Director, Development

· New York, New York
Employment Type Full-Time

About Room to Grow

Room to Grow is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the vision that one day all parents will have the resources they need to unlock their families’ potential and become champions for babies and their community. Its mission is to offer structured parent support, material goods, and community connections to support parents as they activate their natural strengths and expand their knowledge, so children thrive from the start. Room to Grow was founded in New York in 1998 and expanded to Boston in 2005, currently partnering with over 1,500 families with an annual budget of $5M and a team of 45 passionate and dedicated staff members. 


Room to Grow uses a two-generation, preventative, and strengths-based approach to engage families. Through its unique program, parents and caregivers partner with program staff to develop strategies to support their child's development, select the material items that their child needs, and connect with community resources that can expand their support network. Room to Grow program staff work alongside parents and caregivers as they build upon their existing skill sets and parenting styles and promote the well-being of their children and family. 

As an entrepreneurial and growth-oriented organization, Room to Grow is in an exciting period of development as it continues to expand its reach and impact in Boston and New York and potential future locations. In 2020, Room to Grow adapted and digitized parts of its model to continue supporting families during COVID-19, and it will continue to leverage best practices and resources to support low-income communities as circumstances evolve.



The Room to Grow Core Values

Our core values apply to working with each other, our families, partners, donors, and other collaborators.


Integrity: Consistently conduct business in a way that is accountable, authentic, transparent, honest, and ethical.


Respect: Treat people equally and with compassion. Value differences and affirm the dignity, potential, and contribution of all staff, partners, clients, volunteers, and the public.


Growth: Challenges are a learning opportunity. We cultivate an environment that promotes ongoing education, coaching, continuous improvement, and innovation.


Collaboration: Our mission depends on the quality of our relationships and linkages cross-regionally, cross-departmentally, and with community partners and collaborators. We work together to support our individual and collective goals.


Community: The health of our organization relies on supportive interactions within our community, built on shared beliefs in responsibility, generosity, enthusiasm, humility, and levity.


Inclusion: An open-minded, inclusive work environment that fosters diversity, creativity, and empowerment in everything we do.



Position Summary

Room to Grow is at an exciting inflection point as an organization. We are preparing for ambitious growth and need expanded capacity to create a proactive and sophisticated development strategy to capitalize on an increasing volume of prospects in our network. Therefore, we are eager to add a new leadership position to our team that will be responsible for designing and leading our fundraising strategy and activities (work previously led by the Director of External Relations).


Reporting to the CEO, the Director of Development will lead on developing and implementing organization-wide fundraising strategies and tactics, covering the areas of individual giving, special events, foundations, government funding, and development operations. They will also partner with Executive Directors in New York and Boston to adapt and execute strategies at the local level with the Development team. In addition to a four-person development team, the Director has the added support of the Community Engagement Department which participates in generating prospects and stewarding relationships through their work with volunteers and corporate in-kind partners.


The right candidate is a natural relationship builder and an agile and collaborative leader. This position would be an ideal opportunity for a vibrant, creative, and tenacious individual looking to take on a significant leadership role in advancing the reach of a promising program model. 



Position Responsibilities

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategy Development & Leadership: Build upon Room to Grow’s current fundraising strategies to develop, implement, and monitor a comprehensive and actionable multi-year development plan to establish and meet current annual revenue goals ($4.5M in 2021) and prepare for expansion to $6M+ annually.
  • Frontline Fundraising: Coordinate and support Executive Directors, the CEO, Board Directors, and staff in fundraising efforts, specifically in the areas of:
    • Individual Giving: Drive overall individual giving strategy and build an org-wide major gifts program by cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding a portfolio of existing major donors, as well as identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding prospective major donors throughout the year. 
    • Institutional Funding: Oversee the Development Manager and PT Grant Writer as they manage and expand our portfolio of foundation and corporate partners (e.g., developing and writing proposals, managing reporting on data and progress, ensuring active stewardship and ongoing communications, preparing for and conducting meetings and site visits).
    • Special Events: Oversee the Development Manager in the planning and execution of special events in New York and Boston (e.g., program development, talent recruitment, committee management), including a Virtual Fall Benefit (2021), house parties, and other related activities.
  • Development Operations: Ensure centralized operations of the department by developing and maintaining standard operating procedures for organization-wide fundraising efforts that are aligned with industry best practices and with Room to Grow’s mission and fundraising philosophy. Oversee the Sr. Development Associate’s operations and administrative support (e.g., comprehensive gift management/CRM system, analysis, and reporting) for the department to support quality decision-making and action.
  • Team Coordination: manage and coach a team of four Development staff members and support in the oversight of any additional vendors, consultants, interns, and volunteers. 
  • Cross-Department Collaboration: Partner with other departments in order to maximize fundraising efforts and enhance work across the organization. Examples include:
    • Liaise with program team and other departments to maintain up-to-date knowledge/understanding of program activities, outcomes, and needs
    • Collaborate with the Community Engagement Department in activities related to fundraising opportunities, such as city council funding applications and corporate partner engagements to raise funds, inventory, and awareness (e.g., cause-marketing)\
    • Work with the Communications Director to create print and digital materials, tools, and campaigns to support fundraising efforts (e.g., event collateral, year-end appeal)
    • Work with the Finance and Operations Director to develop the infrastructure and compliance systems for fundraising activities (e.g., grants management, restricted funding)



      Qualifications and Experience

      • A passion for the mission, vision, and core values of Room to Grow
      • Bilingual (English/Spanish) candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
      • 5-7+ years relevant experience with proven success in fundraising leadership, skills, and capabilities; experience managing a development team a plus
      • Demonstrated track record in independently managing a large portfolio of external relationships and building meaningful partnerships with key donors and stakeholders, ideally with progressive accomplishments in these areas
      • Superior interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills – articulate and persuasive, with the ability to craft resonant messaging and diligent follow up
      • Ability to comprehend and interpret impact data for effective donor communications
      • Demonstrable creative instincts in event planning and management
      • Ability to adjust course as needed and thrive in a nimble, fast-paced, and flexible organizational culture
      • An exceptionally high level of integrity, accountability, and judgment
      • Action-oriented, proactive, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to work
      • Familiarity with and relationships in New York City and/or Boston philanthropic networks a plus
      • Experience working with CRM databases (Salesforce preferred)
      • Some travel within the US required 



      Core Competencies

      Mission & Culture Alignment - Allows a candidate to thrive at Room to Grow and to be highly motivated by the organization’s work and mission. A successful candidate:

      • Embodies our core values of: integrity, respect, growth, collaboration, community, and inclusion
      • Articulates an authentic passion for and belief in Room to Grow’s mission, demonstrating a commitment to and literacy around the issues of equity that undergird our work 
      • Demonstrates comfort with ambiguity and navigates changes in direction with ease
      • Presents as collaborative and flexible with a strong service mentalityAbility to navigate a local/national structure
      • Approaches work with a learning orientation, continuously seeking to improve their own work and the work of the organization


      Relationship Building & Fundraising Strategy - Enables a candidate to build deep relationships with a broad range of stakeholders and raise funds for Room to Grow. A successful candidate:

      • Understands and appreciates the importance and complexity of relationships and builds rapport with a wide range of people
      • Possesses excellent communication skills and the ability to initiate, cultivate, and maintain meaningful relationships with diverse stakeholders, such as board members, funders, volunteers, community leaders, program participants, and celebrity ambassadors
      • Is motivated to lead fundraising for Room to Grow, with a demonstrated track record of successfully raising funds and knowledge of fundraising best practices including annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, and donor communications
      • Thinks strategically about communications as an engagement tool, with the ability to tell the organization’s story with an inspiring voice and message
      • Is a dynamic storyteller who can represent program participants’ stories in an authentic and compelling fashion with an eye towards the audience and an awareness of the limitations of one’s own perspective


      Strategic and Creative Thinking - Allows a candidate to synthesize information and extract key findings and trends in order to develop, communicate, and execute strategy. A successful candidate: 

      • Has a track record of translating a vision for a team, department, or organization into effective strategies for execution, setting ambitious goals, and delivering results 
      • Demonstrates disciplined, entrepreneurial, and creative thinking, with experience developing and adapting strategies in the face of complexity and ambiguity 
      • Has a hunger/curiosity for learning and seeks out internal and external resources to understand new concepts or content areas
      • Excels at unpacking quantitative and qualitative data, synthesizing information, and extracting key insights or trends in order to communicate to different audiences
      • Understands the big picture and how granular information connects to the macro level
      • Generates and develops fresh ideas, while also inspiring and building creative thinking in others
      • Ability to respectfully and productively question the status quo


      Organizational Leadership – Enables a candidate to lead, motivate, and manage the team to results while managing organizational priorities and operations. A successful candidate:  

      • Has experience leading teams of three or more and managing organizational or department budgets
      • Models strong management instincts and the ability to build a collaborative and service-oriented culture among Room to Grow staff while developing a team that is curious and passionate about their work
      • Demonstrates the ability to build, develop, and inspire high-performing, diverse teams, with an eye towards meeting / exceeding goals, professional development, and clear delegation
      • Demonstrates the ability to partner effectively with leaders across organizations 
      • Can effectively manage their responsibilities and is able to shift priorities quickly when the situation warrants, applying independent judgment even in high stress situations



      Compensation and Benefits

      Salary and benefits will be competitive for our field and commensurate with experience. Room to Grow is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.

      Thank You

      Your application was submitted successfully.

      • Location
        New York, New York
      • Employment Type
        Full-Time