Director of Philanthropic Investments – Individual Giving

The Commit Partnership
Published
March 18, 2023
Location
3000 Pegasus Park Drive, Suite 900, Dallas, TX 75247, Dallas, Texas
Category
Job Type

Description

Director of Philanthropic Investments

The Commit Partnership (“Commit” or the “Partnership”) seeks a passionate systems change leader, strongly committed to the Partnership’s mission to increase the regional living wage attainment rate for young adults in Dallas County to 50% by 2040 irrespective of race, to serve as the organization’s Director of Philanthropic Investments to lead and grow our Individual Giving Portfolio. This person will report directly to the Partnership’s Managing Director leading its Philanthropy efforts.

The Partnership’s  Philanthropic Investments team plays a critical role in ensuring adequate funding resources are available for the organization to execute initiatives and make progress towards our North Star goal. Since the Partnership's founding in 2011, the Philanthropy team has secured over $136 million represented by a 50/50 split in local versus national funder investments. Efforts made possible by philanthropic investment in Commit have helped yield transformative outcomes, including informing four state legislative sessions across the years 2017-2023 that collectively created over $7.0 billion of new and potential annual funding for a state that educates 10% of the nation’s PK-12 students. The work has also accelerated the adoption of numerous impactful practices enabled by (i) the Partnership’s leading of two statewide learning communities involving ~20 districts educating 1 in 4 Texas children as well as (ii) its formation with Educate Texas of the Texas Impact Network, which supports numerous “educational backbone” entities similar to Commit across the state.  Best practices implemented have included: full-day PreK; extending the elementary school year to reduce summer learning loss; creating pathways to a B.A. in Early Childhood Education for less than $10,000 in total tuition over four years; and compensating educators higher and sooner in their career based on their classroom effectiveness and where they teach (vs. solely based on their seniority).

To accelerate progress towards our North Star goal, the Partnership recently launched Opportunity 2040, a new, innovative collaboration with the Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL), to significantly improve economic mobility in Dallas County. The full cost of Opportunity 2040 is $13.4 billion of which $347 million is projected to be raised  over the next 17-years, from private, philanthropic investments from local, statewide, and national investors. Anchored by an initial $50 million anchor investment from Blue Meridian Partners, a national philanthropic fund, Opportunity 2040 strives to aggregate the first $125 million of flexible philanthropic capital in the first five years, to be deployed against a set of data-backed initiatives focused on living wage attainment and reducing child poverty. This role will have a unique opportunity to work closely with CPAL, Blue Meridian Partners, and a growing pool of investors to build an innovative philanthropic model, leveraging private investments to help access, unlock, and influence significant and sustainable public funds.

About the Role

Critical to the success of the Philanthropic Investments Team, the Director of Philanthropic Investments’ primary responsibility is to manage a portfolio of individual investors contributing five-to-seven figure gifts through the entire donor cycle to reach a portfolio goal of at least $8-$9 million shepherded annually. As a key lever to meet this goal, the Director will translate the work and impact of Commit into compelling and customized fundraising narratives that secure meaningful investments from local and, in select cases, regional and national high net worth investors.

Our team operates cohesively and at a fast pace which includes lots of deadlines and collaboration to get the job done. In addition to  reporting to the Managing Director of Philanthropic Investments this role will work in close collaboration with other Philanthropy team members and internal and external stakeholders to meet organization, team, and individual goals. Expectations of the role include:

 

  • Develop and implement appropriate strategies for the cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and upgrade of existing high-level individual donors.
  • Work with the Partnership’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer and its Managing Director of Strategic Philanthropy to develop and execute a strategy and build a pipeline for new five- to seven-figure prospects from outside of the organization’s existing donor pool.
  • Drive development of new stewardship strategies, often independently, and help to create a more unified stewardship experience for major investors.
  • Achieve annual revenue goals and assist in helping direct reports and the team to meet individual and departmental goals.
  • Ensure appropriate cultivation and solicitation strategies and timing for investor/prospect visits, debrief and manage follow up activity.
  • Directly manage one or two Philanthropy team members and serve as a key leader on the team.
  • Routinely engage Partnership board members, organization executives and current investors in peer-prospect identification, visits, and major gift closings.
  • Implement investor cultivation and stewardship communications and events when appropriate. Identify and cultivate new possible event hosts. Collaborate with team members to ensure the timely and accurate completion of routine work such as gift acknowledgements, solicitation and cultivation mailings, event invitations, and investor communications.
  • Serve as a leader internally to all staff members and through additional leadership roles on the Philanthropy team through a distributed leadership approach.
  • Work with program staff routinely to acquire knowledge needed to solicit investments and build investor relationships effectively.
  • Determine investment opportunities for investors who wish to restrict their gift to a specific program area. Create proposals for solicitation of restricted gifts as well as follow up reports for donors making restricted investments as needed.
  • Ensure best-in-class recordkeeping via the Salesforce database.

 

Relevant Background

  • 5+ years of experience in fundraising involving direct personal major donor solicitation of individuals and/or corporations or foundations with a record of accomplishment of securing investments at the $25,000+ level.
  • Superior interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills, including specific experience writing funding proposals.
  • Understanding of the Dallas philanthropic landscape.
  • Experience working with executive staff, board members, and major gift volunteers.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of work experience, education, and training.
  • Commitment to goal attainment, high degree of initiative, and ability to motivate and engage high- level volunteers and donors.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and accountability and to be a team player.
  • Ability to develop and follow through on creative and effective solicitation strategies and to motivate and generate enthusiasm for them among team members.
  • Demonstrated experience in project management and implementation of cultivation events.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office and familiarity with using donor management software.
  • Knowledge of basic finance and/or accounting principles.

 

Candidate Requirements

Who you are:

  • Thoughtful and Strategic:
    • You work relentlessly to identify and understand the underlying root causes behind our current outcomes;
    • You think strategically about what data must be analyzed and activated, and what steps must be taken in what order, to cause resources to be reallocated and actions to be taken to systemically overcome the root causes hindering achievement of the organization's vision and mission;you are informed by a relentless “students first” focus on the organization’s mission and vision, with the ability to discern which efforts should be pursued and which will hinder progress towards goals.
  • Focused on Systemic Impact: You seek to achieve significant, sustainable results through your work (including the reallocation or improvement in public funding) and recognize the difference between activity vs. impact.
  • Relationship-Builder/Influencer:
    • Able to influence others internally and externally to change behaviors, generate alignment, meet deadlines, and secure investments.
    • You are able to contextualize Commit’s work and help investors understand how they can improve our community systemically by innovatively addressing the root causes of our challenges through catalytic philanthropic investments.
    • You are able to discover what compels each investor to invest substantially by asking the right questions and building trusted, sustained relationships.
  • Strong communicator and influencer:
    • Your speech, writing and activation of data insights are concise, consistent, and compelling and you’re able to persuade all stakeholders why change is critical to achieving results for students;
    • You’re able to find common ground with all stakeholders and can help the organization tailor its message to different audiences to influence change;
    • You take complex topics and distill them to their essential parts through engaging writing and presentation style that compassionately articulates the importance of education.
    • You can personally adapt as needed to meet the needs of investors, and you don’t balk at making an ask – in fact it’s your favorite part of stewardship because it’s the moment you can help make a philanthropic motivation a reality.
  • Innovation Mindset:
    • You’re able to create or meaningfully contribute to the design and execution of a systemic and transformational game plan;
    • You’re capable of thinking creatively and working collaboratively with others to design practical solutions to complex problems, often at scale;
    • You take smart risks (and support others doing so as well), are not afraid to ”fail-forward”, and take timely advantage of opportunities when they present themselves;
  • Lead with Strengths; Grow with Intent:
    • You know your strengths and how to put them to work for yourself and others.
    • You openly acknowledge areas where you have room to grow and seek intentional development and mentorship to grow, learn, and lead.
  • Motivated by equity and welcoming of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches:
    • You apply an equity lens to all research, recommendations, and actions.
    • You have a deep belief in the potential of all students and a commitment to do whatever it takes to expand opportunities for students
  • Inclusive:
    • You work well with people of different backgrounds, identities, values, and cultures.
    • You consistently set the table for expansive conversations, valuing every voice at the table

Application Instructions

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