Executive Director, ScholarMatch

  • Cook Silverman Search
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
Full Time Nonprofit

Job Description


ScholarMatch was founded in 2010 as a crowdfunding platform for scholarships. However, it quickly evolved into a college access and persistence organization providing hands-on support for underserved students over the last five years, ScholarMatch has grown and developed substantially. Today, the team of 30+ professionals engage 500 volunteers annually to serve 2,000+ students throughout the college journey, from application to graduation. Specifically, ScholarMatch offers college counseling, strategic scholarships, innovative online tools, and high-touch support, among other programs. All aspects of our work is driven by student needs, cutting-edge research, and powerful data collection to evaluate impact of the programs we offer. In all aspects of the operation, the organization is driven by values of excellence, integrity, and generosity of spirit.

The mission of ScholarMatch is as follows: ”We support first-generation college students in their journeys to earning a bachelor's degree within five years. We envision a world where all students have access to higher education and the opportunity to succeed in a fulfilling career.”

For more information about ScholarMatch, please visit https://schoIarmatch.org/


The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the critical aspects of the organization including but not limited to staff management and nourishment, fiscal management and growth, external relations including funders and partners, and strategic planning and visioning while advancing the mission of the organization.


The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and oversees a staff of 15 in the San Francisco Bay area, 10 in Los Angeles, and 3 remote staff in other regions, 5 of which are direct reports. The senior management team consists of 5 individuals.


Strategic Vision and Leadership

Work with the Board to create and implement the strategic plan while ensuring that the budget, staff, and priorities are aligned with ScholarMatch’s core mission.

Provide inspirational leadership and direction to all staff.

Provide an opportunity for development and management of a professional and efficient organization, including establishing effective decision-making processes that will enable ScholarMatch to achieve its long and short-term goals and objectives.

Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board and ensure open communication about the measurement of administration, financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals.

In partnership with the Board, help build a diverse and inclusive board representative of the community that is highly engaged and willing to leverage and secure resources.

Ensure ScholarMatch centers diversity, equity and inclusion as critical in all aspects of the organization. Seek and cultivate strategic relationships and partnerships with other community organizations and stakeholders (colleges and universities, high schools and partner organizations)

Development/External Relations

Work with staff and board to create strategic and sustainable revenue sources to bolster and support ScholarMatch in order to assure current and future financial health.

Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and government entities, in coordination with the Development office and Board of Directors.

Create and execute comprehensive marketing, branding and development strategies that will ensure consistency throughout the organization.

Serve as key spokesperson for the organization.

Represent the organization and increase awareness by being the spokesperson and liaison with funders, local media and other interested organizations.

Actively engage and energize SM volunteers, board members, staff, alumni, community partners and funders.

Manage a major gift portfolio of prospects and donors.


  • Monitor the complex nature of all contractual funding
  • Anticipate how payment schemes impact cash flow projections and treasury.
  • Construct a budget, in collaboration with team objectives, which reflects the organization's strategic goals and be able to explain any variances in
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization including developing long and short range financialplans, monitoring the budget and ensuring sound financial controls are in place; set financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the needs of the program and staff; assure annual budget in compliance with laws governing non-profit

Other duties as required.


  • Minimum 7-year track record of proven managerial leadership, funder relations, budgetaryresponsibility, program management, and strategic planning capabilities in a growth oriented nonprofit structure
  • BA/BS required, advanced degree or other certification appreciated
  • Demonstrated consensus builder serving within a diverse organization and community
  • Excellent communication skills. Ability to articulate the mission in a clear and inspirational manner to a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Strategic leader who leads by example and is a skilled organizational manager
  • Extensive network within family foundation space, in particular within the college access or highereducation sphere, preferred
  • Prior nonprofit experience and management of a multiprogram organization, preferred. Experience supporting and nurturing bottom-up leadership desired
  • Excellent experience with innovative board development, fundraising, marketing/branding and fiscal management
  • Demonstrated fundraising skills, including managing a major gift portfolio
  • Experience managing organizational or departmental budgets in excess of g1,000,000 Strong financial savvy and politically active and astute leadership skills and passion Ability to set clear priorities, delegate, and guide investment in people and systems
  • Keen analytic, organization and problem-solving skills which support and enable sound decision- making
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal and experience as a spokesperson Strong commitment to professional staff development
  • Successful track record of diversity, equity and inclusion policies aimed at recruiting and retaining a diverse team
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to initiate work and set priorities independently Strong to advanced proficiency in Google Suite, Microsoft Office, Excel, Power Point, Airtable experience preferred, competency with social media platforms

Ability to maintain confidentiality

Commitment to the mission and values of ScholarMatch SALARY OR SALARY RANGE

The salary range for this position is $150,000 to $200, 000 plus full benefits.

To demonstrate our commitment to equity and equal pay for all, Cook Silverman Search will post salary ranges on all of its job descriptions. The practice of not posting salaries perpetuates the gender wage gap and discriminates against people of color by causing individuals to negotiate from a disadvantaged starting point.


To apply for this position, or for additional information on the opportunity, please send a copy of your resume with a cover letter to Victoria Silverman at apply@cooksilverman.com. To see a digital version of this job posting, visit www.cooksilverman.com/openings

All applications and inquiries will receive a response and be kept strictly confidential. ScholarMatch is an Equal Opportunity Employer.