Careers « LEAP for Education


Join our Team

We are always interested in hearing from qualified individuals. You may send your resume to Linda Saris, Executive Director, via email or at 35 Congress St. Suite 102, Salem MA 01970.

We look forward to your continued interest, support and involvement. Enjoy your time with us and do not hesitate to share your insights, questions and concerns. We rely on your feedback for the continued improvement of our programs.


Director of Development

About the Organization

LEAP for Education, Inc., founded in 2002, is a non-profit located in historic Salem, MA.  LEAP has a mission to empower low income and first-generation-to college students to perform at higher levels in middle school and high school and to graduate from college prepared to succeed in a career that matches their strengths and passions.

LEAP serves over 450 youth in Salem, Peabody and Gloucester in programs that include academic enrichment and support, college access and readiness and college and career advising.

About the Role

The Director of Advancement will work with the Founder and Executive Director as a senior member of the LEAP for Education staff. She/he will be a key thought leader within the organization and will work closely with a range of internal and external stakeholders such as the Board of Directors, donors and staff colleagues.  The Director leads the overall fundraising effort for LEAP for Education.  S/he will be responsible for retaining and expanding existing funding streams and creating and implementing new models of income generation in order to scale philanthropic initiatives and raise increased revenue from individual, foundation and corporate donors. The Director will cultivate relationships with and solicit gifts from high-net-worth individuals, corporations, and foundations.  The Director provides intellectual, strategic and entrepreneurial leadership to grow LEAP for Education’s financial resources by implementing the highest quality programs in annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, institutional giving, donor relations and development operations.

As a front-line fundraiser, the Director is primarily responsible for establishing transformative relationships with donors and prospects and ensuring every donor enjoys an excellent philanthropic experience when contributing to LEAP for Education. The Director will personally manage a portfolio of donors and prospects with significant giving potential, cultivating the relationships from the research and identification stages through the engagement and solicitation of gifts.

As a representative of LEAP for Education, the Director will articulate the priorities and initiatives of the organization, highlight its past successes, build and sustain a culture of philanthropy and create a sense of shared goals and values.

This is a full-time role, located in Salem, MA, reporting to the Founder and Executive Director.  Occasional early mornings, evenings, and weekends are required for Board meetings, donor events, and program events.  Travel throughout Boston and the North Shore of Massachusetts is also required.

LEAP for Education is willing to consider flexibility in hours and days worked and the ability to work from home on some days.

 Responsibilities Include:

  • Collaboration and Partnership:  Support and advise the Executive Director on her efforts to build relationships and secure major support from individuals and institutions.  Partner collaboratively with staff and volunteers to build and sustain a productive and successful philanthropic culture.  Represent LEAP for Education in funding partnerships to support achievement of programmatic goals and to ensure strength in relationships with funders and partners.
  • Fundraising Strategy, Leadership and Result:  Implement the fundraising strategy and plan, increasing annual and multi-year revenue from individuals and families, corporations and foundations to ensure LEAP for Education meets annual philanthropic fundraising goals.  Lead future fundraising campaigns to attract support to fund operational and capacity-building initiatives.
  • Individual and Institutional Giving:  Develop a best practice major gifts program to attract significant gifts from high net worth individuals and families.  Provide thought leadership to the design and implementation of LEAP for Education’s institutional giving program.  Lead the effort to retain and build the base of donors.
  • Events:  Develop a comprehensive event strategy that will engage and solicit supporters.  With the assistance of staff and an event committee, design and implement events that will serve as friend raisers and fund raisers, deepening the pipeline of future contributors, expressing appreciation of current supporters’ generosity, and raising increased funding from corporations, individuals and families.
  • Donor Engagement and Stewardship:  Design and implement comprehensive stewardship plan to maximize donor retention and to ensure excellent donor philanthropic experience. Work with LEAP staff and business donors to find ways to engage company employees in LEAP’s work to maximize donor engagement.
  • Portfolio Management:  Manage a portfolio of leadership and major donors (high-net-worth and high-potential donors and prospects) capable of donating $1,000 and above.
  • Volunteer Management:  Lead the engagement of volunteers to support LEAP’s development efforts.  Work collaboratively with the Board Chair and Board of Directors, as well as development volunteers, to inspire maximum participation and leverage support through volunteers’ extensive networks. 
  • Partnership Management:  Work in partnership with other key business functions at LEAP for Education whose work is critical to development success, including, but not limited to, marketing, communications, public relations, program, finance, technology, and human resources.  Work to support the outreach and relationship building efforts with community partners by attending events and making connections as appropriate throughout eastern Massachusetts.
  • Planning and Organizational Leadership Support:  Participate in organizational initiatives as a member of the senior leadership team and work with LEAP’s Founder and Executive Director and board leadership on other organization-wide projects and initiatives.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred but equivalent experience will be considered
  • Minimum of 5 to 7 years of development experience, preferably with a proven track record leading development programs and in leadership/major gifts fundraising
  • Strong mission-driven focus
  • Demonstrated commitment to LEAP for Education’s mission, programs and core values
  • Excellent organization, time management and people management skills
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills
  • Proven and consistent track record of increasing revenues by designing and implementing best practice fundraising initiatives and programs
  • Familiarity with all aspects of development, including major and leadership giving, direct mail/marketing, event management, annual giving, on-line giving, planned giving and institutional giving (including corporate and foundation grants)
  • Proven ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and close significant gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations, within an environment that does not have a traditional, built-in constituency
  • Experience working with board members and board committees
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively to maximize teamwork and camaraderie across the organization
  • Creative, resilient and strategic in approach
  • Outstanding customer service, detail-orientation and donor relations skills
  • Trusted partner to leadership and colleagues at past organizations
  • Possess a high level of integrity and ability to handle confidential situations without compromise.
  • Polished and authentic presence with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Experience working with diverse team in a variety of situations. Must be able to evaluate problems accurately and display good, sound judgment.
  • Experience working in a data-driven and process-driven organization. Ability to plan, conduct and evaluate promotions, programs and projects, analyzing data and measuring ROI on activity.
  • Comfort and familiarity with and working knowledge of prospect/donor databases and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Education, academic achievement, college access or college success experience a plus.
  • Knowledge or experience raising money in communities North of Boston, a plus
  • A sense of humor.

To Apply:

Please send your resume and cover letter to Linda Saris, Executive Director via email at “”.  Please include in your cover letter your salary expectations.

Are you interested in volunteering? The staff and students at LEAP for Education, Inc. value your interest in our youth programs. Volunteers are a vital part of achieving our goal of expanding the educational and career opportunities for low-income and/or first-generation-to-college youth in our community. Visit our volunteer page to browse our current needs or visit our internships page to find current opportunities in the north shore and surrounding areas.

LEAP for Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, familial status, sexual orientation or disability.