Bay Area

Executive Director

Candidate Profile & Core Values

Spark seeks an Executive Director for our Bay Area Region.

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.

Reporting to the CEO (based in Chicago), 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 manages Bay Area external relations; builds and enhances 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, leveraging 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.


  • 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;
  • Demonstrated ability to design and manage complex projects;
  • Knowledge of the Bay Area preferred;
  • 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 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;
    • 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

Lead Bay Area Board Development, Fundraising and Financial Management

  • Enhance and lead Spark’s local fundraising strategy;
  • 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, and (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;

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 Bay Area recruits mentorships through corporate and community partnerships as well as board networks;
  • Expand Spark Bay Area’s regional model 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 and collaborative member of the national leadership 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.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Salary: $125-150K, commensurate with experience.
  • Health Benefits: Full health coverage is provided, including medical, dental and vision no more 30 days after an employee’s first day. Spark covers up to 100% of monthly premiums, and a portion of the monthly premiums for dependents. Employee-funded flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care are offered. A life insurance policy providing $50,000 of coverage is also included.
  • Learning Benefits: Spark highly values staff’s personal learning pursuits. Priority is placed on opportunities to pursue your choice of professional training opportunities, including workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Retirement Benefits: For all contributions through Spark’s 401K plan, Spark will match retirement contributions dollar-for-dollar up to 4% of total salary in 2018.
  • Paid Time Off: Spark has a unique flexible time-off policy, which empowers staff to collaboratively determine and schedule time off as needed. Spark staff may take time off based on the status of their work- related goals and results within the organization. This policy is part of Spark’s focus on a balanced and healthy life for staff.
  • Non-Monetary Compensation: The opportunity to be an integral member of an energetic, innovative, hard-working and rapidly growing team, within an organization that has the potential to significantly change American middle-school education.



We want to hear all about you and your experience. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, please click here to submit your resume and cover letter. 


Spark is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, and evaluate all candidates based on merit; we strongly encourage and seek qualified applications from underrepresented groups.


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Please note that unless otherwise noted on the job description, Spark requires employees to be located in one of our operating regions and does not provide relocation assistance.

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