National Director of Development

Posted: 11/29/17 | SHARE:


Who We Are

SAGA Innovations ( is a national nonprofit that partners with public school districts to provide underserved students with high-dosage in-school-day tutoring, at no cost to students or their families. We are able to provide this service because of the passion and dedication of SAGA Fellows – full-time tutors who devote a year of their lives to closing the academic achievement and opportunity gaps by building lasting relationships and impacting the lives of their students every day. We recruit highly talented recent college graduates, midlife career changers, and recent retirees to commit to a 10-month service year for modest pay. We also provide ongoing support, training, professional development, curriculum, and data management to drive our results.

Our Approach

SAGA’s approach to tutoring is unique because it differs from the traditional tutoring model. Instead, students meet with their SAGA Fellow during a class period as part of their regular daily schedule - in addition to their normal core classes - for the entire school year.

Our Mission 

SAGA’s mission is to transform the lives of the students we serve by motivating them to generate new levels of effort, developing their academic and problem-solving skills, and building their confidence, through personalized instruction and strong relationships among student, tutor, school, and family.

Why We Do This

For every 10 low-income students who enter high school, 7 will graduate on time, 4 will enter college, and only 1 will earn a college degree by the age of 24 (The Promise of College Completion, 2011). Finding interventions that improve the academic outcomes of low-income students is one of our nation’s most urgent challenges. Very few educational interventions have targeted a key barrier to school success: “mismatch” between what regular classrooms deliver and the needs of students, particularly those far below grade level. The variability in academic achievement increases as students progress through school; by high school, many students in distressed communities can be three or more years behind grade level, especially in math, which research shows is a specific choke point in the pathway to graduation for high school students.

Our Results

SAGA tutoring has been the subject of multiple large-scale randomized controlled trials conducted by the University of Chicago. Results have shown that SAGA’s in-school tutoring model is one of the most effective high school interventions ever studied. SAGA is committed to consistently and systematically testing variations to its model in order to offer the most affordable, implementable, scalable, and effective services to the districts, families, and students we serve. This work builds off of a randomized clinical research study by the University of Chicago, which was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2013 and 2014, in which students gained up to 2.5+ years of math growth in one year of high-dosage math tutoring. This research shows that it is possible to make a difference in the academic trajectory of students in high-need urban communities—it is not too late

Position Summary (Position based in Newton, MA)

The National Director of Development is based in Newton MA but will focus primarily on building our base in Chicago and NY.  The Director is responsible for managing strategies and activities for corporate and individual donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, and will:


  • Help design and implement corporate and invidividual giving campaigns in collaboration with the Senior Vice President and President of SAGA innovations
  • Cultivate relationships with corporations in Chicago, New York and elsewhere to increase our local donor base.
  • Write monthly reports showing progress toward development goals.
  • Collaborate with Director of Grants to research information on grants, proposal writing, and reporting requirements.
  • Coordinate gift campaigns, and special fundraising events.
  • Create a newsletter to inform donors on student success and overall organizational updates​


As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must embrace the key values of the organization and be compelled by SAGA’s mission. Other qualifications include

  •  Bachelor’s degree (MBA highly valued)
  • Belief that every student, in every circumstance, can achieve the highest levels of academic excellence and a passionate commitment to SAGA Innovations' mission and vision.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to influence and build strong relationships to enhance work practices and support the achievement of goals.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial work environment and the capacity to remain calm and focused when faced with unexpected challenges.
  • An obsessive attention to detail and exceptional organization and time management skills.
  • Travel will be required--most often to Chicago.
  • 5+ years of fundraising experience

 Preferred qualifications, skills, and/or experience

  • Experience working with SAGA or for a nonprofit organization similar to SAGA.
  • Experience fundraising, with evidence of success

 Important Personal Traits

  • A strategic visionary and proactive, resourceful problem solver
  • A savvy relationship-builder


Commensurate with experience 

To Apply

Submit your resume and cover letter through our application portal.  NOTE:  The field for you to upload your cover letter is in the section titled Resume. Please be sure to upload your cover letter, including the talking points below, as your application will not be considered without it.  Please include the following in your cover letter:

  • How your qualifications and experiences align to the position
  • Evidence of your professional communication effectiveness
  • Evidence of your resilience when faced with obstacles

To be taken to the application portal, click on "Apply for this job online" at the top of this page.

 Equal Employment Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy

SAGA Innovations, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal laws. The organization complies with applicable local, state, and federal laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which SAGA has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, compensation, training, and leaves of absence. SAGA Innovations does not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any of kind, including but not limited to, these protected classes. 

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