Join Our Team

REAL School Gardens creates learning gardens that grow successful students. To achieve this, we do two things – build learning gardens in low-income schools, and train teachers to use gardens for academic instruction. We have recently launched an aggressive, 4-year growth plan that will expand our impact to 15 cities across the U.S. In July 2016, we launched a regional office in Charlotte, NC to serve school districts in North and South Carolina. Additional regional offices include Texas, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Southeast, as well as a National HQ office in Washington DC.

At REAL School Gardens, each staff member contributes to an inclusive work environment by valuing other people regardless of differences and takes an active role in promoting practices that support diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence. Our work is guided by our core values, qualities we seek in new team members.

Also, we’re always looking for volunteers. To volunteer in our Fort Worth, TX or Washington D.C. offices, please contact

We also post our job openings here, where you can also sign up for new job posting alerts.

Position Title: Development Director

Location:Carolinas Region– based in Charlotte, NC

Reports to Title: Regional Executive Director

FLSA Status: Exempt

Job Type: Full Time, Regular Staff Position

Position Overview 
Working in partnership with the Regional Executive Director and the national development team, the Development Director develops and executes comprehensive fundraising strategies that increase revenue and visibility for REAL School Gardens in the Carolinas Region. The Development Director is responsible for securing new revenue from foundations, corporations, and public funding sources and overseeing regional fundraising operations. They have significant direct revenue goals, in addition to sharing collective responsibility for the overall regional revenue goal, and are responsible for ensuring optimal partnership/donor cultivation and stewardship to successfully secure, grow and renew gifts.

The Development Director reports to the Carolinas Regional Executive Director and works closely with National Fundraising Directors, fundraising staff in other regions, and the Director of Marketing & Communications to exceed fundraising goals.

The Development Director will have a variety of responsibilities, including and not limited to:

— Execute a comprehensive fundraising plan to secure new partnerships with foundations, government agencies, local corporations, school districts and individuals for the Carolinas Region.
— Implement local development strategies, including prospect research and qualification, outreach, partnership development, solicitation, and stewardship.
— Generate and manage the region’s pipeline of funding prospects; leverage Executive Director, Education team, Board of Directors and National Fundraising Directors strategically to cultivate the broadest, most productive partnerships possible for the organization.
— Manage grant-seeking process for the region, including writing, proposal submissions, agreements, reporting and reconciliation.
— Identify and secure public funding opportunities by cultivating relationships with state and local government contacts (e.g. Board of Education, city, county and state government, etc.)
— Partner with National Director of Corporate Partnerships to cultivate, solicit, and steward corporate funders in the region.
— Renew and grow existing partnerships to achieve ambitious fundraising goals for the Carolinas Region; cultivates meaningful relationships with partners and ensures they are stewarded with excellence. Lead development and implementation of new tools and processes that will increase local fundraising capacity and drive revenue.
— Coordinate donor database activities for the region; ensure contacts with funders are recorded and coded accurately for reporting.
— Provide regular reporting on activities and progress to Executive Director and National Fundraising Directors. Collaborate with the Director of Marketing & Communications to develop collateral to support local sales, stewardship and reporting. — Plan and execute local fundraising events as needed
— Manage Regional Development team.
— Other duties as assigned.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

— A four-year college degree in a similar field of study.
— Minimum 5-7 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising or business development with a track record of securing six-figure gifts and expanding existing donor relationships over time.
— Experience working with Board of Advisors.
— Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
— Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to influence and engage a wide range of partners/donors and build long-term relationships.
— Strong project management and organizational skills.
— A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time.
— Ability to learn quickly, manage multiple tasks, and work in an environment of growth.
— Fluency in Raiser’s Edge or similar donor database(s).
— Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
— Willingness to get your hands dirty and the heart to embrace the REAL School Gardens mission and core values.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
— Ability to work after hours and on weekends as needed.
— Ability to lift up to 40 pounds.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

— Normal demands associated with a deadline-driven office environment.
— The noise level is generally moderate.
— Daily contact with external customers, vendors, colleagues, associates, supervisors, and staff at all levels of the organization.

— Ability to travel throughout North/South Carolina and nationally as needed. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements through our jobs site.

Salary and benefits are competitive.


Position Title: Director of Finance

Location: Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Position Overview 

The Director of Finance (Director) is a new position designed to lead our growing finance, accounting and key areas of operations functions. Reporting to the CEO and serving on the national leadership team, the Director will be a key member of our collaborative and mission-focused team, driving academic achievement for low-income youth.

The ideal candidate brings exceptional financial acumen, is entrepreneurial, inclusive, and passionate about education.

The Director of Finance works in close collaboration with the Board of Directors, VP of Regional Operations & Impact, regional offices, and departmental teams to develop a robust financial plan that drives business planning, fundraising, decision-making, cost management, and growth. She/he also works closely with internal stakeholders to shape and lead the organization’s facilities, operations, and technology functions.

The Director of Finance will have a variety of responsibilities in the areas of finance, business operations, and growth. Key responsibilities are highlighted below:

— Manage team of outside vendors and consultants to effectively support the day-to-day financial systems, planning, & analysis for a growing organization;
— Lead annual budget planning and monthly forecast process with emphasis on consolidated analysis; works with each region to understand key variances, risks, and opportunities and drive analytical support;
— Prepare monthly and quarterly reporting packages for senior management, Finance Committee, and Board of Directors;
— Work with financial teams and operations to develop tools to improve reporting and analytics for revenue and key expense items, financial statements, and key metrics; — Support creation of board and senior management presentations providing an overview of the company’s quarterly results and updates to the financial budget;
— Develop new budgets and provide financial support for revenue team;
— Provide financial analysis and modeling support for various ad hoc analyses; — Coordinate timely payment of vendors and employees with adherence to government regulations and internal policies;
— Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local law requirements for all accounting and financial reports;
— Ensure internal controls and financial governance of the organization;
— Safeguard the assets of REAL School Gardens.

Operations (HR, IT, etc.) 
— Work closely with the VP, Regional Operations and Impact to shape and implement sound, strategic operational plans;
— Negotiate and approve contracts, agreements, and leases; manage relationships and compliance for the organization; develop processes and systems across the organization; — Oversee facilities across the organization;
— Ensure national, state, and local compliance for operations is met;
— Manage procurement of goods and services across the organization, identifying areas of cost savings and efficiencies;
— Work with administrative staff across the organization to ensure consistency of administrative processes and create greater efficiencies;
— Work with outside vendors to manage HR administration and insurance; — Manage compensation, benefits, and HR compliance;
— Manage IT vendors and implements technology solutions and training that improves workflow and productivity, and drives efficiencies and growth;
— Track and pursue necessary business licenses, sales tax exemptions, fundraising and other registrations.

— Maintain financial model and prepare financial analysis related to growth and business opportunities;
— Serve are a key member of the revenue team
— Join pitches and donor discussions as needed
— Provide timely, accurate financial reports to donors

— Proven record overseeing the financial management of an organization, department, or initiative;
— Strong analytical, problem solving, project management and financial skills; — Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate at all levels; — Ability to learn quickly, multi-task, and work in an environment of growth; — Exceptional attention to detail and highly organized;
— Strong computer/systems experience including planning and forecasting tools, financial software, databases, and spreadsheets;
— Ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan;
— Ability to develop strong, simple, transparent systems and processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly;
— Balance use of analysis and input gathering with a bias to action; ability to multi-task and manage multiple projects simultaneously, on time and on budget;
— Experience in contract review, negotiations, and compliance.

Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Business or related field or equivalent experience; 8+ years of relevant and proven work experience managing the finances and accounting of an organization (nonprofit experience is a plus)

REAL School Gardens has retained the executive search firm LeaderFit to lead this search. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter here.

Email Sign Up
Sign up to receive our latest email updates!