Development Director, Raising a Reader

Raising A Reader (RAR) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to foster early literacy skills, parent-child bonding, and healthy brain development by helping the families of children (ages 0-8) build the home literacy routines essential for school success. Parents learn researched-based book sharing practices, and each week children bring home a bright red bag filled with high-quality, multicultural books. Families are also connected to their local libraries to sustain book borrowing and sharing practices. 

RAR is a supporting organization of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and operates in over 2,500 locations nationally, has reached over 1.2 million children, and has over 15 million books in rotation. 2019 marks Raising A Reader’s 20th anniversary. Since 1999, RAR’s model has been validated by more than 30 independent evaluations. The White House’s Office of Hispanic Education, and The White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative have identified the model as a national best practice. The US Department of Education awarded RAR a prestigious Innovative Approach to Literacy Award and in 2014 identified RAR as a national model for its alignment with the recently adopted Dual Capacity Family Engagement Framework. Raising A Reader a supporting organization of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.


Reporting to the President and CEO, the Development Director is responsible for developing and leading Raising A Reader’s (“RAR”) annual contributed revenue plan. The Director will contribute to strategy development, build relationships with institutional (corporations, private foundations, and government) funders and major donors, and solicit five figure+ gifts in partnership with the President and CEO and Board of Directors. The Director will have a significant leadership role in RAR’s ability to raise revenue to support the organization’s $4MM operating budget:  

  • Raise contributed revenue to support  annual operations, historically ~$1.5M+;
  • Lead a three year growth fund campaign to support RAR’s new strategic plan, estimated at $3MM; and
  • Indirectly support $2.5MM in earned revenue annually.

The Development Director will provide direction to a grant writer, and indirect supervision to associate team members. This position will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA.

Competitive salary and benefits. Full time/Exempt.



  • Work strategically and effectively with the CEO to ensure that annual philanthropic revenue goals are achieved.
  • Oversee the cultivation, stewardship and development of Raising A Reader’s pipeline of national institutional, corporate, and major donor funding. Serve as leader on strategy development, prospect research, and moves management.
  • With the support of the CEO and Board of Directors, manage current and prospective donor relationships, engaging donors in person, by email, and by phone to secure gifts.
  • Direct the fundraising campaign efforts to ensure the success of Raising A Reader’s 2020-2023 strategic plan.
  • Create a strategy and toolkit to build the fundraising capacity of Raising A Reader’s affiliate network of (currently) 300 community-based organizations across 40 states. Work across Raising A Reader divisions to ensure fundraising training, communications, and best practices are central to our value-add to the network.
  • Establish and ensure development operations standards including but not limited to  policies, processes, and measuring accountability.
  • With the support of a grant writer, produce compelling written materials including grants, reports, and collateral. 
  • Provide direct and indirect guidance, supervision, and coaching to grant writer and operations associate.
  • Lead cross-departmental initiatives and special projects assigned by leadership or requested by prospects or clients.


  • Assist as directed in supporting RAR’s national communications efforts with the team and key stakeholders.

Grants, Gifts and Compliance:

  • Oversee the execution of grant-related activities, communication with funders and completion of final activity reports. Demonstrate an extremely high level of cross-departmental collaboration in the completion of these activities.
  • Work closely with the finance team to manage gift records, contributions, and grants. 

Please note: Up to 25% travel may be required.


Bachelor’s degree and 7 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience; experience in fundraising with progressive responsibility and securing gifts that are six figure and above preferred; Master’s degree in a field relevant to community work (Public Policy or Administration, Education, Public Health, or a related discipline) preferred.

Experience with national nonprofit organizations with affiliates (or equivalent organizational structures) and comfortable working in a matrixed environment with multiple locations

Passion for RAR’s mission.

Proven ability to build internal relationships across and within an organization.

Strong commitment to customer service and providing prompt, professional responses to donor inquiries.

Strong technology/software skills, experience with Salesforce and WordPress strongly preferred. Experience with Wealth Engine, iwave, and/or other fundraising software a plus.

A proven ability to work independently when necessary, along with the ability to partner effectively with a variety of important audiences, including volunteers, key staff, major donors, and prospects.

Strong contributor as a member of a team and willing to participate in activities that will contribute to the overall success of RAR. 

Extremely strong and demonstrated verbal and written communications skills; can write clearly and persuasively.

Perseverant, has high energy level, patience, imagination, humor and creativity.


Silicon Valley Community Foundation is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory work environment and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. 

Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes reasonable accommodation for applicants and employees with known physical or mental disabilities.


Raising A Reader and Silicon Valley Community Foundation has partnered with Cindy Joyce of Pillar Search & HR Consulting on the search for its new Development Director. Qualified individuals, please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter to Please include your full name in the subject line.


Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. We engage donors and corporations to make our region and world better for all.