General Management / Strategic Planning
VA - Richmond metropolitan area
About the Organization

Higher Achievement believes that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Our client works to close the achievement gap for motivated, yet underserved, students from low-income communities. Higher Achievement intervenes during the critical transition to middle school by providing year-round, multi-year support for students in grades 5 to 8. As students prepare to graduate from its program in the 8th grade, Higher Achievement helps them transition successfully to advanced high school programs that keep students on track for college. As a result, 95% of Higher Achievement scholars graduate high school on time.

Founded in 1975 in Washington, DC, Higher Achievement has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 young people and currently operates achievement centers in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Pittsburgh, PA. Higher Achievement's award-winning model of rigorous academic mentoring, individualization of services, and comprehensive academic support is guided by leading research for effective out-of-school time programs. More information about Higher Achievement, including recent press mentions and awards, may be found at:

Launched in 2010, Higher Achievement operates in three Richmond neighborhoods: at T.C. Boushall Middle School, Thomas H. Henderson Middle School and at Binford Middle School. Higher Achievement has chosen to focus its work in these communities because of the legacy of need and the opportunity to partner with established and esteemed community leaders. Today, the Richmond affiliate serves roughly 300 middle school aged scholars.

About the Position

The incoming Executive Director (ED) will play a unique role in the organization's history and help Higher Achievement advance to the next stage of growth and impact in Richmond where it hopes to serve more scholars in a deeper way on the road towards college completion/success. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and working closely with the Chief Development Officer (CDO), the ED will have overall operational responsibility for the Richmond affiliate by driving fundraising, relationship building, and community presence.

With more than 300 scholars served directly, 10 full time staff, 100 mentors, over 20 part-time seasonal program staff, 14 advisory board members, and multiple community and school partners, the ED must be adept at relationship management, staff management, broad stakeholder engagement, and visionary leadership. The ED is responsible for the affiliate's revenue targets, approximately $1.7 million in fiscal year 2019. As such, the ED has dotted-line reporting to the Chief Development Officer (CDO) in the National Office with respect to fundraising goals and receives significant technical assistance and support from the National Office on individual and corporate fundraising and grant writing. The ED directly manages the Richmond team through two direct reports, the Director of Programs and the Senior Manager of Development.

Strategic Leadership and Management

  • Serve as an inspirational leader - externally and internally - who actively engages and energizes - Higher Achievement scholars, families, staff, volunteers, funders, and partner organizations (such as Richmond Public Schools, Communities in Schools, etc.)
  • Leverage the Richmond team (Director of Programs, Senior Manager of Development) to meet goals for program outcomes, fundraising, financial excellence, and staff engagement
  • Maintain ultimate responsibility for local programmatic excellence and rigorous program evaluation through management of the Director of Programs
  • Provide strategic guidance and thought partnership on human capital strategy for the affiliate
  • In conjunction with the Director of Programs, nurture existing school district and partner relationships, building new, strategic partnerships to support growth and sustainability
  • Maintain ultimate responsibility for the Richmond operating budget, including expenses, revenue, and grant compliance

Development, Fundraising, and Communications

  • Lead the development team to meet the affiliate annual revenue goal of $1.7 million
  • Supervise the Senior Manager of Development and oversee the implementation of a multi-year fundraising plan, mapped to anticipated growth and the need to diversify funding sources
  • Develop rich and meaningful relationships with a wide and growing body of supporters to support the annual revenue goal, including local public, foundation, corporate, and individual investors
  • Play a highly visible external role and serve as the main ambassador and champion for Higher -Achievement and its scholars across the Richmond metro area
  • Build external relationships that support the development goals and the long-term sustainability of Higher Achievement including:
    • Cultivating new prospective donors
    • Stewarding returning donors
    • Networking and connecting with ambassadors
  • Steward and grow local champions on the Richmond Advisory Board to help meet fundraising goals and enhance Higher Achievement's profile in the community
Candidate Requirements:
  • Commitment to the mission and work of Higher Achievement
  • Ability to compellingly convey Higher Achievement's mission, impact, and needs across the community in an authentic way that honors our scholars and their families
  • Ability to leverage diverse stakeholders toward a common goal of student achievement
  • Minimum of 10 years overall experience strongly preferred; minimum of 5 years senior management or programmatic experience required, including experience managing through layers
  • Experience managing a significant budget and knowledge of nonprofit revenue sources
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience including:
    • Highly skilled in relationship building and connecting people
    • Experience making asks and closing gifts
    • Demonstrated success in individual and corporate fundraising preferred
  • Experience building and maintaining within-sector and cross-sector partnerships, and when necessary, problem solving through partnership challenges and conflict
  • Track record of effectively leading an outcomes-based team/organization using data to drive decision making
  • Excellence in organizational management with the demonstrated ability to coach, manage, and develop high-performing teams
  • Strong skills in planning, organizing, attention to detail, and oral and written communication, including strong presentation skills
Compensation and benefits:

This full-time, exempt position offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, consistent with other organizations of similar size, scope, and scale. Higher Achievement offers generous benefits, including: company-paid insurance (medical, dental, vision, life, and long and short-term disability insurance); eleven paid holidays; five weeks paid time off; commuter benefits with company match; retirement plan with company match; tuition reimbursement, and professional development funds.