Jobs / Director of Advancement

Director of Advancement



Northern Light School was founded September 11,1 989 by four women with a calling to provide a Whole Child Education for children who would not have the opportunity for a private school setting.

Since its founding, NLS has embodied the basic premise that it does indeed “Take a Village to Raise a Child.” At Northern Light School the “village” is so much more than the community of students, educators, and families who call the school home. NLS students are reminded daily that they are part of the global village of the world, and that because they live in an interdependent global society, they have an obligation to make the world a better place.

Inspired by the core ideals of the civil rights movement, NLS is also deeply committed to advancing the cause of social justice through culturally responsive programming that affirms the diversity of our community and gives young people the tools to “promote the moral advancement of humanity,” as the school mission states.

A Northern Light School education does not end when a child ventures forth into our global village. The sense of community they first encountered in our school is rooted deep within their character and serves them throughout their lives as they continue to positively impact others, and transform the world into a more thriving, beautiful place.

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Northern Light School is committed to providing a high quality education for children from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. The faculty and staff create an atmosphere where every child can grow academically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, to become healthy, productive members of their families and communities. The focus is on academic excellence as well as non-violence, acceptance of differences, respect for the environment, and the moral advancement of humanity-so that the children develop an understanding that they have a responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others.


The Director of Advancement (DOA) oversees the Development department and ensures that the department meets annual and capital revenue goals. The DOA works closely with the Director of Admissions and Marketing to help plan and execute marketing and communications strategies as well. The Director of Advancement works with the Head of School, Board of Directors, teacher leadership, and committees (Development, Finance, Executive, and Governance) to garner support for the fulfillment of NLS’ mission and programs. This is an exciting opportunity for an advancement professional to play a key leadership role in driving and sustaining NLS’s 5-year strategic plan. The Director of Advancement will be responsible for building an Advancement team with necessary staff additions.

To be successful in this role, you’ll be someone who will feel at home working in an environment that requires you to juggle multiple priorities and competing deadlines while never losing sight of the overarching goals and desired outcomes. The ideal candidate is both a big picture strategic thinker and has the ability to roll up their sleeves to move projects forward, a calm and thoughtful communicator, flexible, and resilient. The candidate must also collaborate well with others to consolidate efforts among various departments and constituency groups.


The Director of Advancement position reports to the Head of School and plays a critical role in the advancement of the Northern Light School (NLS) mission.


  • Collaboratively design, implement, and oversee a comprehensive fundraising program designed to broadly support the mission and strategic goals of the school.
  • Oversee all development efforts and programs, including annual giving, major gifts, alumni relations, stewardship, events, capital, endowment, and planned giving goals.
  • Create, maintain, and monitor the annual budget and goals for the Development & Marketing departments.
  • Lead and collaborate with the Development Team, Head of School, and Board to evaluate and execute NLS’s fundraising programs and case for support messaging.
  • Shape messaging that articulates and amplifies our commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and community outreach.
  • Support the Head of School in all advancement activities.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, close, and steward strategic individual donor relationships and corporate partnerships at the major gift level.
  • Prepare and partner with organizational leadership or other influencers involved in furthering donor relationships.
  • Work collaboratively with Finance on forecasting and to reconcile budgets.
  • Collaborate with the Head of School and the Board Chair on creating opportunities for meaningful engagement and solicitation of individuals.
  • Oversee a comprehensive moves management system including identification, research, strategizing, cultivation, solicitation, acknowledgment and stewardship for major donor, annual fund, and planned giving efforts.
  • Partner with the development team to create, implement, and manage any stewardship or fund raising events and effectively coordinate development activities with other NLS departments.
  • Author and teach others key organization (and case for support) messages.
  • Create, maintain, and monitor the annual budget and goals for the Development & Marketing departments.
  • Support marketing efforts to develop and implement a strategic plan to incorporate all communications tools and platforms, including newsletter, social media, press releases, etc.
  • Maintain active presence in local media, submitting press releases, & tracking media coverage.
  • Oversee development office personnel activities, including hiring and staffing.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Admissions and Marketing to address the School’s various communications needs.
  • Provide fund raising & marketing reports and analysis to the Head of School, Board, and Development Committee, and champion a culture of internal philanthropy at NLS.
  • Collaborate with the Director for Admissions and Marketing in developing a plan to increase mission-appropriate applicants through recruitment, advertising, and visibility.
  • Act as a contributing member of NLS’ leadership team, setting strategic priorities which align with our 5-year strategic plan, ultimately ensuring NLS can meet its long-term goals.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience required
  • 7+ years of broad fundraising experience in most fundraising vehicles (major gifts, direct mail, planned giving, foundations, special events, and capital campaigns)
  • 3-5 years of experience managing an organization’s marketing & communications, including annual reports, web pages, emails, and other organizational messages and publications
  • Ability to successfully engage, cultivate, and steward long-term partnerships that will ensure the philanthropic success of NLS
  • Strong work ethic, high level of integrity, and ability to handle sensitive information with discretion
  • Capacity for strategic leadership and vision to work with senior leadership on fund raising priorities and metrics to ensure accountability
  • Demonstrated organizational, staff and project management abilities
  • Excellent communication skills, including writing and public speaking
  • Proficient computer skills, including Microsoft Office suite and Google on line platform; experience in Salesforce or similar donor database preferred
  • Constant Contact or similar email platform experience a plus
  • Deep appreciation and understanding of NLS’ values and mission
  • All employees of Northern Light School are vaccinated against COVID-19. This position is 100% in school.


The salary range for this position is $125,000 to $150,000 plus full benefits.

To demonstrate our commitment to equity and equal pay for all, Cook Silverman Search will continue to post salary ranges on all of its job descriptions moving forward. The practice of not posting salaries perpetuates the gender wage gap and discriminates against people of color by causing individuals to negotiate from a disadvantaged starting point.


To apply for this position, or for additional information on the opportunity, please send a copy of your resume with a cover letter to Victoria Silverman at

All applications and inquiries will receive a response and be kept strictly confidential.

Northern Light School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Northern Light School
Victoria Silverman
Oakland, CA