Organization: Education Outside

Location: San Francisco, CA

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About Education Outside:

Education Outside is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that advances science and environmental education in elementary schools. Education Outside has grown rapidly from four pilot schools in 2011 to 37 partner schools today and currently reaches 14,000 public school students—more than half of San Francisco’s public elementary school children. Education Outside teaches a rigorous, standards-based curriculum during the instructional day outside on school grounds. The program makes scientific inquiry, connection with nature, and environmental sustainability fundamental parts of the urban public school experience. The key to Education Outside’s success is its growing network of passionate outdoor instructors—AmeriCorps members who are trained and then placed in partner schools to teach for two years.

Education Outside has broad-based funding with an operating budget of $3 million this fiscal year. The organization’s program is innovative, effective, and scalable, and has ambitious growth plans, including expanding in and beyond San Francisco during the coming year.

Position Summary:

At this exciting point in Education Outside’s growth, the organization seeks an experienced and bold Chief Development and Communications Officer (CDCO) to join the team. This is an excellent opportunity for a self-motivated and accomplished development and communications professional to be part of an organization working toward a future in which all children—regardless of race, class, or geography—have positive early experiences practicing science and connecting to the natural world.

As a key member of the senior leadership team—and in partnership with the board of directors—the CDCO spearheads all fundraising, communications, and marketing efforts. S/he has experience cultivating and stewarding a portfolio of six-figure donors, achieving aggressive annual fundraising goals, and collaborating with and managing a team. S/he is also an effective and skilled communicator who will lead Education Outside’s overall marketing and communications strategy. The CDCO is an exempt position with a team of three FTEs and reports directly to the Executive Director.

What We Are Looking For

Education Outside’s Chief Development and Communications Officer is a creative, energetic, hands-on leader who has the initiative and interpersonal and communication skills necessary to achieve the annual fundraising, outreach, and marketing goals. S/he will be comfortable working with colleagues at all levels of the organization—as well as with a high-powered board of directors—and able to juggle many projects at once. S/he will have a strong attention to detail as well as the strategic agility and the vision to move Education Outside forward in a period of fast-paced growth.


Fund Development

  • Raise $4M+ annually from individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies
  • Develop and implement an annual plan to meet budgeted goals
  • Work closely with the Executive Director and board to develop and steward relationships with local, regional, and national funders
  • Expand the individual donor base, overseeing annual fund, fall event, and all fundraising efforts
  • Prepare the Executive Director and board for cultivation and solicitation activities, and partner with them on implementation
  • Ensure best practices for development systems, procedures, and ethics
  • Conduct research to identify prospective individual and institutional donors
  • Work with the grant writer to ensure the submission of high-quality grant proposals and reports, consistent with organization’s messaging

Communications & Marketing

  • Lead Education Outside’s overall marketing and communications strategy, including branding, core messaging, and public relations:
    • Develop and implement annual communications plan for all print and digital output
    • Develop PR/marketing plan to broaden our exposure to various audiences
  • Develop speeches and presentations as needed for Executive Director
  • Act as a key ambassador (with Executive Director) to the public, by attending events and representing and promoting Education Outside in the community

Management & Oversight

  • Oversee, mentor, and manage the development and communications team
  • Set annual department goals and work with the team to achieve them
  • Report on progress/results to leadership team and board
  • Develop and maintain a working knowledge of program operations to further fundraising and marketing goals
  • Provide input and strategic thinking for special projects
  • Participate as a key member of the leadership team

Core Competencies:

The Chief Development and Communications Officer will be a collaborative, flexible, passionate doer, well-versed in development and communications best practices and committed to the overall mission of Education Outside. In concert with the Executive Director and other senior leaders, s/he will be responsible for envisioning and executing on a strategic development plan aimed towards expanding Education Outside’s reach and impact.

The ideal candidate will have at least eight years of development and marketing communications experience; proven experience managing a team and achieving results; and a thorough understanding of all components of a diversified funding base.

In addition, ideal candidates will have the following core competencies and personal qualities:

Passion for the Mission: The CDCO will have a passion and commitment for Education Outside’s mission and the organization’s work. S/he will embrace Education Outside’s collaborative culture, and will have the character and dexterity to lead the growth of all development and communications functions, working closely alongside Education Outside’s strong leadership team and board of directors.

Expertise in Development: The CDCO will be an experienced leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success. S/he will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels with particular focus on major donors, foundations, corporate partnerships, and individual giving. The CDCO will be a flexible self-motivated team player who will partner with the Executive Director and other senior leaders across the organization in identifying fundraising strategies. The CDCO will also have experience leading the planning and implementation of donor cultivation and fundraising events as well as effectively working with the Board of Directors. This leader will build, nurture and retain a strong team of professionals that is focused on excellence, accountability, and efficiency.

Entrepreneurial Innovator: The CDCO will be a natural change agent with a creative approach towards fundraising and communications, driven to meet high, attainable benchmarks. The CDCO will have the ability to implement clear, action-oriented, innovative growth and communication strategies that will elevate Education Outside and broaden their footprint nation-wide. A motivated and results-oriented leader, s/he will be focused on the outcome of a given strategy, able to adjust expectations, processes and approach if necessary.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator: The CDCO will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships across all levels of the organization. S/he will be a natural collaborator with an ability to work in partnership with a diverse team of leadership volunteers, staff members, donors, and community members. S/he will be able to think strategically while also maintaining focus on the details and individual tasks of a strategic plan. The CDCO will be a dynamic, outgoing, high-energy leader who can talk with anyone and successfully convey Education Outside’s mission and objectives.

Persuasive Communicator: The CDCO will be a superior communicator, adapting her/his choice of language and the presentation of ideas to fit the audience needs and perspective in a manner that energizes and inspires. The CDCO listens intently and responds effectively to inquiries or challenges on a range of subjects. S/he makes effective and persuasive presentations on topics of importance to a Board, donors, staff, students, and external partners and stakeholders with complete transparency. Additionally, s/he will have excellent written skills with strong knowledge of marketing and communications tools/platforms.

  • Bachelor’s degree from four-year college or university is required.


Education Outside has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Melanie Damm. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here or email Michelle and Melanie at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Melanie Damm
Manager, Executive Search

Education Outside is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit