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Job Opening

Fund Development Consultant

Background and Context

     Ujima Language and Literacy was honored in spring 2020 by BKD CPAs and Advisors as Startup Nonprofit Organization of the Year for Southwest Missouri. In 2021, our first major fundraising event attracted sponsorships from two banks, Springfield Public Schools, Missouri State University, and other local funders. Within the past year, Ujima has received financial support from Missouri CARES Act funds, Missouri College Access Network, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Musgrave Foundation, Missouri Arts Council, and others.

     Our track record of delivering programs that parents value for their children and attracting philanthropic funds to support our mission positions Ujima Language and Literacy to move to the next level. In the next five years, we envision:

  • Expanding our current programs (family literacy nights, summer literacy camp, study buddies) so that we serve more families in our current settings and/or possibly replicating them at other venues in our community. We will expand only when we have the infrastructure in place to maintain the high-quality programming and personal relationships with children and families that have made Ujima Language and Literacy successful to date.

  • Developing an advocacy program to ensure all children have appropriate access to a culturally conscious education, gifted-education programs, choice programs, extracurricular activities, transportation, educational support, and fair disciplinary practices.  This will include training parents to be effective advocates for their children and individual coaching for parents and children who need support to access appropriate services from their respective school district.

  • Positioning Ujima Langauge and Literacy as a trusted and highly visible champion for children and families in the emerging debate over the future of public education in our city, our state, and our country. This will require ubiquitous participation in committees, public forums, and other opportunities to advocate for public education that nurtures our children to reach their full potential.

     All Ujima Language and Literacy programs are free to participants. Until now, Ujima Language and Literacy has been staffed entirely by volunteers except for small stipends for study-buddy tutors and summer-camp support staff. As our organization grows to meet the needs of our children and family, we must develop a sustainable funding plan. To achieve our goals over the next five years, Ujima Language and Literacy needs to build infrastructure that will eventually include:

  • An executive director responsible for overall organization administration, volunteer recruitment/management, budget management, fundraising and donor relations, and advocacy.

  • A program director responsible for our education programs. Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate, our founder, is in charge of program design and quality control but, as we grow to serve more families, a paid staff person will be needed to spearhead this growth.

  • An administrative assistant

Job Summary

This is a contract position for a fund development consultant to provide guidance toward an effective 5-year fundraising strategy for Ujima Language and Literacy. The contracted person’s scope of work will include the following:


SCOPE OF WORK (Complete by November 2021) 

  • Review/Evaluation of Ujima’s baseline data (Complete by July 31st)

    • Determine what we do well as an organization, what we need to improve upon, and how to overcome challenges by asking the kinds of questions fund developers want to know before proceeding with a comprehensive plan and making the necessary recommendations that will forge growth for Ujima Language and Literacy.         

  • Facilitate 2 sessions with the Ujima Board of Directors (Complete by September 30th)

    • 4-hour decision-making session to include: asking the kinds of questions of the board that will give the consultant the feedback needed to develop a fund development growth plan; setting priorities for Ujima Language and Literacy, goals, and action steps,  and designated persons (Complete by August 2021)

    • 4-hour training in fundraising strategies and events, sales pitch/persuasiveness, etc. (Complete by September 2021)

  • Virtual or in-person Fund Development Proposal presentation to the board of directors (Complete by November 2021)

Produce and present a professional 5-year fund development plan document to the Ujima Language and Literacy board of directors by the November board meeting to include:

  • Conclusions and results of consultant training and facilitated input sessions

  • Recommendations: brand, donor relations, donation goals, strategies (direct asks, pitches, cold calling)

  • Action steps for the board of directors acting as an executive director


Master’s degree and holding certification in fundraising is a plus. The fund development consultant must have experience in:

  • budgeting and financial management

  • philanthropic and funding trends

  • organizational development planning

  • systems design and industry standards


Successful candidates will also possess knowledge and skills in:

  • board governance

  • fiduciary responsibilities of a board of directors

  • input facilitation session-leading

  • participatory decision-making

  • problem-solving that impacts fund development

  • strategic planning

  • systems thinking


  1. Baseline data review: Deadline July 31st

  2. Two four-hour training/input session: between August/September: Deadline September 30th

  3. Draft plan: Deadline November 10th

  4. Virtual or in-person presentation: Deadline November 17th


  • 5-year fund development plan to include:

    • A comprehensive list of funding sources/opportunities

    • Fundraising trends, brand awareness/marketing opportunities

    • Proposed fundraising activities and why those activities will increase the likelihood of successful fundraising

    • Types and frequency of fundraising activities. Detail what we should be doing throughout the year with donor relations

    • Recommended Infrastructure (software programs) to make the legwork and tracking of fundraising including in-kind volunteer hours and donations successful. Determine what kinds of Ujima Language and Literacy stories we should promote

    • Projected outcomes for fundraising activities

    • Funding sustainability recommendations

    • Other helpful, relevant information for successful implementation of the fund development plan


  • The application deadline is Wednesday, June 23rd at 5:00 p.m. CST.

  • Submit cover letter and résumé to

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