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Head of Institutional Advancement

American Farm School
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Dec 3, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Special Events, Programs, Grant Making, Managing Volunteers
Academic Centers, Community Development, Education, Environment, Research
Employment Type
Full Time
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The American Farm School seeks a dynamic, strategic and collaborative leader of Institutional Advancement. In consultation with the President, the Head of Advancement plans, directs and executes the School’s development strategy in support of the AFS mission and vision. Having recently completed a $22 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, the School is poised to capitalize on the momentum and excitement of this effort.

The Head of Advancement is charged with developing a new comprehensive, multi-year fundraising plan for Greece and the U.S. that will lead to significant endowment growth, multiply annual giving results, and support new areas of campus focus. The Head is responsible for the overall planning, management, coordination and evaluation of activities that will attract significant philanthropic support for the School, as well as the achievement of targets. While she/he will lead and develop team members focused on the ultimate goal of meeting fundraising outcomes and developing strong, ongoing relationships with supporters, the Head will also be an active and creative individual producer of philanthropic support and carry her/his own portfolio of leadership gift prospects.  The Head of Institutional Advancement is a member of the President’s Senior Administrative team.

The American Farm School of Thessaloniki, Greece is the premier institution in south eastern Europe for education and research in agriculture, food systems, environmental studies and other life sciences related to our sustainable future. Founded in 1904 by enlightened American educators, the School today offers innovative environmental education from preK-12, while its Perrotis College of Agriculture, Environment and Life Sciences offers English language B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in related fields. The School’s comprehensive campus farm serves as a living laboratory for hands-on education and applied research for students of all ages, and as a center of lifelong learning for adults throughout the region and beyond. A long-standing scholarship program provides promising young men and women with an unparalleled education that leads to productive careers. AFS graduates continue to have a significant impact on the region and the world, and the School’s leadership, faculty and students engage in international initiatives around agriculture, the environment and sustainability. The American Farm School is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization registered in the State of New York and located in Thessaloniki, Greece, and is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of prominent volunteer leaders from the U.S. and Greece.


  • Directs the Institution’s Advancement Program for Greece and the U.S. The Advancement Program includes major gifts, planned giving, annual fund, foundation and corporate support, benefit/stewardship events, alumni affairs and Advancement communications
  • Collaborates with the President on development activities and prepares reports reflecting associated activities and ROI related to institutional advancement
  • Based on the Institution’s strategic plan, prepares and submits for approval to the President the Development strategy to achieve annual and multi-year fundraising goals on the basis of given priorities
  • Leads and manages staff to successfully implement the development plan and sustainable growth in giving. Ensures the advancement staff meets targets and follows through on the engagement and gift cycle of their constituent portfolios
  • Personally supervises a dynamic portfolio of high net worth individuals and organizations to secure major, capital, and planned gifts 
  • Works closely with the President and members of the Board of Trustees and other volunteers to identify linkage, ability and interest of major gift prospects, and develops strategies for their cultivation and solicitation
  • Provides budget oversight of the Advancement operation, including planning and administering annual and longer term budgets with the approval of the President, evaluates results, and develops corrective strategies as needed
  • Directs the preparation of grant proposals for corporations, foundations and other charitable enterprises, as well as appeals to individual donors
  • Ensures appropriate stewardship is provided to recognize donor philanthropy
  • Coordinates with the President and School’s management team to identify AFS funding needs and develop cases for their support 
  • Maintains currency in trends, technology and the environmental landscape of Advancement and Development in education
  • Ensures the Advancement Office is complying with the Institution’s policies and procedures governing gift acceptance, processing and stewardship
  • Coaches, inspires and guides the advancement team toward accountable, goal-oriented outcomes. Contributes to ongoing peer and professional development in Advancement in Greece, particularly around cross-cultural competencies

Attributes of ideal candidate:

  • A minimum of 12 years of professional advancement or development experience, preferably in education
  • Advanced degree
  • Experience in successfully managing teams as well as strategic thinking and planning
  • A record of leadership and accomplishment with a proven track record of major gift success, including the ability to develop and negotiate complex relationships and proposals
  • Exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills in Greek and English for communicating with a broad and diverse audience. Strong presentation skills
  • Ability to engage favorably with volunteers and donors
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies both within and without an educational environment, in Greece and the U.S.
  • Skills in leading and inspiring personnel. She/he should have the interpersonal skills to encourage, coach, communicate with and motivate staff
  • A willingness to be part of a community that is larger than just the Advancement division. Ability to work well across divisions
  • Willingness to travel, commensurate with AFS’s expectations for fundraising activity and contacts

Other important characteristics include good judgment, a strong work ethic, and personal integrity. The candidate should be capable of representing the Institution at the highest level and model the behavior and excellence for which the American Farm School stands.

Application requirements

Candidates should send a letter of interest and their CV by November 30, 2021, electronically only, to the Human Resources Department, attn: Despina Theodoridou, e-mail address: The e-mail should have the subject:  Application for Head of Institutional Advancement position. For more information please contact: Despina Theodoridou by phone (+30 2310 492740) or e-mail ( 


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