Bay Area

Executive Director

Candidate Profile & Core Values

Spark seeks an Executive Director for Spark in the Bay Area. Successful candidates will demonstrate exceptional relationship building, communication, and project management skills, fluency in innovative thinking, and a make-it-work mentality. Candidates will also embody Spark’s Core Values: be a student and a mentor, work with passion and compassion, commit to collaboration and diversity, aim high and true, and trust and respect in all relationships.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; relevant graduate degree preferred
  • Demonstrated superior writing and presentation skills
  • Minimum five years of management-level experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented organization; for-profit experience is welcomed
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, sales or external relations
  • Educational non-profit experience preferred but not required
  • Experience working with school administration and teachers, preferably at the middle-school level
  • Demonstrated ability to design and manage complex projects involving many personnel
  • Knowledge of local Bay Area issues and dynamics preferred; especially related to education and volunteerism
  • Excellent computer and internet proficiencies, with experience in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Legally eligible to work in the United States; no sponsorship provided

In addition, to be successful as a member of the Spark team in this role, you will:

  • Be an independent, results-focused, highly-organized self-starter
  • Have a strong desire to impact an up-and-coming nonprofit organization
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, operating with a results-orientation and exceptional attention to detail
  • Have a proactive personality; no work is ‘beneath’ you and you are eager to serve others, rolling up your sleeves when necessary
  • Demonstrate mature judgment, with a high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness
  • Have a sense of humor, even under stress
  • Be comfortable giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback
  • Value relationships and accountability, empowering others to achieve superior results

Core Responsibilities

Reporting to the CEO, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Spark’s regional staff, program, expansion, development and execution of its mission. The ED plays a key role managing Bay Area external relations, building sustainable funding relationships through corporate partnerships, board members and individuals, foundations, and public/government sources. The ED also oversees and leads all fundraising events for the region. Working collaboratively with Spark’s regional program staff, the ED will also leverage the expertise of members of the national team while supervising Bay Area’s Development and Program staff. As a member of the organization’s leadership team, the ED also helps to guide and contribute to Spark’s national growth.

Lead Bay Area Board Development, Fundraising and Financial Management

  • Enhance and lead Spark’s local fundraising strategy, in collaboration with Spark’s National Development team and the local development team, ensuring that the Bay Area meets or exceeds annual fundraising goals, and create a plan to grow funding in future years
  • Ensure a diverse mix of revenue, including corporate partnerships, foundation support, and individual contributions – including local board giving and special events
  • Serve as principal relationship manager for corporations and foundations supporting the Bay Area region
  • Lead the Bay Area’s Executive Board and provide key oversight of the Bay Area Advisory Board, ensuring board members are engaged and effective in providing strategic guidance, introductions, and fundraising support
  • Provide strategic oversight for regional fundraising events
  • Effectively utilize and manage the local site budget to implement the program and sustain the Bay Area office

Lead the Operation and Growth of Spark’s Bay Area Program

  • Directly manage a Program leader who supervises a team of program staff members, developing an exceptional regional team to accomplish three core goals:
    • (1) successfully manage relationships with Spark’s school partners, including training and ongoing support, to ensure high-quality in-school programming for Spark students
    • (2) cultivate a network of mentors through corporate/organizational partners for mentorship placements and funding
    • (3) guide the growth and evolution of Spark’s work in the Bay Area
  • Lead the partnership-building process with formal agreements with schools and/or school districts, and provide strategic guidance to the program team to ensure high quality partnerships with school administrators and teacher teams
  • Oversee regional implementation of Spark’s evaluation methods by ensuring the collection and input of surveys, demographic data and school district data, and utilizing data for program assessment and team management

Lead Spark Bay Area’s Brand Development

  • Provide overall leadership to regional team, creating a high performance and positive work environment that values staff development and retention
  • Create and expand alliances in the for-profit, government, and non-profit sectors to establish a portfolio of sustainable partnerships in diverse fields of work for mentorship placements
  • Ensure that Spark recruits mentorships in the Bay Area through corporate and community partnerships as well as board networks
  • Expand Spark’s regional model in the Bay Area and continue our spirit of innovation along with regional and national excellence in program operations, volunteer experience, and fundraising success

National Leadership Team

  • Participate as an active member of the national leadership team, which includes Executive Directors from all regions and national executive team, shaping key opportunities and strategies for Spark organization-wide
  • Contribute to and/or lead major organizational initiatives that strengthen national capacity, brand, and program model
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