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CUP is Hiring a Director of Operations & Development

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is looking for a Director of Operations and Development  to manage and develop our financial and administrative operations, including fundraising, budgeting, people and culture, facilities, and information technology. The person in this role will play a critical role in advancing our mission and increasing the impact of our work.

About CUP

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement in partnership with marginalized communities.

CUP’s work addresses the needs of communities organizing for social change around complex public policies and decision-making processes that impact their lives, from affordable housing to labor rights. By collaborating directly with communities to create accessible and visual explanations on issues important to them, CUP provides individuals with the tools to claim their rights, advocate for their needs, and fight for social justice.

In 2021, our work reached over 60,000 people in New York City and beyond. In recent years, our work has expanded to the national scale, as with our collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Center for Court Innovation on graphic novels for child victims and witnesses of crime. We have expanded and deepened our training programs on community-engaged design practices with a racial justice and equity lens, focusing on designers with the support of the Ford Foundation, and launching a training academy for local government workers across the country, with support from the Luce Foundation. Our work has been nationally recognized with a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Institutional Achievement and the Curry Stone Design Prize, and has been featured in publications and exhibit around the world, most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver’s exhibit Citizenship: A Practice of Society.

CUP’s programs continue to deepen and expand their impact. We are completing a 5-year strategic plan to guide the organization’s growth and development in a sustainable and equitable way over the next five years. The Director of Operations and Development will play a critical role in implementing that plan and continuing to build the strong foundation for CUP’s future growth.

CUP is also a great place to work and grow! We have an amazing staff and board, made up of fun, creative, and hardworking people committed to racial justice and equity and to the power of design in effecting change. 

Find out more about our work and our values at: http://welcometoCUP.org

Director of Operations and Development

The Director of Operations and Development is an exciting, critical role in advancing CUP’s mission and impact. This is a full-time position, located at our office in Gowanus, Brooklyn. In this role, you will have a chance to engage with all aspects of CUP’s operations, and will be part of our Leadership Team, with the Executive Director and the Director of Programs.

The Director of Operations and Development will report to the Executive Director, work closely with the board and in partnership with the Director of Programs, and act as the central point of focus for our mission-sustaining development work.  CUP has  a full-time staff of 11 and an annual budget of $1.5 million. The person in this role will manage CUP’s core operations and supervise a staff of two team members as well as external partners and contractors.

This role is a great opportunity for someone to demonstrate and further develop the breadth of skills needed to eventually grow into an executive role in the nonprofit world. The ideal candidate for this position would be someone with several years of increasingly complex experience in nonprofit development and operations, a desire to work in a collaborative setting with a broad range of partners; a belief in the power of design to effect change; and a commitment to racial justice and equity.

We ask that you specifically address these areas, as well as other qualifications, in your cover letter.


The Director of Operations and Development’s responsibilities include:


The Director of Operations and Development creates and manages all aspects of fundraising and development plans including:


  • Leads key prospecting, cultivation, relationship and donor management in partnership with the Executive Director and program staff
  • The Director of Operations and Development also oversees staff to ensure proper documentation, tracking and reporting of all new and existing grants


  • Manages appeal campaigns, crowdfunding, donor communications, and working with board members and staff to engage their networks and resources in events and other fundraising opportunities.
  • Supervises Development Coordinator’s maintenance of Salesforce CRM, including securing additional training and support as needed.
  • Works with Executive Director to develop individual donor strategy and implement it with Executive Director and board.
  • Maintains relationships with major donors and secure gifts for specific initiatives.


  • Works in close partnership with Executive Director on all aspects of strategic planning and successful execution of organizational mission
  • Contributes to leadership team decision-making on key issues impacting the organization, and participates in efforts that help CUP to thrive and to actively work towards making our programs and processes more anti-racist


  • Plays lead role in overseeing the organization’s finances, with support from outside contractors, including budgeting, audits, accounts payable and receivable, and payroll
  • Develops, manages, and monitors the annual organizational budget; oversees collaborative process for drafting budget with all staff; partners with the Executive Director on development, final approval, and board submission of the budget
  • Oversees and manages the annual financial audit and all related documentation, with support from external bookkeeper
  • Supervises staff on expense, invoicing payments, and reconciliations, with bookkeeper support
  • Keeps organization in full compliance with government and funder requirements, including annual audits, grant tracking, insurance coverage, and document retention


  • Actively engages a highly collaborative board on a number of topics including fundraising, development, and strategic planning
  • Manages the board’s External Committee, which is responsible for activating CUP’s individual fundraising efforts and providing strategic guidance on external communications


  • Creates, manages, and oversees CUP’s human resources practices, including personnel policies, benefits administration, and general compliance, with support from external contractors
  • Acts as key liaison with outside support resources such as the PEO (JustWorks), bookkeeping (YPTC), legal counsel, IT consultants, property manager, as well as managing multiple vendor relationships and contracts
  • Supervises two team members in development/communications and administration roles
  • Hires, supervises, trains, and motivates staff and contractors in accordance with job scope, approved budgets, and organizational policies & values


  • Manages CUP physical office facilities and IT, with support from outside contractors and other staff, including managing supplies, equipment, repairs, and maintenance
  • Identifies, negotiates, and manages relevant vendor contracts and relationships

Who should apply?

Requirements for this position are listed below.

We recognize that a successful candidate will meet many of the requirements listed on this job description, but may not meet all of the qualifications. If much of this job description describes you, we encourage you to apply.

Core Skills & Experience:

  • A minimum of 7 years of increasingly complex work experience in nonprofit development and/or organizational management
  • Demonstrated success in multiple areas of nonprofit development including: grants, individual giving, and event planning
  • Demonstrated experience in nonprofit management, including long-range budgeting, cash flow management, business planning, audits, overseeing bookkeeping and accounts payable/receivables, board engagement, contract management, managing external human resources vendor, and compliance
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to speak and write in a clear and accessible way for multiple audiences
  • Experience successfully working with a broad range of partners in a variety of communities, particularly with a strong understanding of racial justice and an ability to engage respectfully with individuals from historically marginalized communities (whether or not you come from one yourself); our stakeholders and partners include members of many different communities, community organizers, funders, government agencies, designers, teaching artists, and high school students
  • Experience successfully supervising, training, and managing staff
  • Understanding of racial justice and ability to apply an anti-oppressive lens to our work and out internal processes and policies. The ideal candidate can be reflective in their own growth around racial justice, and is eager to participate in ongoing efforts to create more just and anti-oppressive practices.
  • A high level of organization and attention to detail
  • Ability to delegate effectively
  • Ability to work in an intensely collaborative, non-hierarchical environment
  • Interest in working with a growing organization, and flexibility to adapt as the organization grows and identify opportunities to support development of organizational infrastructure
  • High level of proficiency with digital tools relevant to this role, particularly Mac platform, Microsoft Office and databases, and familiarity with CRM systems

In addition, any of the following skills and experience are a plus

  • Experience using fundraising databases/CRM systems
  • Experience coordinating events
  • Experience with fee-for-service work and/or business development
  • Lived experience related to the issues our work addresses

Culture, Salary & Benefits

CUP is committed to fostering equity and racial justice in the work we produce, the way we produce it, and the way we function as an organization. We seek to be an organization where people with different abilities and from different racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds can thrive together, and where our practices create opportunities, not barriers, to achieving greater social justice.

In support of our commitment to achieving these goals, CUP strives to be a healthy, positive, and sustainable place to work. To that end, we provide free health insurance benefits, professional development opportunities, and a reasonable work schedule that allows our staff to have a healthy life both inside and outside of work. We are also committed to working together as a staff to better understand issues of race, equity, and justice and to continue to further our own education on how we engage with and address those issues as individuals and as an organization. We support all staff members in pursuing continuous professional development, and use our annual review process to identify individual goals for each year.

This is a full-time, salaried position. The salary range for the position will be in the range of $80,000 to $95,000, commensurate with skills and experience. We also provide fully paid health insurance, an optional 401(k) plan, optional dental insurance, a paid time off package starting with 15 personal days, 12 sick days, and 13 holidays per year.

CUP is an 11-person organization with an annual budget of $1.5 million. Our office is based in Gowanus, Brooklyn, but we work with community partners all over New York City and travel throughout the five boroughs regularly. This position may also entail occasional travel outside of New York City in the future. Work hours are flexible, but generally around 10 am to 6 pm. (Staff have the option to set their start time between 8 am and 11 am Eastern for more flexibility.) Our work requires occasional evening and weekend events, such as launch events, workshops, presentations, and fundraisers. Staff members work in the office a minimum of 3 days per week, with flexible hours, and can work remotely the rest of the time.

All employees who work onsite are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must provide proof of vaccination before entering the office. “Fully vaccinated” means at least two weeks have passed after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or a single dose of a one-dose vaccine. Vaccines must be approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. CUP will maintain the confidentiality of information about employee vaccinations. For job applicants, requests for reasonable accommodation may be submitted after receiving a conditional offer of employment, and will be considered on an individualized basis.

Timeline & Selection Process

Applications will be accepted until the Submittable portal closes at  noon Eastern time on Wednesday, May 25th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so we encourage applicants to submit their materials early.

A hiring committee made up of CUP staff members and a board member will review all complete applications and schedule interviews in early June.

Finalists may be asked to complete a short assignment, and will be compensated for their time.

Applicants will be notified by late June, with an expected start date in July.

How To Apply

If you’re interested in the position, you can apply online via this Submittable page.

To apply, you will need to create an account on Submittable, fill in your contact information, and upload the following materials:

  • A cover letter, in which you address why you are interested in this position, how your experience qualifies you for it, and why you would like to work at CUP
  • A current resume
  • A short writing sample (3 pages maximum), preferably that demonstrates your ability to write in a communications or development context
  • A list of 3 references, including name, how you know them, and their  contact information. (No need to provide letters. We will not contact these references until later stages in the review process and will let you know before we do so.)

Please note that we will NOT review applications that do not provide all requested materials.

No phone calls, please.

CUP is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to fair and inclusive employment practices, and strongly encourage Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color; women; LGBTQ individuals; people with disabilities; people who have experienced incarceration; and others who may contribute to the diversification of ideas to apply.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.