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Executive Director of Major Gifts

Company: Sterling Search Inc. (St. Mary's School)
Location: Aliso Viejo
Posted on: January 21, 2023

Job Description:

Executive Director of Major Gifts - Aliso Viejo, CA
St. Mary's School has retained Sterling Search, Inc. to conduct a search for its new Executive Director of Major Gifts (EDMG). This position will report to the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) and is an integral member of the Development Leadership Team. Centrally located in the foothills of Aliso Viejo, St. Mary's has achieved regional acclaim, attracting students from more than 11 cities in Orange County, from the coastal communities of Newport Beach down to San Clemente, and inland from Irvine to the foothills of Trabuco Canyon.

With a rich history and a strong family community, St. Mary's is the first and only private early education through middle school in Orange County to offer the IB Programme. St. Mary's uses the Design Thinking educational framework, a creative and collaborative problem-solving educational model which is rooted in empathy. Students apply a variety of tools, technology and skills to take risks, learn from feedback and improve designs and solutions. This framework promotes critical thinking while focusing on developing skills to meet the challenges of the ever-changing world.

St. Mary's approach to education is both aspirational and goal-oriented, providing a trans-disciplinary curriculum with high academic standards, coupled with a strong athletics and arts program. At the heart of the St. Mary's experience is a values-driven atmosphere that helps children to become caring, compassionate individuals who are not just critical thinkers, but young people who take ownership for improving the world.

The Opportunity

For 28 years, St, Mary's has benefitted from the generosity of its community, raising over $1M for the St. Mary's Fund just this year. Combined with the St. Mary's Scholar's Fund as well as gifts to the Design the Future capital campaign, committed and generous donors contributed more than $2M+ in philanthropic support in this past fiscal year. Please reference this page for more information on St. Mary's School fund development's success

The new Executive Director of Major Gifts will join a small but mighty team of seasoned fundraising professionals and will be charged with building a robust major gifts program. The EDMG will lead the implementation of a long-term, donor-focused major gifts initiative centered around a multi-year, $20 - $25M Design the Future capital campaign. The EDMG will manage a portfolio of identified prospects and donors with capacity of $50,000 to $250,000 who have been wealth screened and will be at different stages of qualifying, cultivating, acquisition and stewardship. The campaign will invest in the campus including an environmentally sustainable and tech-enabled facility that will be a manifestation of design thinking and progressive learning. This facility will become the home to the Kindergarten and Early Education Program (EEP) and a Design Center with multiple innovation labs that support science, technology and a fine arts program.

This is an excellent opportunity for a seasoned Major Gifts professional with a passion for education, experience with (or a sincere interest in) Design Thinking and the skills and vision to implement a successful philanthropic program focused on securing 5-and 6-figure major gifts. The successful EDMG will be someone who understands the other areas of fund development, but one who enjoys a 100% focus on major gift development.

Position Overview

In partnership with the CAO, the EDMG will be charged with leading the strategy for building a more robust major gift program. The new EDMG will have a demonstrated track record of managing a diverse and robust donor portfolio. They will have extensive experience and demonstrated success in "moves management" withi a large major gift portfolio, including donor identification, engagement, solicitation and stewardship.

This is an on-site, "forward-facing" leadership position that interacts regularly with parents, grandparents, alumni, faculty, staff and other stakeholders who are invested in St. Mary's mission and vision.

Specific duties and responsibilities for the position include the following:

  • Collaborate with the Head of School and CAO to build and implement an effective and successful major gift program including individual solicitation plans for major gift prospects/donors.
  • Implement donor cultivation and stewardship strategies resulting in new major gift donors, annual fund growth, effective wealth screening & donor segmentation, engagement of key constituencies, and development of St. Mary's overall fundraising base.
  • Ensure that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in keeping with St. Mary's values, mission and vision.
  • Serve as a collaborative member of the development team by participating in overall fundraising goals, as necessary.
  • Partner with the finance department to ensure sound fiscal operation of all Major Gift reporting including timely and accurate management of charitable contributions income and expense budgets.
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws, maintain accountability standards to donors, and ensure compliance with code of ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives.
  • Execute all other reasonable duties as assigned by the CAO and Head of School.
    • Seven years of experience in a senior level Major Gift role with a successful track record in fundraising and acquiring gifts at the five- and six-figure level.
    • Strong interpersonal and communication skill set and demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of varied and changing stakeholders, including parents, staff, board members, potential donors, volunteers, community leaders, alumni and others.
    • Demonstrated ability to build deep, productive relationships and strongly influence internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
    • Demonstrated ability to enhance community engagement and strengthen the visibility, purpose, and case for support for St. Mary's capital campaign.
    • Highly competent in strategic and multi-year planning.
    • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail.
    • Excellent oral and written communication/presentation skills.
    • Demonstrated passion and commitment to the mission and vison of St. Mary's.
    • Flexible and collaborative with the ability to work independently with minimum supervision.
    • Ability to work a flexed schedule to include evening/weekend work as needed.
    • Experience at a private school preferred, but not required.
    • Passion for education and enhancing the educational experience of students is necessary.

      Salary of $145,000 to $165,000 plus a comprehensive range of benefits.

Keywords: Sterling Search Inc. (St. Mary's School), Aliso Viejo , Executive Director of Major Gifts, Executive , Aliso Viejo, California

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