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Director of Development



Sales & Business Development
United States
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2024

Director of Development - Apply by February 25



  • $80,000 starting salary + annual raise of 3-7%: you can find the transparent salary plan here
  • 12 weeks PTO (3 in Dec, 3 in May, 10 Summer Fridays, 10 Federal Holidays, 2 flex weeks)
  • Includes 3 months paid parental leave + 2 month sabbatical every 3 years
  • Flexible hours: 4-5 common hours each day, then set your own schedule
  • Geoflexible: The Director of Development must be based in the U.S.
  • Full insurance for medical, dental and vision + 401K (50% match up to $3,000)
  • 100 % Premium coverage to up to $500/month, 25% for any dependents
  • $1,500 stipends included for professional development, equipment, etc annually

Rhizome Overview: We are a student-led, nonpartisan nonprofit launched by 90 Co-Founders in August 2021. Young people hold untapped collective power to create the safer, happier, and healthier world they want to live in. We provide structures that unify young people to shape change and lead meaningful lives. There are emerging leaders in nearly every high school who want to organize & boost civic engagement, so our role is to bring them together around a shared purpose. More context can be found on our website.

Mission and Vision: Our mission and vision were drafted, edited, and voted on by youth Organizers who lead our system. Our mission is to activate young peoples’ identities into action and help youth treat civic service as the work of a lifetime. We envision a world where all young people can look towards a hopeful future carved from the tools of determination and civic engagement, where communities come together to celebrate their differences, and where the youth of today can feel inspired in a productive and safe space.

What We Mean by “Student-Led”: We believe that youth civics spaces should be led by young people who are proximate to gaps in power. We are working to deepen our commitment to power-sharing to be more authentically student-led, and here is the current breakdown of our power-sharing system:

  • Teams of Fellows: Civic Service Fellows receive support to lead actions year-round: surveys and community empowerment events around the ideas that Fellows are passionate about in the fall, teaching democracy to K-5 students in the winter, and voter education drives in the spring.
  • Fellowship Chapters: Organizers lead Chapters of the Civic Service Fellowship. This includes onboarding Fellows, hosting weekly trainings, and supporting Fellows to lead actions in their communities throughout the year. Chapters tend to include 8-10 teams of Fellows.
  • Organizers Nationally: Youth organizers vote to shape our overall vision, goals, and changes to our work environment. Organizers also vote to approve nominees to the Board, and on the unified national actions we take. These processes are intended to help us avoid movement capture.
  • Staff: By April, we’ll have six full time staff who lead work around development, systems design and partnerships, training and belonging, HR and culture, and operations. We also have part-time staff who facilitate our shared vision work, accounting, and strategic communications efforts.
  • Board: Rhizome’s Board of Directors is responsible for executive, legal, and financial oversight.

Civic Service Fellowship: High school Fellows join weekly meetings in their local Chapters to learn the principles of community organizing, intentionally shape their identities, practice healthy habits, and lead civic actions year-round. This includes building community empowerment events around the nonviolent, nonpartisan and inclusive ideas Fellows are most passionate about each fall, teaching democracy to K-5 students each winter, and leading nonpartisan voter education drives to share paths to running for office, motivate peers to vote in local elections, and support voter registration and pre-registration each spring.

This Role: We are searching for a highly-motivated fundraising generalist, preferably with experience in major gifts, individual philanthropy, or annual giving. We're at an early stage of fundraising and raised $1 million in the last six months, while our fundraising target over the next two years is over $3 million. This person will manage all of our development systems, engage with donors, and work closely with our CEO to coordinate fundraising efforts. This is a full-time, primarily remote role planned to start April 1.

Qualifications: Past experience with fundraising is a requirement, with a preference for candidates who bring experience in nonprofits, advocacy, or civic organizations. We are also looking for candidates with demonstrated experience in solicitation and fundraising plans. Candidates will:

  • Have demonstrated passion for fields relevant to our mission
  • Show a clear commitment to power-sharing and civic engagement practices
  • Be motivated and self-managing, someone who can be trusted to build proactive systems

Key Responsibilities: The Director of Development works closely with the CEO and team members to support comprehensive fundraising strategy to meet organizational revenue goals. Duties include:

  • Drafting and submitting grants of $5,000-$500,000, while skillfully positioning our work to show its value and gain recognition in civic, youth organizing, and democracy spaces.
  • Researching and tracking foundation grant deadlines year-round, contacting stakeholders.
  • Managing grant reporting systems and working with staff to submit reports as needed.
  • Maintaining clear, ambitious, and actionable fundraising plans with long time-horizons.
  • Work across Rhizome to manage our development data needs in internal CRM systems, maintain data integrity, and provide input into developing standard operating procedures.
  • Exploring and developing long-term earned revenue approaches that align to strategy
  • Working with major donors and individuals to build pipelines toward sustained support
  • Working closely with staff to share narratives, metrics, and resources that are authentic
  • Working closely with the CEO to identify opportunities, position our work, and invest deeply in consistent relationships with people who care about what we’re building.

Our Ideal Candidate:

  • Is an Experienced Fundraiser: This person will have deft people skills and willingness to engage with major donors, individual philanthropists, and new donors who’ve given smaller donations.
  • Knows How to Manage Systems: The Director of Development will manage nearly every aspect of our fundraising system, from individuals, to foundation and grants, to resource development.
  • Is an Excellent Communicator: This person will be a spider-in-the-web, who works across many spaces. They will communicate with clarity and kindness, while understanding motivations.
  • Aligns to Strategy: Work closely with others from the leadership team to translate organizational strategy into narratives that clearly communicate our vision, impact, and long-term potential.
  • Is Flexible and Ready to Learn: This role will go to someone who is hungry to make the world a better place. We’re poised for growth, learning a lot, and need someone to choreograph our work. The Director of Development will be attentive to detail, service-oriented, and dynamic.

Application Process: Review this timeline carefully & plan accordingly. Dates may change slightly. Rhizome is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages all interested applicants to apply.

Stage 1: Initial Application

Due Date - Sunday, February 25, 12pm ET. Submit your resume, essays, and personal info here.

  • 1-2 page resume (remove name before submitting).
  • Demographic information, where you live, how you heard about this application, why you want this specific role, why you think this role would fit this moment in your life. (100 words each).

Stage 2: Phone Screener

Applicants Contacted: Tuesday February 27 - Friday, March 1

  • After screeners, applicants contacted for next steps by Monday, March 4

Stage 3: Panel Interview, Performance Tasks, & References

Performance Tasks, Interviews, and References — Monday, March 4 - Friday, March 15

Panel Interviews - Monday, March 4 - Friday March 15

Two rounds of interviews with the hiring committee: hiring committee includes youth organizers and staff

References for those who make it to the 2nd round interview - due Monday, March 11

Reference checks will be made by phone call.

Please block 90 minutes for the performance task if you make it to a 2nd round interview. The expected time commitment is 90 minutes and it will be sent out between Monday, March 11 and Friday, March 15. We offer a $200 stipend for time spent on performance tasks.

Please note: time accommodations are provided for those who request them.

If still undecided, there may be a third round of interviews to finalize this role.

Final Decisions Released Friday, March 15 -> Begin April 1.