Associate Director of Development

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer and working closely with the Executive Director, the Associate Director of Development will:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive, innovative fundraising plan that includes research, identification, solicitation, cultivation, and proposal development for short and long-term fundraising campaigns with individual, corporate, and foundation donors
  • Serve as a leading representative of FOCUS to the external funding community; cultivate existing and develop new funder relationships
  • Support planning and execution of annual fundraising events and programs targeting both individual and corporate donors and sponsors, including an annual gala and conference as well as other smaller events
  • Support grant proposals and management, working closely with the senior staff to gather the necessary information to ensure proposals and reports are comprehensive and compelling
  • Work with the operations team to ensure seamless donor communications and tracking
  • Bachelor’s degree and at least four years experience in development with specific knowledge of annual campaigns, individual donor cultivation, and corporate partnerships required
  • Experience identifying, cultivating, and stewarding relationships with current and prospective major donors, both individual and corporate
  • A strong work ethic coupled with an enthusiastic and passionate approach to one’s work. The successful candidate will be a highly energetic, hands-on individual with a depth of intellect
  • Strong project management skills. Ability to coordinate multiple projects with overlapping deadlines, and see them to completion in a timely and organized fashion
  • Outstanding communications skills and diplomacy; ability to anticipate needs and prioritize/manage multiple complex confidential tasks simultaneously in a demanding environment; strong attention to detail required
  • Excellent writing and grammar skills
  • Flexibility and professional manner essential; ability to work with a variety of people; must work well both independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills with the ability to work well under deadlines
  • Ability to take initiative as well as feedback and grow professionally in the organization
  • Strong commitment to charter schools as a necessary component of education reform; school experience a strong plus
  • Professional experience and relationships in Washington, DC. also a plus

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Manager of Advocacy and Policy

FOCUS seeks a sophisticated and dynamic leader with a mix of strategic advocacy, organizing, lobbying, policy, and legislative experience to fill the position of Manager of Advocacy and Policy.


Reporting to the Senior Director of Government Relations, the Manager of Advocacy and Policy will spearhead the organization’s efforts to advance our policy agenda by planning and implementing legislative and advocacy campaigns, analyzing and drafting policy proposals, lobbying local policymakers, preparing and presenting testimony, building coalitions, and engaging charter school supporters.

The Manager of Advocacy and Policy has the responsibility to implement and oversee strategic, broad-based advocacy programs related to specific priority issues.

The ideal candidate will be an outstanding advocate who is able to effectively convey the mission, policies and advocacy efforts of FOCUS to a variety of constituencies, ranging from senior elected officials and policy makers to local community members.


  • Develop and implement FOCUS’s strategic broad-based advocacy campaigns, utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics; lobby members of the Council, their staff and the Mayor’s office, analyze and track legislation that affects education, draft amendments, prepare and deliver testimony, and identify opportunities for bipartisan support on FOCUS issues
  • Prepare legislative and policy analyses designed to effect change by policymakers;
  • Cultivate relationships with key policymakers and their staff;
  • Prepare effective policy and advocacy materials, including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, letters, press statements, opinion editorials, website updates, and legislative and public policy reports;
  • Track and analyze legislation, and regulatory and administrative proposals before state and local bodies;
  • Speak at public forums, conferences and meetings, as well as to print journalists and broadcast media;
  • Build coalitions to further FOCUS’s public policy agenda;
  • Develop advocacy work plans and supervise volunteers;
  • Identify funding sources and write funding proposals in collaboration with the Executive Director;


  • B.A. required, graduate level degree in public policy, political science or law is strongly preferred;
  • A demonstrated career progression with increasing roles of responsibility;
  • At least four years of substantial experience in some combination of advocacy, community organizing, lobbying or public policy, ideally including the development and coordination of advocacy campaigns, preferably at least some experience in DC;
  • Exceptional initiative, vision and ability to develop and implement short- and long-term integrated advocacy strategies;
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing education reform, an understanding of the range of issues we advance, and their implications is preferred;
  • Extensive knowledge of grassroots organizing strategies and advocacy techniques, including knowledge of on-line organizing and Internet based communication strategies;
  • Maturity, professionalism, excellent interpersonal skills, and an ability to exercise diplomacy are critical;
  • Excellent analytic and communication skills (both written and oral); ability to synthesize complex issues and communicate them effectively to diverse audiences, including: elected officials, attorneys, advocates, impacted communities, supporters, and the general public;
  • Experience in effectively keeping organized in a fast-paced environment, managing several projects simultaneously, and adjusting to frequently changing demands;
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with a diverse staff;
  • Ability to work across the political spectrum;
  • Value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance;
  • Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism; and
  • Experience and relationships in the Washington, DC education and legislative arena especially valued


FOCUS offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience, within the parameters of a Washington, DC-based non-profit. Excellent benefits offered, including health insurance; life, short-, and long-term disability insurance; retirement plan; sick, vacation, and holiday leave; and public transit assistance.

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Manager of Strategic Communications


FOCUS seeks a self-motivated, skilled, sophisticated, dynamic team player with communications experience to fill the position of Manager of Strategic Communications. This person will help FOCUS articulate its mission and play a key role in executing the organization's strategic priorities. The Manager of Strategic Communications is part of the organization's senior leadership team, working under the supervision of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with other senior staff members, including the Chief Operating Officer, Senior Director of Government Relations, and Manager of Advocacy and Policy.


  • StrategyConceive a broad vision for using communications to further the goals of the FOCUS, and develop plans and strategies — long- and short-term — to carry out that vision. Determine ideal communications channels and tactics for distributing FOCUS news, promoting advocacy campaigns, publicizing events, broadening FOCUS audiences, and making education reform issues accessible and relevant. 

  • MessagingCarefully shape the language, images, and multimedia that represent FOCUS and its positions compellingly and convincingly. Ensure that consistent, clear messaging follows through all modes of communications, for a range of audiences, and across FOCUS functions.

  • SupervisoryDirect, manage, and supportively mentor communications interns and volunteers. Build organizational relationships with vendors, such as designers. A key part of this function involves carving out specific roles for team members based on their strengths and interests. 

  • Writing & EditingReview and draft a range of documents and resources — both print and online — for public education, fundraising, community outreach, legislative, and other purposes. 

  • Media RelationsManage media relations, including story development, media targeting, pitching, and relationship management. Plan proactive media campaigns and outreach, as well as rapid-response work in reaction to breaking news. Monitor the media for opportunities to engage.
  • Digital CommunicationsManage the online presence of the FOCUS, generating and supervising the creation of engaging, current content. Explore new media and innovative methods for presenting the FOCUS’s work. Implement long- and short-term strategies for the FOCUS’s use of email, social media, web, video, and emerging communications technologies. 

  • Campaigns & Project ManagementFurther the work of issue-oriented advocacy campaigns through communications, including through long-term, large-scale communications projects. 

  • OutreachIdentify and manage opportunities for community outreach at events, fairs, forums, and engagements that will broadly and strategically communicate the mission of the FOCUS and engage the community. Recruit, train and deploy volunteers to speak about FOCUS before community groups and in schools. 

  • Newsletter & PublicationsOversee production of the FOCUS newsletter and annual report as well as other reports, educational materials, brochures, fact sheets, and materials. 

  • Internal Communications & Administrative TasksCreate and maintain administrative resources and protocols that strengthen the organization, ease interdepartmental communications, and allow for long-term planning. Develop and oversee the Communications Department budget. 

  • BrandingOversee branding and design of FOCUS promotional materials. 


  • B.A. required, preferably in journalism, public relations, marketing, or English;
  • Minimum of four years of experience and demonstrated success in communications or related field, preferably in the nonprofit, government, or education sector;

  • Exceptional writing, editing, & analytical skills; versatility on a range of topics; and creativity; 

  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with members of the media. 
Knowledge of District of Columbia media, including digital outlets, a plus;
  • Ability to understand and grasp fast-changing media markets and platforms;
  • Ability to manage projects, such as reports and website creation, from inception through execution;
  • Strong, demonstrated commitment to the FOCUS's mission; a deep understanding of the range 
and implications of education reform issues;
  • Ability to work independently and organized in a fast-paced environment, while managing 
several projects simultaneously and adjusting to frequently shifting immediate demands;
  • Strong team-building and organizing skills;
  • Values differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance;
  • A diplomatic touch and a sense of humor. 


FOCUS offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience, within the parameters of a Washington, DC-based non-profit. Excellent benefits offered, including health insurance; life, short-, and long-term disability insurance; retirement plan; sick, vacation, and holiday leave; and public transit assistance.

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FOCUS Development Intern

FOCUS seeks a highly capable and energetic intern to support development efforts.

The Development Team leads FOCUS’S outreach, funding, and relationships with foundations, individuals, corporations, and other organizations. The Development Team is tasked with identifying, approaching and procuring funds from potential donors and stewarding and bolstering support from the current portfolio. The team serves as a bridge between external donors / stakeholders and advocacy, school services, technical, and school performance staff, and requires a strong commitment to educational equity and interest in participating in the development work of a non-profit.

The Development Intern will work on a variety of social media, data management, and event support projects, including but not limited to:

  • Enter and track contributions into FOCUS’s database
  • Support the donor stewardship process by preparing letters of acknowledgement
  • Help keep contact information for DC’s public charter schools updated
  • Share the FOCUS News Wire on social media platforms to support other communications outreach efforts
  • Support in the development of direct mail and social media campaigns for annual events, Giving Tuesday, and End of Year.
  • Collect updated photographs from schools
  • Support logistics for events including First Fridays, the DC Charter Conference, FOCUS’s annual fundraising gala, and the annual DC Data Summit.

Compensation: $15/hour. This internship is eligible for university credit (students must work this out with their university prior to the internship).


First Semester Internship: October 2017- December 2017; may be extended past December based on funding.

Hours: Interns work 10-15 hours per week on weekdays, generally between 9 am and 5pm with flexibility regarding days and hours

Our Ideal Candidate

  • Strong communication skills
  • Attention to detail and analytical / inquisitive approach
  • Prior work experience, ideally in fundraising for a non-profit, or related field in for-profit; education experience desirable.
  • Microsoft Office and extensive familiarity with internet research
  • Motivated, mature, independent, go-getter
  • Proficiency in customer relationship management (CRM) software a plus
  • Interest in education policy, as well as a strong commitment to public education and improving outcomes for disadvantaged students

How to Apply

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit an online application by going to: and clicking “Apply Here”. Qualified applicants will be contacted for an initial phone screen within 2-4 weeks of submitting applications. Please email with any questions.

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