Executive Director- Advancement, The Bishop Strachan School

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Reports to: Head of School

Direct Reports:  Advancement Team (9)

Summary of Position:

Reporting to the Head of School and working closely with the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, the Executive Director, Advancement will be responsible for executing the strategic philanthropic priorities of the school and ensuring that they align with the school’s strategic priorities and the mission.

The Executive Director, Advancement will lead and develop a team of advancement professionals in order to create and implement strategies and plans to outperform past fundraising efforts, maximize the school’s opportunities to undertake additional capital projects, increase financial assistance, and support other initiatives. Fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is woven into every responsibility of this role, highlighted by the school’s international reach and well-known Boarding program.  The Executive Director works closely with the Head of School to act as liaison between the Board of Trustees, the Development Committee and other related committees. 

Specific Accountabilities Include:

  • Create and implement an Advancement strategic plan that supports the school’s overall strategic plan.
  • Lead and hold the Advancement team accountable to deliver on the Advancement strategic plan.
  • Communicate the Advancement strategic plan to applicable stakeholders across the school’s community.
  • Provide regular updates to Head of School on progress of the plan.
  • Oversee and coordinate efforts of the Advancement team to meet the Advancement tactical goals, including regular fundraising (annual giving program, major gifts, and donor stewardship), fundraising campaigns and events, alumnae and parent relations.
  • Maintaining an accurate full community database.
  • Financial and operational reporting to the CFO, Head of School, as well as the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees.
  • Work closely with the Head of School, the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, the Senior Leadership team, and the Advancement team to continue to grow and foster a culture of philanthropy and engagement that supports the school in enhancing its fundraising efforts and results.
  • Lead the development of a systematic, strategic, creative approach to donor pipeline development, cultivation, and stewardship.
  • Ensure that Advancement staff have clearly understood markers and metrics for success with analysis and iterative goals and ensuring alignment and investment for fundraising and engagement objectives.
  • Act as a key ambassador for alumnae, parents, and donors, representing and promoting (along with the Head of School and volunteers) the interests of the school with respect to fundraising and alumnae and parent engagement initiatives, and representing the school in relevant local, provincial, national, and international associations and councils.
  • Lead and manage the development of the Advancement team, ensuring team members have the resources to support and deliver on the school’s goals.
  • Build the visibility and understanding of Advancement initiatives across faculty and staff, through regular/sustained investment in staff bulletin submissions, Professional Learning presentations, etc.
  • Have a passion for the transformative power and impact of girls’ education.
  • Grow Advancement team members as equity leaders so that their work with the school’s constituents can be purposeful, impactful, and inclusive and embed diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging values into all Advancement activities.
  • Participate in the Staff Growth and evaluation process.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills, Experience and Attributes Include:

A dynamic and results-oriented leader with a sense of urgency and initiative, the ideal candidate will create momentum in pursuit of the school’s advancement goals. The ideal candidate will have experience in developing, guiding, coaching, and supporting an active advancement team, and will provide strategic direction, encouragement, and support to leverage the involvement of the Head, senior volunteers, internal leaders, faculty, and staff. The ideal candidate will:

  • In addition to broad experience in all aspects of advancement, have a proven record of leading and achieving strongly identified targets and metrics in major gift fundraising, including developing a sophisticated advancement function, securing seven-figure gifts, stewarding donors, and leading a significant campaign within an education or not-for-profit setting.
  • Be a highly organized strategist and create, communicate, and lead a team towards an Advancement strategic vision that aligns with the school’s strategic plan.
  • Be a skilled and compelling communicator (internally and externally) with impeccable interpersonal skills.
  • Be highly emotionally intelligent, able to connect and relate easily to a diverse range of individuals at all levels.
  • Have the drive and ability to create opportunities to engage members of the school’s community and to develop mutually beneficial relationships with families and alumnae.
  • Have a track record of being an enthusiastic and tireless cultivator of prospective donors.
  • Have the ability to prioritize and align activities to heighten the integration and effectiveness of the Advancement department, its programs, and its team while also preparing for the school’s next campaign.
  • Ideally have prior experience working with a volunteer Board.
  • Have the experience, motivation, and ability to collaborate closely with other teams in the school.
  • Bring experience in building/enhancing organizational, technological, and information management capacity to support the advancement function.
  • Have the ability to coach the Advancement team in working collaboratively, efficiently, and effectively as a team as well as with other school leadership and departments.
  • Be skilled in establishing clear lines of decision making and accountability, as well as, in developing a reliable system for reporting on the team’s results.
  • Be an experienced mentor who will identify and amplify the talents of others and support the Advancement team in reaching its full potential.
  • Have completed an undergraduate degree (ideally augmented with a designation as a fundraising professional, or other continuing education in the area of advancement).

Leadership Attributes:

  • Dynamic, aspirational, energetic and enthusiastic, with a compelling presence.
  • A strategic thinker who is also practical and able to lead by example.
  • Sales ability, ability to tell a compelling story, and able to close a deal.
  • Trustworthy, respectful, and diplomatic, operating with high integrity.
  • Open and transparent, a collaborative leader who understands the power of regular communication in maintaining a healthy organizational culture.
  • Committed to diversity and inclusion, equity, and fairness.
  • An engaging ambassador and spokesperson who is comfortable in the public eye and has exceptional relationship-building, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • Embraces and reflects the attributes that comprise the signature of the school’s population: curiosity, ethical citizenship, grit, growth mindset, leadership, self-awareness, and voice.

This search is being conducted on behalf of The Bishop Strachan School by The Bedford Consulting Group, an executive search firm specializing in recruiting leaders and fundraisers for Canada’s non-profit sector. If someone you know may be interested in this position, please feel free to forward this information – we would be pleased to connect with them.   

To Apply:

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and express their interest to:

Renee Phillips, Consultant

The Bedford Consulting Group, Inc.

Tel: 416-963-9000 ext. 243

Email: rphillips@bedfordgroup.com  

Bedford is an equal opportunity employer committed to the principles of non-discrimination in the workplace. It is also our policy to source and present candidates on a non-discriminatory basis. Proactively, we make every good faith effort to include a diverse pool of candidates in our search assignment.  We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.