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Chief Development Officer

As one of the nation’s fastest-growing nonprofits, we are on a mission to revolutionize growing up, starting in high schools, and working in close partnership with educators, researchers, and leading philanthropists. Our vision is for young people everywhere to realize their power to shape their world, with the support they need to unlock their full potential and unique genius.

We began working toward this mission with a learning community of about 50 schools across the country to build our first innovation: a program through which young people learn to discover their passion and purpose and use them to build Future Projects—campaigns, organizations, products, or events—that change their lives, schools, and world. At the heart of our model is a new role in society—the Dream Director, a transformational coach and leader trained to deliver our methodology for unlocking potential in young people. By implementing an evidence-based curriculum that we developed and rigorously tested, Dream Directors lead young people to develop the leadership skills, mindsets, and experiential learning that research has shown is correlated with 21st century success.

Today, we reach 30,000+ students, across 11 school districts in eight states. We have not only seen incredible growth, we have seen incredible outcomes for our youth:

  • 97% of TFP students grow in the set of critical skills and mindsets -- like optimism, self-directed learning, and goal-setting -- that we measure through our validated Possibility Profile tool.
  • Over 90% of TFP schools report an increase in attendance among students working closely with TFP—and, in some cases, for the whole school.
  • 94.5% of our alumni graduate high school—compared with a 70% national average—and report thriving in college, a career, or an entrepreneurial endeavor several years after graduation.
  • 95% of our principals say TFP exceeds expectations of impact on their students and school culture.

The Future Project lives to create transformational solutions -- with bold, sometimes audacious undertakings - in service of our nation’s youth. We have reinvented school landscapes, developed life-changing student outcomes, and built a truly phenomenal team of experts, innovators, and educators dedicated to our mission. Inspired by our progression, and deeply motivated to reach as many young people as possible, we are now moving forward with a bold strategy to train one million young people across the country to build a future that they'll love.

We have grown to become an incredibly talented and eclectic team of over 100 diverse, full-time staff in offices and high schools spanning from our hub in New York City to communities across the nation, including Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, New Haven, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.  We value creative vision and persistence in our work, fostering a tight-knit culture of inclusion, shared leadership, and continuous learning. According to Gallup survey data, we’re in the 99th percentile of all organizations that care about their team's development and opportunities to grow. That’s because we deeply embrace the growth-mindset - encouraging and investing in every Future Family member to develop their greatest potential at work and beyond.

We know that our team has been key to our tremendous success over the last six years; and it will take bold investment in our people to fulfill on our bold strategy to train one million young people across the country  That’s why we are seeking experienced, passionate, and imaginative executives – who love to activate the genius in others – to build out major functions of the organization and follow through on its most audacious project.

The Opportunity

Your dream and objective is to create a nonprofit revenue engine at The Future Project. As Chief Development Officer, you will have a compelling role as visionary, strategist, fundraiser, entrepreneur, relationship-builder, and champion for our mission.

Working closely with the Board, CEO and President, you will spearhead an ambitious development effort, driving big opportunities and providing both the strategic direction and deal-making confidence required to successfully propel us to (and maybe past!) our $100M cumulative goal.

You will provide leadership and guidance to three accomplished Senior Directors and two junior associates – responsible for Philanthropy, Partnerships and Development Operations – and will aggressively build-out the team to keep up with its ambitious strategy and stellar fundraising success. And because development is a team sport, you will be the Future Project’s coach and captain, shaping the organizational routines, practices, and knowledge that activates champions across all of our teams.

Specific Responsibilities

Strategy and Leadership

  • As a key member of senior leadership and executive team, contribute to overall organizational strategy, you will lead the mission-critical creation of the annual revenue pipeline - enhancing existing fundraising strategies while overseeing the development, testing and implementation of new fundraising and fee-for-service initiatives.
  • Design, develop, and lead a comprehensive and sustainable fundraising strategy to reach our $20M annual goal and $100M investment campaign goal.
  • Ensure our programmatic and functional goals are translated into development objectives and yield valuable, long-term outcomes.
  • Advise the CEO, President, leadership council on organizational strategy and direction
  • Lead and advise the development team’s growth and build-out to keep up with its ambitious strategy and stellar fundraising success.

Donor, Prospect, and Board Stewardship

  • Develop the annual revenue pipeline - enhancing existing fundraising strategies while overseeing the development, testing and implementation of new fundraising and fee-for-service initiatives.
  • Manage and grow a targeted portfolio of major individual and institutional funders/partners giving at the $1-5M+ level.
  • Oversee and directly lead the cultivation engagement, and solicitation of a core portfolio of unique philanthropists to support our mission through direct gifts, thought expertise, and deep engagement.
  • Develop and recruit an outstanding board, and provide strategic counsel on significant relationships held by the executive team and Board.

Marketing and Communications

  • Working closely with the Marketing team, lead the design and implementation of marketing and communications strategy that raises the visibility and thought leadership of The Future Project in the philanthropic landscape.
  • Ensure that all development communications materials serve our goals, delivering high impact, visibility, and excellence with consistent branding and messaging.

Operations and Team Management

  • Lead a comprehensive development operations program - ensuring the thoughtful engagement of partners, including how we share information, exchange insights and co-invest in opportunities.
  • Design and build development systems and structures that provide both support and accountability, with room for flexibility, across all fundraising activities, including donor communications, stewardship, research/prospecting and analytics.
  • Directly supervise and manage three senior leaders and two junior associates.


The Future Project team is based in New York City, specifically on Union Square West.

What To Expect

Once we’ve reviewed your background, our executive recruitment partner will be in touch to learn more about why this opportunity excites you and we’ll begin our conversations there. If, as we get to know each other, we mutually choose to move forward, we’ll ask for you to make something meaningful with us – and, together, we’ll see how that feels.

We look forward to having our Chief Development Officer in place during the summer/fall of 2018.


If you or someone in your network is interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact:

Tory Clarke - Partner, Bridge Partners


The Future Project is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against an applicant or employee based on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, alienage or citizenship status, ancestry, nationality, national origin, marital or domestic partnership or civil union status, familial status, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, The Future Project will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.

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