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Position Opening: Development Director, Isabella Santos Foundation

Position:           Development Director 

Organization:    Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF)

Location:           Remote in Charlotte metro area

Reports To:       President

 

Organization Overview 

Mission & Vision
The Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) is a 501(c)3 childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research for neuroblastoma, other rare pediatric cancers, and charities that directly impact the lives of children with cancer. ISF was founded in honor of Isabella Santos from Charlotte, NC who lost her battle against neuroblastoma. ISF works to improve rare pediatric treatment options in an effort to improve the survival rate of kids with cancer.

History
In 2009, ISF was established through Isabella’s parents to raise awareness and research funds for neuroblastoma and received its tax-deductible 503(c)3 status in 2010. What began as an effort of a circle of friends has emerged into one of Charlotte’s fastest-growing nonprofit organizations. The goal of the foundation is to raise money and awareness for rare solid tumor cancer research in an effort to increase survival rates of kids with cancer so they can live their dreams. Through Isabella’s legacy, ISF works to help impact other kids fighting cancer in her name. To date, ISF has donated over $3.5 million to support its mission.

For more information about Isabella Santos Foundation, please visit isabellasantosfoundation.org.

Opportunity

Through the Isabella Santos Foundation, people across the country are raising money for solid-tumor cancer research and treatments. The foundation currently focuses on events, direct donations, sponsorships and peer-to-peer as the core fundraising strategies.

The Isabella Santos Foundation recently launched the Rare & Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s Hospital, ensuring children and families will have access to the latest cancer expertise in Charlotte and the surrounding region. The Isabella Santos Foundation made a commitment in 2018 to raise $5 million to create the Rare & Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s Hospital.

To achieve these goals, ISF is seeking a Development Director to source new donors and manage the organization’s fundraising strategy. The full-time Development Director is responsible for leading resource development activities toward generating $300,000 – $400,000 annually.

The Role

Reporting to the President, the Development Director will be responsible for implementing and managing a development program through a variety of revenue streams with a focus on the cultivation and expansion of new donors and stewardship of existing relationships.

The Development Director will be responsible for crafting a development plan and budget that supports the strategic plan of the staff and board leadership on an annual basis. The Director will be responsible for the design and execution of a comprehensive written annual fundraising plan and goal revenue projection to include individual donors and peer-to-peer strategies. Key responsibilities include:

Development Planning

  • In partnership with the President, craft annual development plan outlining the full-year of giving strategies to sustain and increase support from corporations, events, foundations and individuals
  • Create multi-year strategies for implementing a moves management model of resource development, prospecting, recruiting, engaging, soliciting and stewarding donors and sponsors

Culture Development

  • Establish a first-class stewardship program that effectively engages all constituents (staff, board, volunteers, donors) in supporting the ISF mission and in creating a culture of philanthropy
  • Activity participate in professional fundraising associations and industry groups to stay current of all new practices and innovations in the development field, employing appropriate best practices at ISF
  • Follow current fundraising trends in philanthropy and the nonprofit community

Individual Fundraising

  • Prioritize focus on acquisition strategies to uncover new sources of individual donors, building relationships to onboard them as constituents to the organization
  • Develop new peer-to-peer giving strategies to grow the base of funders and onboard constituents to the organization’s compelling mission
  • Oversee the organization’s efforts to deepen relationships, facilitating activities that increase affinity and engagement, increasing involvement and financial support
  • Maintain ongoing communication with major gift donors, stewarding their engagement with organizational leaders

Development Operations

  • Maintain timely records of all donor, sponsor and prospect contacts in donor database
  • In collaboration with the marketing team, develop content for a variety of channels related to fundraising
  • Assure accurate and timely member, donor, sponsor recognition, acknowledgements, and renewal letters for all financial and in-kind donations
  • Research effective ways to integrate social media strategies into giving campaigns

Required Qualifications & Competencies

The ideal candidate would have the following capabilities and qualities:

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in resource development or related field (i.e. marketing, external relations, business development/sales, community relations)
  • Demonstrated expertise in the areas of fundraising, especially cultivating and stewarding donors, peer-to-peer giving strategies and corporate sponsorship
  • A commitment to the ISF mission and ability to speak publicly about the mission with passion
  • Strong ability to make connections easily and create authentic relationships with a wide variety of individuals and groups
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • A self-starter, capable of working in a decentralized work environment
  • Solid analytical skills and basic understanding of financial levers
  • Proficiency with Google Suite, Microsoft Office and CRM software
  • Bachelor’s Degree required, with a preference for candidates with continuing education in advancement, fundraising and philanthropy; CFRE designation is a plus
  • Ability to work extended hours, including nights and weekends, as needed

Compensation
Base compensation will be in the $65,000 – $70,000 range with opportunities for performance-based bonuses.

To Apply

Isabella Santos Foundation has partnered with Next Stage to help in this hire. Beginning September 16, 2019, all inquiries, nominations and applications should be directed via email to Next Stage (search@nextstage-consulting.com). Applications must include a compelling cover letter and CV to be considered for the role. Please also indicate where you learned of the opportunity.

Please note that only those candidates invited for screening will be contacted. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

Isabella Santos Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its works and staff. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state of federal law. ISF encourages candidates of all groups and communities to apply for this position.

About Next Stage

Next Stage is a strategy and implementation firm based in Charlotte, NC and serving nonprofit organizations and social cause start-ups throughout the Carolinas.  Next Stage works with nonprofit organizations to develop game-changing strategies and strengthened operations in service to mission and long-range vision. We partner with clients through three key service lines: strategic planning, resource development planning, and talent development. For more information about Next Stage, please visit nextstage-consulting.com.

Too Risk-Adverse To Fail (Nonprofit Edition)

by Josh Jacobson

“Eight out of 10 businesses fail. Are you sure you want to do this?”

Not exactly the sort of thing you want to hear when you’re contemplating launching a new business.  Now almost three months into my own new consulting venture (76 days to be exact, but who’s counting?), the knowledge that it is far more likely that Next Stage Consulting will fail than succeed is actually a tremendous motivator.  I’m a guy who likes to know my odds, long as they may be.

upsideAs a rule, no one sets out to fail, but a new book suggests that falling on your face may not be as bad as one might think. In her book, The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well is the Key to Success, author Megan McArdle suggests that failing, and even being encouraged to fail, is a critical component of future success.  In fact, McArdle suggests that what sets America apart is an underlying tolerance for failure, with a lenient bankruptcy policy that allows for forgiveness and growth.

For everyone but the nonprofit sector, that is.  In a country that prizes entrepreneurs as champions of innovation and change that in turn drives our economy, Americans are reluctant to give the same leeway to community-serving nonprofits.

If “failure is how businesses learn,” as McArdle suggests, what does it mean that we refuse to let our social good organizations take similar risks?

A few causes of risk-aversion are below, and thankfully, the news isn’t all bad:

  • Over-Reliance on Government Support
    As noted seven years ago in a study by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “government is by far the most important source of funding for the high-growth nonprofits in our study.” The Urban Institute reported that “in 2009, governments contracted with human service nonprofits for over $100-billion worth of contracts and grants. For organizations with government contracts and grants, government funding amounts to 65 percent of total revenue.”

While there is no doubt that government sources of support are critical to sustainability for many nonprofits, the increased accountability standards and outcome measurements expected post-Recession effectively overwhelm nonprofits, swallowing up the time and energy of leaders.  It is a system badly in needed of reform.

There are some signs that governments are thinking outside the box.  Depending on whom you ask, Social Impact Bonds may be some of the most important/exciting/unexpected tools created to inspire new ways of tackling social issues. By encouraging private investment, Social Impact Bonds create a market where one did not exist previously and keeps the focus where it should be – on rewarding positive outcomes.

  • Vilification of Overhead
    By now, I hope you’ve had a chance to watch Dan Pallotta’s game-changing TED talk about the double standard that penalizes nonprofits for how much they spend on supposedly non-mission serving expenses. The dreaded 15% overhead ratio expectation, which states that no more than 15% of a nonprofit’s budget should be spent on administrative costs, is a huge drag.  It is an expectation utterly unique in the business world – no other industry is held to such a standard, laughable in for-profit enterprise, and hardly the expectation of our own government.  And yet it is something that continually comes up in conversation with would-be donors to local nonprofit clients, as if such costs were evil and to be largely avoided.

Thankfully, there is a move afoot to refocus donors on demonstrated success over fiscal conservatism.  In an unprecedented move, the leadership of Guidestar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau released a joint statement in 2013 denouncing the overhead ratio as imprecise and inaccurate.  Further, the trio acknowledged that “organizations that build robust infrastructure—which includes sturdy information technology systems, financial systems, skills training, fundraising processes, and other essential overhead—are more likely to succeed than those that do not.”

I mean, duh, right? But the fact remains that as long as organizations feel squeezed by their donors to demonstrate extreme frugality, the likelihood of nonprofits embracing risk-taking opportunities remains low.  Accountability standards like these were meant to protect us from fraud, but have also taken all the wind out of the sails of social entrepreneurs.

  • Reluctant Volunteer Boards
    I am personally a big fan of local leaders who believe so strongly in a nonprofit’s mission that they are willing to take on a role that pays nothing and yet is likely to take up a big chunk of their time.  As a board member of the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I know from experience.  Volunteer board members are mostly deserving our praise.

Note that I said mostly.  That’s because the system of serving as a board member for a nonprofit is wholly different from serving in the same role for a for-profit corporation.  Without a profit motive, nonprofit board members are identified based on their own passion and interest in the cause.  And that isn’t always so reliable.  “Let’s all remember that we already have full-time jobs,” is typically not the preface to a board member signing-up for risk-taking opportunities.

For some volunteer leaders, it is enough to simply steward the nonprofit to ensure no crises arise on their watch.  When it comes time to consider high-risk, high-reward opportunities to advance mission, some board members use a different set of priorities in assessment than the population that organization is called to serve.  Not all, but some. Thankfully, board training has never been more plentiful, and offerings like the Arts & Science Council’s Cultural Leadership Training Program are helping nonprofits secure volunteer leaders who understand their roles well.

McArdle suggests that the key failing well is to recognize mistakes early enough to allow one to channel setbacks into future success.  But if we never let our nonprofits have that same opportunity, we’re apt to see the entire system fail as organizations cling to doing things the way they’ve always done them.  

Three Questions to Consider This Week:

  1. What do you consider your biggest professional failure?  What did you learn from it?
  2. If you’re a manager, do you encourage your employees to take risks?  If so, how do you handle potential failures?
  3. What is the one thing you wish your organization or department would try that leadership has been reluctant to embrace?  How might you mitigate the negative impacts of failing?

Image credits: Featured Image (123RF – tomwang), Book (goodreads.com)