Director of Development Position Description 


George Jackson Academy (GJA) is NYC’s only independent, non-sectarian, need-blind upper elementary and middle school for bright boys from low-income families. The school was created to engage underserved, academically capable boys from 4th to 8th grade, a time when young men are particularly vulnerable to disengaging from school. GJA creates a life-changing experience by challenging its students to grow not only as scholars, but also as friends and brothers in the community. No child is denied admission because of an inability to pay. 


GJA seeks a Director of Development to join the leadership team of the school and lead the school’s fundraising efforts. Currently, GJA raises more than $2.5M per year and serves a student body of 120 boys. GJA needs an ambitious and creative Director of Development to build a robust fundraising operation for the school. To that end, the Director of Development will be equally comfortable in crafting both a long- and short-term development strategy, as well as in managing others toward ambitious results. The Director of Development will be interested in not only continuing the practices that have garnered consistent support from GJA’s current base of supporters, but also in creatively diversifying its donor base through entrepreneurial tactics and approaches. 


  • Create a long-term development vision and annual strategic fundraising plans. 
  • Set ambitious yet feasible revenue, donor retention, and acquisition benchmarks to achieve both immediate (current fiscal year) and long-term (next 3-5 years) development goals. 
  • Work closely with the Head of School and Board to strategically broaden and diversify GJA’s fundraising base. 
  • Make direct asks for support from a diverse portfolio of donors including high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations utilizing meetings, events, and correspondence. 
  • Design and implement a stewardship strategy to maintain the school’s connections with existing donors and board members, and consistently engage new prospects. 
  • Design and implement a plan for involving trustees with fundraising and development. 
  • Support and prepare school leadership in appropriate cultivation, solicitation, and stewarding of major donors. 
  • Lead trustees as they fundraise for and develop alumni efforts. 
  • Design creative and thoughtful events to solicit donors old and new. 
  • Oversee and coordinate communications and marketing, including: an annual appeal (fall and spring), annual report, e-communications (including social media), website, and donor correspondence, including outreach letters/proposals, stewardship and donor recognition, acknowledgements, and continuing contact.
  • Direct all prospect research, data collection, and reporting to internal and external constituencies. 
  • Manage a part-time Development Assistant to ensure progress toward goals, utilizing open communication and a management system/database. 
  • Support, attend, and/or participate in school activities, including faculty meetings and retreats, 8th grade graduation, alumni reunions, board meetings, and various other GJA community events. 


  • Bachelor’s degree required. 
  • Five to ten years of experience in a professional development role, including experience in direct solicitation of gifts. Candidates with similar experience in corporate business development or sales will also be considered. 
  • Strong knowledge of the education and philanthropic landscapes in New York City preferred. 
  • Proven experience of achieving a substantial fundraising goal and managing internal and external stakeholders to achieve this goal. 
  • Extensive background in creating, sustaining, and managing relationships with major gift donors or high-net-worth individuals. 
  • Demonstrated success in an entrepreneurial environment bringing new and creative ideas from conception to implementation. 
  • Familiarity with building and sustaining strong development systems and structures. 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint; experience with donor databases strongly preferred. 


George Jackson Academy offers competitive compensation and benefits, in addition to opportunities for personal and professional growth as well as the rewards of serving high-need students, families, and communities from across New York City. 


Send a resume and cover letter to No phone calls please. 

George Jackson Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic or national origin and is an equal opportunity employer.