Director, Education Foundation Partnerships

San Francisco, California, United States | Development | Full-time | COVID-19 remote


Common Sense ( is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century.

Every day, millions of families turn to Common Sense for trusted advice and unbiased ratings. We offer the largest library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for everything your kids want to watch, play, read, and learn. Our movie and TV ratings are available on Comcast, Apple TV, DirecTV, and many other partner networks, helping families and kids make smart media choices. Through our schools program, we provide educators with a curriculum that teaches the essential digital citizenship and literacy skills every student needs to succeed. More than 100,000 member schools across the country use our ratings and free curricula and content. We also work with policymakers, industry leaders, and legislators to improve the media and education landscape for kids, families, and schools.

We are currently seeking a talented professional to join our foundations team to work on building and managing foundation relationships to support our education efforts. The foundations team is responsible for raising $8M+ per year, with an existing portfolio of 25 active foundation partners. The ideal candidate will have experience working in the rapidly evolving K12 education sector, with fundraising and program development being part of their previous role. Exceptionally strong written and oral communication and presentation skills are critical. 

LOCATION: San Francisco, CA (remote during the coronavirus pandemic)

EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Full-time (40 hours per week) 

REPORTS TO: Senior director of foundations


Strategy development 

  • Participate in philanthropic funding strategy discussions. 
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders to develop program briefs, including program goals, impact metrics, activities, and budgets. 
  • Keep abreast of education and parent engagement trends and bring competitive challenges and new opportunities to the attention of internal stakeholders. 
  • Research and identify key sources and trends in foundation, corporate, and philanthropic support.

Foundation partnerships 

  • Steward and expand an active  grant portfolio of 10+ funder relationships, with a focus on securing grants of $500K+. Responsibilities include: 

        ○ Building a pipeline of foundation prospects. 

        ○ Conducting phone calls/meetings to present programs and explore potential fit. 

        ○ Outlining strategic objectives and talking points for meetings. 

        ○ Writing concept papers and grant proposals, developing budgets, and shepherding the process from start to finish. 

        ○ Preparing Google Slide presentations and other collateral materials. 

        ○ Working with program teams to track progress against grant deliverables (outputs, outcomes, budget). 

  • Coordinating periodic updates and communications to funders. 


  • A bachelor's degree and 5+ years of experience in an education or nonprofit setting.
  • Candidates with a master's degree in education, child development, public health, or public policy strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Experience in grant writing/fundraising, strategy, and program development.
  • Superior writing skills and communication skills.  Ability to identify alignment between foundation strategic priorities  and Common Sense funding needs and structure compelling proposals and stories of impact
  • Knowledge of evolving K-12 education, early childhood, parent engagement trends, across a breadth of topics including EdTech, STEM, digital literacy and citizenship, civic learning, and social-emotional learning a plus.
  • A high degree of self-motivation, self-direction, and ingenuity in a highly entrepreneurial environment.
  • A collaborative mindset. You have a knack for working effectively across work spectrums.
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills and confidence in cultivating and soliciting high-level funder relationships.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to prioritize workload in a timely manner to complete assignments when faced with many deadlines and competing requirements. 
  • Experience in strategy, program, and budget development a plus. 
  • Strong research and analytical skills and familiarity with full suite of Google tools.
  • Experience in Salesforce a plus.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

Common Sense values the diversity of its employees and is an equal opportunity employer. For more information on our values, please visit our statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Common Sense will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. However, job offers are made on the condition that the applicant subsequently passes a criminal background check. If the background check indicates a prior criminal conviction, we will conduct an individualized assessment to determine whether the conviction should result in denial of employment.