Director of Strategic Partnerships

Readers 2 Leaders
December 20, 2021
Dallas, Texas
Job Type


About Us

Readers 2 Leaders is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to helping all children in Dallas read at or above grade level. Our mission is to develop and grow the reading skills of Dallas children ages 3-10 so that they succeed in school, graduate, and leave school prepared to live productive lives.

We recognize that students who don't read on grade level by third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school, and we work to help all our students beat the odds. We operate Booktown Learning Center, home of our flagship After-School Program and community lending library. We also provide in- and after-school reading tutoring within Dallas ISD and charter school networks.

Readers 2 Leaders has been in operation for 10 years and has a solid foundation of funding, donors, and community support. The President & CEO and the VP of Programs have been with the organization since its inception. The founders of the organization are still actively involved.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Readers 2 Leaders has been steadfast in meeting its mission. Readers 2 Leaders was able to transition quickly to virtual learning and was able to serve students in 20 additional zip codes via the use of new technology. Nationally, educational nonprofits experienced an overall increase in revenue of 9% in 2020. Additionally, Readers 2 Leaders exceeded its budgeted revenue by 22% in its most recent fiscal year. This is a testament to the heightened interest in early literacy, paired with the organization’s positive support from Dallas’ philanthropic community. Readers 2 Leaders’ future is bright, and the organization finds itself uniquely positioned to deepen its impact.

Director of Strategic Partnerships

The Director of Strategic Partnerships (DSP) is responsible for building strong relationships with all stakeholders of Readers 2 Leaders. The DSP works closely with the President & CEO and Board of Directors to achieve long-term revenue goals and objectives. This role will spend approximately half of their time working to prospect, secure and steward individual donors, as well as conducting individual donor initiatives. The rest of the DSP’s time will focus on developing partnerships with community stakeholders such as Dallas ISD trustees, college systems, corporations, etc. This includes partnerships which relate to growing the organization’s volunteer base (this role does not, however, manage the operational aspects of the volunteer program). This role also oversees staff and/or contractors who write and manage grants, plan small-scale events and manage the database and donor recognition programs. The ideal candidate is looking to expand their development experience by overseeing a small department. The DSP must have strong skills in both organization and relationship building, strong communications skills, a proactive approach to the role and an ability to manage multiple deadlines and priorities.

Readers 2 Leaders is dedicated to becoming a fully antiracist organization, and recently participated in the DTRHT (Dallas Truth Racial Healing and Transformation) Racial Equity NOW Cohort. The DSP will work alongside the President & CEO, leadership team and Board of Directors in applying a racial equity lens to the development department and its initiatives as it strives to increase diversity across its donor network. The DSP will also build on strategic partnerships with foundations and donors who have a passion for advancing racial equity, as well as research and share opportunities for community-centric funding opportunities that center the voices of BIPOC individuals in the greater Dallas community.


Core responsibilities

  • Steward individual donors and funding partners at all levels of giving, with particular attention to individual donors at $9,999 and below and grant funders at $49,999 and below. Work with the President & CEO to manage and recognize higher-level donors.
  • Direct, manage and refine appropriate donor relations and stewardship plan and oversee plan’s implementation by Development Associate.
  • Direct and manage individual fundraising appeals, including North Texas Giving Day, End of Year appeal and Mid-Year Appeal.
  • Research, cultivate, recruit, and schedule prospective donors for tours and other development activities. Notify the President & CEO and Board when they need to act regarding a particular donor or funder.
  • Develop appropriate relationships with key stakeholders and community partners such as Dallas ISD trustees, college systems and corporations.
  • Research and make initial recommendations on how to establish more communitycentric development initiatives that center the voices of BIPOC individuals in the greater Dallas community

Work alongside President & CEO in:

  • Setting goals for fundraising and creating an annual development plan at the start of each fiscal year
  • Increasing participation in R2L’s major gift programs
  • Leading the Development Department through a racial equity lens, including building on partnerships with strategic partners who align with Readers 2 Leaders in becoming a fully antiracist organization

Works with:

  • The Board of Directors and program staff to tailor fundraising toward the success of the strategic plan.
  • Coaching Director & VP of Programs to develop business partnerships to increase earned income.
  • The board development committee to set annual goals and include board members in stewardship of key donors and funders.
  • The Grant Writer to ensure the grant pipeline is robust with existing and new opportunities.
  • The Outreach Coordinator to develop new opportunities for partnership with corporations and community groups.

Provide oversight of

  • Organizational marketing and messaging strategy. Oversee Development Associate as they integrate messaging into digital, social media, and print marketing and fundraising materials. Work with Graphic Designer (outside contractor) and Development Associate to create content for high-level print and digital communications.
  • Timely submission of grant applications and reports throughout the year in collaboration with the Grant Writer (external/contract position)
  • Work of Development Team, who will manage Bloomerang database to ensure timely entry of information and manage reports to ensure ability to react promptly to donor needs.
  • The work of the Development Team to execute small-scale fundraising events.



  • Commitment and passion for early literacy education
  • At least 3 years of experience in the development field, preferably in the social sector
  • Demonstrated success in recruiting and managing individual donors and/or grant funders
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft and Google Suite applications
  • Commitment and passion for early literacy education


  • Bachelor's Degree (four-year college or technical school)
  • Experience in marketing and communications, including MailChimp, social media, and basic knowledge of graphic design
  • Experience grant writing or work within the nonprofit sector
  • Understanding of sales/business development strategies
  • Experience in the use of donor management systems and software

Salary and Benefits:

  • Full-time employee health insurance premiums paid by R2L
  • Dental and vision plans available
  • Retirement plan
  • Up to 25 days paid time off per year plus most holidays
  • Work from home on Fridays
  • Salary Range: $70,000-$80,000

Application Instructions

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