Founded in 1963, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is one of New York City's first mentoring programs for high school students of color. Since 1963, SEO has expanded its programs to benefit more than 14,000 young people, helping them to succeed throughout high school, college, and their careers. SEO has an extraordinary demonstrated track record of achievement and fulfills its mission through these dynamic, vital programs: SEO Scholars, SEO Career, SEO Law, and SEO Alternative Investments.
SEO Scholars is an eight-year supplemental education program that has achieved unparalleled success in helping underserved public high school students in New York City and San Francisco get to competitive colleges but also in getting them though college graduation. By 12th grade, SEO Scholars exceed or match the SAT scores of all college-bound seniors nationally, thereby eliminating the academic achievement gap, and 100 percent of students attend college. Once in college, Scholars receive ongoing, one-on-one academic, personal, and career support, and 90 percent graduate within six years. Most recently, SEO's impressive Scholars program results have inspired the Board of Directors and executive leadership to commit to an aggressive eight-year growth plan to triple the number of Scholars students served in New York City.
SEO Career, SEO Law, and SEO Alternative Investments are each a premier national program that prepares underrepresented college students and/or young professionals to enter coveted industries via summer internships or fellowships. More than 80 percent of eligible interns and 90 percent of eligible fellows earn full-time positions in their chosen fields. SEO partners with over 100 world-class companies and firms through these programs.
The Vice President for Development has overall responsibility for development activities supporting the SEO Scholars program in New York City and SEO general operating support, which represent approximately $15 million of SEO’s $25 million budget. The Vice President is responsible for designing and executing comprehensive development plans that include annual giving, major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, and special events (an annual gala which generates unrestricted funds, as well as several smaller events focused on the Scholars program). Particular focus will be on major individual gift prospects and donors, and the Vice President will be expected to be a front-line major gift solicitor, managing a portfolio of prospects. The Vice President supervises an approximately nine-member development team.
The individual in this role will join SEO at a defining moment of unprecedented growth and will be expected to lead an aggressive program to dramatically increase philanthropic support to fulfill the organization's mission and expansion. S/he will work with an established and highly-respected organization providing life-changing educational opportunities for talented young people from underserved and underrepresented communities.
Required qualifications and experience:
- Genuine passion for and ability to articulate the values and mission of SEO to create a more equitable society. Familiarity with education reform and the broader education community would be a plus.
- Bachelor’s degree.
- Minimum of 10 years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, with extensive experience leading a comprehensive development program including, but not limited to, annual giving, foundation/corporate relations, and special events, with a particular focus on major gifts philanthropy.
- Demonstrated ability to provide strategic and operational management, with at least five years of senior-level development management experience, including creating and managing a budget. A track record of increasing the effectiveness of a development program and staff through established objectives and performance standards.
- Strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives.
- A history of securing six and seven-figure gifts or more, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual giving strategies for grooming the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors.
- Experience identifying, inspiring, nurturing, and motivating board members and other volunteer leaders, and a sophisticated understanding of their role in building an effective philanthropic network.
- Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement philanthropic initiatives and achieve goals.
- Working knowledge of sophisticated, integrated information systems and the ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about prospect/constituency engagement strategy and process.
SEO 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.
Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174