California Arts Council

State of California

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Executive Director

Oakland, CA


Since 2007, zSharp has provided high-quality music education to the most under-resourced elementary schools in the Bay Area. Our program is uniquely comprehensive, providing year-round music teachers that teach every grade—meaning that children experience music in a way that is deeply impactful, long-term, and engaging. Our curriculum ensures students meet and exceed national and state music education standards and is flexible enough to completely integrate with a school’s curriculum. Every week students master musical concepts and reinforce concepts learned in other academic classes.


The board is seeking a results-oriented leader with strong interpersonal skills, who has a dynamic and inclusive approach to leadership. The ideal candidate will have the ability to build external relationships and networks, inspire funders and partners, drive the continued success of zSharp’s current programs, and work with the board to identify new areas where the organization can have an impact.

The ideal candidate will also have a proven strategic planning and fundraising track record. The Executive Director will provide dynamic, and forward-thinking leadership, promoting the fulfillment of zSharp’s vision and mission. With the support of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will oversee a talented staff of 5 and an annual budget of $350,000. Fundraising and funding source development, marketing and event planning, financial management, organizational development, board engagement, and staff management are all key areas the Executive Director will be expected to lead.


Development and Fundraising:

  • Forge new connections in philanthropic communities to enable successful fundraising activities, recommend and execute on new streams of revenue, and position zSharp as an attractive option for corporate sponsorship and individual giving opportunities

  • Deepen existing relationships with diverse funding sources, including foundations, corporations, individual donors, and government agencies

  • Successfully manage and support existing fundraising activities for increased growth

  • Effectively drive new revenue funding opportunities through a combination of approaches, such as traditional means and new fee for service options opportunities

  • Oversee and manage all aspects of external marketing communications, from web presence and social media channels to more traditional avenues external relations, in order to increase develop a stronger brand awareness

  • Maintain existing relationships and create new ones to garner new opportunities (in fundraising, partnerships, communications and program creation)

  • Effectively enlist Board members to support development efforts  

Strategic Planning & New Business:

  • Collaborate with the Board and staff to help design and manage a new 3-year strategic plan and develop a corresponding fundraising plan to support immediate and long-term strategic priorities

  • Cultivate new external relationships within communities and with organizations that may have an affinity for zSharp’s mission, such as other music-related organizations

  • Develop deeper relationships between zSharp and political and community leaders

Leadership & Management:

  • Serve as our chief fundraiser and be a compelling spokesperson for zSharp’s vision, strategy, and programming among the board, staff, donors, other key stakeholders

  • Ensure excellence across the organization, operationally and programmatically

  • Support and grow a strong Board of Directors

  • Maintain high standards of financial management and reporting

  • Recruit, lead, and retain a high-performing staff

  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with principals, teachers, and school leaders at zSharp partner schools



  • 5+ years of experience in a senior management role, including staff management and budgetary accountability of $250k+

  • Proven track record as a fundraiser with ability to forge relationships with a wide diversity of funding and development sources

  • A track record of fostering collaboration and team building, mentoring and positive staff interactions in the workplace

  • Experience with public/private partnerships strongly preferred

  • Significant experience working with boards and board members through board service, professional roles or a combination

Qualities and Skills

  • Approachable, savvy, humble, warm, and has a genuine personality  

  • Strong commitment to the zSharp mission of providing comprehensive, in-school music education to underserved communities

  • Proven ability to develop and operationalize strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth

  • Accomplished communicator with strong verbal and written communications skills, at ease with a wide variety of audiences

  • Strong fundraising and development, marketing, public relations, and project management experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures


  • zSharp covers Kaiser Bronze Medical plan to all full time staff at no cost to the employees

  • We provide a flexible working schedule and remote location, though all of zSharp’s current programming is based in the East Bay

  • We give generous holiday, vacation, and sick time off.

  • We have a passionate, very dedicated, and extremely talented group of music teachers

  • We will provide you with a thoughtful onboarding experience

  • Best of all, you have the wonderful opportunity to build on our first 10 years as you shape and drive zSharp’s strategy, future growth, and impact!

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to the Search Committee at  Applications will be received on a rolling basis; however, we strongly encourage qualified applicants to apply by December 20, 2017 for the strongest consideration. Our expectation is to identify our next Executive Director by the end of February, 2018.

Deadline: 12-20-2017

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