Director of Development & Marketing

Compensation: $65,000 – $75,000 DOE/neg
Locations: San Diego, CA
Reports To: Executive Director
Direct Reports: 2 (Marketing Assistant, Graphic Designer-contract)

Our Story

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a brighter future through education. And to pursue that dream, no student should have to choose between paying for classes or rent, or for purchasing textbooks or their next meal.  Yet thousands of students across our region face these inequitable situations every day:

  • 70% of California community college students experience food and/or housing insecurity.
  • The national college graduation rate for transitional age former foster youth is 8%.
  • At SDSU alone, there are 3,000 unsheltered students.

Wesley House is a public, non-profit organization that for over 80 years has been empowering students to achieve their goals by providing affordable housing and support services. We also operate a two-story student residence building adjacent to the SDSU campus, serving students attending either SDSU or local surrounding community colleges. Our organization is uniquely positioned to aid systemically marginalized student populations, including foster youth, low-income, and/or first-generation college students. 80% of Wesley House students are the first in their families to attend college.

Wesley House provides comprehensive, customized programs to our residents, including:

  • Seminars with partner organizations, designed to increase academic success and social and emotional well-being. Sessions include financial literacy, financial aid, career exploration and preparation, mental health awareness, fitness, and social activities.
  • A full-scale food pantry, ensuring our residents have consistent access to nutritious food.
  • The Second Start Program, which provides 1 year of free housing for college students who are former foster youth experiencing homelessness, paired with support services.
  • The Transitional Bridge Program, which provides 1 year of housing for current residents who have graduated but need additional assistance transitioning to independent housing.

Based in our office immediately adjacent to the SDSU campus, our team of 2 full-time and 2 part-time staff oversee an annual operating budget of $400,000 and a property management company. For additional information regarding Wesley House, please visit:


Wesley House is the only nonprofit organization in San Diego addressing affordable housing and related issues for college students from a holistic and inclusive perspective.  As such, we see both tremendous need for our services, and incredible growth potential for both this position and our organization. This is an opportunity for a passionate philanthropy professional to reimagine and relaunch our fundraising and marketing efforts. As a small, tight-knit team, we highly value individual initiative, flexibility and fresh thinking. Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will have full responsibility across all areas of development. This includes campaigns, individual giving, major gifts, planned giving, special events, grant writing, annual giving, and corporate sponsorships. Donor stewardship and gift management activities will also fall under their area of responsibility. The Director will be entrusted and encouraged to think creatively about how Wesley House can reach its development and marketing goals with creative new strategies and tactics.

Priority areas for this position include:

  1. Conducting a top-to-bottom review and analysis of our current development function; recommend changes and upgrades as needed.
  2. Analyzing our current marketing strategy and tactics; make adjustments to ensure they are fully coordinated with and support our fundraising efforts.
  3. Partnering closely with the Executive Director to create a new development plan, clearly defining our fundraising strategy and milestones.
  4. Building awareness in the donor community about our history and impact through effective marketing, brand building and storytelling.
  5. Identifying and securing new donors
  6. Rekindling relationships and reactivating earlier donor relationships.

Duties & Responsibilities

Fund Development (60%)

  • Lead our efforts to expand our donor portfolio and diversify our funding sources.
  • Partner with the Executive Director to create and launch a comprehensive annual fund initiative.
  • Oversee our donor stewardship and gift management efforts.
  • Work with the Marketing Assistant and contract graphic designer to develop and enhance promotion and recognition tools for donors.
  • In partnership with the Executive Director and staff, oversee all phases of grant development, including identification, writing, editing, production and follow-up reporting.
  • Manage our grants pipeline and portfolio with a deadline-driven and highly collaborative approach.

Marketing Management (20%)

  • In conjunction with the Executive Director, develop and implement a comprehensive marketing plan with responsibilities that include, but are not limited to, design, direct mail, writing copy, special events management, public relations, and website.
  • Build the Wesley House brand and manage our social media presence to maximum effect.
  • Create compelling impact stories to share with donors, sponsors, media and other stakeholders.
  • Coordinate the creation of marketing collateral materials including design, production, printing and distribution.

Stewardship & Gift Management (20%)

  • Manage receipts, processing, acknowledgement and fulfillment of gifts, grants and pledges; maintain electronic and hard copy files; work with the Executive Director to ensure consistency between the donor database and accounting system.
  • Implement a moves management system to identify and secure new donors while ensuring existing donors are continuously engaged, recognized and appreciated.
  • Plan and manage fundraising events, including logistics, attendance, invitations and pre/post-event follow up; implement strategies to convert event donors to organization donors.
  • Work with the Executive Director on donor cultivation events.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Attributes & Work Style

  • Connects authentically to our mission of providing affordable housing and support services to low-income and systemically marginalized students.
  • Acts with humility, self-awareness, and an unyielding ethical standard.
  • Demonstrates persistence, a strong personal initiative, and a drive to complete projects.
  • Recognizes untapped potential and leverages these opportunities.
  • An effective ambassador and storyteller; a true “people-person.”
  • Listens attentively to others. Asks clarifying questions to gain a better understanding.
  • Works effectively in team environments, actively participating in joint problem solving.
  • Identifies and takes advantage of opportunities for personal and professional development
  • Highly dependable; arrives to meetings prepared and on time; honors work commitments; follows through on what was agreed upon; meets deadlines.
  • Adheres to rules, regulations and policies; positively contributes to implementing changes.
  • Deals with issues directly, in a respectful and timely manner.

Experience & Skill Set

  • Bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience in the following areas:
    • Fundraising/development/advancement/philanthropy
    • Digital marketing, social media and content development.
    • Branding campaigns and communications
  • Solid understanding of fundraising strategies, systems, and processes.
  • Strong written, oral, and listening skills, and able to connect with and inspire a wide range of partners and stakeholders.
  • Good business acumen; able to devote attention to both short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Grant writing experience, preferably within the social services sector.

Wesley House Student Residence, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating a positive and inclusive work environment for all employees

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director, Blair Search Partners