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Director of Development

McLean School
Maryland, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Jun 23, 2023

Changing the lives of students and families, McLean School provides a comprehensive and academically rigorous full-scope college preparatory school program for bright, college-bound students, including those with dyslexia, anxiety, and ADHD. For over 65 years, the school has helped students realize their full potential with a curriculum that is traditional without being rigid, challenging without being intimidating, and designed with the real world in mind.


McLean recognizes that all children are natural learners, but that they learn in different ways. The School’s Abilities Model® is a more complete way to understand how a student’s mind works. This approach recognizes each child for their strengths, providing support in areas of need and fostering resilience, transforming how students view themselves and their futures. McLean focuses on what a child can do, not what they can’t--all within a college preparatory program that incorporates challenging academics, championship sports teams, visual and performing arts, robotics, service learning, and more. 

Reaching all corners of the McLean experience, the school’s commitment to diversity and equity is an extension of its mission to make education accessible, stimulating, and meaningful to a broad range of learners. McLean embraces diversity and values the integrity of all individuals. This recognition enriches the community and encourages students to be better leaders and more responsible citizens.

Director of Development & Alumni Relations 

McLean School (, a K-12 co-educational independent school in Potomac, Maryland, seeks applicants for a Director of Development & Alumni Relations. This position is currently open and can offer an immediate start or a July 1 start, dependent upon candidate availability. McLean School has for over sixty-five years been helping bright students realize their full potential by providing a comprehensive college preparatory program that emphasizes small classes and differentiated instruction. Through our Abilities Model®, we embrace both traditional learners and ones with mild to moderate learning challenges. We recognize and teach to individual strengths, responding to areas of challenge, but never defining students by them.

This exciting opportunity will challenge a dynamic and driven professional to establish an ambitious development plan, strengthen relationships, expand the major giving donor base, and make an impact as a key player in the emerging culture of philanthropy at McLean. The candidate will bring strategic experience, energy that inspires others to give and further relationships, and a creative approach to compelling communications in alignment with the School’s strategic priorities. The Director of Development & Alumni Relations will report directly to the Assistant Head of School for Advancement until July 2023, and to the Interim Co-Head of School for the 2023-24 school year, working closely with the Administrative Team and Board of Trustees.

The Director of Development & Alumni Relations will play a leading role in identification, cultivation, and solicitation and follow-up with the most philanthropically capable families to ensure increasing levels of endowment gifts, major gifts, grants, planned gifts, and campaign gifts during campaign years. This position is external-facing and accomplished through management of a team that includes an Annual Giving Manager, Alumni Engagement Manager, and potentially a Database Manager, as well as through collaboration with the Board of Trustees, and by effectively leveraging the skills and contributions of McLean’s parents, trustees, friends, alumni, faculty, staff, and volunteers.

Key Responsibilities

  • Collaboratively designs, implements, and oversees a comprehensive short-term, annual, and long-range fundraising program to build a culture of philanthropy and secure significant financial resources from trustees, parents, alumni, foundations and others to support McLean’s mission and strategic priorities.
  • Oversees all major fundraising efforts and programs, including leadership annual giving, major gifts, special fundraising events, grants, capital campaigns, planned giving, donor prospecting and research, and office administration to meet or exceed annual and long- range development plan income goals.
  • In coordination with the Assistant Head of School for Advancement, leads and coordinates the efforts in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a portfolio of major gift donors ($2,500+) with a focus on building long-term relationships with top prospects and donors.
  • Manages a portfolio of 100-150 leadership annual giving donors, sets clear goals for cultivation strategies, executes such strategies that result in the highest level ask for the School’s fundraising priorities and provides reporting of progress towards goals. 
  • Manages a team and works collaboratively with the Annual Giving Manager, the Alumni Engagement Manager, the Parent Engagement Coordinator and potentially a Database Manager.
  • Actively guides and supports the Assistant Head of School for Advancement and Board Development Committee to evaluate annual giving programs, and develop goals and objectives for the following year.
  • Develop and present an annual development plan to the Board of Trustees, and collaborates with Trustees to cultivate and steward major gift donors, and identify new individual and corporate funding opportunities to reach fundraising goals. 
  • Attends and participates in a variety of fundraising, stewardship, community-building, and campus events throughout the year in order to stay informed, connected, and updated on school activities.
  • Articulate a compelling case for support to all constituents; responsible for collaborating on overall priorities with the Assistant Head of School for Advancement.
  • With the Assistant Head of School for Advancement, draft and implement Gift Policies and A Philanthropy Education Action Plan that will help to educate and inspire members of the McLean community.


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 5-7 years of fundraising and related organizational development experience.
  • Demonstrated success cultivating and securing leadership and major gifts. 
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communications skills.
  • Experience with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge or similar relationship development software.


 Leadership Requirements

  • A charismatic, experienced, action-oriented leader who creates enthusiasm in giving.    
  • Demonstrated experience managing people and building team relationships.
  • Ability to manage and lead professional and volunteer staff, including recruiting, training, and professional development.
  • Highly detailed individual with strong work ethic and follow-up.
  • Ability to establish clear directions and sets goals, objectives, and benchmarks.

McLean School is an equal opportunity employer and considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, family responsibilities, disability, genetic status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. If you need a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the recruitment process, please contact Executive Support Manager, Robin Speller.

Interested applicants should fill out an online Application, and upload their cover letter, résumé, and list of references.


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