Director of Development

Denver, CO

Who We Are: 

CareerWise is a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization that creates life-changing opportunities for the youngest generation of America’s workforce. We build industry-led, student-centered, modern youth apprenticeships through classroom and on-the-job learning providing flexible, alternative pathways to economic mobility. We have hundreds of CareerWise apprentices in the workplace, charting new paths to academic and career success. In addition, workforce and education leaders from across the country have visited CareerWise to learn about our youth apprenticeship model. As a result, our programs have launched in multiple states, leveraging our institutional knowledge, technology, and infrastructure.

Who We’re Looking For:

We’re looking for someone who can lead fundraising for a national workforce development nonprofit supported by some of the most prominent philanthropic and government funders in the country. You have proven expertise in winning and managing large, multi-million-dollar, multi-year grants from the philanthropic and public sectors. You have deep experience with government grants at the local and national level. You are an effective communicator, able to develop and share compelling narrative tailored to the audience and are highly organized and responsive. You can be a leader for the organization, and you intentionally raise the standard by embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything you do. This job is centered on creating and maintaining funding relationships in the markets of Colorado, New York City, and nationally that advance our organization’s mission.

Job Summary

Reporting to the VP of Accounting and Finance, the Director of Development creates and executes the strategy for fundraising, grants, contracts, and reporting. The Director of Development proactively seeks viable ways to secure funding utilizing effective verbal and written communication and storytelling skills to develop compelling and compliant proposals. This role engages with private, public, state, and federal funding entities as well as CareerWise partner organizations throughout the United States. 

What You’ll Be Doing:

  • FUNDRAISING STRATEGY & EXECUTION | You will create a long-term, multi-year development strategy directly tied to the CW strategic plan that aligns with our core values and guiding pillars. You will identify, assess, and capitalize on funding opportunities that align with our financial goals. You will be responsible for raising funding from government and philanthropic funders of at least $15M per year. You will strategically engage with and continue fostering partnerships with internal and external stakeholders to position CW as a leader in youth apprenticeship.
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT | In collaboration with the VP of Accounting and Finance, you will manage the development budget, ensuring compliance and responsible financial stewardship. You will oversee, manage, and execute all grant-reporting requirements. You will serve as a development thought partner to CW affiliates by providing guidance and support for their fundraising initiatives.
  • STRATEGY | You evaluate funding opportunities and campaigns that will help CW maintain long-term budgetary goals; you provide leadership in creating and executing strategic development plans; you extract data that will best articulate our needs and our accomplishments and incorporate them into your development plans; you scrutinize the development budget and work closely with the VP of Accounting and Finance to ensure compliance and appropriate stewardship of funds.
  • COMMUNICATION | You foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing with CW stakeholders to ensure alignment in messaging and strategies. Through donor engagement opportunities, you will cultivate and foster meaningful relationships through timely communication acknowledging their contributions and impact in youth apprenticeship. You are a powerful communicator and storyteller and can articulate the mission, impact, and success stories of CW to a variety of audiences. You will partner with the CW Marketing and Communications team to leverage media opportunities, press releases, and other public relations initiatives that highlight and enhance CW visibility and achievements to attract potential funders. 
  • May perform other duties as assigned

Key competencies to be successful in this role:

  • Proven leader with a deep commitment to systems-change work
  • Experienced fundraiser capable of raising millions of dollars per year from philanthropic and government sources
  • Wise steward of funds and ensures the organization is compliant with fund utilization according to specific parameters
  • Builder of strong partnerships with stakeholders (current, former, prospective), funders, and external partners through collaboration and knowledge-sharing
  • Powerful communicator and storyteller with the ability to develop compelling narratives, create buy-in to a vision, give context to research, justify with relevant data, and clearly adapt content based on intended audiences
  • Expert in financial strategies and limitations
  • Demonstrated passion for the CareerWise mission and ability to deeply understand the complexities of the youth apprenticeship system that CareerWise is building

Additional proficiencies:

  • Ability to quickly establish relationships with aligned funders in New York City, Colorado, and across the nation
  • Understanding of and successful experience navigating complex government grants
  • Demonstrated progressive experience in nonprofit development and nonprofit management
  • Skilled at quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Proficiency using tools like Salesforce, and the Microsoft Office and Google Suites to manage communications and grants
  • Well-versed in change management practices and accustomed to ambiguity
The above statements are intended to describe the essential functions of the job being performed by employees assigned to this classification.  The duties listed are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required.  All employees may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.  With the evolution of the organization and this role, the responsibilities of this position may change at any time.


It is preferred, but not required, that the incumbent selected for this position reside in Denver, CO. Travel to Denver and possibly to other states where partners are located will be required as needed. There may also be occasions (possibly 1-3 times per year) for all CareerWise staff to gather in-person. Exceptions will be made for special circumstances.   


The salary range for this role is: $82,400 - $123,600; this role is not covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA. CareerWise offers a generous benefits package including group medical, dental, and vision plans, short-term disability, 100% vested 401k plan with a 3% employer contribution, and flexible time off.

Sound interesting?

We look forward to hearing from you! If you have a LinkedIn profile, please share it with us as well! 

In your cover letter, please answer these two questions when you provide your resume:

1: Why are you interested in joining CareerWise?

2: What can you bring to this position?

Application Window: 

Please submit applications by Friday, June 28th 2024. Applications submitted after this date will still be received, however, may not be considered as they are outside the original application window.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer that values diversity at all levels. All individuals are encouraged to apply. If you need assistance or accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at: 

Working conditions and physical requirements:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Usual office environment with frequent sitting, walking and standing. Frequent use of eye, hand, and finger coordination for use of standard office equipment. Oral and auditory capacity required for interpersonal communication as well as communication through automated devices such as the telephone and online video conference platforms (like Google, Zoom, MS Teams, Webex, etc.)