Organization: Scholars Strategy Network

Location: Cambridge, MA

Express Interest!

The Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) is an innovative nonprofit organization that seeks to improve public policy and strengthen democracy by organizing scholars working in America’s colleges and universities, and connecting scholars and their research to policymakers, citizens associations, and the media.
SSN is looking for an experienced Director of Development to spearhead fundraising efforts as the organization and network continues to grow. The Director of Development will lead efforts to cultivate existing and new individual major donors, raise funds from foundations, and develop a modest small donor annual giving program.

This is a full-time position and will report to SSN’s Director and to the Chair of SSN’s Steering Committee. This is an exciting opportunity for a development professional who is motivated to build a strategic development framework and expand an already successful organization at an exciting period of growth.

SSN is a growing organization, with a budget of just under $1 million last year. The Director of Development will lead efforts to grow that budget to over $2 million by 2017, with a primary focus on raising unrestricted funds from individual donors giving $10,000, $25,000, or more.

Specifically, the Development Director will:

  • Actively work with the Chair of SSN’s Steering Committee to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy and annual development plan to include funding from individuals, foundations, and other funding sources
  • Secure unrestricted financial support from individuals, foundations and oversee maintenance of ongoing relationships with all donors
  • Manage the implementation of a fundraising and prospecting database
    Create and execute a strategy to strengthen and grow a sustained base of annual individual donors in the $10,000 to $25,000 range (“SSN’s Supporters”)
  • Create and execute a strategy to cultivate a small number of individuals to become major donors in the $100,000 and up range
    Strengthen existing relationships with funders, ensuring they are appropriately engaged and invested in the SSN’s mission
  • Assure that operational and financial goals for each activity are established, monitored, and achieved
  • Write and edit letters of inquiry, grant proposals and reports for all foundation fundraising
  • Have primary responsibility for development and execution of all proposals and special events


  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 5-7 years of fundraising experience; demonstrated success managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources
  • Successful track record raising funds at over $1 million annually for universities, think tanks, research institutions, advocacy organizations, or start-ups
    A broad background of fundraising experience raising funds from individuals, foundations, and other funding sources, with a thorough knowledge of fundraising principles
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement an annual strategic development plan
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
  • Ability to thrive in a small, dynamic, and rapidly-changing environment
  • Creative, strategic leader who can execute on multiple priorities simultaneously
  • Demonstrated track record of fundraising success and the experience expanding and cultivating existing donor relationships
  • Demonstrated commitment to SSN’s mission

Personal Characteristics:

  • Positive and collaborative working style
  • Superior relationship-building skills
  • Ability to think creatively and strategize
  • High energy, positive, “can-do” attitude, flexible, team player
  • Attention to detail
  • High degree of initiative

Compensation and Benefits:
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply:
Scholars Strategy Network has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a cover letter and resume to Trisha Sutrisno

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

About Scholars Strategy Network:
The Scholars Strategy Network seeks to improve public policy and strengthen democracy by organizing scholars working in America’s colleges and universities, and connecting scholars and their research to policymakers, citizens associations, and the media.

SSN members spell out the implications of their research in ways that are broadly accessible. They engage in consultations with policymakers in Washington DC and state capitals. They make regular contributions to the media and share findings and ideas with journalists and bloggers. Many SSN scholars also work with advocates and civic organizations to address pressing public challenges at the national, state, and local levels.

SSN members believe that university scholars should share their work with fellow citizens – and they endeavor to further good public policymaking and responsive democratic government. Beyond these shared values, members hold a variety of views – and SSN as a whole does not endorse any political party, candidate, or specific policy position. Each SSN scholar takes individual responsibility for signed contributions and choices about civic engagement.

SSN is a rapidly growing nonprofit with around 450 members in 41 states across the country with 19 regional networks. Learn more at

About Koya Leadership Partners:
Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained search and consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners,