Vice President of Development, California

  • Oakland, CA
  • Full Time
  • Experienced


uAspire is seeking a Vice President of Development to ensure that the uAspire California is aligned to the organization’s national vision and strategic direction and well positioned within the region’s higher education/college access and success community. The Vice President of Development will be responsible for sustaining and creating new influential funding relationships to secure the necessary financial resources and strategic positioning to effectively achieve our programmatic and policy impact within the region. 

The Vice President of Development is a seasoned fundraiser and relationship builder/steward, who can provide local leadership to successfully implement and align local operations and impact with national strategy and collective goals. The two primary responsibilities of the Vice President of Development are to ensure that the region has a diverse and sustainable funding portfolio, as well as strong strategic relationships, both internal and external, in order to meet the region’s programmatic and policy/systems change goals. While the Vice President of Development will not have any direct staff management responsibilities, the Vice President of Development’s Performance Management goals will be developed to ensure deep collaboration, engagement and decision-making with a cross-functional team representing the fundraising, program, and policy departments. 



The Vice President ofDevelopment will work with the Chief External Affairs Officer (CEAO) on essential strategic decisions and fundraising activities for uAspire’s California region. These include:

Fundraising & Earned Income Generation

  • The Vice President of Development, in partnership with uAspire's centralized fundraising staff, is part of the team responsible for meeting annual budget goals for the region
  • Working with the CEAO, ensure annual fundraising and earned income goals are achieved in direct coordination with the development and Business Development teams
  • Identifying, cultivating and stewarding strategic relationships with a diverse array of local foundation, corporate and individual donors, and raise additional funding, including multi-year commitments, necessary to sustain and grow the California regional operating budget in future years
  • Working in partnership with the National Development Team to identify and cultivate potential national funders interested in supporting uAspire California

Regional Strategy & Alignment -  In partnership with the CEAO, the Vice President of Development will develop and oversee uAspire’s fundraising strategy for the region. To achieve this, they will:

  • Serve as uAspire’s regional representative and spokesperson with funders, key stakeholders and constituents
  • Maintain a deep understanding of the region’s college access and success environment in order to proactively respond to opportunities and challenges
  • Ensure successful impact in direct collaboration with uAspire’s internal stakeholders 
  • Identify and pursue new partnership opportunities across California designed to increase financial, programmatic and policy support in order to raise awareness and increase uAspire’s regional impact

Manage & Leverage California Advisory Board of Directors

  • Actively engage and serve as thought-partner and facilitator to the relevant board committee/s in strategically aligning resources to advance uAspire’s mission. Work transparently with board members on strategic and operational priorities, initiatives, and challenges, in order to make full use of their strengths and knowledge to strengthen the organization’s internal capacity and external profile and impact
  • Partner with the CEAO and local board members to develop a multi-year strategic plan, annual operating plan, and annual budget that maximizes local impact and sustainability

Contribute to the continued development of uAspire’s organizational culture and values

  • Demonstrates the leadership and skills necessary to build upon uAspire’s strong organizational culture
  • Creates a supportive work environment, being mindful of team morale
  • Promotes and personally models behaviors of honesty, truth, respect, and fairness in interpersonal relations
  • Collaborates with the Talent team to implement organizational wide values and culture initiatives and where necessary adapts those to fit the local team dynamics and needs
  • Promotes an atmosphere where colleagues feel comfortable expressing their opinions, concerns, and feedback directly
  • Supports and participate in network-wide initiatives with the national office and with regional leaders, modeling and sharing best practices and learning
  • Establishes strong collaborative relationships with the staff across the uAspire network
  • Continues to carry out uAspire’s values through all programs both regionally and nationally: Student-Centered, Collaborative, Dedicated, Excellent, and Systems-Focused



We understand that people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. We encourage candidates to review the key responsibilities and qualifications below. If you believe you have the transferable skills necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this role, we encourage you to apply.

Education, Experience & Skills:

  • A Bachelor’s degree is required, and training that would provide the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the successful performance of the essential job duties. 
  • Minimum five years of nonprofit development and marketing experience. 
  • Managing a team of at least three full-time employees.
  • Collaborating with a volunteer Board. 
  • Passion for our mission of ensuring all young people have the opportunity to pursue and afford a  post-secondary education 
  • Belief in and adherence to uAspire's Organizational Values - Student-Centered, Excellent, Dedicated, Collaborative, and Systems-Focused
  • Knowledge about college access, persistence, and/or affordability; direct leadership experience and/or personal experience preferred 
  • Understanding of their own identity and the ways in which this impacts power dynamics and relationships with other program staff 
  • Experience managing change at the departmental level, including outstanding communication and change management practices 
  • Demonstrates strategic thinking and visioning; is able to keep the big and longer-range picture in mind when formulating plans, making decisions and taking action
  • Ability to make decisions in a timely manner, even when there is incomplete information, a tight deadline, or the decision may be unpopular 
  • Experience cultivating cross-functional teams and working effectively with colleagues toward common goals
  • Skilled in leading initiatives that balance innovation with continuous improvement 
  • Ability to develop creative solutions and engage in innovative thinking in order to seeing an issue or opportunity in new ways
  • Strong in transparent, clear and inclusive communication; able to move cross-functional teams through complex decision making and prioritization of needs
  • Ability to take in complex data and information, synthesize and determine best decisions and actions 



SALARY:  The salary range for this position is $103,500 - $115,375. Salary commensurate with experience and education.  All full-time employees receive a competitive benefits package.


STATUS: Exempt, full time

LOCATION AND WORK ARRANGEMENT: This position would be based out of California, with access to uAspire's Oakland, CA office.

REPORTS TO: Jermaine Myrie

VACCINATION REQUIREMENT: All uAspire employees are required to be fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination or proof of exemption for medical or religious reasons will be collected upon employee onboarding.

APPLICATIONS: Applicants should apply through uAspire’s website here.



Organization Vision: uAspire imagines a day when all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential by graduating from college, regardless of their families’ financial resources or college experiences. 

Organization Summary:  uAspire is a national leader in providing college affordability services to young people, families, and college access and success practitioners. By 2022, uAspire’s strategic plan aims to impact the lives of 3,000,000 young people through:

  • Student Advising: In person and over text, we support students one-on-one to maximize financial aid, minimize loan debt, and make informed financial decisions about the best post-secondary option for them.
  • Training: Online and in-person we provide professional development for school counselors and college access providers, sharing our expertise so they can effectively support their students.
  • Policy & Systems Change: To level the playing field for young people from all economic backgrounds, we work to improve financial aid systems so everyone has a chance to graduate with a degree they can afford. 

uAspire is an equal opportunity employer, fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace that embraces and encourages applicants of every background.  The company’s policy regarding equal employment opportunity means that all decisions regarding recruitment, hiring, benefits, wage and salary administration, scheduling, disciplinary action and termination will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship status, pregnancy or maternity, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.


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