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Assistant Vice President for Development

California Institute of the Arts
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Apr 15, 2023

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Position Type
Fundraising, Other Fundraising
Employment Type
Full Time

Assistant Vice President for Development

California Institute of the Arts

Valencia, California

The Search

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) seeks a strategic, experienced, and collaborative fundraising leader to serve as the assistant vice president for development (AVP). Reporting to the vice president and chief advancement officer (VP/CAO) and serving as an integral member of the advancement senior leadership team, this individual will be responsible for leading and coalescing the frontline fundraising team within the advancement division. Serving as a strategist and thought partner, the AVP will work closely with President Ravi Rajan, VP/CAO Natalie Farrar Adams, and the gift officers to secure individual and institutional support at major and principal gifts levels to advance CalArts’ strategic priorities.

CalArts embarks on this search at a pivotal moment for its advancement enterprise. The division has a once in a lifetime opportunity to build its infrastructure and grow the staff as a result of investment through restricted private philanthropy. In addition, the advancement division continues to benefit greatly from the leadership of President Rajan—a dynamic and data-minded leader committed to investing in philanthropy—and VP/CAO Natalie Farrar Adams who has set fundraising at CalArts on an ambitious new trajectory. With visionary leadership, and a highly motivated staff of fundraising professionals, the growing advancement efforts at CalArts support a strategic vision rooted in increased access and equity for all students. In addition to increasing endowed scholarship dollars, giving opportunities will fund curriculum innovation as well as campus-wide infrastructure and facility upgrades to ensure sustainable growth and exemplary student experiences. Current initiatives are focused on the celebration of the 50th anniversary of CalArts, with planning for a future comprehensive campaign underway.

The AVP will work closely with the VP/CAO and peers within the division to develop and implement best practices and principles for engagement, development, stewardship communications, and advancement services. The AVP will lead the development team by example, maintaining a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and donors in addition to supporting the CAO’s and president’s portfolios. They will prepare cultivation and stewardship strategies so that each executive stays actively engaged with their closest supporters. The AVP will lead development meetings and strategy sessions that emphasize integrating gift officers into the larger advancement strategy, liaising with institute-wide peers in a leadership capacity on behalf of advancement, and regularly reporting to and collaborating with the VP/CAO and president about the ongoing needs, success, and challenges of fundraising efforts at CalArts.

The successful candidate will possess a deep understanding of the entire donor cycle and be adept at advising on all aspects of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. They will have demonstrated experience working with high-level donors and securing significant philanthropic support for the arts and/or educational communities. The AVP will lead strategy on individual and institutional gift initiatives focusing on the growing donor pipeline and ensuring the development staff is successful in engaging their portfolios of prospects and donors. The successful candidate must be able to create a results-oriented work environment that encourages innovation, promotes diversity, and rewards collaboration – both in the division and around campus – and group achievement.

CalArts has retained Rachel Ellenport of the national executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller, to assist in this important recruitment. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed to the search firm at

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) seeks to employ faculty and staff who can engage our diverse communities of learners at the highest levels of artistic endeavor and critical thinking. Across the range of practitioners from artists to scholars and librarians, we welcome candidates who possess a demonstrated worldview and cultural competency to support teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of varied backgrounds, capabilities, perspectives, social identities, and gender expressions. CalArts is an equal opportunity employer.

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