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TFA Is Expanding Its “Pipeline of Philanthropists.” Interested?

February 24, 2020

Teacher temp org, Teach for America (TFA), is adding two “leadership gifts officers,” or fundraisers focused on enlisting more “seven- and eight-figure” philanthropic donors, or “ensur[ing] that Teach For America’s pipeline of philanthropists is ever-expanding and increasingly diverse.”

Interestingly, TFA’s corresponding “VP, Leadership Gift Officer” position requires “at least 10+ years of fundraising experience.” TFA specializes in tossing inexperienced college grads with degrees outside of education into America’s classrooms in the name of “building champions of education and equity,” but when it comes to schmoozing high-dollar donors, 10+ years of experience required.

Below is the job posting, in full.

Vice President, Leadership Gifts Officer

TEAM: National Development
REPORTS TO: Vice President of Individual Giving
LOCATION(S): Flexible; NY/NJ/CT, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Boston are highly preferred

Teach For America is expanding our Leadership (seven- and eight-figure) Gifts portfolio.  We are hiring two new Leadership Gifts Officers, in thriving philanthropic markets across the country, to help grow the number of donors supporting Teach For America at the highest levels. Each Leadership Gifts Officer (LGO) is responsible for setting the advanced strategy to raise national and regional revenue for their portfolio, and supporting the behind-the-scenes activities required to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward high net worth private philanthropists.  LGOs work in very close partnership and act as strategic thought partners to our CEO, executive management team and regional Executive Directors/Heads of Development, to position them as the primary frontline fundraisers at this level of giving.

This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals with extensive and sophisticated donor-centered fundraising experience, a demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with internal partners, and a deep commitment to Teach For America’s mission. The ideal candidates will bring an entrepreneurial spirit and be enthusiastic contributors in setting the vision, strategy, and direction for the collective Leadership Gifts portfolio. They will also support an evolving national fundraising campaign and strengthen internal operating systems and approaches, as Teach For America continues to build a sophisticated, best in class fundraising operation. LGOs will report directly to the Vice President of Individual Giving on the National Development team.

There are more than 16 million children growing up in poverty in the U.S., and less than 10 percent of them will graduate from college. These statistics are not a reflection of our children’s potential; we know that children growing up in poverty can and do achieve at the highest levels. Rather, these statistics reflect the systemic lack of access and opportunity for children in low-income communities.

Teach For America’s (TFA) mission is to find, develop, and support a diverse network of leaders committed to expanding opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate. We are seeking individuals who align with our mission, core values and commitment to Diversity Equity & Inclusiveness and are ready to join us in this global movement.


The Leadership Gift Officer is responsible for:

  • Managing a portfolio of 100 7- and 8-figure donors and prospects at the national and regional levels, which could include:
    • Setting ambitious annual portfolio fundraising goals (in partnership with VP and regional leaders) and defining the pathway to meet them
    • Serving as a primary strategist and central relationship manager of donors in the portfolio, in partnership with regional and national senior leaders
    • Overseeing, strategizing, and/or executing on general fundraising operations and stewardship of donors and prospects using management infrastructure
    • Serving as primary liaison to Teach For America’s senior leaders in preparing for high-stakes donor engagements
    • Identifying new prospects in partnership with the Prospect Strategy and Research team to bring into the portfolio to ensure that Teach For America’s pipeline of philanthropists is ever-expanding and increasingly diverse
    • Capturing relevant donor and prospect information in Salesforce system
  • Building exceptionally strong, collaborative relationships with regional partners and national teams, promoting an org-wide development orientation by:
    • Forging and fostering deep partnerships with regional colleagues to understand their unique educational ecosystems and funding needs and being fully committed to making regions within the LGO portfolio strong and sustainable
    • Partnering and advising executive directors and regional development teams to steward key leadership donors in the portfolio
    • Partnering closely to contribute to strong donor-centered strategies and enterprise-focused development mindsets and instincts across the organizations
    • Leveraging people and resources within the TFA network (program team leads, senior leadership, national board members) that enable strong engagement opportunities for donors and prospects
    • Strategically aligning unique funding opportunities with donors’ interests and including, at times, playing a key role in the design and execution of key events
    • Attending regional events and board meetings (as appropriate)
  • Contributing toward building a collective culture of excellence, teamwork, and Core Values leadership on the Leadership Gifts Team by:
    • Enhancing prospecting, cultivation, stewardship, goal setting, strategic planning and progress management approaches, together with other LGOs, the Vice President of Individual Giving, the Individual Giving team and the broader National Development team
    • Surfacing ideas and connections in support of broader team prospecting and stewardship efforts, events and engagements
    • Deeply understanding and being able to articulate national fundraising needs and opportunities including supporting the development of a new national fundraising campaign

Prior Experience

  • At least 10+ years of fundraising experience with a strong record of results required
  • Experience working within individual giving stream is highly preferred
  • 3+ years of demonstrated success in personally supporting senior leaders in cultivating, soliciting and closing philanthropic gifts required
  • Experience working closely with an institution’s president/CEO, other executive leaders both internal and external to an institution, and fellow development professionals
  • Experience launching, growing, and/or managing a portfolio
  • Knowledge of MS Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and Excel is required
  • Experience working in Salesforce systems a plus


  • Deep commitment to Teach For America’s vision and mission and to the communities in which the Leadership Gift Officer will operate
  • Commitment to understanding complex org-wide budgeting and programming
  • Comfort in managing a portfolio, but not necessarily being the key solicitor/external face of the relationship/organization
  • A high degree of flexibility, optimism, and sense of possibility
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills across different media
  • Thrives in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial, goal-oriented environment
  • Very strong at building relationships and influencing others toward outcomes with demonstrated ability to partner effectively with others to reach big goals
  • Highly motivated to be a steward of Teach For America – building champions of educational excellence and equity – and partner with regional leaders to be strong development professionals and stewards of Teach For America
  • A problem-solving orientation – can break down problems, define pathways forward, and invest others in a solution
  • Inclined to want to improve internal team operations and systems


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Certified Fundraising Executive designation is a nice to have

Work Demands

  • Travel 5-7 times per quarter
  • Typical work days are 10 hours

The National Development team builds and strengthens Teach For America’s philanthropic partnerships. Our team inspires donors to invest in the future of our country by investing in TFA’s work with students nationally and regionally. We help educate staff in the knowledge and practices of fundraisers. Our team is responsible for ensuring that our fundraising infrastructure supports and sustains TFA’s ambitious short- and long-term mission.

By joining staff, you join a network of individuals committed to pursuing equity for all students and developing themselves as professionals in the process. We as an organization value the longevity of our employees and offer a comprehensive and competitive benefits plan. The salary for this position is also competitive and depends on your prior work experience. Please be advised, you will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.

Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort.

Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

*This job description reflects Teach For America’s assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management’s right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time.

Interested in this position? Apply now! Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the link to the online application. Please note that a cover letter detailing (1) your interest in Teach For America’s mission and (2) how your previous experiences relate to this role is required. If you still have questions regarding the role, feel free to contact our recruitment team at or

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From → TFA

  1. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    ONLY TFA….? Not TFA for the world? What they need are some venture capitalists who can see how to make money by supporting TFA. JUst kidding. You are spot on in noting that amateurs are not wanted for this job but are fine for working with children.

  2. Karla Barham permalink

    Salary needs to be what they offer to first year TFA teachers in a charter. Bet that would bring no applicants.

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