Chief Advancement Officer

February 2020 | Lowell, MA
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UTEC, Inc. is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader and innovator whose mission is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected young people by trading violence and poverty for social and economic success. Since its founding 20 years ago, UTEC, has grown rapidly while maintaining its clear mission focus. The organization is now seeking its first Chief Advancement Officer, reporting to the CEO, to work closely with the Board of Directors, to strategically expand UTEC’s individual and corporate support, and provide guidance to its strong grants program.

The Opportunity

UTEC’s Chief Executive Officer, Gregg Croteau, MSW, has continuously led UTEC since becoming its first executive twenty years ago. Under his tenure UTEC has prospered by developing its vision, theory and model, continually investing in the excellence of its programs and their impact and building sustainable resources to fund excellence.

Mr. Croteau champions the mission value of expanding organizational resources and enjoys a personal track record of motivating and engaging with UTEC’s most valued philanthropic and government supporters. Additionally, UTEC’s Chair of the Board of Directors, Scott Mellen, a key organizational leader, has been guiding the board on initiatives of significance to UTEC’s future philanthropy, including establishing an emerging new board fundraising role, engaging the CEO as a full board member, and preparing the board to guide UTEC as it grows and changes.

Johnny and Randy togetherIn the past eight years support and revenues have quadrupled, from about $2 M in FY’11 to an estimated $ 8+M in FY’19. Continued growth has also prompted a strategic investment in UTEC’s senior management team. Currently UTEC has two chief level management positions reporting to the CEO, the Chief Program Officer and the Chief Financial Officer. This new chief level position, the Chief Advancement Officer, represents an investment in building out new best practices for fundraising, strategically expanding advancement’s capacity, positioning UTEC for its next stage of development – all while increasing dollars raised currently and over time. Individual giving is a focus for UTEC’s philanthropic growth.

Serving as UTEC’s first Chief Advancement Officer (CAO), and reporting directly to UTEC’s CEO, the CAO will work closely with the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council (some of whose members have made six and seven figure commitments). UTEC seeks a fundraiser who will strategically expand its individual and corporate support to meet bold long-term goals, as well as provide guidance to its strong grants program.  Advancement, with a staff of five in place and a modest budget for current expansion, produces a diverse set of support and revenue streams.

UTEC’s five-year strategic plan, developed by the Board of Directors and senior management, provides a clear vision for scaling UTEC’s operations, and expanding their reach nationally. It is supported by four strategic priorities: Expand Social Enterprise; Innovate In Young Adult Justice; Reach Two Generations at Once and launch a Center for Youthwork Excellence. The plan provides a framework for increasing UTEC’s impact. It is inspiring support. Raising money in support of its vision will be a core responsibility for the CAO.

A program The Boston Globe describes as “a vital experiment in criminal justice reform” provides an important example of programming goals named in the strategic plan. Partnering with court officials in the Merrimack Valley UTEC’s program reimagines probation for the young adult participants. For further information, click this link.

Also of note for its national importance is the Center for Youthwork Excellence. UTEC will launch a national teaching and learning institute, including a residential learning lab and a unique space where practitioners, researchers, and evaluators can intersect through convenings, fellowships, and more. The goal is to influence and deliver best-practice services to young adults involved in the criminal justice system across the nation.

Government grants and contracts plus foundation grants contribute $4+M per year from state, federal and foundation sources. UTEC has an impressive history of receiving major grants from large foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. Individual and corporate giving, including major gifts and events, contributes from $1M to $2M per year. Individual giving is the area identified for focused expansion by the CAO, with a goal of doubling individual giving. Advancement communications and operations also report to the CAO.

UTEC’s financial model includes an important role for earned revenues from its social enterprise programs and from its properties. UTEC owns and manages properties which provide space for UTEC programs, as well as, produce rental revenue and provide space for income generating events (managed by the CFO). UTEC’s social enterprises, Mattress Recycling, Food Services and Woodworking, meet a triple bottom line: facilitating positive youth development, along with paid work experience; generating earned revenue to support UTEC’s mission, currently over $1M per year; and supporting community economic development. UTEC’s properties and social enterprise programs also create new relationships and opportunities which might also potentially support future expansions of UTEC’s philanthropic base.

Corporate engagement is an area of opportunity and growth for philanthropy since it rests on UTEC’s entrepreneurial strength and its engagement of business leaders. Among its recent business endeavors, UTEC has launched its own brand for its social enterprise products, Madd Love Market. UTEC was Whole Foods Market supplier of the year for the North Atlantic Region for its cutting boards. Additionally, UTEC customizes boards for corporations with their logos for holiday gifts. It is about to produce a new line of peanut butter to be sold in 42 Whole Food Market stores. It also manages robust catering, events management and rental programs. See the Recent Press Highlights section on UTEC’s website for additional information.

The individual giving program provides a good opportunity for the CAO’s impact. Over the past several years the Board of Directors has assumed new expectations for its members which include treating UTEC as one of their top philanthropic priorities with expected levels of giving and getting others to give. Board leadership welcomes partnering with the CAO to expand philanthropic support. Expansion of the base, systems development and program building provide an arena for innovation and excellence.

About UTEC

Founded in Lowell, Massachusetts twenty years ago by teens in response to gang violence in their city, UTEC was originally known as “United Teen Equality Center,” but the name is now UTEC, Inc., known by the community as UTEC. Today UTEC serves older youth, ages 17-25, currently providing services to 600+ youth annually. It is a 501(c)(3) organization.

UTEC values youth and stakeholder input as a key component of organizational success. It is nationally regarded by practitioners and funders as one of the most innovative, ambitious, and outcomes-focused youth development agencies. Through their expertise, coupled with organizing and policymaking efforts, UTEC informs local and national policies that support proven-risk young people. Organizations across the country seek to learn from them how to engage hard-to-reach youth and to produce positive outcomes through transformative services. They are a learning and teaching agency. And ultimately, the young people they serve return to UTEC as the agency’s next generation of youth workers.

As an agency, UTEC represents a positive return on investment for its communities. UTEC’s cost per enrolled young adult is approximately $25,000 annually – significantly less than the $55,000 annual cost to house a young adult in a Massachusetts correctional facility (MA DOC, FY2015 data). When impact young adults achieve positive outcomes, the community sees the greatest impact and return on investment from safety, health, and economic development perspectives.

UTEC pursues a bold goal of providing a job and a pathway for all proven-risk young adults in Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill. Rather than expanding its service area, it pursues fully addressing the need in its area. This first goal, based on UTEC’s model of intense service delivery provided in a limited geographic area, is leveraged by a second bold goal, which is national in impact – influencing and nationally delivering best-practice services to young adults involved in the criminal justice system across the nation.

Members togetherUTEC’s program model is ambitious and highly successful. Among its impressive results: in FY’18 94% of participants enrolled in UTEC’s intensive programming for young adults had a criminal record. Nevertheless, 97% of these enrollees experienced no new convictions. For comparison, within a year of release from jail 52% of MA young adults are re-arraigned. For additional information on UTEC’s program outcomes see UTEC’s web site

UTEC’s website provides an in-depth presentation of their theory, approach and programs. This following section is taken from UTEC’s website. For further information see

Theory of Change

UTEC is dedicated to helping young people overcome the very real challenges of poverty, gang involvement, unemployment, and cultural barriers that are pervasive in its communities. UTEC intentionally engages impact young adults, ages 17-25, who are returning to our communities from incarceration or have other histories of serious criminal and/or gang involvement. When impact young adults succeed, communities see the greatest positive impact.

UTEC’s Hypothesis

1) If impact young adults (with serious gang and/or criminal involvement) are productively engaged in UTEC activities and supports for an extended period during the critical ages of 17-25, then by 25, they will have the skills and resilience they need to maintain stable employment and avoid further criminal activity.

2) If able to specifically target and serve those impact young adults (through the age of 25) who are most likely to recidivate and cause harm in communities, success will also translate into a significant return on investment from a public health, public safety, and economic development perspective.

Impact Young Adults

UTEC’s comprehensive and long-term program model is intentionally designed for young adults with proven risk factors, primarily incarceration and other serious criminal histories. UTEC’s three service communities are all designated Gateway Cities: mid-sized cities characterized by high poverty rates, low educational attainment levels, and a strong manufacturing heritage. Its young adults’ experience and opportunities are shaped by these community challenges.

Proven Risk Factors (FY18)

UTEC reached nearly 600 young people last year, and 148 were enrolled in the full-time program model. Of these

  • 94% had a criminal record
  • 67% were gang involved
  • 66% lacked a high school credential
  • 52% were parenting or expecting

Further, 94% of its young adults had more than one of these risk factors, and nearly half had 3 or more risk factors. Enrolled young adults are from Lowell (77%), Lawrence (12%) and, new in 2018, Haverhill (5%). More than 80% are male.

  • Education: Incoming young adults averaged a 7th grade reading level and 6th grade applied math level according to TABE testing.
  • Racial/Ethnic Identity: 49% Latino, 12% Asian, 11% Black, 11% White/Caucasian, and 15% multiracial (with 2% other or unknown).
  • Public Assistance: 90% are receiving public benefits, such as MassHealth, SNAP (food stamps), or cash assistance.
  • Other Systems Involvement: Nearly 80% have been involved in the child welfare system in the past, and one-third had been adjudicated in the juvenile justice system.

UTEC Programs

Streetworker Outreach

Streetworkers build relationships with proven-risk young adults, conduct gang peacemaking, visit young people in correctional facilities to provide support and build relationships, and recruit individuals to engage in UTEC’s programs upon their return to the community. Streetworkers also respond to incidents of community violence. With more than 25 active gang sets in our communities, crisis response and conflict resolution are essential to breaking barriers for young people.

Transitional Coaching

Transitional Coaches are both mentors and wraparound service coordinators who meet 1:1 to help young adults overcome barriers, and connect them with essential supports, including UTEC’s onsite mental health and substance abuse counseling. A young person’s Transitional Coach stays with them throughout their UTEC enrollment, which averages 18-24 months as young people build on their own Core Competencies in four key areas: Universal, Personal, Vocational, and Educational.

Workforce Development in Social Enterprises

UTEC social enterprises offer young adults paid work experience to develop the job and life skills required to excel in any workplace. UTEC’s social enterprises include:

  • Event Rentals – UTEC offers venues for social, corporate, and nonprofit functions, 10 to 300 people Lowell, MA.
  • Food Services – Provides opportunities to learn transferable culinary and hospitality skills through the commercial kitchen facilities, Cafe UTEC, catering for events, and the UTEC Community Kitchen.
  • Mattress Recycling – Provides the first paid work experience for young men and women who enter the enrollment program. Here, young people focus on accountability, positive communication, and teamwork.
  • Woodworking – Working closely with a team of skilled woodworkers, workplace experience is gained while developing basic design and construction knowledge that can translate into future employment opportunities in construction and skilled trades.


Most of UTEC’s young adults do not have a high school credential when they join UTEC. Onsite education helps young people prepare to take the multi-part HiSET/GED test to earn a high-school equivalency credential. Small classes, tailored instruction, and extra support make a big difference for young people who have often been out of the classroom for several years before coming to UTEC. In 2018, a dual-enrollment program was piloted so that college credits can be earned for work completed with UTEC.

Social Justice and Civic Engagement

Young adults are the experts in their own experiences; returning that knowledge to the community is essential for shared progress. Starting with Fresh Inspirations morning circles facilitated by young adults, and UTEC SoJust workshops, young people build their understanding of issues in the local community through social justice and community organizing activities. Statewide, UTEC coordinates a youth-led policy-making coalition that focuses on young adult justice.

2Gen Center @ UTEC

More than a third of UTEC’s young adults are also young parents. In 2017, an onsite, UTEC-operated early childhood education center was opened to help UTEC’s young families break the cycle of poverty. With a child-centered, social-emotional based curriculum, the2Gen Center is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy that encourages children to lead their own learning. With experienced, educated teachers supporting independence and self-regulation, children at the 2Gen Center are building on the same Core Competencies that their parents are working on next door.

Enrichment & Special Events

UTEC is a family, and families need to play and celebrate together, too. Enrolled young adults can spend extra time in the drop-in center, through cultural arts programs ranging from breakdancing to visual arts to sports and fitness training. UTEC has a sound recording studio, gym space, and hold holiday parties, dances, and family events for young people throughout the year.

Organizing and Policy Making

UTEC provides space for young adults to engage in organizing and policymaking initiatives through civic engagement programming. Today, UTEC maintains engagement in local, state, and federal government initiatives. In 2018, two youth-led policy efforts were signed into Massachusetts law. UTEC’s and Teens Leading the Way‘s campaign for juvenile expungement became law in April 2018. And more than 8 years of TLTW advocacy for a civics education bill was also signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in November 2018.

UTEC’s policy platform includes legislative and administrative initiatives ranging from youth violence prevention funding to young adult justice reform, ending multi-generational poverty, and enhancing social enterprise workforce development.

The Chief Advancement Officer Position

UTEC’s advancement function has been built on collaboration across organizational functions, and the fierce commitment and talent of its staff and leadership. As such, advancement, in addition to dedicated advancement staff, draws upon the CEO, the CFO, front line program workers and volunteer leadership to raise funds from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector. UTEC’s policy advocacy, evaluation program, youth and young adult programs garner state-wide attention and national influence. UTEC presents rare opportunities to individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector to positively impact our youth and young adults who face tremendous challenges and risks. 

speaker As a young, innovative, high growth nonprofit, UTEC has found and created opportunities against prevailing wisdom. As a result, the new CAO will need to test new ideas and processes consistent with the UTEC culture; at the same time, the new CAO will also need to be familiar with and adapt best fundraising practices in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding individual and institutional prospects.  

The CAO will provide direction for the vision and design of advancement at UTEC, and its effective implementation. The CAO will carry a personal portfolio and support the CEO and Chair in their roles engaging support for UTEC.

There are five positions reporting into advancement: Director of Grants, a Grant Writer, Major Gifts Officer, Corporate Relations Manager, and a Development Operations Manager. Two positions are currently open: a Development Associate and a Communications Coordinator.

In this context, the Chief Advancement Officer will manage all strategies for prospect identification, donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. S/he will steward relationships with a portfolio of individual donors, corporations, and other funders in collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, Director of Grants, and the Major Gifts Officer. The Chief Advancement Officer will engage high level donors in her/his portfolio and be responsible for direct solicitations that contribute to advancement goals while also supporting senior leadership team in fundraising activities.

positive membersThe Chief Advancement Officer and his/her development team will execute cultivation and fundraising events and build the capacity of UTEC’s Board of Directors to identify and invite new donors. S/he will provide direction for the overall vision of the Development program, as well as strategic systems and operations for all aspects of the department, in partnership with UTEC’s Development Operations Manager, and work closely with the Communications Manager to enhance donor communications. The Chief Advancement Officer also works closely with the Chief Financial Officer to best integrate systems between development and finance.

The Chief Advancement Officer must truly embody UTEC’s passion for working with youth that many describe as the most difficult to engage, never letting their team settle and refusing to give up on that young person. UTEC aims to hire a qualified candidate who is committed to advancing racial equity in their overall work and has the cultural competency to help UTEC in this endeavor. Above all else, the Chief Advancement Officer will act as a lead ambassador for UTEC’s culture, demonstrating personal commitment to the organization’s values and imparting them to others, both within and outside the organization with high energy, positivity and intentionality.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and Management

  • Work with UTEC leadership team and Board to create and to implement a comprehensive strategic plan for development to secure donors and increase fundraising opportunities to double individual giving
  • Develop and implement strategy and plans to secure donors, enhance fundraising opportunities, and significantly grow philanthropy
  • Develop short-term and long-term fundraising targets; track and mange ROI of the respective fundraising initiatives, and budget through a dashboard approach
  • Oversee the development and execution of a best practice development infrastructure, including programs, policies, and procedures to ensure effectiveness and accountability across the system
  • Serve as a manager, mentor, and leader for the overall development program and staff

Prospect and Portfolio Management

  • Personally build and manage a portfolio of individual and institutional prospects
  • Engage leadership in key donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities
  • Work with the CEO, Director of Grants and Communications, the Major Gifts Officer, Board members, and staff to identify, cultivate, and steward new and existing individual, foundation, government, and corporate donors
  • Build on current stewardship activities to deepen relationships with current donors
  • Develop and implement new engagement strategies 

Key Qualifications

  • Commitment to social justice and serving UTEC’s young people
  • Minimum 7+ years of fundraising experience, including individual giving and management
  • Experience as a trusted partner to organizational leaders
  • Strategic perspective, able to weigh opportunities and challenges, advocate for advancement and with strategic leadership – entrepreneurial
  • Proven success in building and managing fundraising programs, including at least one of these: annual gifts, pipeline program, or major gifts program
  • Demonstrated success as a front-line fundraiser in major or principal gifts, and annual gifts
  • Successful experience cultivating and soliciting six-figure gifts (could be individual, corporate or foundation)
  • Experience with developing and maintaining productive working relationships with board members, donors, and co-workers at all levels
  • Capacity to work effectively in a fast-paced environment with evolving priorities, both as a leader and part of a team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Able to manage operations, including insight into use of technology for advancement
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including some night and weekend events
  • Healthy sense of humor, and an ability to have fun while working hard
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher required

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Suzanne Batit
Senior Vice President, Principal
Development Guild DDI

Interested in this position or other new career opportunities?