Chief Development Officer

February 2019 | Boston, MA Download PDF

About UP Education Network

UP Education Network student and teacher readingFounded in 2010, UP Education Network is the largest nonprofit school network in Massachusetts and is one of the few in the country that is successfully tackling the challenges of in-district school turnaround. Since its founding, UP has grown from one school serving 480 students to a network of six tuition-free public schools—three in Boston, two in Lawrence, and one in Springfield—serving more than 3,000 of the state’s historically underserved students.

In early 2010, Massachusetts passed a landmark education reform law to intervene in Level 4 schools, defined as the state’s most struggling schools. The legislation created different vehicles to restart low-performing schools as autonomous district schools. After the school district, city, or state identifies the school in need of restart, UP Education Network takes on full management of the school to which they are assigned.

Since 2010, UP Education Network has launched three UP Academies as traditional neighborhood schools and two as in-district charter schools; the organization also serves as the receiver for an additional neighborhood school. UP Education Network opens UP Academies fully enrolled while retaining the same students, including those with disabilities and English Learners. Because their efforts address existing schools, the organization operates inside of—not independent of—school districts. UP Education Network incorporates innovations in the areas of instructional practice, time, resources, and technology from the highest-performing district and charter schools into their restart schools, creating a new, high-quality, public school model in which their schools remain a part of UP’s respective districts.

Though less than a decade old, UP Education Network has already seen great success in its efforts:

  • For four consecutive years, UP Academy Boston was ranked the #1 ranked middle school in the state for student growth in math.
  • Just last year, UP Academy Holland had the highest student growth rate in the state in math for English Learners.
  • In its first year of turnaround, UP Academy Dorchester had the highest one-year increase in math and ELA proficiency in state history.
  • UP Education Network was named the 2013 U.S. Education Reform Organization of the Year by NewSchools Venture Fund.

UP is fully dedicated to rapidly transforming chronically underperforming district schools into extraordinary schools that sustain high achievement over time.

About Philanthropy at UP Education Network

While all of the schools UP Education Network manages are funded by the public dollar, the network office is funded by a combination of school management fees and private philanthropy. This year, UP is targeting $3.1M in fundraising to support general operations, including key programs like their newly established UP Leadership Institute and recent investments in social and emotional learning. Historically, UP has been fortunate to receive support from a few key funders who have provided a substantial portion (i.e., approximately two-thirds) of their fundraising need. The majority of UP’s funders have been foundations affiliated with its Board members that focus on supporting the growth of education organizations.

UP Education Network studentsHowever, as UP enters the next phase, the organization is looking to develop a more diversified funding base, both in the number and type of donors. UP is seeking to develop a steady base of recurring major gifts outside the venture philanthropy realm, as well as establish longer-term commitments among foundation donors. UP also anticipates growing its number of schools in the next year or two and will need to continue to cultivate donors to support that initiative as well.


About the Position

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will lead all fundraising efforts for UP Education Network, including individual and corporate giving, state and federal funding opportunities, and the design and execution of capital campaigns. As the first-ever c-level development leader, the CDO will set the vision and strategy for development efforts for the network. The CDO will also serve as a frontline fundraiser, building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders to generate revenue to accelerate UP’s impact. The Chief Development Officer will report directly to the CEO and serve on UP Education Network’s senior leadership team.

Key Responsibilities

  • UP Education Network teacher with studentOversee all efforts to meet UP’s philanthropic income projections through direct fundraising and supervision of development department activities to maintain and diversify UP’s annual fundraising target
  • Identify, cultivate, and steward new and existing individual, foundation, government, and corporate donors and build on current stewardship activities to deepen relationships with current donors
  • Provide strategic guidance to the leadership team and board, identifying key opportunities and strategies to increase revenue across all channels of philanthropy (including capital campaigns)
  • In partnership with the Communications team, oversee strategy and execution of all high-profile philanthropic events, showcasing UP’s schools’ and organization’s work
  • Craft and execute all grant proposals, with a focus on bringing in new institutional funders; write and archive all proposals with a long-term relationship-management approach
  • Serve as a senior leader for the organization, contributing to key decisions – including UP’s strategic plan and future growth
  • Manage a one-person development department and collaborate with key stakeholders across the network (including the CEO) to achieve fundraising goals

Key Qualifications

  • 7+ years of development/fundraising experience
  • Experience managing capital campaigns and a proven track record in major gift cultivation and solicitation, raising at least $2M annually
  • Demonstrated success in writing and managing complex national and federal grants
  • A strong belief in UP Education Network’s core values: Students, Community, Humility, Resilience, and Humor
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including an ability to sell the organization to an external audience and experience writing quarterly and annual reports that detail organizational progress
  • Strategic planning ability, organization, and discipline – the ability to chart a course of action, establish measurable deliverables, and stay the course
  • An “outcome orientation” with the ability to effectively manage multiple responsibilities while maintaining the big picture as it relates to our mission and the financial success of the organization
  • Passion for and commitment to education reform and to creating opportunity for all students
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree preferred
  • Current authorization to work in the United States – a candidate must have such authorization by his or her first day of employment
UP Education Network students arts and crafts

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Katharine Kaplan
Vice President
Development Guild DDI

Development Guild DDI is a proud member of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Council.

To learn more visit the AESC website and read Our Search Standards.


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