Director, Development

Position Location: San Diego, CA


POSITION TITLE: Director, Development JOB NUMBER/CODE: 009
DEPARTMENT: Fundraising POSITION TYPE: Exempt / Full-Time
SALARY RANGE: $64,029.55 – $96, 044.32
(commensurate w/experience)
WORKING HOURS: M-F / 9am-5pm LOCATION: San Diego, CA
REPORTS TO: President & CEO HR CONTACT: Director, People Operations


The Director of Development oversees and manages the organization’s fundraising strategy, development, marketing and communications, and outreach. The Director of Development role requires an individual who is a strong leader, understands and is passionate about the mission and vision of the organization, exemplifies its core values, and can articulate Reality Changers’ mission to donors and prospects in a way that both educates and compels them to give. The successful candidate will have experience meeting annual fundraising goals and work towards meeting strategic fundraising goals utilizing multiple fundraising channels in order to raise vital funds.

The Director of Development contributes to the continued growth of organization through team development, participation in senior leadership team discussions and Board of Directors decisions. As the need arises, the Director of Development will work on additional projects with the President & CEO or other team members.

This position reports to the President & CEO and collaborates with leadership to achieve overall organizational goals.


    • Meet or exceed the organization’s fundraising goal each fiscal year.
    • Cultivate, solicit and steward donors who give $5,000+ during the designated fiscal year.
    • Effectively manage and support the Development Manager, Volunteer & Outreach Manager, Associate Director, Marketing & Communications, and Grant Writer to help them achieve their goals.
    • The successful candidate will have the ability to be promoted to VP, Development if meeting the organization’s overall financial development expectations within the first 18 months of fulfilling the Director position requirements.


An incumbent may perform any combination of the essential functions shown below. This position description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, knowledge, or abilities associated with this classification, but is intended to accurately reflect the principal job elements.


Leadership and Strategy:

    • Serves as an executive team member and plays a key leadership role in achieving the overall implementation and execution of the strategic plan–with a focus on revenue development.
    • Work with executive leadership, senior staff, and Board of Directors to develop strategies in fundraising to include, but not limited to: grants, events, direct mail, internet, email, telemarketing, planned giving and moves management.
    • Provides vision and direction to build and manage a full-scale development program; develops and implements a fundraising plan for each area to achieve short-term and long-term goals.
    • Develops and manages annual fundraising budgets.
    • Provides analysis and reporting on the overall performance of fundraising against goals and strategic plan.
    • Stays apprised of advancements and changes pertinent to fundraising and development profession.
    • Directs and leads adaptations to current strategies and practices in accordance with these changes and as necessary.
    • Participates in Board meetings and serves as staff resource to the Board.
    • Manages and nurtures the Development staff, including hiring, training, and evaluating performance.

Revenue and Development:

    • Identifies, cultivates, solicits and expands the number of foundation, corporate, and individual annual, mid-level, and planned giving prospects and donors.
    • Building on a strong experience base and creative intellect, designs and pursues growth strategies for existing fundraising channels.
    • With executive leadership, identifies new opportunities to expand organizational funding from charitable or earned sources and design, plan and lead successful new fundraising channel initiatives based on well-crafted strategy.
    • Joins and participates in relevant business and community associations to network and connect with new prospects.
    • Attends/represents Reality Changers at community and donor-related meetings and events.

Donor Relations and Cultivation:

    • Creates, implements, manages and assesses a comprehensive donor relations plan to support organization’s fundraising efforts including responding to donor concerns and/or requests, gift acknowledgements, program information and stewardship.
    • Fosters a positive, ongoing relationship with donors and ensures Reality Changers efforts.
    • Designs and implements growth and retention strategies with existing donors and opportunities to forge new donor relationships or increase gift size from current donors through moves management.
    • Oversees development of and manages major annual donor and fundraising events i.e. Over The Edge, Farm to Table(aux), etc.
    • Manages the implementation of the donor management platform and donor research.

Branding and Marketing:

    • Builds upon a branding/marketing strategy that supports all fundraising and program efforts.
    • Understands, communicates and enforces the organization’s values, policies, guidelines and practices.
    • Oversees public relations efforts to ensure brand representation and adherence across in-house advertising, graphic design, social media, direct mail, website and in communications such as the annual report and other mediums.
    • Ensures adherence to organizational policies and procedures as well as the timely review of needs and pricing through formal RFI and RFP practices.
    • Perform other duties as assigned.


    • Master’s Degree preferred
    • CFRE designation preferred
    • At least 5 years of experience at the executive level in Development
    • At least 10 years fundraising and development experience in progressively responsible leadership positions with at least 5 years in a senior leadership role overseeing operational and performance outcomes.
    • Experience identifying and cultivating major gift prospects, corporate and foundation donors, as well as planning and executing special events that engage donors and raise funds for the organization.
    • Experience developing or working with a planned giving program and capital campaign
    • Experience writing grants, overseeing grant processes, etc.
    • Verified track record of meeting or exceeding measurable fundraising goals in a fast-paced nonprofit environment.
    • Strong background managing all aspects of fundraising including high net worth individuals, foundation and corporate relations, direct mail and telemarketing.
    • Experience creating budgets and forecasting revenue.
    • Experience in the use of social media and social networking (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and technology (i.e. website) to communicate with donors, generate revenue, educate the public and broadcast mission.
    • Experience supervising and managing a team with demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, delegate responsibility, and inspire, engage and motivate staff


    • Significant knowledge of “cutting edge” best practices in charitable fundraising.
    • Proficiency with fundraising applications using available data to perform comprehensive donor data analysis and reporting.
    • Strong understanding of data utilization and management, as well as the effective use of fundraising technology and data for strategic operations and decision making.
    • Highly creative and entrepreneurial individual who is a strategic thinker and a strong fundraiser with a passion for connecting people with a mission and its programs.
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to engage and inspire a wide range of audiences.
    • Is flexible and provides creative approaches to challenges and opportunities
    • Skills in managing and supervising a multi-channel development team with a focus on professional development
    • Demonstrated understanding of issues and operational characteristics of departments in a complex Development division and how they collaborate to create a fundraising pipeline.
    • A high standard of professional and ethical conduct, integrity, and accountability
    • Excellent attention to details and highly organized.
    • Demonstrated ability to set and manage priorities under tight deadlines with an outcomes-oriented approach.
    • Must be highly adaptive, versatile, and responsible, even when confronted with ambiguity.
    • Willingness to take initiative and do what is necessary to complete the job.
    • Strong attention to detail and good follow through.
    • Knowledge and proficiency


    • Represent Reality Changers in a positive manner in all public and private settings.
    • Provide positive encouragement to staff, students and instructors in all public and private settings.
    • Exemplify commitment to Reality Changers’ mission and values.


    • Occasional travel will be expected.
    • Occasional weekend and evening work will be expected, especially in November/December and leading up to events.


    • A valid driver’s license or reliable transportation to and from site location(s), Reality Changers’ headquarters, and related events.
    • Clear Tuberculosis Test (TB) or ability to obtain medical clearance
    • A job offer of employment is contingent upon completion of our pre-employment screening process.


As a candidate for this position, starting salary and related elements of compensation will be contingent upon work experience, education, job-related skills, and any other factors Reality Changers considers relevant factors to the hiring decisions for this position. The starting salary for this position is $90,000.00 per year.

Benefits for this position include a 403(b) plan, medical, dental and vision coverage, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, paid holidays, paid sick leave, paid parental leave, sabbatical leave, and unlimited flexible paid time off.


This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets. Due to COVID-19, Reality Changers employees are temporarily operating in a hybrid model—working in-person from the office and remotely from home.


This job requires the ability to sit, use hands and arms to perform repetitive motions. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, and the ability to adjust focus. It requires moderate dexterity, application of basic skills (calculator, keyboard, hand-eye coordination, etc.) and the ability to bend or stand as necessary.


At Reality Changers, we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion (D.E.I.) are connected to our mission and critical to the well-being of our staff and our community. In 2021, we were recognized as an “Outstanding Organization for Diversity & Inclusion” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals San Diego Chapter.

Reality Changers serves first generation youth from low-income backgrounds and from groups who are traditionally under-represented on college campuses—such as Black, Latinx, Indigenous, LGBT+, Immigrant and/or Undocumented communities. Because we believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities and/or backgrounds.


To apply, please submit the following to by Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 5:00pm:

  • Current resume.
  • A thoughtful cover letter outlining your interest in the position and how your qualifications align with the above requirements and Reality Changers’ focus and mission.

Note: This position is eligible for appointment at $90,000.00 annually.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible as interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Anticipated start date is March 2024.


Reality Changers is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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