Skip Navigation
Print Share

Director of Development

Company: Classroom Champions
Date Posted: July 11, 2017

Classroom Champions Director of Development

Role Description

Primary Function

Like our Olympian/Paralympian mentors, Classroom Champions operates within a fast-paced, high-performance team culture. Our team is growing and we are seeking to recruit, as part of the Classroom Champions (CC) team, a Director of Development. The Director of Development will assist in achieving the CC mission and vision across North America and beyond. By 2020, our goal is to have Olympians, Paralympians, and Student-Athletes in approximately 600 classrooms across the U.S. and Canada mentoring up to 17,000 students in underserved communities. That represents a growth of 300% over a three-year period and a fundraising goal of C$7.5MM (~US$6MM). 

Supporting the CEO, and as a critical contributor to the organization’s executive leadership team, the Director of Development is responsible for leading, planning, executing and monitoring results for Classroom Champion’s revenue generating activities including philanthropic gifts, partnerships, sponsorships and grants. In this capacity, the Director of Development will contribute to the deployment of CC’s 2017-2020 strategic plan and will work collaboratively with the broader organization to ensure fiscal accountability and strong outcomes are achieved. The Director of Development will also plan and manage strong, enduring relationships with a wide array of stakeholders including: prospective and current funders, Board of Directors, CEO, government representatives and District Superintendents.

The Director of Development would assume considerable independent managerial discretion in the implementation of the fund development plan to support the strategic direction of the organization. Maintaining professional relationships with funders, volunteers and community partners is vital to the success of this position and to the organization.

The role will require the balancing of multiple priorities. Travel and after-hours work (early mornings, evenings and weekends) will be required on occasion.

Required Experience

  • Post-secondary degree is preferred or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience;
  • 5-8 years proven fundraising experience;
  • Exposure to cross-border charity law and regulatory requirements;
  • Proven experience and success in securing gifts, sponsorships, partnerships and grants of $100,000+ as well as direct response and event fundraising;
  • Experience in financial and impact reporting back to funders;
  • Experience with working with a fundraising database;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication abilities;
  • Proven stakeholder management and relationship building;
  • Sound judgement and decision-making skills and the ability to work independently;
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to effectively multi-task and attention to details are critical;
  • Proven people and team leadership skills, ability to inspire a team and collaborate and support organization staff and volunteers to achieve results in a fast-paced, high-growth environment; and
  • Ability to coach and mentor others in fundraising. 

Key Accountabilities


  • Provide thought leadership and trusted advisory support to CEO and executive leadership team;  
  • Represent the CEO externally as appropriate and required;
  • Build and sustain a world-class team; lead and manage top performance of staff, contractors and volunteers; and
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization. 


Fund Development

Provide leadership in the development and implementation of short and long-term strategic fund development plans that align with CC’s 2017-2020 strategic plan:

  • Develop and implement a sustainable, multi-strategy fundraising plan [three-year goal of C$7.5MM (~US$6MM)] that includes:
    • Philanthropic giving: annual, major, principal and planned gifts;
    • Corporate and foundation giving;
    • Partnerships and sponsorships; and
    • Grants.
  • Create and maintain tools to monitor and evaluate all fund development activities to ensure that fundraising goals are being achieved;
  • Set and achieve annual fundraising targets;
  • Develop the CC prospect pipeline and assist the CEO, Board of Directors and volunteers in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding CC prospects/funders;
  • Implement funder engagement, acknowledgement and recognition activities and procedures as outlined in the fund development plan;
  • Develop meeting briefs, prospect research profiles, proposals and funding applications, and other necessary fundraising communication materials as required;
  • Build relationships with organization staff and volunteers to support fundraising efforts and build funder relationships;
  • Establish and manage fundraising advisory groups/councils;
  • Recruit, lead and manage fundraising personnel (as program growth requires);
  • Develop, implement and sustain internal policies and procedures for gift acceptance and processing;
  • Ensure alignment with CC’s operations and, where possible, ensure all direct and digital communication strategies are fully integrated into all funder marketing and fundraising activities;
  • Practice ethical fundraising in keeping with the mission and values of CC and in accordance with charitable giving standards; and
  • Ensure ongoing familiarity with current trends and best practices in fund development.

Specific Skills

  • Emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy)
  • Priority and time management (fast pace, responsive, focus)
  • Business acumen (financial reporting and analysis, budget and cash flow)
  • Performance management (goal setting, tracking and measurement, feedback, coaching and developing staff, contractors and volunteers)
  • Continuous process improvement (learning and growth mindset)

Please be advised that only candidates who are eligible to work in Canada will be considered for this position. 

About Classroom Champions

Classroom Champions is an international award winning international education and mentorship non-profit charity organization impacting thousands of students in hundreds of schools across the U.S., Canada, and parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. With a mission that all kids should learn the process of excellence in order to help break the cycle of poverty, this first-of-its-kind organization was founded in 2009 by Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Mesler, and his sister Dr. Leigh Parise (PhD - Education/Social Policy).    

Classroom Champions creates meaningful change in high-need schools as top performing athletes interact with classrooms to share their own personal journey to teach goal setting, fair play and perseverance through virtual relationships. More than 80 Olympians, Paralympians, and Olympic Medalists have mentored more than 19,000 students in their home countries over the course of entire school years resulting in measured improvements in student perseverance and goal setting ability, classroom engagement, digital literacy, and interpersonal skills. Classroom Champions also supports and develops teachers, has donated over $100,000 in technology to schools, and engages families to create positive change across entire global communities.


To Apply: 

If you believe you’re a great fit for this opportunity, please submit your resume and cover letter outlining your interest in the Director of Development position to our online posting. The opportunity will remain open until the position is filled.