Director of Advancement

826 Valencia
April 1, 2021
180 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco (temporarily remote), CA
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Benita Tsao
415-642-5905 ext. 415


The Director of Advancement is a visionary leader who inspires stakeholders to invest in 826 Valencia’s mission and programs. As a member of the leadership team and the staff member chiefly responsible for contributed revenue (approximately 95% of its annual income), the Director of Advancement is responsible for both strategic communications and fundraising (including major and annual gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and government). Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with the Board, the Director of Advancement oversees all aspects of comprehensive and strategic fundraising plans and awareness-building campaigns (from ideation to implementation and cycles of improvement) that meet both short- and long-term revenue goals. This position effectively manages and supports the Advancement Team, and helps build collaboration across the organization. The person in this role also spearheads an organization-wide culture of philanthropy, and champions our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is an exciting opportunity for a skilled advancement leader to join this iconic, mission-driven, and stable organization on the eve of its 20th anniversary and define the next chapter in its evolution in service to its students.  

Who We Are

826 Valencia is an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our innovative model has inspired more than 40 like-minded organizations world-wide.

Reporting Relationships

The Director of Advancement reports to the Executive Director of 826 Valencia and manages four staff members: the Director of Institutional Gifts, Director of Individual Philanthropy, Development and Annual Fund Coordinator, and Communications Manager. (The Advancement Team also includes a full-time Grants and Development Coordinator, and part-time Communications Associate, supervised by other team members.)  

Major Responsibilities

Development and Fundraising

  • Lead fundraising and communications efforts, including individual and corporate giving, foundation, and government grants, raising upwards of $4.5M annually
  • Develop and execute annual and long-term fundraising plans, employing best practices to maximize contributed revenue, scale the organization and provide for its future sustainability; for the 2022 calendar year, include special coordinated events, messaging, and fundraising opportunities in honor of 826 Valencia’s 20th Anniversary
  • Provide assistance and leadership to the Executive Director and Board members to build and maintain long-term relationships with donors and to cultivate effective, meaningful relationships with prospects that lead to measurable results
  • Manage a personal portfolio of major individual, corporate and foundation donors, with full responsibility for all cultivation, stewardship and progressive levels of engagement and giving
  • Design innovative and high quality opportunities for donor involvement and stewardship, leveraging best practices for community-centric fundraising and equity 
  • Evaluate and analyze the existing development program and implement effective changes, responses to changing environment, policies and procedures to increase overall development performance
  • Develop and cultivate relationships with donors, key decision-makers, staff, and a variety of stakeholders and audiences from diverse backgrounds
  • With the Director of Institutional Giving, oversee and participate in the preparation of high-quality, targeted grant proposals and reports that inspire deeper donor connection and investment
  • With the Development and Annual Fund Coordinator, oversee the management of the donor database and ensure the accuracy of donor records
  • With the Director of Individual Philanthropy, oversee the creation and execution of both high-level and low-level fundraising events


  • In collaboration with the Communications Manager, guide strategic, on-brand, and timely communications (publications, social media and publicity) to build audience and position the organization as a thought leader in topics including writing, educational equity, and student voice

Organizational Leadership

  • Build a culture of philanthropy: guide the Board, staff, and volunteers in understanding and implementing development best practices and integrating the work into all aspects of the organization
  • Serve on the 826 Valencia leadership team to support team members from diverse backgrounds and help build a collaborative, mission-driven, and effective work culture
  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director and Department Heads to establish and support the strategic direction for 826 Valencia, and integrate the team’s work to support the organizational vision and mission
  • Collaborate across the 826 Network, supporting, teaching and learning from the cohort of 826 Development Directors across the country to build the strength of the network

Other Responsibilities

  •  Attend staff meetings and meet all deadlines 
  • Attend National Conference and other professional development workshops, conferences, seminars, etc.
  • All other duties as assigned by the Executive Director

Education and Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 10 years of progressive responsibility in fundraising 
  • At least 5 years experience managing fundraising staff
  • Demonstrated ability to solicit and close major gifts, especially individuals in the six-figure range
  • Experience in best-practice protocols and systems, including creating development strategies and research profiles, data gathering and interpretation, and external environmental analysis
  • Proven experience and proficiency at developing and maintaining a large number and wide range of relationships, both externally and internally within an organization
  • Knowledge and commitment to addressing issues impacting youth from under-resourced communities, as well as advancing social justice generally
  • Public relations, media and communications experience (preferred) 
  • Planned giving training or experience (preferred) 
  • Excellent command of English language and grammar, both verbal and written
  • Proficient with computer applications – a thorough understanding of the Microsoft Office and Google suite and the ability to learn and master other computer technology/software programs as needed
  • Experience with Salesforce or similar CRM systems

Required Competencies

  • Designs enduring, scalable, and codified systems for sustainable development and fundraising that plan for interdependencies, risks and contingencies
  • Leads others in creative problem solving, applying project management and field best practices
  • Develops and implements systems to effectively support managers in developing and demonstrating management skills; develops and implements accountability and coaching structures to support managers as they coach and develop their teams
  • Develops and implements systems to take down silos within and across departments, creating formal/informal structures for cross-department collaboration that leverages differences and inspires trust among members
  • Demonstrates awareness of cultural values, biases and differences in self and others and tailors approach based on this understanding. Applies a culturally competent lens to work.
  • Demonstrates highly developed awareness of how one's leadership and behaviors directly and indirectly impact others; anticipates and understands implications and communicates these across the organization
  • Works with the Executive Director to confidently lead the department through times of change and transition, working with a team to identify opportunities for innovation and new possibilities amidst change
  • Identifies and understands stakeholder perspectives. Anticipates and embraces stakeholder reactions and works to address concerns in ways that resonate
  • Creates a culture of professional development, continuous feedback, and mutual support among staff within purview and in collaboration with other directors; provides a compelling career progression within the department and environment for growth and development; develops and implements systems to celebrate team accomplishments


  • $125,000-$140,000 Annual Salary
  • Paid Time Off: 15 Vacation days per year (increases to 20 days after two years), approximately 9 Wellness days per year, 12 Holidays, and winter office closure. (Additional COVID-19 paid time off available through federal and state COVID-19 leave regulations)
  • Health insurance coverage, Employee Assistance Program, group life insurance
  • Pre-Tax Savings: 401(k) plan with <1% employer match, Flexible Spending Account for health and dependent care expenses, Commuter Benefits
  • Professional development funds (budget permitting)
  • Reimbursement for local work-related travel expenses, such as between writing centers and school sites. While working remotely due to COVID-19, partial reimbursement for high-speed Internet and utilities
  • 30% discount at all 826 Valencia stores

Other Details

This exempt role is based at Tenderloin Center at 180 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, currently remote with high-speed Internet access needed, but will return to the office when we reopen our centers. Candidates must be located in or willing to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area, and able to work in an open-office environment where there may be substantial ambient noise and overheard conversations. Flexible work schedule Monday through Friday (e.g., 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) with some evenings and weekends as required.

How To Apply

Fill out this brief application. Please submit your cover letter, résumé, and writing sample to by April 23. Write “Director of Advancement” in the subject line. This position is open until filled, with an ideal start date of June 1, 2021.

826 Valencia is an equal opportunity employer committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce. Candidates who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. 826 Valencia does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, political orientation, disability, veteran status, or gender identity or expression. For more information, read the 826 Stand.

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