Director of Philanthropy

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A Step Beyond (ASB) provides critical support for students and their families to break the cycle of poverty and realize their full potential in every aspect of their lives. We are a Creative Youth Development organization based in Escondido, founded to prepare underserved youth for success in college, career, and life through dance education, academic support, and family services. Our unique service model is based on after school programming paired with wraparound services and a 10+ year commitment to each student and their family, all at no cost. We serve primarily students from under resourced Latino communities in North County San Diego, through a curriculum that addresses the full scope of their talents. This includes artistic, academic, interpersonal, and leadership development, with the goal that all participants will graduate from high school and matriculate to a four-year college or university or other high-skill training program.

Our team is comprised of 20 highly dedicated staff members, serving over 230 students from our beautiful facility located on the campus of the California Center for the Arts. Demand for our program is strong, and with our strategically planned expansion, we will reach our current maximum capacity of 325-350 students in 2026. For additional information about A Step Beyond, please visit:


This position will report to our Chief Executive Officer, James Wright. James has more than a decade of resource development, marketing, and senior leadership experience with local and national nonprofit organizations. With a talented leadership team, solid vision and a robust strategic plan, ASB is positioned for rapid growth. However, we are very much still a young, innovative organization with an entrepreneurial start-up mentality. Our team is tight-knit, with a highly supportive, family-like culture and passion for the students we serve. This is reflected in our exceptional employee retention. Our internal culture is also defined by a collaborative, integrated structure empowering our staff to manage their individual program areas.


  • Salary – $90,000 – $125,000 DOE/NEG
  • Medical, dental, and vision
  • 401(k)
  • 5 paid days off during the first year and 10 paid days off after one year of service.
  • 8 paid sick days and 8 paid holidays and one week during the holidays.


This is a hybrid role, with an office located at the California Center for the Arts – 340 N Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025.


The Director of Philanthropy (Director) will provide strategic direction and leadership for all aspects of the fundraising and marketing program at ASB, including individual giving, grants, special events, and external marketing and communications. They will continue to build upon and implement ASB’s fundraising strategy. This role will also be entrusted to grow new and existing funding streams through donor development, thereby diversifying the organization’s revenue base. The Director will be responsible for achieving ASB’s annual fundraising goals ($1.85 million in FY24), as well as developing and executing a long-term fundraising growth plan to exceed $2+ million in the next three years. The Director will manage the Development & Marketing Associate and will receive ongoing support from a part-time grant writer, marketing consultant, and event planner.


  • Lead, develop, and execute fundraising strategies, including individual giving, corporate giving, special events, foundation, nonprofit, and government grants.
  • Oversee the external marketing and communications efforts including direct mail, digital fundraising, website, social media platforms, and earned/paid media.
  • Coach, mentor, develop, and manage a direct report and 3 part-time consultants.
  • Build and maintain a portfolio of major gift donors.
  • In conjunction with the leadership team, establish and implement a three-year fundraising strategy for operational, scholarship, and capital needs.
  • Oversee execution of our major fundraising event, the annual wine tasting benefit, as well as other special events throughout the year.
  • Provide and present reports at the regularly scheduled board meetings. In conjunction with the CEO, provide direction and support to the Fundraising Committee.


  • The successful candidate must have a passion for empowering youth, a growth mindset, an entrepreneurial spirit, and be a self-starter.
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience including donor prospecting, stewardship, annual giving, and major gift solicitation.
  • The ability to work well with a team, as well as independently.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to engage diverse audiences through storytelling.
  • Proven ability to effectively coach and mentor employees and team.
  • Tech savvy; experience with Salesforce preferred.


Vaccination is encouraged, but not required.


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