Director of Development and Communications

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Location: Berkeley, CA
Who We Are:

The Edible Schoolyard Project (ESYP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the transformation of public education. We use organic school gardens, kitchens, and cafeterias to teach academic subjects alongside the values of nourishment, stewardship, equity and community. An edible education provides students with dynamic and joyful learning experiences that connect them to nature, food, and one another. Since 2009, ESYP has focused on building capacity among a global network of educators to create and sustain strong edible education programs in their home communities. The organization was founded in 1995 by Alice Waters, the sustainable agriculture champion, school food reform advocate, and founder of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, CA. 

What it Means To Work Here

When you join our team, you become part of a curious, collaborative, equity-focused group of colleagues that appreciates creativity and finds joy in our collective mission. We are deeply committed to providing an edible education using a whole-child model that encourages learning by doing and teaches life skills, academics, environmental stewardship, and health in the garden and kitchen classroom. Our work environment appeals to those who are self-starters, enjoy working as part of a small team, and are able to communicate and engage the ESYP vision. In response to COVID-19, we are currently utilizing a hybrid work from home model with limited in-person office time. We are focused on keeping our team safe, and we review policies and practices on a routine basis.

Position Description

The Director of Development and Communications is responsible for the management and execution of ESYP’s fundraising and communications goals. This individual will manage a personal portfolio of at least 50 prospects and provide direct supervision to a Development Officer and other members of the development and communications team. Working with the Executive Director and our Founder, Alice Waters, the Director will develop and implement a comprehensive plan for fundraising, including Annual Fund, major gifts, planned gifts, and corporate/ foundation fundraising. This position reports to the Executive Director and works closely with the Board of Directors and other senior staff members.

ESYP seeks a person who is skilled at fundraising and has a strategic mindset. Candidates will provide the resources and systems necessary to foster a positive and productive work environment for their team. In addition, we are seeking a candidate with great interpersonal skills who can engage with a wide audience and has a passion for food and education.

Key Responsibilities


  • Works with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to implement a development strategy that achieves an annual fund goal of $2.5 million.
  • Qualifies and cultivates prospective donors; manages a personal portfolio of at least 50 high-level donors and prospects. 
  • Develops and implements strategies for solicitation of major gifts, including management of ongoing relationships with prospects and donors, recommending specific purpose and level of gift, identifying those who should be included in cultivation and solicitation, and assuring that solicitations are executed; manages timeline of major gift tasks and actions for senior staff and Board
  • Supervises one Development Officer and other team members who support the administrative and engagement functions of the department. Develops and implements programs for staff professional development, process documentation and improvement, and progress tracking.
  • Oversees Annual Fund solicitations (mailings, emails, renewals, etc.)
  • Manages weekly team meetings and maintains team goals and timelines.
  • Plans and executes ESYP’s annual fundraising events, including the recruitment of hosts, ticket sales,  corporate and family foundation sponsorship, and auctions.
  • Provides detailed reports about fundraising progress on a regular basis and evaluates effectiveness of fundraising activities.
  • Manages a collaborative grant writing process involving multiple team members, including writing proposals, grant reports, and communicating with grantors.
  • Collaborates with staff to ensure an effective program for recognition, involvement, and stewardship of major donors.
  • Supports major campaigns and ensures clear communication between consultants and the ESYP team.


  • Develops and maintains a communications strategy and work plan in partnership with Development Officer and the Executive Director 
  • Leads the creation and dissemination of content and messaging including regular donor communications, social media, newsletters, and website content.
  • Manages deadlines, schedules, and assets for all communications projects including website content, newsletters, direct mail appeals, and the annual report.
  • Serves as final editor of all fundraising and engagement content for consistent voice and messaging
  • Directs the process for designed printed collateral and promotional materials annually.
The Strongest Candidate Will Have: 
  • Five to eight years on a Development career tract or equivalent fundraising experience.
  • Successful track record of overseeing a major gifts program, knowledge of a capital campaign, an endowment campaign and/or a planned giving program. Success in identifying, cultivating, and directly soliciting major gifts of $100,000 or more. 
  • Demonstrated success writing and securing grants from foundations with a national reach.
  • Experience working with Berkeley and the Bay Area’s philanthropic community.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including strong presentation skills.
  • Excellent time-management skills with the ability to plan, organize, and prioritize workload and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Experience with content management systems and proficiency in MS Office tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Suite, CiviCRM, MailChimp, and Adobe Creative Cloud tools (Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver). ESYP primarily utilizes an Apple/Mac ecosystem.
  • Appreciates the role of beauty in the design process.
  • Enthusiasm for food and food systems, and an understanding of how healthy food supports students’ ability to learn.
  • Ability to motivate and reward a team of colleagues in pursuit of stated objectives.
  • An innovative mindset and ability to dream big, while being mindful of day-to-day fundraising needs.
  • Strong, demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
What We Offer:

The Edible Schoolyard is offering a competitive salary based on skills and experience. The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $100,000 per year and includes a generous benefits package and vacation policy. Professional development opportunities are provided. This is a full-time non-exempt position. The Edible Schoolyard is an equal opportunity employer and gives consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, disability or protected veteran status, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Applications will be accepted until October 18th, 2021. Please send a cover letter and resume to