New York, NY | April 1, 2021
A Better Chance was founded in 1963 by headmasters of 16 leading independent secondary schools. The timing was the height of the Civil Rights Movement and less than a decade after the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that ended legal discrimination for public education. While progress has been made in the nearly six decades since the ruling, significant gaps in academic achievement based on race persist. A Better Chance continues the relentless pursuit of helping underserved, young people of color access a rigorous and comprehensive education that can propel them to college and leadership roles in society.
A Better Chance administers the oldest and only national program of its kind, empowering academically talented youth of color in grades 6-12 to change their life trajectory by attending the nation’s highest performing college preparatory schools. A Better Chance primarily executes its mission through its signature College Preparatory Schools Program. Overall, A Better Chance annually recruits and places approximately 350 new Scholars and supports approximately 2,200 currently enrolled Scholars in over 200 Members Schools across 27 states. Student performance metrics demonstrate the program’s success:
- Ninety-six percent of A Better Chance graduates enroll directly in college, compared with 24 percent of students of color nationwide.
- Over the last eight years, 85 percent of A Better Chance Alumni earned undergraduate degrees, compared to just 57 percent of all students.
- Half of A Better Chance Alumni have gone on to complete a graduate or professional degree.
- Seventy-five percent of A Better Chance Scholars attend the most selective colleges (institutions that admit fewer than 25 percent of its applicants).
A Better Chance enjoys energetic, visionary senior administrative leadership, and a National Board of Directors and a National Advisory Council that are both highly engaged and committed. In addition, 700 volunteers help to make every aspect of A Better Chance possible, aiding with logistical planning, delivery of program events, advocacy within their communities, administrative work, fundraising and serving on advisory panels. To fully leverage A Better Chance’s exceptional mix of programmatic excellence, leadership, and volunteer support for philanthropy, the organization seeks to elevate the efficiency, productivity, and strategic thrust of its development and communications functions to a corresponding best-in-class status. The confluence of this organizational focus and burgeoning societal attention to matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion well positions A Better Chance to grow external engagement and philanthropic support.
Amid this favorable context, A Better Chance seeks candidates for National Director of Development and Communications (National Director). Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, the National Director will oversee A Better Chance’s comprehensive fundraising initiatives and communications. The National Director will develop and execute a program of strategic fundraising and communications designed to advance the awareness and reputation of the organization and meet the fundraising goals against a $4 million budget, as well as develop a plan for growth. The National Director will be a strategic thought partner to the President and Chief Executive Officer, serve on A Better Chance’s senior Management Team, and be chiefly responsible for advancing a culture of philanthropy on an organization-wide scale. The National Director will work closely with the Board’s Development Subcommittee for leadership, guidance, and support in meeting the organization’s short and long-term development goals. The successful candidate will also direct the engagement of key stakeholders about A Better Chance’s programs, goals, and accomplishments, building financial and emotional support for its mission, including collaborating with the National Director of Programs to strategically integrate Alumni Relations with development and communications initiatives.
The National Director will be entrepreneurial, high-energy, and results-oriented, and be a strategic, creative, and progressive thinker and collaborator with peers. The National Director will also be comfortable working with a high degree of autonomy and responsibility in a nimble work environment, advancing the mission of A Better Chance. The National Director will embrace a strategic approach to fundraising and be able to set and surpass goals. The successful candidate will have superior communication skills coupled with the ability to be an active listener and persuasive communicator.
The ideal candidate will have the following personal and professional skills, qualities, and competencies:
- Passion for and commitment to the mission of A Better Chance. Ability to authentically engage and inspire others as a senior representative of the organization.
- Ten or more years of experience leading and enhancing/expanding a development program for a national nonprofit organization, preferably in the education space or other mission-driven environment. Experience in both established and startup environments would be highly valued.
- Proven ability to recruit, manage, develop, and retain a high performing team with clear quantitative and qualitative objectives that drive performance while fostering a collegial, constructive, and transparent environment. A thorough understanding of current institutional advancement best practices.
- Experience in developing the case for support and strategic fundraising plans, including capital campaign(s), and executing plans to achieve goals and objectives.
- Successful track record of personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six to seven-figures or greater.
- Strength in prospect discovery, with a track record of utilizing new methods of donor engagement and connectivity. A forward thinker who will be driven by innovation in developing philanthropic best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.
- Proven success creating strategic cultivation and stewardship events for engagement and participation by individual and institutional donors.
- Demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic, and innovative communications in support of achieving fundraising goals, branding, or other organizational priorities.
- Financial management skills, including budgeting and forecasting for expense and income.
- Well-organized, thoughtful, and able to balance and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and prioritization to meet deadlines.
- Demonstrated analytical and organizational skills in evaluating existing programs, conceiving and implementing new programs or strategies, and resolving complex and/or sensitive operational and interpersonal issues.
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree a plus.
A Better Chance is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all qualified applicants and employees, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or any other classification protected by federal, or applicable state or local law. A Better Chance is committed to a work environment in which relationships are characterized by dignity, courtesy, respect, and equitable treatment; and in which there are opportunities for participation, challenge, broadening experiences and advancement.
A Better Chance has retained the Diversified Search Group for this engagement. Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr. is leading the search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to [email protected]