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Director of Development, 9-12 Independent School (remote)

Ethiopia Education Initiatives
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Sep 28, 2021

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time
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Director of Development

EEI seeks an experienced, mission-driven and dynamic Director of Development to help with its major gift and corporate fundraising work.


Ethiopia Education Initiatives, Inc. (“EEI”) is a New York, NY, non-profit with the mission of providing quality education opportunities for talented students in Ethiopia and impacting education in Ethiopia more broadly. EEI’s first project, the Haile-Manas Academy (HMA), is a co-ed secondary boarding school for students of promise recruited from across the country, located in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia,1.5 hours north of the capital of Addis Ababa, on a beautiful, newly-constructed, state-of-the-art campus. The school opened during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic in January 2021 with 35 students in the class of 2024 and will soon welcome 50 students into the class of 2025. At full enrollment, HMA will accommodate 400 Ethiopian nationals (100 per class). HMA aspires to accept students of promise for this special opportunity without regard to their financial circumstances.

 HMA is a ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind model school that will be on par with top schools around the globe. Through hands-on, collaborative project-based learning that makes full use of the advantages of a residential setting, the school provides an education that will enable students to reach their highest potential as critical thinkers, enterprising young problem solvers, and purposeful, community-minded individuals. HMA graduates will be Ethiopia’s future leaders in all walks of life, and we expect them to have a significant impact on their communities. For more information about EEI and HMA, our charismatic organizational leaders, our accomplished Board of Directors, and most of all, our inspiring pioneering students, please visit our website and in particular view the “Celebration of Learning” video at https://  as well as this introductory video at about our backstory.

DoD’s Mandate

EEI seeks an experienced, mission-driven and dynamic Director of Development to help with its major gift and corporate fundraising work.

The DoD will be EEI’s first professional fundraiser. Their mandate is to build on the fundraising success of the co-founders and EEI Board over the last three years to secure a firm financial footing for HMA, while also strategizing and preparing for future EEI projects. At the outset, the DoD will focus on raising funds for HMA’s operational needs, scholarships, and reaching the point where no qualifying student is turned away for financial reasons.

The DoD will be responsible for raising $1M-$1.5M/year to achieve these goals.

EEI is blessed with a number of advantages for a fundraising professional: a compelling mission in an important country at a key moment in history; an Ethiopian-American co-founder with a unique personal story and natural talents for building relationships with prospects and donors; a pre-existing well of major gift prospects who have been actively cultivated for several years by both co-founders; deep personal, professional, and political ties in Ethiopia, including support of regional and national leaders who donated the HMA campus site; the potential for HMA to receive, as a first of its kind model school, significant and almost entirely untapped corporate support from local and international companies; a founding Head of School who is a national American leader in education; a founding Deputy Head of School who is a leading Ethiopian educational professional with wide in-country networks; a new HMA boarding school campus with forward-looking academic facilities whose master plan was created by one of America’s premier school designers and has been designed by one of Ethiopia’s leading architects; the personal commitment of the co-founders and the backing of an exceptionally accomplished Board of Directors. All it lacks is you!

This position is offered as a full-time job, but for the right candidate, duties, responsibilities, and compensation may be reduced to accommodate a part-time schedule. The DoD may work remotely and may therefore be located anywhere within three (3) time zones of the US Eastern Time Zone. Should the Covid-19 epidemic allow in-person visits in the next 12 months or so, many will be in the NYC area where our initial base of major gift donors, and our Executive Director, are located.

 Key responsibilities

  • Raising $1-1.5M/year, building on a strong fundraising total of $940,000 raised in FY’21
  • Aggressively increasing the pipeline of domestic and international donors through both major gift work directly with the Executive Director, and international outreach to create an increasingly large pipeline of prospects
  • Cultivating, soliciting and stewarding new and existing donors and prospects for gifts at the $1K-$1M level
  • Developing an overall fundraising strategy for HMA and executing the strategy for individual major gift work, as well as outreach to corporate sponsors and corporate foundations
  • Guiding and prioritizing the major gift fundraising efforts of the Executive Director and soliciting gifts with her on joint visits, either in-person or on Zoom; assisting her with all elements of donor outreach
  • Assisting the Head of School and the other co-founder with their major gifts efforts
  • Coordinating with the Director of the New York office who will have responsibility for public relations, communications, annual appeals and 2-3 major in-person US-based events, as well as numerous Zoom events
  • Working with the Board’s Development Committee
  • Assisting with Board member cultivation, selection and recruitment
  • This position reports to the Executive Director of EEI, and is a member of the Executive Team

 Job Qualifications

  • Strong passion for the educational mission of EEI and HMA
  • Strong major gift fundraising skills
  • Proven record of fundraising ability
  • Ability to craft and execute on a long-term strategy for fundraising for a growing organization
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and professionalism
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Exceptional time management, project management and organizational skills
  • Familiarity with DonorPerfect is preferred


Compensation and benefits will be commensurate with experience.

Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to  EEI is an equal-opportunity employer.


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