School Description:​ The Life Learning Academy (LLA) is an SFUSD charter high school for students with profound histories of school failure and truancy. Our mission is to create a nonviolent community for students who have not been successful in traditional school settings. LLA welcomes students into an ‘extended family’ that motivates everyone to give and receive support, develop responsibility and judgment, and build the academic, vocational and social skills necessary to be successful.

The high school was developed out of the Juvenile Justice Local Action Plan under the Mayor’s Office in 1997, and was researched and implemented by the Delancey Street Foundation. For 20 years, Life Learning Academy has successfully supported high-need students from the San Francisco Bay Area to thrive. In addition to our extended day program, workforce development, and award-winning educational curriculum, many of our students need more comprehensive support than we currently provide. Many experience unstable or unsafe living situations that interfere with their ability to learn and flourish. To address this gap we broke ground in March 2018 on the Life Learning Academy dormitory (LLABUILD). The first phase is the construction of a student dorm for 20 students on our Treasure Island campus.

The long-term vision of the LLA dormitory is to create a new, state-of-the art campus where the majority of students live while attending high school, and during the transition to stable adulthood after graduation. Additionally, we are looking forward to demonstrating the efficacy of this approach for changing the trajectory of troubled students’ lives, and replicating the model across the U.S. among disconnected, unstably housed teens. We are looking for a Development Director who understands the value and promise of this model, and wants to lead Life Learning Academy’s development team to accomplish the larger vision.

Organizational and program financial profile: ​The Life Learning Academy currently has an annual operating budget of $1.5 million comprised of revenue from the Department of Education’s Average Daily Attendance funds, support from San Francisco city agencies, private foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. To date, LLA has raised $2.1M of the $3.5M required to build the 20-bed dormitory. Life Learning has secured a bridge loan to complete the building while the organization raises the final $1.4M. The first priority of the Development Director will be to drive completion of the capital campaign and repayment of the loan. Simultaneously, the Development Director will lead the development team to raise the annual operating costs of running the dormitory (approximately $750,000 per year).

Position Summary:​ We are seeking a Development Director to serve as Life Learning Academy’s lead ambassador for the campaign. This person is expected to be out in public, meeting with donors, and making the case for LLA. S/he will have great warmth, authenticity, charm, and social skills. S/he is a person who is self-confident, venturesome, and shows initiative. Top-tier candidates will be results-oriented. S/he will be committed to and driven by the organization’s mission to create positive lives for low-income young people. S/he will be motivated to disrupt the cycles of poverty and homelessness through innovations in education, housing, and youth workforce development.

The Development Director will complete the capital campaign while building the team and developing the organization. We are looking for someone who has successfully completed a capital campaign in the past, but dynamos with excellent potential and strong references should apply.

In active collaboration with the Executive Committee, senior LLA leadership, development staff, and the LLA Board of Directors, the Development Director will create, lead, and implement the organization’s development strategy. Main goals include diversifying and increasing annual revenue, building organizational capacity to fundraise, and substantially growing the organization’s pool of individual donors.

Position Profile:

Status: Exempt, flexible full time
Location: San Francisco, California
Reports to: Chief Operating Officer


Lead and execute an effective fund development strategy:
  • Collaborate with the team to create a 5-year fund development plan that increases individual, foundation and corporate revenue to support the capital campaign and annual operating costs of the dorm
  • Complete the capital campaign for the construction of the dormitory
  • Oversee donor engagement
  • Oversee fundraising events
  • Identify and develop corporate sponsors
  • Oversee Salesforce administrator and consultants
  • Prepare a quarterly fund development report to track progress against goal
Manage and grow Life Learning Academy’s major gifts portfolio:
  • Act as Life Learning Academy’s lead ambassador for the campaign with external partners
  • Cultivate a pipeline of prospective individual donors
  • Create and implement cultivation and stewardship strategies
  • Represent LLA at key fundraising, partner, and cultivation events
  • Set and implement short- and long-term cultivation goals under the major gifts program
  • Achieve annual major gifts goals
  • In collaboration with the Salesforce administrator, diligently use the relationship management system for all touch points to ensure there is documentation of engagement with prospective, past, and current donors
  • Systematically and authentically recognize existing donors
  • In collaboration with the COO and consultant assisting with board development, assist with prospecting, recruitment, and training new and existing board members for fundraising and promoting the organization
  • In collaboration with an external consultant or communications agency, develop prospecting materials
  • Lead development of donor communication materials, such as quarterly updates, newsletters, recognition and gratitude materials, in collaboration with development and website team
  • Oversee social media and web-based communications
  • Liaise with corporate PR representatives
  • Liaise with news media outlets
  • Oversee media participation in campus activities
  • 5+ years of development experience
  • Proven track record of completing a campaign
  • Proven track record of successful relationship management
  • Mission-driven, with a passion for innovations in education and housing
  • Unapologetically committed to increasing the range of opportunities available to disadvantaged youth
  • Ability to engage and inspire others to believe in the organization’s mission and vision through oral and written communications. Excellent communication skills with a range of audiences, including individual donors, corporate sponsors, philanthropic foundations, community-based partners, representatives from the education field, politicians, and others
  • Strong organizational skills, negotiation and communication abilities
  • Self-motivated, strong time manager with equally strong task prioritization skills
  • Decisive, but with a relative level of comfort with ambiguity
  • Demonstrated ability to hit financial targets on time
  • Understanding of budgeting and financial forecasting
  • Candidate must be able to work after normal business hours and travel to events on occasion

Compensation and Benefits: ​Annual salary range of $115,000 – $125,000 with a generous benefits package and strong organizational culture of maintaining a balance between work life and non-work life.
How to Apply:​ Send (1) a cover letter outlining your interest and qualifications, and (2) a resume to cblazer@llasf.org.