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Senior Director of Major & Principal Gifts

The Bishop's School
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 29, 2023

About The Bishop’s School 

Founded in 1909 and affiliated with the Episcopal Church, The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for 800 students in grades six through twelve located on a historic campus in the heart of La Jolla, just 10 miles north of downtown San Diego. With a student-teacher ratio of approximately 9 to 1, Bishop’s is known for academic, artistic, and athletic excellence while celebrating character development, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Last year’s applicant pool drew from 72 zip codes and 168 middle and high schools throughout San Diego County and beyond. Fifty-one percent of the student population self-identify as students of color. Additionally, over $4 million in need-based grants is awarded annually.

Anticipated Base Compensation Depending on Experience: $155,000 - $170,000

Position Summary Description

Bishop’s Senior Director of Major & Principal Gifts works collaboratively with the School’s Chief Advancement Officer (CAO), peer senior director, and other department directors across Advancement and the School. This position is responsible for the strategy, oversight, and growth of the major and principal gift pipeline and will provide fundraising support with major fundraising campaigns. The Senior Director will be responsible for cultivating and managing relationships with high-level donors that will lead to increased and consistent diverse revenue for the School and for developing a world-class major gifts program, developing a differentiated donor experience. 

Through directly working with donors and through supervising others, this person will manage donors and identify and pursue new donors and funding opportunities for The Bishop’s School. The Senior Director will also manage their own portfolio, soliciting major and principal gifts ($50,000-$1,000,000+) and event sponsorships.

This position is responsible for growing engagement and giving for all of the School’s constituencies including but not limited to alumni, parents, past parents, faculty and staff, grandparents, and friends. The position oversees the Director of Major & Principal Gifts, the major gift and planned giving programs and their activities, and deliverables. 

An Ideal Candidate Will Have 

  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree, ten (10) or more years of overall experience in advancement work and at least one (3) years of experience in major giving or equivalent combination of education and experience required.
  • Working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge and greater fundraising best practices strongly preferred.
  • Direct experience in major giving and campaign fundraising logistics preferred.
  • A full understanding of the trends impacting the fundraising industry.
  • A strategic thinker and able to leverage internal and external resources to maximize fiscal and relationship building outcomes.
  • Must be available for occasional evening and weekend meetings and events.

Skills & Abilities:

  • Dedicated work ethic - proactive, responsible, reliable and attentive to deadlines.
  • Experience in conducting campaigns and demonstrated success in securing top-level gifts. 
  • Proven understanding of the trends impacting the fundraising industry. 
  • Motivated, highly organized, and a self-directed individual who can effectively multitask and handle a variety of matters independently in a professional, trustworthy and mature manner with tact, diplomacy, and appropriate judgment.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strategic thinker.
  • Commitment to maintaining strict confidentiality in daily dealings with hyper-sensitive constituent information.
  • Ability to actively collaborate with all School constituencies and team members.
  • Intermediate to high proficiency with Google Workspace and Microsoft Office, and willingness to become proficient in new programs, learning management systems, collaboration and productivity apps as needed.
  • Working knowledge of specialized software and online programs (i.e. Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge, Constant Contact and social networking programs).
  • Extensive knowledge of specialized prospect research and wealth screening programs
  • Embrace the special needs and requirements associated with an academic calendar and schedule which may necessitate fluctuations in workdays and hours.
  • Strong advocate of the School’s mission and school values of integrity, compassion, inclusion, intellect, excellence and justice.

Essential Functions and Specific Duties: 

  • Works closely with the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) to develop and position fundraising goals and priorities consistent with the School’s operating needs.
  • Works collaboratively with the CAO to achieve aspirational goals for major and principal giving, while overseeing strong solicitation, engagement, and stewardship programs for key constituencies. 
  • In partnership with the CAO and the Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees, establish annual strategies and benchmarks to ensure proper reporting and growth in engagement and giving. 
  • Designs and manages an integrated, multi-channel strategy that engages donors and community members, broadens participation, strengthens relationships, and ultimately builds the School’s culture of philanthropy amongst our various constituencies.
  • Oversees budgets related to Major & Principal Gifts and develops benchmarks and metrics to increase engagement and giving in normal operating years and during campaigns. 
  • Effectively communicates with both School and volunteer leadership regarding strategies and progress.
  • Partners with the CAO in working closely with the Advancement Committee to set goals for and to engage trustees.
  • In partnership with the Director of Advancement Services, create business process standards for relationship management and develop data management and reporting standards.
  • Collaborates with Marketing & Communications to ensure the School’s brand and overall marketing and communications strategy is used consistently and effectively and fosters a culture of philanthropy.
  • Remains conversant with the full range of Bishop’s philanthropic priorities, including future campaigns.
  • Stays abreast of giving best practices, industry trends, and emerging technologies.
  • Cultivates a professional network of colleagues at other institutions to serve as a resource for new ideas.
  • Attends alumni and parent events, Advancement Committee meetings, and schoolwide functions as needed to connect with constituents.


  • Uphold the School’s Core Values.
  • Demonstrate professionalism, tact and an unwavering positive attitude.
  • Stay up to date on industry standards, trends, developments and legal updates.
  • Make timely and ethical decisions both systematically and under pressure.
  • Maintain a clean, safe, and organized work area.
  • Perform, with a team approach, other duties as assigned.


Please do not email or call the school directly.


The Bishop's School is an equal opportunity employer. We are a diverse community of professionals that broadly reflects the people of the San Diego area and the United States at large. We aim to align our hiring process with our mission and institutional goals. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion or religious practices, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, citizenship status, national origin, age, ability status, military status, unemployment status or any other category protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws. The Bishop's School takes affirmative action in support of its policy to employ and advance all qualified candidates.

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