Director of Philanthropy

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Since 1941, Mainspring Schools has led Austin’s effort to provide quality early childhood education, nutrition and support services to underserved families in the community. Our mission is to help families break out of the cycle of poverty.

We are a NAEYC-accredited, nonprofit preschool that partners with United Way, AISD, Workforce Solutions, Early Head Start, and numerous funders to make sure that our kids are prepared for kindergarten socially, emotionally, and educationally and that their families are in the best position for future success.

The Director of Philanthropy will build philanthropic support (individual, corporate, and foundation donors, government funders), extend brand awareness, and steward impactful relationships for Mainspring Schools. The Director of Philanthropy will work closely with the Executive Director, the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers to design and execute an ambitious, local fundraising and communication plan. This effort will secure the organizational resources needed to provide the high-quality services that give children and families the foundation to thrive. 

The Director of Philanthropy must cultivate existing and future donor relationships, as well as skillfully manage development, marketing and communication efforts. The Director of Philanthropy will manage their own portfolio of donors, with support from a part-time Development Coordinator. This includes direct oversight responsibilities related to donor and stakeholder engagement, major gifts, endowment and capital projects, marketing and communications and events. 

This position also supports the Executive Director, the Board of Directors and committees with fundraising guidance, communication and marketing assets, revenue reporting and forecasting. 

The Director of Philanthropy must have a proven track record of results in sales or fundraising, experience developing relationships with donors and colleagues, and energy to build a coalition of supporters in a fast-paced environment. 

This is a new role at Mainspring that reports to the Executive Director. 

Responsibilities 

Fundraising 

  • Connect with donors and prospects.

  • Match opportunity to their passions and interests.

  • Ask.

  • Develop vehicles for donor contributions. 

  • Provide proof of performance (including regular status updates).

  • Celebrate the donor, instituting best practices in stewardship.

  • Explore new or additional funding sources, major donor prospects and trends.

Strategic Development Planning, Analysis/Evaluation and Leadership 

  • Lead the design, implementation and continuous evaluation of an annual development plan with objectives that will grow annual giving, progress towards building sustainable revenue sources, raise awareness and reinforce resource development strategies.

  • Create an annual editorial/communication/events calendar, prior to the beginning of each fiscal year.

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director, Board members and staff to develop a strong culture of philanthropy and gratitude, and to enhance donor engagement significantly increasing size and number of gifts.

  • As team grows, take on additional responsibility such as hiring, managing, training, and planning professional development for team members.

  • Ensure the timely and cost-efficient orchestration of events.

Relationship Building and Stewardship 

  • Establish relationships with a variety of stakeholders.

  • Design and execute engagement and stewardship plans.

  • Strategize, coordinate and execute timely, accurate and compelling interactions with major donors in partnership with the Executive Director and in some cases, Board members. Develop and launch comprehensive major donor initiatives, move management strategies for growing portfolio of campaign, events and annual giving, as well as special and major gifts to planned giving. 

  • Engage and support the Board of Directors Development Committee.

Brand Management 

  • Quickly understand the student and family population that Mainspring Schools serves to effectively communicate the mission and purpose

  • Design local marketing and communications plan.

  • Contribute input for decision making by providing community point of view on brand.

  • Be a brand ambassador and counsel other brand ambassadors within the organization.

Communication and Marketing 

  • Leverage deep understanding of donors, prospects and stakeholders to create and deliver compelling and meaningful communications (social media posts, impact reports, touchpoints, etc.) and events (annual gala, info sessions, volunteer initiatives, etc.) that authentically engage donors, prospects and volunteers in Mainspring Schools work.

  • Ensure that electronic and social media are utilized to Mainspring’s best advantage.

  • Support the Executive Director with all media responses.

Financial Management 

  • Create and manage the fundraising budget consistent with goals, objectives, activities and outcomes, as well as expense and revenue projections, set forth in an annual development plan.

  • Ensure utilization of donor management software (Salesforce) to track donor cultivation efforts, record contribution activity, acknowledge gifts and reconcile with accounting records. 

Minimum Experience: 

At least five years of progressive experience in fundraising, event management, grant writing and marketing; or a combination of education and experience providing equivalent knowledge. 

Preferred Education and Experience: 

  • Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) or Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration or a related field. 

  • Experience with Salesforce donor relations software. 

  • Skill in basic design software to develop/edit agency materials such as brochures, annual report, etc. 

  • Demonstrated ability to be donor centric. 

  • Encompass traits of good judgment and confidentiality in communication. 

  • Skillful in cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders. 

  • Demonstrated track record of building donor relationships, working collaboratively, strategically and with integrity. 

  • Possesses a strong knowledge of principles, ethics and practices of successful fundraising. 

  • Strong fiscal acumen with experience working with budgets and financial processes including skills in budgeting and planning to execute the work of the fundraising program. 

  • Knowledge of funding sources and community resources available to support the work of Mainspring Schools. 

  • Knowledge of and ability to use computer and other technical resources to effectively accomplish work. 

  • Ability to manage multiple priorities to ensure work is completed in a timely and effective manner. 

  • Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively in oral and written communication on an interpersonal and group level. 

  • Ability to prepare for and facilitate effective meetings. 

  • Ability to travel to various locations for day, evening and weekend meetings and events. 

  • Passionate about Mainspring Schools’ mission and values.

What we offer:

  • Competitive compensation plan, including salary and potential bonuses

  • Flexible work schedule

  • A diverse population of families and staff

  • A dynamic and fun place to work

  • The opportunity to make a real difference with underserved kids and an organization that is full of potential!


To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to executivedirector@mainspringschools.org. A cover letter is required for consideration!