to the mission of helping low-income students’ admission into college and persist to degree completion.
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills across diverse audiences.
• Strong attention to detail with the ability to prioritize multiple projects and deadlines.
• Flexibility to work in multiple locations.
• Demonstrated ability to use collect and analyze data.
• Ability to recruit, select, and train qualified individuals.
• Proven record of facilitation and collaboration with organizations and the community.
• Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.

Physical Requirements

• Ability to lift up to 15 pounds when needed.
•Ability to work remotely.
• Ability to stand and/or sit for a minimum of 7 hours a day.

What We Offer

In addition to joining a committed, diverse, values-based organization, we offer:

• A competitive salary commensurable with experience. Salary range: $83,600.00 – $104,500.00. An opportunity for you to have a tremendous impact both internally and in the broader country.

• Excellent benefits including complete health, dental, life, short-term and long-term insurance.

• 401(k) retirement plan.

• Encouraged sustainability through a generous paid time off program

• Personalized professional development and growth opportunities.

To Join Our Growing College Possible Team:

Please apply at: Include a resume, cover letter.