The Opportunity:

In the United States, only 25% of high-achieving students from low-income communities apply to the nation's most selective colleges and universities. At EMERGE, we believe that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. Grounded in this belief, EMERGE empowers and prepares high-performing students from underserved communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation.

The successful candidate will be an experienced, entrepreneurial, articulate, and highly motivated leader providing oversight, management, strategic leadership, and execution on the strategy to increase foundation and corporate revenue streams. Candidates who are passionate about the opportunity to effect meaningful change in the lives of thousands of high-performing students from income-constrained communities and the next generation of leaders are encouraged to apply.

The Role:

It is particularly an exciting time to join the EMERGE team as we embark on a five-year strategic plan that kicked off in August 2022! EMERGE has experienced accelerated growth over the last five years and we are positioning ourselves to be the leading national college access organization that will serve over 7,000 students annually by 2027. With this level of growth, the need to enhance our fundraising strategy and increase local and national funding opportunities has become more critical. Reporting to the Vice President of Development, the Director of Institutional Giving will serve as an active participant in increasing EMERGE’s financial sustainability through a robust foundation and corporate funding and management framework to help increase EMERGE’s philanthropic funds to $6-8M annually by 2027. You will be responsible for writing and submitting all private foundation, corporate, state, and federal grant applications and reports, developing a strong grants management system for tracking detailed information to ensure deadlines are met for applications, renewal requests, and grant reports working closely with the finance team to monitor budgeting and spending for compliance requirements.

Estimated Start Date: October 2022

Salary Range: $75,000 – $90,000

Reports To: Vice President of Development

Location: Houston, TX (Hybrid)

Key Responsibilities:

  • Prepare, submit, and manage the grant application process, creating/writing thorough and compelling grant applications and reports.
  • Design and implement workflows, processes, and an annual calendaring and robust grants management system to ensure accuracy, timeliness, effective collaboration across team to report on outcomes and develop compelling narrative, and ultimately to ensure deadlines are met and grant deliverables and funds expended are tracked effectively.
  • Collaboratively work with the finance and program team to capture and report on goals, outcomes, and funds expended.
  • Create and manage a comprehensive annual calendar of grant and grant report deadlines as well as prospective grant funding opportunities and process for tracking multi-year and/or restricted grants.
  • Track funder activities utilizing DonorPerfect to ensure that funder interactions are documented and assigned action steps are completed and regularly updated.
  • Draft and execute an annual foundation cultivation schedule which would include timely updates, meetings, site visits, and other engagement opportunities to grow foundation and corporate support and to help deepen relationships and affinity for EMERGE.
  • Manage the submission of grant reports ensuring compliance requirements and deliverables are met for all grants received working with program staff to create a comprehensive and compelling narrative about our work backed with supporting data.
  • In conjunction with the VP of Development help to build a pipeline of new major institutional local and national funders through identification and qualification of prospects, networking and devising creative strategies to leverage the EMERGE brand taking the lead on prospect research efforts for institutional funders.
  • Lead EMERGE’s institutional fundraising efforts driving the strategy for securing multi-year transformational grants in support of EMERGE’s five-year strategic plan, which anticipates growth in these revenue categories from approximately $1.2 million in the current fiscal year to $6-8 million in FY 2027.
  • Design, implement, and manage a comprehensive proactive development plan focused on expanding and enhancing corporate and foundation relationships and monetary support.
  • Stay abreast of the work of the program teams and broader organizational priorities to gather compelling information, stories, learnings, and data to shape applications and grant reports.
  • Provide leadership and guidance to the VP of Development and CEO on strategy and tactics related to achieving the institutional giving plan and setting revenue targets.
  • Identify and secure meetings for VP of Development and CEO with foundations and help prepare them and other leadership team members as appropriate to lead meetings and liaise with foundation and corporate funders.
  • Stay up to date on current trends in foundation giving and engage in training and professional development opportunities as appropriate.
  • Monitor and track progress to goals for foundation and corporate revenue line items keeping EMERGE leadership and board of directors informed through regular reporting.
  • Creatively pursue and follow through on connections to new prospects and current institutional funders through cold calls, letters, and visits.

The Person:


  • Ability to effectively tell the EMERGE story through various platforms
  • Ability to craft a narrative that is both informative and emotional
  • Excels at the art of writing overall

Relationship Builder

  • Understands the power of intentional and meaningful relationship building with external stakeholders to build credibility and drive outcomes
  • Builds trust with team and the broader team to foster a collaborative culture and culture of philanthropy to produce stronger outcomes as a result

Data- and Results-Driven

  • Exceeds fundraising goals and strategizes and develops action plans and deploys team to go above and beyond; Relentless in the pursuit of increasing major gifts
  • Utilizes and analyzes donor data and giving behaviors to drive fundraising strategy

Strategic Thinker & Problem Solver

  • Asks the right questions and creates innovative solutions to drive change and increase results
  • Foresees and addresses challenges and opportunities within the revenue model and actively seeks resources to create out-of-box solutions
  • Demonstrates high level of initiative and independence to achieve aggressive revenue goals and takes a forward-thinking approach to identifying new opportunities to enhance fundraising
  • Strong understanding of data and ability to analyze outcomes to drive strategic thought processes
  • Listens to understand and create solutions

Time Maximizer

  • Meet professional obligations through efficient work habits such as meeting deadlines, honoring schedules, coordinating resources and meetings in an effective and timely manner and demonstrate respect for others
  • Self-starter, anticipates needs and able to take initiative when necessary
  • Conscientious about priorities, display good time management and positive attitude


  • Able to produce high-quality work without error. Has a proven track record of high attention to detail

Ideal Candidate will have:

  • 5-7 years of grant-writing, foundation and/or corporate fundraising experience with demonstrated success in driving and meeting annual fundraising targets
  • Grant-writing experience in education space a plus
  • Bachelor's degree highly preferred
  • High energy and passion for EMERGE’s mission is essential
  • Strong and persuasive written and oral communication skills
  • Strong organizational and project management skills; ability to effectively prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Proficient in MS Excel
  • Experience using DonorPerfect preferred
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside EMERGE
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Expertise in data management, monitoring fundraising metrics, and using data to guide decision making

Who we are:
At EMERGE, we live by our Core Values:

  • Equity grounds us
  • Diversity defines us
  • Talent mobilizes us
  • Meaningful relationships fuel us
  • Results distinguish us

Founded in 2010, EMERGE is a college access organization changing the life trajectories of thousands of students across the Houston area. Since its inception, EMERGE has grown from serving 14 students across four high schools, to serving over 1,600 high school students across five school districts. We also serve over 1,400 college scholars at over 100 selective colleges and universities across the country.

The EMERGE nonprofit is a partner to EMERGE Houston ISD, EMERGE Spring Branch ISD, EMERGE Spring ISD, EMERGE Aldine ISD, and EMERGE Klein ISD.

As EMERGE’s impact has grown, our nonprofit team has grown to over 30 staff members. You will be joining an energetic, passionate team of individuals working to propel Houston’s top talent upwards and onwards.

What we offer:


At EMERGE, we aim to enact our core value of “equity grounds us” within our compensation practices to ensure a competitive and equitable salary & benefits package for all employees.

Our salary bands are established to accommodate growth within the role and varied experience levels at point of hire. Based on historical data, we anticipate most candidates will begin their time at EMERGE at the lower end of the salary band. Yearly increases are based on the impact and scale of your role, along with external market factors.

Health Benefits

EMERGE offers comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage. EMERGE also provides short-term and long-term disability insurance, along with life Insurance.

Retirement Planning

Eligible employees may participate in EMERGE’S 403(b) plan. EMERGE will match 100% of eligible contributions up to 3 percent of your gross earned salary.

Paid Time Off

Eligible employees have access to 27 Paid Time Off days for the year upon their first day of employment. EMERGE is closed for 18 holidays.

Professional Development

Eligible employees are awarded a $500/year stipend for role relevant professional development opportunities as well as access to internal EMERGE development tracks as they are offered.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received.