Common Sense (commonsensemedia.org) is the nation's leading independent nonprofit organization devoted to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology. 

Every day, millions of families turn to Common Sense for trusted advice and unbiased ratings. We offer the largest library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for everything your kids want to watch, play, read, and learn. Our movie and TV ratings are available on Apple TV, Target.com, Xfinity, and many other partner platforms, helping kids and families make smart media choices. Through our schools program, we provide educators with a curriculum that teaches the essential digital citizenship and literacy skills every student needs to succeed. We also work with policymakers, industry leaders, legislators, and a grassroots community of concerned parents and teachers to improve the media, tech, and education landscape for kids, families, and schools.

Reporting to the Chief Strategy and Development Officer, the Senior Director, Foundation Partnerships will drive strategies and lead execution to expand a $20 million grant portfolio to support Common Sense’s next phase of growth.  The Senior Director is responsible for cultivating, securing, and stewarding major foundation relationships from initial introduction through grant approval and management.  Additionally, the Senior Director manages the foundation pipeline, dashboard, and grant-funding process, and leads a team of two-three grant writers/managers. 



LOCATION:  San Francisco, Ca 

REPORTS TO: Chief Strategy Development Officer



KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Strategy: 

  • Develop the overall foundation fundraising strategy to grow and support the organization’s new strategic plan and  its  award-winning K-12 education program, advocacy initiatives, and family and community engagement programs 
  • Work with program teams to frame and structure compelling proposals with clear goals, activities, and impact outcomes aligned with organizational priorities 
  • Prepare foundation portfolio projections and progress reports to incorporate into overall strategic and annual planning 
  • Keep abreast of trends relevant to Common Sense’s mission and programs and bring competitive challenges and new opportunities to attention of internal stakeholders
  • Stay current on foundation giving best practices and share knowledge with colleagues 

Fundraising and Foundation Relationships: 

  • Lead foundations team to cultivate, solicit, renew and expand a $20 million annual grant portfolio
  • Research, identify and secure introductory meetings with new foundation funders to ensure a strong and expanding foundations pipeline. 
  • Directly manage a portfolio of top foundations relationships of large multi-year grants ($1M+ annually) 
  • Collaborate with Chief Development Officer, executive leadership, and Board to raise  foundation funding for  “big bet” initiatives
  • Seek funding  that aligns with and supports our commitment to DEI 
  • Ensure high-quality team execution to meet strategic plans and revenue goals
  • Review, edit, and write (when appropriate) concept papers, proposals, progress reports, and budgets 
  • Act as an ambassador to present the organization’s mission and work  to  external audiences

Management and Administration

  • Supervise, nurture and support a team of two to three foundation fundraising managers and/or associates, providing strategic leadership, oversight, and coaching to support a collaborative and high performing team
  • Oversee internal information systems  (Salesforce) to assure the integrity of data 
  • Collaborate with Finance to refine systems and reconcile revenue reports 

POSITION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 8+ years of experience in foundation fundraising or grantmaking, ideally focused on funding  education, social policy, or children and family programs. 
  • Track record of success in securing six- and seven-figure foundation grants
  • Outstanding writing skills and demonstrated excellence in writing proposals, reports, and stewardship communications
  • Strong finance knowledge and ability to construct a project budget
  • Strategic mindset and ability to connect the program to larger strategic goals and outcomes and build compelling cases for support
  • Superior relationship-building skills and the ability to inspire confidence and excitement from foundation executives and program officers
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills and confidence in cultivating and soliciting high-level foundation officers
  • Deep understanding and commitment to DEI
  • Confidence and proven ability to build strong relationships 
  • Ability to connect priority programs to foundation strategic priorities and  build a compelling case for support 
  • Confidence and proven ability to  build and maintain strong relationships 
  • Strong managerial skills.  Proven ability in leading effective teams
  • Ability to manage  and lead a diverse team  with emotional intelligence and cultural sensitivity
  • A high degree of self-motivation, self-direction, and ingenuity in a highly entrepreneurial environment.
  • Proficiency with donor databases and office technology systems (including Google Suite and Salesforce, preferred)
  • Ability to thrive in a flexible, fast-paced, growth-oriented environment
  • Ability and willingness to travel (1-2 times per month)
  • Being bilingual in English and Spanish a plus
  • Passion for Common Sense’s mission

WHAT WE OFFER:

  • The chance to work with talented, passionate professionals
  • A great health and welfare benefits package, including medical, dental, vision and a matching 401(k)
  • An organization that offers work/life balance
  • The opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of kids and families!

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 [email protected].

Common Sense values the diversity of its employees and is an equal opportunity employer. For more information on our values, please visit our statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Common Sense will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. However, job offers are made on the condition that the applicant subsequently passes a criminal background check. If the background check indicates a prior criminal conviction, we will conduct an individualized assessment to determine whether the conviction should result in denial of employment.