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Director of Institutional Support

North Bennet Street School
Job Title: Director of Institutional Support
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Job Search Ends:
March 15th, 2023
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The renowned North Bennet Street School (NBSS), an esteemed Boston institution where the time-honored tradition of fine craftsmanship remains a vital influence on the City’s culture and economy, seeks a thoughtful and proactive relationship builder to serve as its new Director of Institutional Support (Director). The Director will serve as the primary connector between NBSS and corporate and foundation communities, actively seeking and crafting mutually beneficial partnerships that deepen existing and forge new relationships. With the recent launch of its strategic plan focused on growth, diversification, and community impact, this is an exceptional moment to join the institution.

America's first trade school, NBSS is a welcoming, collaborative institution located in Boston's historic North End. For over 140 years, the small, ambitious School has helped generations of students achieve meaningful lives and livelihoods through craft and trade disciplines. The range of accredited and non-accredited offerings from NBSS today include professional career training programs, skill-building classes and experiences, public programs, exhibitions, community partnerships, and more.

The School’s institutional funders currently support a range of initiatives including scholarships for veterans and underrepresented populations in skill and trade, workforce development, community education, and financial aid with ample room to broaden and attract additional funding. Of particular interest to funders is the range of initiatives that positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion at NBSS. These initiatives are focused on the School’s work to increase and support diversities of race, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, and socio-economics, with attention to ability-diversity and neuro-diversity.

Reporting to the Director of Development, the Director will advance the School’s mission by serving as the single point-of-contact for strategic relationship planning and coordination for institutional funders. The Director will assume a warm portfolio of longstanding relationships – mainly reflective of foundation donors and prospects and some government and corporate – with direct involvement in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major gifts (five- and six-figures). They will research, identify, pursue, develop, and respond to grant opportunities; partner with faculty and administration to develop and submit proposals for funding; and fully steward grants – inclusive of timely administration, budgeting, and reporting – while providing faculty with funder-related guidance as needed.

Highly collaborative, mission-driven, and student-focused, the Director will be asked to explore growth possibilities and synergies such as in the design of multi-faceted corporate partnerships, whether with large institutions or small business partners, perhaps by leveraging existing programs such as Partners in Craft and In the Making. They may also lend strategic thought to faculty and Development colleagues who serve as primary relationship managers to intersecting donors and prospects.

The successful candidate will feel inspired by the opportunity to create access to educational and enriching experiences through NBSS. They will be a highly strategic, creative, and flexible thinker who brings a sophisticated understanding of institutional giving practices, particularly foundation relations, as well as proven success identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding new institutional major donors. The candidate will be adept at seeing the connections between people, organizations, and opportunities while working inside an ambitious, growth-oriented environment. They must also bring the cultural fluency, kindness, and authenticity necessary to represent the institution and serve as a key liaison to its audiences.


  • Identify and pursue long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with foundations, corporations, and government that offer expanded reach and revenue support for NBSS and its institutional priorities, either through philanthropic dollars, gifts-in-kind, or other agreements.
  • Structure and submit timely, well-researched, and well-documented proposals to generate both unrestricted and restricted funding.
  • Conduct and track the full range of activities required to prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals with a steady focus on pipeline building by continuously researching institutional funders to evaluate prospects for grants.
  • Build trusted relationships and regularly meet with faculty and other stakeholders to learn, brainstorm, and gather information that informs the creation of detailed and strategic proposals.


  • 3-5 years of fundraising experience that includes at least three years of grant writing with a proven track record of cultivating and securing foundation, corporate, and government support.
  • Proficient in researching, interpreting, and analyzing diverse data.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently in achieving both engagement and revenue goals.
  • Customer-oriented with superior attention-to-detail, follow-up skills, and high level of responsiveness.
  • Ability to produce high-quality work within tight time constraints and on deadline.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, one that takes initiative and actively seeks to deepen current donor relationships and forge new ones.
  • Lives the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion with the ability to express these through day-to-day work.


Please submit your resume and cover letter to nbss@pearlstreetcollective.com. Adele Mezher and Maeve Clifford, Managing Partners at Pearl Street Collective, a national women-owned search firm connecting people with their purpose, are leading the search.

*Full position description may be viewed at: https://pearlstreetcollective.com/searches/nbss-dis/

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