Director of Advancement

March 2023 | Concord, MA

The Fenn School seeks an experienced Director of Advancement with superior leadership skills to lead a close-knit and dedicated advancement team.

About The Fenn School

group of fenn students posing for pictureThe Fenn School is an independent all-boys day school for students in grades four through nine, located in historic Concord, Massachusetts. Founded in 1929, the School is situated on a stunning, bucolic campus and has a current total enrollment of 325 students. Known for its caring environment, the School provides an excellent education through a rich, broad, and balanced program in academics, the  arts,  and athletics and is deeply committed to fostering boys’ personal growth, inspired by the School’s motto, Sua Sponte, translated, “On one’s own responsibility.”

The Fenn School is led by Head of School Derek Boonisar, who has been a part of the School’s community since 1995 and holds a B.A. from University of Vermont and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.

About Philanthropy at The Fenn School

teacher helping studentsThe Fenn School has an excellent reputation in its peer group, consistently strong enrollment, financial strength and stability, and an endowment of over $49 million. Its current annual fund totals $1.4 million, and Fenn enjoys significant support from parents of alumni long after their children have graduated. The School recently completed a successful $20 million capital campaign to support campus renovations, financial aid, and professional development, and the new Director of Advancement (DOA) will have the opportunity to plan for the next campaign projected to launch in the next few years.

With this long and distinguished history, a vibrant present, and a future full of promise and excitement, philanthropy has played and will continue to play a significant role in ensuring that The Fenn School fulfills its ambitious academic mission while upholding its core values of Honesty, Respect, Empathy, and Courage.

About the Position

Reporting directly to the Head of School and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the DOA will oversee a fully integrated advancement effort for Fenn. They will be joining a personal community that honors diversity and will be responsible for the overall strategy, design, and coordination of philanthropy and engagement for an advancement program that is strong and embraced by the Fenn community. The DOA will manage the advancement team of six, which includes: the Director of the Annual Fund and Leadership Giving, Director of Advancement Services, Director of Alumni Relations and Alumni Giving, Coordinator of Annual Fund and Parent Programs, Advancement Assistant and Events Coordinator, and a part-time Gift Entry and Data Coordinator.

student working on potteryThe DOA will have proven competency in staff management, campaign design and implementation, annual giving, constituent relations, and major and planned giving, with a particular emphasis on growing alumni and parent engagement. The successful candidate will be a strategic leader who is passionate about Fenn’s institutional reach and fundraising potential and who will inspire the entrepreneurial and creative initiatives needed to maximize results and broaden the number and nature of relationships across the school community at all levels in order to increase philanthropic support for school priorities.

The candidate will present with outstanding leadership and staff management competencies and the ability to partner and collaborate  with a Board of Trustees, senior colleagues across the school, staff at a variety of levels, and other volunteers. The DOA will be an experienced, talented fundraiser and relationship builder ready for a position where innovation is encouraged, and growth is necessary.

Fenn has been recognized for its leadership in diversity and multicultural education, and the School is fully committed to a culturally diverse faculty and student body. A successful candidate believes in the importance of diversity in the life of a school and can support Fenn’s mission in their work with students, parents, faculty, and staff. The School is also eager to consider applications from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversee and provide strategies for the advancement program to help ensure that there will be steady and sustainable growth in philanthropic giving and the engagement of parents and alumni.
  • Collaborate with the Head of School, senior leadership team, and Board of Trustees to promote a culture of support and broadened relationships among all constituencies of Fenn to meet ambitious goals.
  • Serve as chief major gift fundraiser for the school and manage a select portfolio of top prospects
  • Oversee, design, and direct all aspects of philanthropy and engagement including campaign planning and execution, major and planned gifts, annual fund, alumni giving, alumni relations, parent giving, and development operations.
  • Provide strong direction, management, and mentorship for the advancement team.
  • Ensure effective, useful, and thoughtful enhancements of systems, analytics, processes, and measurements to monitor, project, and guide engagement activities and fundraising results.
  • Oversee the cultivation and solicitation of major gift prospects in collaboration with the Headmaster.
  • Provide strategic input for the integration of advancement office initiatives with the School’s ten-year strategic plan.
  • Develop and manage the annual advancement operations budget.
  • Coordinate all stewardship activities and prepare necessary stewardship reports for endowed funds.
  • Report regularly to the Head of School and Board of Trustees regarding all fundraising and alumni engagement progress.

Key Qualifications

  • An understanding and enthusiasm for education and Fenn’s mission and unique culture.
  • Demonstrated leadership in designing and shaping a philanthropic culture and program with success indicated by giving growth, parent and alumni participation, and effective volunteers.
  • Ten+ years of advancement experience, including track record of campaign planning and implementation.
  • Successful front-line experience with cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts.
  • Demonstrated track record of setting and executing an ambitious annual fundraising strategy.
  • Experience partnering with board, senior management and volunteer leadership.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a passion for creating and sustaining relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop staff to next levels of achievement in their professions.
  • Ability to mentor staff and hold the department as a whole to high standards of achievement for giving and relationship building.
  • Experience in an independent school environment highly preferred.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with an emphasis on the ability to persuade and engage a diverse constituency base in order to secure financial support.

The Fenn School does not discriminate in hiring or terms or conditions of employment on the basis of gender, age, marital status, military or veteran status, race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, citizenship, genetic information, religion, creed, sexual orientation, transgender status, mental or physical disability (except where disability is a bona fide occupational disqualification), or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Tracy Marshall

Senior Vice President

Development Guild DDI

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