About the role:
The Executive Director’s charge is to strengthen and grow the organization within the U.S. This requires leading a team to oversee the execution and growth of fundraising on the East Coast and potentially in other regions of the country as well, building corporate partnerships, overseeing all development efforts, ensuring a sustainable funding pipeline, developing the team, working with the board, and elevating Akanksha’s brand.
The Executive Director will manage a part-time team and will report to the Board. Akanksha Education Fund is an organization with lots of room to grow – this should excite you!
- Reports To: Board of Trustees
- Direct Reports: 4 part-time staff members
- Benefits & Salary: Competitive salary & benefits
- Location: New York City with occasional travel to other regions of the United States and an annual trip to India
Akanksha’s Mission:Akanksha in Sanskrit, means: TO ASPIRE. The Akanksha Education Fund’s mission is to advance better educational outcomes for disadvantaged children in India, by raising awareness and providing donors in the US with opportunities to make an impact. Akanksha Education Fund has raised and granted millions to the Akanksha Foundation (a registered Indian charity), which currently operates 21 best-in-class schools for under-resourced children in the Indian cities of Mumbai and Pune. The fund currently raises $2 million in funds from donors in the US to support Akanksha’s work in India, with US grant making covering approximately 25% of the Akanksha Foundation’s budget in India. About the Akanksha Education Fund (US) Established over 23 years ago, Akanksha Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) publicly supported not-for-profit organization in the U.S. that supports initiatives to improve access to high quality education for the disadvantaged children in India. Akanksha leverages the generous donations of individuals, foundations and corporations in the US who see education as the key factor in ending the cycle of poverty and promoting healthy democracies. The Fund makes grants to the Akanksha Foundation in India which runs 21 schools to carry out our mission.
About the Akanksha Foundation (India)
The Akanksha Foundation is a registered Indian charity which currently operates 21 best-in-class government schools for under-resourced children in the Indian cities of Mumbai and Pune. The foundation’s mission is to build the largest network of innovative schools that empowers children to maximise their potential and that influences systemic reform.
For over 29 years, Akanksha has educated children from low-income communities across Mumbai and Pune – first, through our after-school centers, and since 2007, through the Akanksha Schools. Today, Akanksha is one of the largest urban networks of public-private partnership schools (privately run government schools) of its kind in India.
Over the next few years, the Akanksha Foundation is gearing up to grow our network of schools from 21 to 35, starting with the city of Nagpur. New opportunities for Akanksha arise as the Indian government works towards improving the quality of education for over 400 million students in the Indian education system.
For the first time ever, Akanksha will also work on shaping education policy for over one million government schools in India by sharing our curriculum, leadership training and community engagement models. Accordingly, the Akanksha Education Fund will aim to significantly increase its funding for programs in India over the next two years. We are determined to meet this request, but we will need your help in doing so. Together, we can change lives and help bring a little bit more equality to this world—one student at a time.
What You’ll Do
Fundraising and Sustainability (40%)
- Develop and set annual and long term fundraising goals and key strategies to achieve these goals
- Plan and execute fundraising events with the team and board
- Measure progress of initiatives utilizing metrics and keep the board engaged and informed of progress.
- Build an online donor community that increases annually over the next 5 years
- Maintain, grow and diversify a sustainable funding base that will include gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government
- Deepen a sense of community among Akanksha donors, especially in the virtual world
- Ensure Akanskha’s communication strategy is telling a strong story and executing with consistency
- Assist in board member cultivation
Strategy and Operations (20%)
- Implement a comprehensive multi-year strategic plan and help us expand our presence in other key regions of the US including the West Coast
- Ensure strong program execution
- Develop a strategic plan to set ambitious and feasible goals and a clear strategy for the team
- Work with accountants, auditors, board and staff to ensure tax filings, reporting and annual audit
- Consider grant-making opportunities, administer grant applications and manage the grant consideration and approval process of the board
- Manage ongoing reporting from grantees
- Develop ongoing support and connection to Akanksha alumni studying in the US in collaboration with the Board and the Young Professionals.
Stakeholder Management and Awareness Building (20%)
- Ensure the health of key stakeholder relationships in the United States, including the Akanksha Foundation in India, corporate partners in the US, and donors
- Build a strong relationship with the India team through regular communication and an annual trip
- Raise Akanksha’s brand awareness through traditional and social media
Team Leadership and Management (20%)
- Attract, hire and develop a team of diverse and talented staff members
- Coach and develop staff members to exhibit strong cultural leadership skills and orientations
- Coordinate board and committee meetings including development and early dissemination of materials and agendas
- Manage strong working relationship(s) with the Akanksha Foundation in India and ensure tight coordination of messaging and information
Experiences, Skills, and Traits
The ideal candidate will be a great relationship builder, strong communicator, results oriented, entrepreneurial and excited to dive into a fundraising organization, ready to take their goals to the next level.
- 5-7 years leadership experience either as an Executive or leading a Department with a verifiable track record of fundraising, strategic execution and team development
- Excitement and capacity to fundraise including an ability to tell our story in an inspiring way and build champions
- Experience working in partnership with a Board of Directors
- Experience taking an organization to its next stage of growth
- Deep roots and networks in the Indian-American community in the United States
- Ideally identifies with the background of the students attending Akanksha schools
- Demonstrated passion and commitment to the mission and values of Akanksha
- Sense of urgency around accomplishing goals and objectives
- Communication skills, relationship-building skills, presence, and maturity that engender respect and facilitate a strong partnership with very senior-level donors, corporate leaders and Akanksha senior team.
Meet the Team
Learn More About Akanksha
Akanksha in the News:
- Working with Parents as Co-educators
- A Case for the Integration of Art in our Schools
- School Leadership Recruitment and Training
Connect on Social Media
Akanksha Education Fund