Executive Director (Full Time - exempt employee)
About the Dream Project (www.dreamproject-va.org ): Founded in 2010, the Dream Project’s mission is to empower Virginia high school graduates whose immigration status creates barriers to post-secondary education. The Dream Project works with them to access and succeed in college, through scholarships, mentoring, academic and social support at school, emergency financial assistance, family engagement, and advocacy. Ten years ago, we granted four scholarships. For the 2021-22 academic year we have awarded 100 scholarships of $2,500, 30 new and 70 renewal. We have an acclaimed mentoring program for high school seniors to help students navigate the opaque college application process and apply for additional financial support. We also partner with Beyond 12 to provide many of our college students with coaching and support. A part-time caseworker supports a well-funded loan and emergency relief fund, and subsidized mental health counseling in partnership with GMU.
Position: The new Executive Director will join the Dream Project at an exciting time. We have enjoyed several years of extraordinarily successful fundraising. Our Board is energized. Our mission has expanded from merely granting scholarships to offering our students, who are almost always the first in their family to attend college (or even graduate high school), social, academic and emergency financial support. We have met the goals of our first strategic plan, and the new Executive Director will help lead the process for a new three-year plan.
Virginia now offers in-state tuition to DACA and undocumented students and additional scholarship aid to undocumented and DACA students starting in August 2022. While we celebrate this progress, our students will continue to need substantial financial help, and more than ever the community’s support post college enrollment. The new Executive Director will lead the development and implementation of existing and new programs.
Reporting to an involved and enthusiastic Board of Directors, the Executive Director oversees and implements the overall strategic goals and operational responsibilities of the Dream Project. The Executive Director also supervises a staff that currently consists of a full-time Program Assistant, and four part-time professional staff: Bookkeeper, Development Director, Mentoring Coordinator and Case Manager and several interns. Our annual budget is between $500,000 to $600,000. The Executive Director must possess a deep commitment to the Dream Project’s mission, goals and programs and be able to function with a high degree of independence and experienced judgment.
Leadership & Management:
- Together with the Board, Board Chair, and Executive Committee designs and implements fundraising and programmatic strategies for the organization consistent with the goals and policies established by the Board.
- Oversees administrative, information technology and operational processes.
- Together with the Board Treasurer, develops the annual budget, and reviews monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports to ensure that the organization is meeting its fiduciary responsibilities and benchmark goals.
- Supervises the work of a team of six to seven staff members, intern(s) and consultants.
- Represents the Dream Project with the community, government officials and others.
- Attends all Board and Executive Committee meetings and provides reports and updates on staff, projects and organization.
- Supports a strong Board of Directors, builds and manages Board involvement with the strategic direction and strategic plan, and works closely and openly with the Board and its committees.
- Expands and imagines new fundraising activities through individual, event, foundation, faith-based and corporate fundraising campaigns.
- Oversees the Development Director to develop and track an annual development plan, writes and submits proposals and reports for all foundation and corporate gifts, develops a strategy to cultivate, retain and upgrade individual donors at all giving levels, and develops and maintains ongoing relationships with major donors; named scholarship sponsors; foundation, corporate and faith-based leaders, and other targeted supporters.
- Oversees organization of and personally attends Dream Project events.
Advocacy and Communications:
- Applies expertise in issues affecting the undocumented population in Virginia.
- Raises and expands awareness of the Dream Project’s mission and work.
- Facilitates communications among all stakeholders including: Board members, Advisory Board members, donors, mentees, mentors, scholars, universities, parents, the faith-based community, and local, state, and national leaders.
- Deepens and refines all aspects of communications—from web and social media presence to external relations -- with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
- Actively engages and energizes Dream Project students and volunteers, partners, and donors to participate in Dream Project activities and other advocacy efforts.
- Builds partnerships with other organizations that work with and advocate for immigrant students and immigrant rights.
The Executive Director will be committed to the Dream Project’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership skills and the ability to cultivate relationships with Board members, potential donors, community members, local leaders, students, parents, university partners and immigrant communities. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:
- Lived experience as, or substantial experience working with, first generation or undocumented immigrants is a positive factor but not required.
- Bachelor’s degree with at least five years of experience working or volunteering in the non-profit field.
- Past success working with a Board of Directors (or other governance structure) with the ability to cultivate and maintain Board member relationships.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Ability to work effectively in collaboration with linguistically and culturally diverse populations.
- Grant writing experience.
- Familiarity with database systems like Salesforce/MailChimp is an asset.
- Written and oral Spanish language fluency is required.
The salary for this position has been budgeted at $65,000 to $80,000, subject to experience and meeting performance objectives. Our benefits package includes health insurance and paid leave.
How to apply:
In addition to your resume and writing sample, submit a detailed cover letter explaining why you are interested in working to achieve the Dream Project’s mission and discussing your passion for working with the immigrant community.
For best consideration, apply by May 12, 2021. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
The Dream Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
The Dream Project is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
About The Dream Project (www.dreamproject-va.org): The Dream Project empowers students whose immigration status creates barriers to education by working with them to access and succeed in college through three programmatic areas: Scholarships; a Mentoring Program; and Family Engagement and Advocacy. The Dream Project's annual budget is approximately $500,000. In recent years, the Dream Project has experienced tremendous fundraising growth. The principal sources of funding are individuals, major donors, foundations, corporate/business entities, faith communities, and events. Current staff members include an Executive Director, a Program Assistant, a Bookkeeper and a Mentoring Program Coordinator.
Position Description: The Development Manager will be the first dedicated fundraiser hired by the Dream Project. This individual will work with the Executive Director, the Fundraising Committee of the Board of Directors, and other staff members and consultants to meet fundraising goals and to help increase the Dream Project's annual revenue by: 1) identifying, cultivating and securing new sources of funding and 2) stewarding current donors. The ideal candidate will be proactive and self-motivated, perform well in a team setting and demonstrate a commitment to the Dream Project and its mission.
- Serve as an integral member of the fundraising team to develop and implement annual fundraising plans
- Identify potential high-level donors ("Investors") and work with Executive Director to cultivate gifts of $10,000+
- Research, identify and cultivate prospective individual, foundation, corporate and faith community donors
- Participate in stewardship activities to thank donors, engage them and increase their current giving levels
- Encourage lower level donors to become Named Scholarship donors
- Assist in the drafting of solicitation communications including grant proposals and two annual mailings
- Encourage Dream Project supporters to host third-party events and engage their networks to gain support
- Help recruit event sponsors and Host Committee members for fundraising events
- Help prepare fundraising materials and packets for potential donors and funders
Qualifications and Skills
- Bachelor's degree and 4 - 6+ years of experience working in nonprofit fundraising preferred
- Ability to work well with a team to promote fundraising initiatives
- Ability to effectively prioritize and manage several projects simultaneously under time constraints
- Ability to foster positive relationships with potential donors and supporters
- Excellent written and interpersonal communications skills
- Experience working with a diverse group of constituents with many cultural and linguistic backgrounds
- Knowledge and understanding of immigration issues and their impact on the immigrant community
Application Instructions: Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter detailing their qualifications and interest in working for the Dream Project's mission and resume to Lizzette Arias, the Dream Project's Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1, 2020.
The Dream Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients. The Dream Project is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.