Executive Director (Full Time - exempt employee)

About the Dream Project ( )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. 

Board Governance: 

  • 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. 

Apply Here!

Status: Full time, exempt employee
Reporting: Reports to the Executive Director
Location: Currently virtual. May move to a hybrid model, utilizing our Washington DC office.


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 students to help them access, pay for and succeed in college.

For the 2021-22 academic year we have awarded 100 scholarships in the amount of $2,500, renewable annually for up to five years. We conduct an acclaimed mentoring program for high school juniors and seniors to help them navigate the opaque college application process, identify the right school, and apply for additional financial support. We also partner with Beyond 12 to provide our college students with coaching and support, as our students are the first in their families to attend college in the US. A part-time caseworker supports a well-funded loan and Covid-emergency relief fund and connects students to other community resources, and we have a partnership with George Mason University to provide subsidized mental health counseling. We provide general immigration advice to scholars and their parents, provide a supportive environment for parents and families and are actively involved in issue advocacy, especially in Northern Virginia.

The Dream Project has been designated “One of the Best” Nonprofits in the greater Washington DC area by the Catalogue for Philanthropy. Our 2021-2022 budget is $700,000. We are fortunate to have enjoyed phenomenal fundraising success and have substantial reserves.


Reporting to and working in close partnership with the Executive Director (ED), the Development Director spearheads the Dream Project's fundraising efforts. The Development Director is also supported by the Business Manager and Program Manager and will collaborate with a passionate, involved and experienced Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

As we develop our 2022-2025 strategic plan, we envision a crucial role for an organized and motivated Development Director to allow us to expand and grow to meet the challenges of immigrant students. The position offers the opportunity to have a substantial impact on our scholars and their community and to imagine and develop new fundraising strategies and initiatives.

Candidates need not reside in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC metropolitan area. Travel to DC or Northern Virginia will be required.


Development Planning/Reporting and Leadership Engagement

  • Serves as an integral member of the Board's Fundraising Committee and leads the development and implementation of annual fundraising plans and goals as established by the Dream Project's three-year Strategic Plan
  • Reports to the ED and Board leadership on fundraising activities and progress toward goals
  • Creatively engages Board of Directors and Advisory Board members to leverage their networks in support of fundraising efforts

Direct Individual Fundraising

  • Develops initiatives and mechanisms to expand individual donor base at all levels
  • Identifies potential high-level donors and works with the ED and Board leadership to cultivate gifts of $10,000+
  • Grows and manages the Named Scholarship program (donors who pledge $2,500 per year for four years) through cultivation and stewardship
  • Imagines, creates and implements fundraising events
  • Leads stewardship activities to thank donors and keep them engaged in our mission
  • Works to elevate current donors to higher donation levels
  • Works with Business Manager to create and distribute annual donor mailings
  • Utilizes donor databases as maintained by our Business Manager using the Salesforce CRM platform

Institutional Donor Research/Engagement and Communications

  • Researches and cultivates potential foundation, corporate, local business, and faith community donors in order to expand these revenue streams, and reviews grant proposals as necessary
  • Works with ED to create publications and promotional materials that support fundraising activities, including the annual report and a monthly newsletter


  • Knowledge of the craft of fundraising and success in generating annual revenue in the nonprofit sector with three to five years experience
  • Experience building relationships and cultivating individuals for their support
  • Organizational and interpersonal skills, including the ability to manage multiple projects while meeting deadlines
  • Oral and written communication abilities, including public speaking skills
  • Ability to communicate the stories, challenges and triumphs of our student community
  • Committed to working with a collaborative team and able to work closely with an activist Board of Directors
  • Occasional night and weekend work required (dinners, fundraising events, etc.)
  • Open and willing to pursue professional development opportunities
  • Spanish language a plus but not required


The position is budgeted in the mid $60,000 range based on experience and track record with bonus potential for meeting or exceeding strategic plan goals. Benefits include health insurance, 401(k) plan and generous leave policy.


Qualified applicants should submit a resume and a cover letter describing professional goals and interest in the Dream Project's mission to Please submit all material by January 21, 2022 for full consideration.

Request for Proposal

Dream Project Website Development


The Dream Project is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that empowers students whose immigration status creates barriers to education by working with them to access and succeed in college through scholarships, mentoring, family engagement, and advocacy. Over the past 10 years, the organization has grown substantially and is now entering a new phase of growth that requires additional resources and capacity, including a newly designed website.

A proposal should include: development strategy, timeline, and cost estimate (cost estimate can be tiered as appropriate/needed). We also invite submissions that reflect a more comprehensive, integrated approach to the proposed project.  Details are listed below. 

Please  submit all proposals to Please submit all material by April 1, 2022 for full consideration.


Currently, the Dream Project website requires significant updating. We are looking to rebuild the site from the ground up. We hope to create a flexible, informative, up-to-date web site that is easy to maintain and is responsive to desktop and mobile layouts. In addition, we hope to  integrate our own web-based, program management system “Dream Portal” (Web app written using Django framework) into the website. The main website is managed through Wordpress, while the Dream Portal is hosted on Heroku. Ideally both sites will become one under the same domain, while keeping the ability to update the main site through wordpress and Dream Portal part through a github repository. 


  • The Dream Project website - will serve as the hub for all Dream Project information, resources, news, and events.  We hope to integrate other elements of DP services, such as the Mentoring Hub (which currently lives on a separate Google Site). 
  • Develop a website that supports DP communications and fundraising strategies for target audiences including parents, supporters, students, and educators. 
  • Allow for the formation  of multilingual pages.
  • The website will be a source of information for our key audiences, a source of our student stories and to provide as much relevant and useful information to our various audiences, in a clean and succinct format. 
  • Present clear and concise information to end users.
  • Integrate with Dream Project’s social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
  • Maximize search engine optimization
  • Provide an archival system for Dream Project photos and videos.