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Director of Development

Job Details

The Fessenden School - West Newton, MA
Full Time
4 Year Degree
Exempt / Salaried


Position Summary

The Director of Development will report to the Chief Advancement Officer to advance and support the School’s mission, values, and goals. Working closely with a dynamic advancement team and Head of School, the Director of Development will provide partnership for annual giving, alumni programs, parent engagement, and events, as well as participate as an integral member of the capital campaign team. This position will lead and work collaboratively with the Director of Annual Giving, Director of Alumni Engagement and Development, and the Director of Parent Engagement and Events, to identify new strategies to enhance engagement, annual giving, and set program directions. In addition to managing these three direct reports, they will also work closely with the entire 7-person Advancement Office, the senior administration, and high-level volunteers.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Work closely with the Chief Advancement Officer to strategize, design and implement the School’s advancement priorities. 

  • Formulate tailored strategies to cultivate, solicit, and steward a targeted portfolio of leadership and major gift prospects and donors.

  • Oversee the Director of Annual Giving to ensure that we meet or exceed the Annual Fund goals.

  • Oversee the Director of Alumni Engagement and Development in an effort to grow community relations to establish and strengthen ties with alumni, parents of alumni and friends.

  • Oversee the Director of Parent Engagement and Events to plan and execute donor events, and attend other community events as appropriate.

  • Establish specific goals for the annual giving, alumni and parent programs and work with the Directors of each program to ensure effective planning and implementation. 

  • Work with the Chief Advancement Officer and Director of Donor Relations to: 

    • support and enhance the campaign prospect pipeline strategy;

    • assist in the coordination of campaign leadership volunteer activity

  • Cultivate a positive and collaborative office culture, providing mentorship and guidance to a seasoned, professional staff.

  • Collaborate on initiatives and decisions related to overall program direction, strategies, and fundraising goals.

  • Formulate a system of metrics and strategy for measuring progress toward team and individual goals and evaluating overall performance.

  • Develop a working knowledge of all aspects of The Fessenden School, including its mission, history, vision, educational program, community, and funding priorities and strategic initiatives, in order to articulate a compelling case for support to all constituents. 


Minimum Qualifications

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience required in the development or related field.

  • An experienced and talented fundraiser and relationship builder with demonstrated ability to personally and effectively identify, cultivate, and close gifts from Annual Fund and major gift prospects.

  • 3-5 years of strong management experience with the ability and interest to work closely with staff members to achieve individual and department goals.

  • Comprehensive background in Annual Giving, including leadership programs, and constituent relations programs.

  • Experience using Raiser’s Edge or a similar database, as well as Google suite.

  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, and the ability to be effective in communicating and engaging with internal and external constituents.

  • Bachelor’s degree required from an accredited college or university.

  • Ability to work evenings, weekends and travel, as needed.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in an independent school setting.

  • Ideal candidates will have experience overseeing, supporting and partnering with alumni, parent and volunteer programming designed to support comprehensive needs of a broad constituency.

  • Experience with cultivating and soliciting gifts during a capital campaign.

  • An appreciation for elementary and middle school education, especially all-boys’ education. 


Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative of those that are essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. The requirements for performing the duties of this position are as follows:

  • Frequently required to walk, stand, sit, talk, and hear.

  • Regularly required to bend, stoop, crouch and/or kneel.

  • Occasionally required to lift and/or move objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

  • Majority of work is performed in an office, sitting and standing for long periods.