Executive Director

Location: San Diego, CA
Reports to: Board of Directors
Direct Reports: Operations Manager

Our Story

Our mission is to prepare all students to thrive in a competitive, global society. For over 20 years, the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) has united business, community, and educational leaders to create innovative learning environments in San Diego County public schools. CFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aligned with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and supports all 42 districts in the county (covering 500,000 students and 55,000 teachers and staff).

With an equity-focused approach, we raise critical funding to bring additional resources to underserved communities. Our strategic plan for 2017-2021 includes two key initiatives: 1) College & Career Pathways, which establishes new college and career tracks for San Diego students through partnerships between school districts and businesses, and 2) Innovation in Education, which strives to close the digital divide through innovative technology integration in the classroom. For more information regarding the Classroom of the Future Foundation, please visit: http://wp.classroomofthefuture.org/

Position Summary

The Classroom of the Future Foundation is looking for a driven, entrepreneurial leader to serve as its next Executive Director. With SDCOE providing backend support, plus an experienced Operations Manager on staff, the Executive Director is optimally positioned to focus on growing the organization’s revenue streams and managing an approximately $1M annual budget. This individual will help forge new relationships in the community to build CFF’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. The Executive Director will have ultimate responsibility for growing and managing the entire fundraising portfolio, including campaigns, individual giving, major gifts, planned giving, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, special events, and an annual fund. By identifying and developing new revenue sources, the Executive Director will ensure the organization’s sustainability, both short-term and long-term. They will be the face of our organization, actively forming and enriching partnerships with our Board of Directors, the SDCOE, and educators and community leaders in the greater San Diego region.

Priorities within the first year include:

  • Foster meaningful relationships with CFF’s various stakeholders, including the Board of Directors, SDCOE, school districts, donors, and additional San Diego community members.
  • Refresh and launch the 5-year strategic plan.
  • Create a new development plan, with a focus on growing individual giving, major gifts, foundation grants, and corporate sponsors.
  • Launch a fundraising campaign for the new Linda Vista Learning Labs project.
  • Transition our annual events from in-person to virtual formats for the time being.

Priorities for years 2-5 include:

  • Strengthen CFF’s position as one of the region’s top “go-to” educational organizations.
  • Pursue further revenue diversification.
  • Activate and leverage CFF’s advisory board and committees.
  • Oversee the tracking of The San Diego Foundation’s Digital Equity Grant outcomes.
  • Continue fundraising strategies to support the Linda Vista Learning Labs project.
  • Deepen relationships with school districts across the county to identify unmet needs.
  • Ensure CFF has the staff and resources to support planned programs and fundraising activities.


  • Partner with the Board in the strategic planning process and work closely to ensure goals and milestones are met or exceeded.
  • Foster open and effective communication with the Board and fully leverage each member’s strengths and connections.
  • Create and execute an updated, comprehensive development plan, including individual and major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, grants, events and corporate sponsorships.
  • Integrate development and marketing/communications strategies to maximize CFF’s brand exposure and fundraising opportunities.
  • Raise the organization’s public profile by 1) serving as the agency’s spokesperson and advocate and 2) serving as a high-profile visionary and influential leader in the community.
  • Maintain an exceptional relationship with the San Diego County Office of Education.
  • Cultivate relationships with key individuals and organizations throughout the greater San Diego region and utilize these relationships to strategically enhance CFF’s mission.
  • Set appropriate short and long-term revenue targets and take ownership for reaching them.
  • Manage a portfolio of major donors and prospects.
  • Effectively develop and manage donor relationships through the various stages of identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Embrace traditional philanthropic fundraising methods while also leveraging best practices and innovative strategies from the corporate world and startup sector.
  • Create and implement innovative strategies for securing new and untapped resources.
  • Rethink traditional events, and fundraising approaches.
  • Establish policies, systems, and procedures, with a special emphasis on professionalism and ethical standards, for soliciting, acknowledging, tracking, and reporting gifts.
  • Seek, develop, and track grant proposals.
  • Ensure existing and potential new programs and events advance CFF’s mission, are financially sustainable, and adequately staffed.
  • Leverage technology and data across all development strategies and practices.
  • Stay informed of educational trends and events at the local, state and national levels.

Attributes & Work Style

  • Passionate:speaks authentically to our mission of creating innovative and equitable K-12 learning environments.
  • Visionary: recognizes the prospective growth of the organization; focuses on the future and devises a path to get there.
  • Strategic:enjoys formulating aggressive goals and designing innovative, yet practical methods for achieving them.
  • Charismatic: an effective ambassador and public speaker; a true “people-person.”
  • Entrepreneurial: a driver who is comfortable taking bold and calculated risks.
  • Ambitious:likes to build things; recognizes untapped potential and leverages these opportunities to amplify CFF’s success.
  • Confident:effective at working with a variety of stakeholders and community members; not afraid of having the difficult conversations.
  • Proactive:demonstrates persistence, a strong personal initiative, and a drive to see projects through to completion.
  • Transparent: an open and inclusive decision-making style; fosters strong relations with the Board of Directors.
  • Storyteller:an inspirational communicator who makes a compelling case for CFF and its county-wide reach for funding innovative educational initiatives.
  • Communicative:possesses strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Analytical:highly skilled at identifying and activating connections and relationships.
  • Reflective:skilled at giving and receiving feedback and critique; possesses a growth mindset.
  • Flexible: able to work evenings and weekends as required.

Education & Experience

  • 5+ years of professional experience in nonprofit fundraising (full cycle).
  • Complete end-to-end understanding of fundraising strategies, systems, and processes.
  • Prior direct responsibility for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding prospects.
  • Experienced in constructing, articulating and implementing strategic growth plans.
  • A history of working directly with board members in support of fundraising efforts.
  • Demonstrated results in designing, pitching and closing major philanthropic gifts.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred; exceptional professional experience will be considered in lieu.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets at $1M or above.

Classroom of the Future Foundation 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:

Liliane Lendvai, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101