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Aurora Institute

Development Director

Type: Full-time

Program Area: Operations

The Aurora Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Aurora is shaping the future of teaching and learning for more than 14 million students through its work in policy advocacy, research, and field-building/convening. Aurora works on systems change in K-12 education, identifies root causes in structures, promotes best practices, examines policy barriers, and makes recommendations for change. Aurora has a national and global view of education innovation and lifts up promising policies and practices that yield improved outcomes for students. Aurora envisions a world where all people are empowered to attain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to achieve success, contribute to their communities, and advance society.

Through its strategic policy work, research, field-building and knowledge creation, and convening and connecting education leaders, the Aurora Institute has established itself as a leading voice and trusted source in the field of K-12 education. It is particularly recognized as a leader in the field around education innovation policies and practices. Partner organizations, systems leaders and policymakers across the country rely heavily on the Aurora Institute’s thought leadership and policy expertise.


The Aurora Institute is seeking a Development Director to lead fundraising strategy and execution for the organization. This person will work closely with the CEO, COO and Board of Directors to create and execute on a development plan, including identifying new individual and foundation donors, developing multiple strategies for reaching them, and ensuring accurate systems for revenue forecasting and grants management. The ideal candidate for this position will have: a proven track record in fundraising with a history of raising $2-3M a year; expertise in relationship building with individuals and foundation leaders (strong preference for existing contacts in the education policy philanthropic space); and a collaborative approach to working with colleagues inside and outside the organization. This is an exciting opportunity for someone passionate about finding innovative solutions to the equity challenges our nation’s education systems face to help lead the field in developing answers that will lead to long-lasting change. The Aurora Institute staff work remotely so this position is geographically flexible.


Key Responsibilities of the Development Director include:

  • Serve as the resident development lead, working closely with the CEO, Board of Directors and other team members to identify new revenue opportunities, communicate effectively about the organization’s strengths and strategic priorities, and build its brand with national, regional and local funders/grantmakers in education;
  • Build and maintain enduring relationships, continuing to develop the Aurora Institute’s support base across the country and deepen its connections in the education funding community;
  • Work closely with the CEO and other senior leaders to represent the organization publicly, developing clear and compelling written communications and speak on its behalf at meetings, conferences, convenings, and donor events;
  • Support the CEO and Board of Directors in crafting a strategic development plan for fundraising, implementing it successfully, and ensuring the organization is on track to meet its revenue goals.


To fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Development Director will be:

  • Passionate about the Aurora Institute’s mission and vision of transforming education systems and accelerating innovation to ensure high-quality learning for all students;
  • An experienced professional who is able to make decisions that drive towards results, with a track record of success raising money at a similar scale and for comparable organizations;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with knowledge about how to put these principles into practice in the organization’s external communications and small group meetings with funders;
  • Culturally competent and a self-reflective leader who understands the effects of race, class, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and other issues of difference in society and is able to lead direct conversations about them;
  • An exceptional relationship builder who can create connections with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders;
  • Experienced in working effectively with other C-level leaders and a Board of Directors;
  • Skilled in strategic planning, project management, and organization; able to focus on key organizational priorities without losing sight of the details;
  • Comfortable overseeing development operations for an organization of similar size.


The Aurora Institute provides competitive compensation and benefits. More details can be provided upon request.


This search is being conducted by Edgility Consulting. Please visit for more information.

Aurora Institute is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.