The Director of Development (DoD) provides leadership, strategy, support, encouragement, and integration of efforts for all fundraising and alumni activities at TPS. Working closely with the Head of School, the DoD is responsible for the execution of all fundraising activities, including identification and management of prospects; cultivation and solicitation of donors; closure of gifts; proper stewardship of prospects and donors; and management of TPS campaign activities. The DoD serves as a member of the school’s Leadership Team, working closely with senior administrative colleagues to evaluate school priorities, contribute to strategic planning, and design and recommend strategies to achieve fundraising objectives.
The DoD oversees the ongoing work of the Office of Development, which includes management of staff members in the areas of major gifts, planned gifts, annual giving, and alumni relations. In addition, the DoD will collaborate closely with the Offices of Communications and Admissions to assure sharing of information, consistency of messaging, and achievement of development priorities.
In partnership with the CFO, the DoD monitors and tracks all capital campaign and annual fund revenues and expenditures and works closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure the integrity of constraints on the acceptance and use of donor funds. In carrying out their responsibilities, the DoD will create comprehensive plans that promote annual and major gift fundraising and constituency engagement.
The DoD must be a highly visible presence within the TPS community, including engaging with faculty and staff throughout the school, being present in the day-to-day life of the school by greeting student and parents at daily drop-off and pick-up, and pitching in at school wide assemblies and functions.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
With a strong reputation for excellence in progressive education, a proud tradition in the City of Philadelphia, and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the school’s founding, TPS is in a healthy position as it looks to the future. These strengths are complemented by the following: a solid foundation for a robust development program; a strong sense of mission and core values that inform programs and initiatives; a collaborative culture; and a strong commitment to educational access, diversity, and equity.
The school has a dedicated community of parents and volunteer leaders and is led by Lisa Sun, a dynamic and innovative Head of School with a bold educational vision. At the same time, there are many areas where the new DoD can positively impact TPS’ philanthropic profile. For example:
Executing a successful comprehensive campaign – TPS has not had a comprehensive campaign for a number of years and planning and executing the campaign will be a key priority for the DoD. This will involve assessing the recommendations of the Graham-Pelton study, building the necessary infrastructure and key metrics, and working with the Head of School, Advancement Committee, and Board of Trustees to identify and synthesize campaign priorities and strategies.
Building a culture of philanthropy – The DoD will need to be instrumental in making the case for support among all constituencies, explaining the importance of percentage of giving, the vital nature of annual fund giving, and the long-term impact of building endowment. Strengthening alumni and parent engagement – She or he must ensure that existing alumni relationships are deepened while proactively working to enhance relations with less-involved alumni. The DoD will oversee the development of initiatives to establish robust connections with alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends across generations. Most of the school’s current families have not participated in a major campaign and the DoD must educate them about the importance of a campaign to the school’s future.
Strengthening communication and collaboration – Increasing the level of communication within the development office through staff meetings and other means is a high priority for the new DoD, as is strengthening connections with the Office of Communications, Office of Admissions, and the Business Office. This includes sharing information, ideas, and planning, and developing compelling narratives about the work of TPS faculty, students, and programs.
Building a strong and effective development team – The development team is eager and enthusiastic but needs strong leadership to enhance its productivity and increase philanthropic engagement with alumni, corporate, foundation, and community partners. The DoD must ensure that the team’s functional alignment and infrastructure are optimized and that staff are proactive, flexible, and operate collaboratively and seamlessly with other TPS offices.
POSITION DESCRIPTION THE PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL | DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT PREPARED BY PETE GILLIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR; MANUEL A. GONGON, JR., PRINCIPAL 5
KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:
TPS seeks a strategic, engaging, and creative advancement leader who can connect a demonstrated level of technical competence with TPS’ mission and be a strategic partner to the Head of School and Board of Trustees in casting a vision for new philanthropic possibilities and directions. The DoD will be a proactive communicator and will exhibit a personal style that reflects collaboration, partnership, transparency, and inclusion. She or he will be an independent and strategic thinker with a clear sense of her or his role as a leader, self-awareness with respect to operating style, a willingness to grow and adapt, and an ability to serve as both a manager and a mentor of others. The DoD should bring a knowledge of best practices, the flexibility to adapt practices and procedures to institutional culture, and the ability to educate and engage with others in their implementation. The DoD must also be a bridge builder and respectful listener who is able to establish credibility with faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and donors. The DoD must possess excellent interpersonal skills, a good sense of humor, personal warmth, and most importantly, a willingness to pitch in as an engaged member of the TPS community.
Strong candidates will possess the following qualifications:
An undergraduate degree is required, with a strong preference for an advanced degree;
At least seven years of progressively responsible senior leadership experience in development, with a demonstrated track record of helping to grow a comprehensive development program in an educational or nonprofit institution;
Broad background in fundraising, including work across related functional areas; strength in the area of individual giving is essential, including demonstrated expertise in major gift fundraising; 6 years experience in planned giving and with annual fund procedures for grooming the next generation of major gift donors would be highly desirable;
Participation in the planning, management, and successful conclusion of a major comprehensive campaign is essential;
A track record of recruiting, developing, and retaining a high caliber staff; demonstrated ability to provide management, leadership, and strategic direction to maximize the support of external constituencies; an accessible leader and team builder who is willing to roll up their sleeves; the ability to work with and inspire others to high levels of performance, leverage ideas into action, and to take intelligent risks during a period of change;
Excellent organizational skills and operational experience, and the ability to manage resources with prudence and efficiency; a passion for continuous improvement;
Experience in strategic and operational planning, including establishing metrics and processes to monitor and evaluate performance outcomes and implement performance improvement initiatives when required; must have a track record of meeting or exceeding measurable goals;
An open and creative approach to problem solving and a willingness to promote innovative thinking about problems and opportunities;
Confidence in exercising leadership skills, and the credibility to represent the school and gain the respect of donors, the Board of Trustees, alumni, parents, faculty, and other colleagues;
Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing, as well as well-honed listening skills; demonstrates a high degree of emotional intelligence, authenticity, and a good sense of humor;
Unimpeachable personal integrity and trustworthiness; a fine-tuned sense of discretion in the handling of confidential and sensitive matters.
A demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a track record of working effectively with diverse groups.
A high level of energy, a sense of urgency, and the intellectual capacity to partner effectively with a visionary Head of School who generates ideas and has high expectations.