Director of Development and Communications Job Description

Location: Berkeley, CA
Who We Are:

The Edible Schoolyard Project (ESYP) is dedicated to transforming the health and wellness of children in the Bay Area and beyond. By designing hands-on experiences in our garden, kitchen, and cafeteria we connect children to food, nature, and one another. At the heart of an Edible Education is a dynamic and joyful learning experience for every child. The Edible Schoolyard Project 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 are part of a curious, collaborative, equity-focused team that appreciates creativity and finds joy in our collective mission. At the Edible Schoolyard Project, the student is the center/focus in every decision that is made. We are deeply committed to providing an Edible Education using a whole-child educational model which teaches life skills, academics, environmental stewardship, and health in the garden and kitchen classroom. Our work environment appeals to those who enjoy working independently and as part of a team and are able to communicate and engage the ESYP vision.

Position Description

The Edible Schoolyard Project is looking for a Director of Development and Communications. This is a full-time position providing management and execution of the fundraising and communications goals of The Edible Schoolyard Project. This position reports to the Executive Director and will build and manage a staff of three.

We are seeking a person who is highly skilled in team management and has a strategic mindset. Candidates will provide the resources and systems necessary to have 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.

The Development and Communications Director will be responsible for achieving annual fundraising goals of $2 million through a variety of revenue streams including individual cultivation and solicitation, engagement of family foundations, writing grants, planning and executing events, and recruiting corporate support. The Director is responsible for providing significant development support to the Executive Director and Founder Alice Waters, tracking actual revenue against budget forecasts and generating reports for the management team and Board of Directors. The Director will concurrently be responsible for developing and executing an annual communications calendar for both online, direct mail, and printed promotional materials throughout the year. In addition, the Director will produce an annual report and quarterly updates for the public pertaining to the work of the organization. All communications will help to engage the ESYP vision on a national and international platform across a broad group of constituents and stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities


  • Work with management staff, Executive Director, and Board of Directors to implement an annual development plan that achieves an annual fundraising goal of $2 million.
  • Meet one-on-one with ESY’s current major donors to steward and solicit.
  • Work one-on-one with the Executive Director and ESYP Founder to set up donor meetings, proposals, and successful solicitations.
  • Plan and execute ESYP’s annual fundraising events, including recruiting committee hosts, ticket sales, gaining corporate and family foundation sponsorship, and auction items.
  • Manage an organization-wide fundraising calendar with deadlines for proposals, reports, activities, and events.
  • Provide detailed reports about the fundraising progress on a regular basis and evaluate effectiveness of fundraising activities.
  • Manage a collaborative grant writing process involving multiple team members, including writing proposals, grant reports, and communicating with grantors.
  • Ensure grant terms are met with compliance, records are maintained and that funders are acknowledged in a timely fashion.
  • Research and identify new individual donors, foundations, corporate, and other funding opportunities.
  • Oversee planning and implementation of beneficiary events.


  • Develop and maintain a communications strategy and work plan in partnership with the Management and Communications team.
  • Lead the execution and dissemination of content and messaging including regular donor communications, social media, newsletters, and website content.
  • Manage deadlines, schedules, and assets for all communications projects including website content, newsletters, direct mail appeals, and the annual report.
  • Copyedit and proofread outgoing documents.
  • Direct the process for designed printed collateral and promotional materials annually.

The Strongest Candidates Will Have:

  • Minimum of 8 years of professional experience in development and communications, including online marketing or a demonstrated track record that matches this experience.
  • Successful track record of overseeing a major gifts program, such as a capital campaign, an endowment campaign and/or a planned giving program. Success in identifying, cultivating, and directly soliciting major gifts of $100,000 and more.
  • Success writing and winning grants from significant national foundations.
  • Experience working with Berkeley and the Bay Area’s philanthropic community.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including strong presentation skills.
  • Ability to effectively work with and within a donor database in order to track donor “moves” and history.
  • Excellent computer skills, direct experience working with website development, social media, and newsletter services.
  • 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, Dreamweaver). This is a Macintosh environment.
  • 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 able to dream big, while being mindful of day-to-day fundraising needs.
  • Strong, demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Communication and Outreach

  • Maintain healthy relationships with ESY staff, King teachers and administrative staff, students, parents, neighbors, school garden and kitchen educators and ESY affiliates.
  • Maintain an awareness of and actively participate in ESY events, school events, and relevant community events.
  • Participate in ESY staff meetings and professional development.
  • Represent ESY program to the wider community.
What We Offer

The Edible Schoolyard Project offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package.

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.

Application Information

To apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé via email to by July 12th.

No phone inquiries or drop-ins, please.