Development & External Relations Director: Joyful Readers

About Joyful Readers

Joyful Readers is committed to helping Philadelphia students gain the literacy skills they need to become successful, confident, and yes…joyful readers! In September, we launched our first cohort of racially, culturally, and generationally diverse AmeriCorps tutors who provide high-impact reading tutoring daily to K-3 students in Philadelphia schools. The service of our tutors ensures that students in systemically under-resourced schools gain the skills they need to succeed in school, at work, and in their daily lives.

Our tutors receive a month of full-time training in September, including taking the AIM Institute for Learning & Research Pathways to Proficient Reading course, a graduate-level course that helps educators learn about the science of reading. In October, tutors are placed in a Philadelphia elementary school until the end of May where they tutor students 2-on-1, 30 minutes a day, Monday through   Friday, supporting a caseload of up to 22 students.

Position Overview

The Development & External Relations Director (DERD) is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic fundraising plan that raises $500,000 annually in private sector funding. The DERD will work closely with the Executive Director to build relationships with the organization’s current foundation and individual donors, while building a long-term portfolio of corporate and other private funders. The DERD serves as a lead communicator for Joyful Readers, conveying the organization’s value proposition through media, events, grant writing, and donor/prospect engagement. The DERD will work closely with the Literacy and Program Operations Directors and report to the organization’s Executive Director.

Anticipated start date: November 2022 Salary: $79,000 per year, plus benefits

Some work for this position is completed in-person and cannot be performed virtually; however, flexibility to work remotely will exist.

Position Details

Development Operations and Systems Building

  • Develop the organization’s initial corporate and individual giving tiers and their associated benefits
  • Build operational systems and research technology solutions associated with donor records and external communications (such as CRM database, marketing automation software)
  • Ensure accurate prospect/donor record keeping; collaborate with colleagues to ensure records are kept for non-development partnerships

Corporate, Foundation, and Individual Giving

  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit individual, corporate, and foundation prospects and donors with a special emphasis on unrestricted giving
  • Create and manage a grants calendar and master documents that identify the grant proposal and reporting processes for potential supporters
  • Manage and steward current and future individual, corporate, and foundation donors with consistent reporting, communication, engagement, and recognition
  • Ensure collection of funds in a timely manner
  • Work with the Executive Director and Board Chair to manage a Development Committee that supports the outreach and fundraising of board members
  • Lead with a community-centric fundraising mindset and tactics that centers our students, schools, and AmeriCorps members in donor engagement activities

Events and External Engagement

  • Develop and implement an annual calendar of events that raises awareness and funds and engages new and existing champions
  • Manage the creation of event-specific materials such as collateral, look and feel, speaker invitations, scripts, briefings, and media releases
  • Develop and implement a communications and marketing strategy that keeps our donors and other key stakeholders feeling connected and informed, ensuring renewals of key partners
  • Oversee the creation of all campaigns and promotional and communications materials
  • Lead content development for social media, e-newsletter, appeals, and other publications
  • Collaborate with the organizational leadership team to develop key messages, talking points, and scripts for key internal and external audiences
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to build strong relationships with community leaders, elected officials, and other champions

Organizational Support and Leadership

  • Meet weekly as a member of the organizational leadership team
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director on board leadership and engagement
  • Support AmeriCorps tutor training and experience; facilitate trainings related to brand, in-kind giving, and communications
  • Support recruitment and AmeriCorps tutor interviewing


This is a full-time position; all Joyful Readers full-time employees receive generous paid time off allowances (vacation, sick and organization holidays). Full-time employees may participate in our benefit programs including health and dental insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits, and disability coverage.

Employment at Joyful Readers is at-will. Joyful Readers does not sponsor work authorization visas.

Position Qualifications

  • At least 6 years of experience in development, communications, external relations, or non-profit management, or comparable experience in the government or private sectors
  • Proven experience building relationships across sectors and demonstrated background in achieving revenue goals
  • Outstanding written and oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • High level of attention to detail; proven organizational and project management skills
  • Experience serving as a spokesperson and a keen understanding of media relations, including a demonstrated ability to develop and execute creative campaigns; comfort using social media platforms and engaging diverse audiences
  • Experience planning and executing successful donor cultivation and retention events, as well as annual fundraisers
  • Knowledge, understanding and relationships with the Philadelphia donor community preferred
  • Occasional availability to work nights and weekends stewarding relationships and attending events
  • Strong commitment to collaborating with a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce and working effectively with people with different work styles and backgrounds
  • Technology skills including proficiency with Microsoft Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams), photography/videography, database/CRM platforms, and virtual meeting platforms
  • Experience working in communities and/or schools with majority Black and/or Latinx populations preferred
  • AmeriCorps experience a plus

As an equal opportunity employer, Joyful Readers is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

We encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply, particularly people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and people from low-income backgrounds.

How to Apply

E-mail us at

Please include your resume or CV and a short cover letter (one page or less) highlighting your relevant experiences. Please submit your application as a Word or PDF file.