May 06, 2021

Director, External Relations (Development)

$65,000 - $90,000 yearly
  • Education Pioneers
  • Remote
Full-Time Business Development Fundraising/Development Writing/Editing

Job Description


Education Pioneers (EP) recruits, develops, and advances professionals with diverse skills and backgrounds to solve problems from outside of the classroom so students and teachers succeed in the classroom. With staff members that are former teachers, consultants, recruiters, researchers, fundraisers, and writers—and in many cases, devoted EP Alumni—we are proud to bring our values to work every day to advance equity and in support of our Fellows, Alumni, and Partners. Since its founding in 2003, Education Pioneers has recruited and trained over 4,500 leaders, half of whom are leaders of color, in partnership with more than 750 education organizations nationwide, and with more than 70 percent of the Alumni network continuing to lead or contribute to work in the education sector so that all students have access to high-quality education.

Education Pioneers is at an inflection point. After pivoting and downsizing our programs in response to COVID, we’re preparing to transition towards pre-pandemic aspirations for scale and long-term transformation. The Director of External Relations will play a critical role in our rebuild and transformation through strengthening our pipeline of aligned and likely donors, measuring and improving upon our systems for prospecting, stewardship, gift processing, and general development operations, and developing long term alignment between local partnerships, alumni, and funder relationships for a cohesive and impactful fellowship. 

Short term, the Director, External Relations will ensure that we have healthy and sustainable funder relationships to rebuild and expand our work, moving from a sub-scale organization back to 350-400 Fellows per year and an annual revenue of $8M+. 

This position will report to the Vice President, External Relations t and is a full-time exempt position.



  • Annual Revenue Targets, including:  
    • Earned Revenue Targets 
    • Contributed Revenue Targets 
  • Pipeline targets  
    • Diversified by type and level 
    • Multi-year funding opportunities 
    • Recurring gifts campaigns 
  • Quality, accuracy, and timeliness of grant proposals, reporting, and other collateral (in partnership with other EP internal teams). 
  • Year over year growth in individual giving campaigns 
  • Successful development and execution of organizational level fundraising events 
  • Develop and execute systems to accurately process gifts and recognize donor contributions 



The following roles and responsibilities represent broadly what the Director of External Relationships is responsible for and specific responsibilities that are aligned with our organizational objectives over the next 2-3 years.  As our organization evolves, you should expect that these roles and responsibilities could evolve or expand.   

Develop a long-term approach to growing and monitoring our funder pipeline in collaboration with the central services team (30%) 

  • Work hand-in-hand with the VP, External Relations to develop and enhance EP’s next three-year strategic funding plan that will allow EP to rescale and reach $8m in revenue annually by 2025 
  • Implement, test, and iterate on the systems-level updates to our CRM and overall development management structure to ensure best-in-class practices are in use 
  • Conduct prospect research, relationship mapping, and high quality outreach plans to grow our funding pipeline with likely donors 
  • Conduct in-depth analyses of new and existing donors, to inform strategy for influencing, motivating and inspiring donors to contribute to our work; develop tailored meeting briefs and materials to support high quality cultivation and stewardship 
  • Own and project management the implementation of our portfolio management structure to ensure we are effectively and efficiently tracking actions for donor engagement 

Craft high quality and inspiring materials to help close gifts (30%)

  • Serve as the sole writer on grants proposals and reports 
  • Working alongside the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, transform organizational narratives into proposals, reports, funder presentations, our website, and social media that attracts and stewards donors 

Execute critical engagement campaigns to ensure strong fundraising success (30%)

  • Manage an individual giving campaign centered on growing the number of individual donors giving to EP to 1,000 across various levels and engagement 
  • Explore opportunities to encourage individual donors to give to EP through recurring gift campaigns, DAF systems, and other mechanisms 

Manage development operations in partnership with the Central Services team (10%)

  • Process gifts in an accurate and timeline manner to ensure proper donor correspondence, recognition, and stewardship 
  • Reconcile donor gifts with other financial information to ensure an accurate view of EP’s financial health 
  • Maintain data systems, capturing critical information and encoding it for institutional knowledge through data input and tracking, iterating on our development operations to ensure EP is staying on the front lines of donor giving tools (ex: Donor Advised Fund linkages, text-to-give, improve online giving portal) 



What’s below is an articulation of the most important competencies you’d need to excel in to be successful in your role. It’s not necessarily an articulation of all the skills you’ll lean into or even a reflection of your “superpowers,” but we want to transparently communicate the areas we feel are most important and that we will likely come back to repeatedly over the course of the year.  

  • Strategic Thinking: You make connections between previously unrelated notions and integrates context, findings, perspectives into meaningful and actionable strategies or solutions 
  • Operating and Managing: You execute your work at a high level, ensuring strong outcomes that advance your workstream  
  • Understanding the Perspectives of Others: You demonstrate a depth of awareness of the beliefs and contexts of others and their organizations to tailor actions appropriately 
  • Building Relationships and Networks: You develop and cultivate beneficial internal and external relationships and networks in order to achieve results 
  • Making Decisions and Demonstrating Judgment: You use appropriate breadth and depth of context and data to make sensible and timely decisions, and display sound judgment when faced with opportunities/challenges 
  • Communicating Effectively with Others: You use media to deliver messages and are able to effectively convey information through those channels 



  • Education Pioneers offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $65,000-$90,000
  • A comprehensive benefits package, generous PTO, 403b retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), and a variety of other benefits are offered by Education Pioneers. 

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: Education Pioneers believes it is critical for leaders in urban education to reflect the urban communities they serve. We actively recruit people of color to join our team. We support equal opportunity for all people and we strongly encourage diverse candidates to apply for open positions.

Hiring Organization

Education Pioneers



  • Bachelor’s Degree (required) 
  • 8+ years of experience, with 5+ years of experience in development/fundraising 
  • Demonstrated excellence in written, interpersonal and verbal communication skills, as well as organizational and managerial skills 
  • Knowledge of SalesForce 
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in beliefs and actions 

 Note: Education Pioneers reserves the right to add additional duties, as needed. All Education Pioneers employees are encouraged to be flexible and responsive to changes in scope of duties

Industry/Service Area




Application Instructions


To apply for this position, please be prepared to submit the following through this link both a resume and cover letter must be submitted for your application to be submitted:

  • A resume / CV that articulates your professional experiences to date
  • A cover letter that responds to the following:
    • Who you are
    • The impact you have achieved in your previous work that will set you up for success in this role
    • The impact that you think you would accomplish in this role with Education Pioneers

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