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
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.
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: https://player.vimeo.com/video/574001695.
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
- Promote ongoing fundraising excellence in line with the Thrive
Scholars’ values, mission, vision, and plans. Lead performance
evaluations, employee relations, and corrective activities, as
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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
- Unquestionable ethics, integrity, transparency, and
accountability in all actions.
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
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