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Director of Development

Communities In Schools of Memphis

$75,000 - $80,000
Apply before: May 9, 2024
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  • Date posted
    March 10, 2024
  • Location
  • Salary
    $75,000 - $80,000
  • Apply before
    May 9, 2024
  • Career Level

Job Description


About Communities In Schools of Memphis

At Communities In Schools of Memphis (CISM), we are unapologetically advancing educational equity, preparing more students and families for success in life, and fostering a vibrant culture of inclusivity.

As an accredited affiliate of the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, our mission is clear: to surround students and families with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Our vision extends beyond Memphis. We desire to realize robust urban and rural communities fueled by high-quality educational opportunities. By removing barriers to academic success and creating equitable access to services and supports that empower students to graduate from high school ready for their futures, CISM will provide opportunities for our students, families and communities to attain the social and economic mobility they deserve.

We achieve this through deep, meaningful relationships, not only with our students and families, but also within our team. Rooted in a foundation of expressing care, providing support, sharing power, and challenging growth, we are able to expand possibilities for our students, families, and team members. Guided by our core values of integrity, community, diversity, innovation, and passion, we have built a team of mission-aligned people who are inspired by social justice and fueled by a deep commitment to excellence, with joy.


Communities In Schools of Memphis is recruiting an ambitious and energetic director of development to join our team. This director has an entrepreneurial spirit, is highly organized, a strong writer, and an individual who leads with innovation to help expand possibilities that move the mission and vision of Communities In Schools of Memphis forward for the purpose of empowering children to stay in school and achieve in life.

Summary: The director of development is a key member of the CISM executive leadership team. Reporting directly to the CEO, but working closely and collaboratively with the director of operations and finance and with the senior director of strategy and collective impact, this individual will help to manage the strategic priorities, fundraising, and reporting operations for all of the organization’s development needs. The director of development is responsible for end-to-end development data, managing systems for donor prospecting, solicitation, cultivation and stewardship from a diverse base of supporters including corporations, foundations, and individuals. Working closely with CISM’s governing board of directors and with the board’s development committee, the director of development helps analyze and inform CISM’s development priorities and strategies – both short and long term.

The director of development is responsible for most public and private grant solicitations and reporting to institutional funders. A key focus of work for the director of development will be working alongside the CEO to create, implement, and evaluate an annual and forecasted strategic development plan.

Key and major responsibilities include, but not limited to the following:

  • Grant Oversight:
    • Grant prospecting: Keep abreast of current and prospective funding sources and trends to position CISM ahead of major funding trends and/or changes.
    • Grant writing: Manage prospecting, writing, and submission of new grant proposals including post-award activities and reporting in collaboration with Finance and Program teams. Prospective grantors may be government entities, private philanthropies, or potential vendor partners.
    • Grant reporting: Responsible for reporting aspects of any grants, ensuring proper acknowledgement and meeting reporting requirements including meeting all reporting deadlines, drawing input and review from CEO and other staff members as needed;
  • Donor Oversight: work closely with CEO to Identify | Cultivate | Steward
    • Identify current and potential donors:
      • Create strategies to identify sources of major gifts ($10,000+) and private support using creative research techniques and electronic searching methodologies to ensure that fundraising campaign have sufficient prospects to meet fundraising goals;
    • Design and conduct cultivation and stewardship strategies to build trusted long-term relationships with donors and prospects, ensuring their understanding of and engagement with the mission and outcomes of the organization;
      • Compose documents (profiles, biographies, project summaries) using grammar and content appropriate to specific audiences, communicating key information about CISM’s impact tailored to that donor’s interests.
    • Manage donor relationships
    • Attend meetings if a donor requires a high-level connection (Board President, Nonprofit President/CEO)
    • Meet with donors wanting to support a specific area of the organization
  • Information management:
    • Own, maintain, and utilize the donor database (projected: Salesforce) to ensure prospect knowledge, including ratings, interests and linkages acquired through research is preserved and maintained and is accessible to fundraising staff and used to develop future cultivation strategies
  • Special Events:
    • Participate in the planning and implementation of fundraisers, including the development of an annual giving program; implement prospect cultivation and stewardship projects with excellence
  • Provide Leadership Support
    • Initiate contact and communications with donors/board members/volunteers
    • Lead and/or support donor meetings (present information, ask/answer questions)
    • Determine how to cultivate donors and when and how to ask for support
    • Support internal staff members in other departments with their fundraising responsibilities
  • Educate
    • Educate staff/board members/volunteers about donor characteristics:
      • Major contributors or not
      • Past involvement and interactions
      • Previous support
      • Best way to approach
      • Program areas to highlight or avoid
  • Inspire
    • Encourage staff/board members/volunteers to do the fundraising work in an enthusiastic manner
    • Celebrate success
    • Excite donors about the impact of their donations to promote future giving



  • At least 5 years of experience in a nonprofit development role. Professional experience in Memphis is a plus.
  • Outstanding written communication skills, including the ability to write clear, structured, and persuasive proposals, letters, contracts and reports. Specific grant writing experience is a plus.
  • Enjoys digging into the data behind development, with the MS Excel skills and/or donor database skills to match.
  • Must have excellent computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project and the Internet. Salesforce, Network for Good, Donor Perfect or similar donor databases experience a plus.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy with a strong work ethic. Highly organized and enthusiastic about organization and the smooth operation of projects.
  • Shows initiative and proactivity, exercising good judgment and a willingness and ability to “manage up” appropriately.
  • Teamwork skills to work with others throughout the organization.
  • Natural relationship builder with excellent verbal communication skills.
  • The highest degree of discretion and trust, assuming all information this individual handles is confidential and not to be shared with anyone in the organization or outside of the organization. Is considered a highly trusted individual by all staff and volunteers.
  • Flexible and unflappable in the face of time pressures or challenging circumstances.
  • High degree of professionalism, representing CISM in a positive, friendly and competent manner with anyone and everyone.
  • Eagerness to learn new things and grow in hard and soft skills—from learning new software and new ways of organizing work to effective resource development practices.
  • Diplomacy with all CISM team members, board members, donors and prospects, and other community members.


  • Bachelor’s degree required or compelling equivalent experience;
  • Experience doing basic research (primarily on-line); grants research experience a plus.
  • Demonstrated understanding of CISM — its mission and outcomes — and a solid grasp of the role it plays in the landscape of public education in Memphis and Shelby County.


  • Will require some light lifting.
  • Most work will be in the office, but occasional travel will be local so reliable transportation will be needed.


Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes a comprehensive, competitive benefits package.

  • Salary Range for the position: $75K – $80K competitive and commensurate with experience
  • Health Care Plan (Medical, Dental & Vision) with generous 70% premiums paid by the organization
  • Long Term and Short Term Disability
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Generous Retirement Plan (401k) Contributions
  • Life Insurance (Basic, Voluntary & AD&D)
  • Paid Time Off
  • 20 Paid Holidays
  • Summer Work Schedule & Winter Break
  • Hybrid work environment


This is a full-time position. Working hours are generally 8:30 – 5:00 p.m., however it is expected that this person will have a flexible schedule and will work additional hours occasionally to accommodate evening and weekend activities and reporting deadlines.