Job Opportunity: Director of Development/Strategic Partnerships

Office of the Mayor, City of Los Angeles
200 North Spring Street, Suite M-120
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Director of Development/Strategic Partnerships builds relationships with potential and existing BEST Friends Board members to create volunteer, in-kind and financial support for the LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program.  Focus and impetus is to improve the lives of children by connecting diverse young professionals and students to each other and their communities through volunteering, fundraising, public outreach and community building.  By connecting members to one another and expanding membership, the LA's BEST Friends community is sustained and continues to grow.  Members are young, professional, and philanthropically focused inspiring others to serve, mentor and build friendships. This position drives the creation, implementation, and success of all activities and fundraising programs produced by the BEST Friends Board of Directors. This is a full-time position, located in Los Angeles, California.  The Director of Development/Strategic Partnerships will report to the Vice President of Development.   
In September of 1988, the City of Los Angeles took a bold step outside of traditional city business to create an innovative after school program to address the alarming rise in street gangs, school dropouts and drug use in communities where children lacked adequate adult supervision during the critical hours between 3-6 p.m.   The program, called LA's BEST (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow), approaches inner-city children as resources to be developed rather than problems to be solved. From its original 10 sites, LA's BEST has grown to serve over 29,000 students in 195 elementary schools. 

The Director of Development/Strategic Partnerships is charged with leading and managing all efforts on behalf of the BEST Young Professionals (Best Friends) Board.  This person must create and implement a strong strategic direction for fundraising including managing two BEST Friends signature annual fundraising events, monthly First Friday activities and quarterly school site prospect forums. In addition, this person is part of the events management team for the annual signature fundraiser produced by the Governing Board.
Strategic planning and execution:

  • Provide leadership for all development activities, working closely with the Vice President of Development, members of all three boards, the Development Committee, and corporate and operational staff
  • Focus on improving retention of existing donor base and finding efficient ways to attract new major donors
  • Implement programs to increase contributions from corporate fund sources, foundations and major individual donors
  • Design and execute effective recognition program for donors to keep them engaged and moving to higher levels of commitment
  • Execute fundraising events with appropriate board, staff, and external volunteers

 Organizational management:

  • Work with the Vice President of Development to organize, train, motivate, and lead BEST Friends members to embrace and carry out the full spectrum of fundraising responsibilities
  • Successfully involve volunteers in fundraising; support the process of strong board development and engagement
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with board members, including regularly scheduled phone or face-to-face meetings

External liaison:

  • Establish sound working relationships with funders and community groups who can further the work of LA’s BEST
  • Maintain and utilize a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field of fundraising

This position requires a creative, passionate, self-motivated, disciplined, energetic person with long-term strategic vision, superior people skills, and an ability to clearly tell the successful story of LA’s BEST.  
A successful candidate will have:

  • Knowledge and experience using Raiser’s Edge fundraising database
  • A bachelors degree and a minimum of five years of development experience with a proven track record of success; more than five years of director-level fundraising experience is preferred
  • Experience and proficiency in all aspects of development with an emphasis on running a fundraising Campaign, securing major and planned gifts, maintaining excellent corporate/foundation relations and planning events
  • Excellent organizational, project management skills and an ability to cultivate a motivated team of internal staff and board members
  • Qualities of a dynamic self-starter and team player who works effectively in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment
  • Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to work collaboratively as a colleague and team builder; works effectively with diverse populations
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills
  • High-level skills of analysis and judgment in planning, implementation, and evaluation
  • Creativity and initiative in creating new fundraising opportunities within the context of operational and program goals
  • Strong business acumen

LA’s BEST Application Requirements:
Please submit cover letter and resume to
No phone or e-mail inquiries.  Due to high applicant volume, we regret we cannot send personalized responses to all applicants.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.