Chief Advancement Officer, Independent School

Connecticut, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 01, 2020
Oct 30, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

The Chief Advancement Officer at Hopkins School reports directly to the Head of School and is a key member of the senior administrative team. This is a position with high visibility and responsibility for the overall vision, leadership, strategic orientation and results for the entire Advancement Office. The Chief Advancement Officer is ultimately responsible for leadership and providing day to day direction for a talented and enthusiastic staff; planning and organizing the major gifts program and the planned comprehensive campaign; managing a personal major gifts portfolio of up to 100 prospects; fostering and enhancing alumni and parent engagement; and serving as the School liaison for Advancement to the Committee of Trustees. In so doing, the Chief Advancement Officer has two direct reports—the Director of Leadership Giving and the Director, Hopkins Fund & Development Operations; this team of three oversees all Advancement functions.

Hopkins seeks an engaging and dynamic leader who will embrace the mission of the School, represent the School’s values to external constituencies, and partners with the Head and Committee of Trustees to orchestrate a historic and transformative $100M+ comprehensive campaign to realize the School’s full potential. The campaign’s major funding priorities include:

Supporting Our Community

  • Student Access and Affordability
  • Faculty and Staff Support and Development
  • Internal and External Engagement

Innovating Our Program

  • Academic Excellence
  • Personal and Community Excellence
  • Programmatic Depth and Balance

For this position, Hopkins seeks a leader with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This includes aiding in the growth of a need based financial aid budget for distribution of funds across students of varying means to ensure Hopkins is affordable to the most promising students across the socioeconomic spectrum.

In addition to serving as the School’s most visible front-line fundraiser, the Chief Advancement Officer is responsible for planning and executing strategies to advance the School's various Advancement activities including all fundraising activities (major gifts, annual giving, planned giving) and alumni/ae and parent engagement.

Working closely with the Head of School, the incumbent will be a senior strategically-oriented Advancement professional who will play a leadership role in furthering the School’s Alumni/ae and Development mission. Hopkins seeks an ambitious fund-raising professional who will enhance the School’s current operation and will lead the program to its next level of success. The ideal candidate we seek is a thoughtful, articulate and experienced leader who demonstrates the ability to organize a dynamic constituency toward a common goal. This is a high profile position which requires a strong ability to build consensus and “good-will” on behalf of the School and its loyal constituency. The Head of School, to whom the Chief Advancement Officer reports, seeks a person who is enthusiastic, genuine, an effective manager and leader of people, a team player and one dedicated to the mission of a day school. The Chief Advancement Officer must be able to develop strong relationships with all constituents and to secure annual, capital, endowed, and planned gifts that support the School’s mission.


• Develop and maintain a highly collaborative working relationship with the Head of School and Committee of Trustees in order to ensure cohesive messaging of the Institutional strategic goals and objectives for the Advancement Office.

• Provide leadership, foster initiative and provide accountability for the Advancement Staff in setting the direction for all fundraising, advancement services, alumni/ae and parent engagement activities and events.

• Work with the Head of School to manage all activities related to the planned major comprehensive campaign and specifically the School's top prospects.

• Work closely with the Chair of Advancement for the Committee of Trustees; prepare reports for the Trustees on a regular basis.

• Develop strategies for enhancing the School's level of major gift fundraising.

• Ensure that the Hopkins Fund and major gift staff have the coaching and necessary skills to maximize time and efficiency in cultivating top prospects and identifying new prospects.

• Ensure that the strategy for the School’s Stewardship Program recognizes all donors appropriately and cultivates prospective major gift donors.

• Work with the Chief Financial and Operating Officer to ensure the accuracy of financial records related to all fundraising for the School.

• Work with other senior administrators to set communications strategy in all areas related to the School’s Advancement program.


• Knowledge and experience with successful major and planned giving solicitation of alumni/ae, parents and friends of a top independent day school.

• Ability to engage, interact effectively with and earn the respect of all the constituencies of the School community: the Head of School, the administration, staff, faculty, students, the Committee of Trustees, alumni/ae, parents, and other friends of the School.

• Ability to set strategic direction, be a skilled and knowledgeable mentor and communicate effectively with the Advancement staff to achieve department goals and objectives.

• Knowledge of how to effectively market and communicate the values and mission of the School both internally and externally.

• A vision and interest in promoting the strategic plan.

• Confidence, self-assurance, humility, a high level of integrity, and a personal style which will earn respect and attention.

• Ability and skill set which can clearly interact with sophisticated, high net worth individuals.

• Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.

• Demonstrated ability and track record to identify, cultivate, solicit and close major gift, planned gift and annual fund leadership prospects.

• Knowledge and experience in prospect tracking, stewardship and reporting procedures and all aspects of annual giving programs.

• Experience in organizing and conducting an on-going major giving program and a major comprehensive capital campaign.

• Success and experience in recruiting, managing, and servicing volunteers including members of governing boards.

• Preference for 10+ years of Advancement work with an independent school, a college and/or a university strongly desired.

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