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Managing Director, Regions & Executive Director

Thrive Scholars
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Oct 23, 2021

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Position Type
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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This is an incredible opportunity for an accomplished, entrepreneurial leader to play a pivotal role in driving philanthropic support while expanding the overall reach for Thrive Scholars as they help high-achieving, underrepresented students from low-income communities achieve their full academic and career potential.

Amid growing awareness of the critical role education plays in advancing equity, the work of Thrive Scholars is receiving more attention and support than ever before. To promote and facilitate this ongoing growth, Thrive Scholars seeks an experienced fundraising executive to serve as the inaugural Managing Director, Regions – overseeing a national team of regional fundraisers - and additionally serve as the founding Executive Director, New York – expanding the New York presence and philanthropic base. This executive will be joining a passionate and dedicated team that is committed to measurable and meaningful impact.

The values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the center of Thrive Scholars’ work. As such, the Managing Director/Executive Director must promote and support the cultural competency of the organization as well as bring a keen appreciation for the mission of the organization and the role it plays in the experience of first-generation and underrepresented students.

Thrive Scholars

Since 2001, Thrive Scholars (formerly SCS Noonan Scholars) has supported high-achieving underrepresented students in attaining educational and career success. The organization’s highly successful, holistic, and data-driven model ensures that Scholars have the key opportunities they need to succeed at selective colleges and in competitive careers. Over the course of their six-year program, Scholars benefit from intensive academic preparation before college along with comprehensive academic, personal, social-emotional, financial, and career support throughout their college experience.

Thrive Scholars originated in Los Angeles as South Central Scholars (SCS), a scholarship program focused on high-achieving, low-income African American students in South Central Los Angeles. Having spent the first 13 years refining its fully integrated programmatic offerings while expanding its Scholar base, the founders decided to replicate the model in Boston in 2014 as Noonan Scholars. In 2017, they merged the two programs to create SCS Noonan Scholars. As part of their ongoing national expansion efforts, SCS Noonan Scholars recently rebranded as Thrive Scholars, a name that speaks to their future, exemplifies their core work, and captures the aspirations of their Scholars.

Building on their tremendous success in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Cleveland, Thrive Scholars is continuing their national expansion efforts into new regions across the country, launching a new presence in New York City, and spanning from there in an effort to increase the number of Scholars by 300%. Continued growth efforts are aimed at enhancing the organization’s fundraising capabilities, increasing the number of Scholars served, and expanding their national footprint.

For more information about Thrive, please visit their website: or view their video overview:

Position Summary

Reporting into the Chief Advancement Officer, the Managing Director, Regions (MD) supports Thrive Scholars’ ongoing growth and impact providing oversight and mentorship to all current and future Executive Directors whose primary role is to serve in a regional fundraising capacity. This executive will also serve in a dual capacity as the Executive Director, New York (EDNY) to initially launch and establish a New York regional presence until such time as the program warrants a dedicated Executive Director (which may be MD/EDNY with staff support or someone else if management responsibilities do not permit adequate time for both roles). As the primary face and champion of Thrive’s work and impact in New York City, the Executive Director will be charged with creating the narrative around local support, closing five and six figure gifts, and generating a network of donor support including the creation of a local advisory board. With substantial philanthropic support and commitment in place within the New York City region, it is expected that this leader will dedicate 75% of their time and effort to managing the Executive Directors and the remaining 25% in a fundraising role for New York.

The Managing Director/Executive Director of New York (MD/EDNY) will serve as champion for the work of Thrive Scholars, collaborating with leadership and advancement staff to set strategic direction and execute on fundraising efforts that further the organization’s mission and vision. In addition to personally building and managing a limited portfolio of high-level prospects and donors in the New York City region, the MD/EDNY will play a key role in encouraging the professional growth of all regional Executive Directors while also maximizing the return on investment of all fundraising activities. In keeping with Thrive Scholars’ culture, the Managing Director/Executive Director must be invested in and committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, the following:

Managing Director, Regions

  • Build and lead a cohesive team of regionally based Executive Directors, with a culture of performance excellence, continuous feedback, and accountability for personal, professional, regional, and organizational goals.
  • Provide leadership and thought partnership to the Executive Directors in the management of their regional fundraising activities and advisory boards.
  • Establish fundraising best practices; and ensure that efforts are coordinated across the regions.
  • Work with the Chief Advancement Officer to establish and monitor transparent performance and development goals for Executive Directors; assign accountabilities, set objectives, and establish priorities.
  • Promote ongoing fundraising excellence in line with the Thrive Scholars’ values, mission, vision, and plans. Lead performance evaluations, employee relations, and corrective activities, as needed.
  • Track fundraising data on key performance metrics and other measures of success; prepare reports related to regional fundraising efforts and donor engagement.
  • Ensure that all fundraising messaging and publications are compelling and consistent with Thrive’s brand and voice.

Executive Director, New York

  • Establish and develop relationships with key individual donors, foundations, and other partners, many of whom may be new to Thrive, actively cultivating new supporters and ensuring their continued engagement, with an eye towards ensuring sustainable multi-year support. Leverage existing prospect and donor tracking and moves management systems and programs to stay abreast of and report on active fundraising opportunities.
  • Develop and leverage a nuanced understanding of the New York City philanthropic space to drive regional fundraising efforts; identifying, stewarding, and closing gifts to meet ambitious seven-figure revenue targets.
  • Capitalize on existing relationships with local supporters to build out a network of engaged individual, foundation, and corporate partners.
  • Play a highly visible external role and serve as the main ambassador and champion for Thrive and its Scholars across the New York City metro area. Collaborate effectively within the New York City college access and success space, building cooperative partnerships with like-minded organizations.
  • Steward, appoint, and grow local champions on the advisory board to meet fundraising goals and enhance Thrive’s profile in the community.


The successful candidate will bring passion and enthusiasm for the Thrive Scholar’s mission and have at least 10 years of progressive development and leadership experience, including the management of front-line fundraising professionals, engagement in regional fundraising programs, and familiarity with cause-related philanthropy.

Specific qualifications include:

  • Strong commitment to the mission and work of Thrive Scholars coupled with the ability to compellingly convey the mission, impact, and needs across the community in an authentic way that honors Thrive Scholars and their families.
  • A goal-oriented collaborative leadership style with the ability to plan and implement strategic initiatives and to inspire and motivate others. A high degree of emotional intelligence, social awareness, and empathy.
  • Track record of setting and meeting ambitious fundraising goals from a wide range of donors; including experience raising six-figure gifts from individuals. Familiarity with nonprofit funding sources, with a nuanced understanding of the New York City philanthropic and corporate community.
  • Exceptional program administration and management skills, including, but not limited to: staff supervision; partnership cultivation; budget development/management; data gathering/analysis; and stakeholder communications.
  • Demonstrated excellence in supporting a team of fundraisers through professional development and coaching. Ability to provide ongoing feedback, resources, support, and infrastructure to achieve individual and collective goals.
  • Direct experience working effectively with a diverse set of stakeholders including boards, senior executives, and external partners on development initiatives. Experience recruiting and managing a fundraising board is strongly preferred.
  • Proven track record of building a strong body of support from new donors, community partners, corporate partners, and other key constituents in support of an organization with which they were not previously engaged.
  • Experience building and maintaining within-sector and cross-sector partnerships, and when necessary, problem solving through partnership challenges and conflict.
  • Strong cultural competency skills, and proven commitment to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Highly effective skills in planning, organizing, attention to detail, and oral and written communication, including strong presentation skills.
  • Unquestionable ethics, integrity, transparency, and accountability in all actions.

Key Relationships

Reports into: Chief Advancement Officer

Direct reports: Executive Directors (4)

Other key relationships:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Strategy and Program Officer
  • Managing Director of Corporate Partnerships


CFRE certification is considered to be a plus.


Compensation and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Thrive Scholars is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, or current employment status.

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