Executive Vice President of Advancement - Historic Conference and Retreat Center

Nestled on 1,400 mountain acres centered on the 30-acre Kanuga Lake, Kanuga offers a year-round, full-service conference and retreat center, as well as three youth programs providing summer camps and outdoor education.  Prior to COVID-19, more than 25,000 people traveled to Kanuga annually for an array of programs, a population that is concentrated in the southeastern U.S. but extends worldwide. Historically affiliated with The Episcopal Church, Kanuga has been shaped by an expansive understanding of community in all its diversity.  Our services have extended beyond denominational borders hosting over 170 groups from churches, non-profits, business organizations, public, independent and church-affiliated schools.  Launched with a powerful vision in 1928, Kanuga has attained the size and scope of a national conference facility. 

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Kanuga will emerge stronger. Annual giving in 2020 increased over $1 million, year over year, with total giving approaching $3 million in 2020.  A challenge going forward will be to sustain the level of giving necessary for Kanuga to thrive in a constantly changing business environment.  

The Advancement Division is a fast-paced, high-volume and critical entity within Kanuga’s organizational structure. Funds raised by the division support Kanuga’s operating budget and on-going capital improvements, such as those outlined in Kanuga’s long-range plans. 

The Executive Vice President of Advancement reports to the President and works closely with that office to coordinate, envision, and implement all aspects of the organization’s development.  The EVP is responsible for Kanuga’s contributed income as well as support for all earned income.  The EVP leads Kanuga in the attainment of contributed revenues in the areas of annual giving, designated giving, endowed funds, and capital campaigns. The EVP also oversees a Director of Marketing and all communications that support the mission of Kanuga.  

The EVP must possess strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and demonstrate outstanding executive leadership.  The leader must be able to delegate responsibilities, organize complex projects, and establish priorities consistent with Kanuga’s long-term goals.   Accordingly, the position assists the President in championing donor stewardship at Kanuga and is a member of the organization’s Executive Team.

Overarching Advancement Goals:

  • Provide a consistently exceptional and improving experience for Kanuga donors.
  • Identify national prospects for relationship development.
  • Embody Kanuga’s culture and core values.
  • Model fundraising best practices.
  • Meet development goals.
  • Generate genuine passion for Kanuga and its mission, serving as a key spokesperson to internal and external audiences.

Accountability:  The Executive Vice President of Advancement reports directly the President of Kanuga Conferences, Inc.  In addition, the position has strong matrix relationships with Kanuga’s Board of Trustees,  board committees, the Kanuga Board of Visitors (BOV), and all members of the Executive Team.   The EVP provides leadership to and manages the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees. 

Principle Responsibilities:                 


Major Campaigns  

  • Provide overall campaign planning, budgeting, organization, and management.
  • Organize and monitor volunteer assignments and follow-up; manage campaign meetings and volunteer events.
  • Establish solicitation priorities. 
  • Prepare and provide solicitation training and support; participate in flooring and major solicitations as appropriate.
  • Manage the writing and development of capital campaign print and electronic collateral materials.
  • Manage campaign record keeping.
  • Annual Fund

  • Develop Annual Fund goals (e.g. total gift target, number of donors, new donors).
  • Collaborate fresh, innovative prospect cultivation and solicitation strategies for each year’s campaign.
  • Cultivate and solicit a portfolio of individual, parochial and foundation prospects.
  • Build and manage a strategic moves management system for Annual Fund donors.
  • Board of Visitors

  • Oversee Board of Visitors membership activities annually.
  • Identify Board of Visitors candidates and review all applications annual prior to each October BOV Weekend event.
  • Develop annual meeting plans; manage all logistics Board of Visitors weekends.
  •  Major Gifts

  • Build and manage a strategic management system for major gift prospects.
  • Complete research necessary to optimize major gifts solicitations.
  • Travel to engage and solicit major gifts prospects in key Kanuga geographic markets.
  • Prepare proposals and case statements for major gift solicitations; coordinate implementation of funded projects. 
  • Planned Giving

  • Work with donors and their financial advisors as needed to meet their goals. 
  • Research, and when necessary, obtain legal opinions on tax and legal ramifications of complex gifts. 
  • Marketing 

  • Oversee the Director of Marketing, ensuring that all communications relate to the mission and vision of Kanuga and support all advancement initiatives.
  • Provides direction, strategy, and goals for all aspects of the institution’s programming and successful development. 
  • Qualifications





    Demonstrated success in:

    • Organizing and leading complex projects and programs;
    • Has successfully planned and managed complex fundraising programs.
    • Demonstrated success in securing major gifts from individuals and institutions.

    Demonstrated ability to: 

    • Understands advancement strategies and their roles in building successful non-profits.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; works well with a wide range of people.
    • Demonstrated success in building Advancement operations—proven entrepreneurial skills.

    Demonstrated understanding of:

    • Microsoft Office Suite; Blackbuad, 
    • Raiser’s Edge
    • Proven document and information management processes;
    • Knowledge of the Episcopal Church, its protocols and traditions;



    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • 10+ years of significant advancement experience 



    Measurement of Effectiveness:  The Vice President’s effectiveness will be assessed annually by the President using three measures: 

  • External Feedback will be requested to measure stewardship strengths and effectiveness among key constituencies. 
  • Internal Feedback will be solicited from the Vice President’s Kanuga peers and colleagues to determine levels of staff satisfaction as well as assessing the degree to which the Vice President helps others meet their goals while pursuing Kanuga’s objectives and strategies. 
  • Division Results will be measured annually:
    • Revenues and expenses vs. budget
    • Growth of contributed income areas including unrestricted giving including annual fund; restricted giving including designated gifts and capital campaign gifts; and other development areas including planning giving.
    • External assessments of Kanuga’s communication products (through measured and anecdotal response to marketing materials, perceptions of Kanuga’s brand, and the translation into inquiries from existing and new customers for all areas of Kanuga.)