Founded in 1989, Making Waves was created to address the educational needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged youth with limited access to quality schools in Richmond, California. Today, the Foundation's mission is to advance opportunities for underserved and historically underrepresented students who are college bound and career minded. The Foundation achieves this through supporting Making Waves Academy and a unique program for college students, the College and Alumni Program. Making Waves envisions a society in which all youth—regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status—have access to high-quality educational opportunities and the tools to achieve success.
Born out of the after-school Making Waves Education Program, Making Waves Academy (MWA) was established in 2007 as a public charter school that serves 5th through 12th graders in Richmond. MWA currently serves approximately 800 students, rigorously and holistically preparing them to gain acceptance to and graduate from college to ultimately become valuable contributors to the workforce and their communities. MWA will achieve significant growth through the expansion of its current school site in Richmond (Lakeside Campus Expansion Project) and the addition of two sites in east Contra Costa County. By 2025, MWA expects to educate 1,300 students annually.
The College and Alumni Program (CAP) picks up where MWA leaves off by supporting more than 500 students through the successful completion of their college degrees, as quickly and with as little debt as possible. While nationally just 9% of students from low-income households have a college degree by age 24, 75% of CAP students are on track to graduate in six years. CAP provides students with need-based scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 per year. On average, CAP students borrow $529 in federal loans annually, which is 80% less than the national average of $2,593 in federal loans for undergraduate students. What makes CAP different is its combination of personalized coaching, financial literacy training, and scholarships. Upon graduation, CAP students are equipped with the skills to build meaningful careers and positively contribute to society.
As pioneers of the to-and-through approach to college, Making Waves Foundation is expanding its capacity to serve more students in a fully integrated K-16 model. The Foundation is also taking strategic steps to build out a robust, best-practices development program commensurate to the aspirations of the organization.
Amid this context of organizational investment and expansion, Making Waves Foundation seeks candidates for the newly created role of Vice President of Development (VP). Reporting to the chief advancement officer, the VP serves as the Foundation's overall number two leader for development and is responsible for securing increased annual funding for Making Waves Academy and the CAP program, while also aiding in the planning and execution of a multi-year capital campaign to support the Lakeside Campus expansion. The VP will oversee raising current-use gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations, while sustaining and markedly increasing the overall donor pool. S/he will manage a comprehensive and innovative giving program including face-to-face, mail, and electronic solicitations. The VP will also personally engage in frontline fundraising, carrying a portfolio of current and prospective donors at the level of high-end annual gifts and emerging major gifts.
The Vice President of Development serves as a strategic partner to the chief advancement officer in setting annual and multi-year fundraising goals and identifying and refining giving priorities. S/he will be a key figure in continuing the maturation of a diversified, sustainable culture of philanthropy and building the donor base, while championing industry best practices and an ethos of continuous improvement. It will be particularly important for the VP to develop a comprehensive plan for new donor discovery and increased annual giving, while optimizing the use of social media platforms and modern channels of communication. S/he must also incorporate the use of sophisticated development metrics to guide and gauge the activity of the development program and individual fundraisers therein.
The successful candidate will be a proven leader, manager, and mentor who is comfortable leading major initiatives and supporting the leadership of others and has a track record of effectively spearheading organizational change. S/he will have an astute understanding of working in an entrepreneurial atmosphere. The VP must possess the leadership stature and strategic decision-making ability to serve as proxy for the chief advancement officer as necessary, the ambition to grow as a leader within the organization as the advancement program evolves, and the proven ability to embrace and thrive in a field fundraising role.
Required qualifications and experience: demonstrated commitment to the mission and goals of Making Waves; bachelor's degree required, advanced degree preferred; minimum of 10 years of professional experience, including commensurate experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions comprising work in all related functional areas (individual giving, institutional giving, planned giving, stewardship, alumni relations, board relations) and experience in a major capital campaign; demonstrated ability to successfully work in an entrepreneurial nonprofit or academic setting that prioritizes new donor discovery and engagement; demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with at least three years of significant supervisory experience, including creating and managing a budget; experience in developing annual giving strategies, with direct response marketing, data analytics, and market segmentation and testing experience required; demonstrated understanding of the role technology and social media can play in invigorating fundraising efforts, and the ability to effectively leverage such tools; strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans to address current and future needs, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives; hands-on experience with six and seven-figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship; demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic communications in support of achieving fundraising goals; experience in identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers, particularly board members; skilled at goal setting and measuring success, and agility in addressing alternate program directions to meet goals when necessary; ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.
Making Waves Foundation has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Founder and Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174