Skip Navigation
Print Share

Director of Institutional Advancement

Company: Whitfield School
Date Posted: April 4, 2017

The Position

For 65 years, Whitfield School has served students in St. Louis in grades 6-12 by providing a coeducational, college preparatory education that cultivates ethical, confident, and successful students in a community of innovation, collaboration, and trust.


At this time, Whitfield School seeks a Director of Institutional Advancement (DOIA) to support the ongoing growth and development of one of St. Louis’s leading independent schools. The successful candidate will oversee a team of seven and will create, map, communicate, and implement short- and long-term strategies to address the financial needs of Whitfield in collaboration with the school’s leadership. The DOIA will be an experienced manager, creative leader, and effective communicator who respects and honors Whitfield’s traditions while recognizing opportunities for innovative initiatives.


Opportunities and Challenges

The new Director of Institutional Advancement will be a key partner within the Head of School’s senior administrative team, charged with achieving an ambitious set of annual and capital fundraising goals approved by the Head of School and Board of Trustees. Whitfield’s fundraising will continue to emphasize and capitalize on its distinctive culture, its highly effective teaching goals, and its noteworthy reputation as a student-centered day school in the St. Louis market.


The new DOIA must devise strategies and implement procedures in all phases of the advancement program. Despite raising $1.1 million for the Annual Fund in 2015-16, participation levels among current parents and especially alumni are significantly lower than those at peer schools. Thus, a meaningful program of engagement for alumni must be installed, and more targeted appeals to both current parents and alumni crafted. Further, despite enjoying campaign success in the earlier phases of seeking support, the successful candidate must identify and cultivate major gift prospects who have the capacity to help the school fulfill its mission. In short, a broad-based major gifts program, involving prospect identification, research, and moves management, needs to be more fully established. Additionally, steps to increase the school’s endowment, such as initiating a planned giving program, will be essential. Stewardship of all donors will be a priority as well.


Simultaneously, the new DOIA must get to know the Advancement personnel, understanding their respective roles and determining any voids in staffing or emphasis. As well, as part of the senior administrative team, the successful candidate must forge productive working relationships with the Head of School, Board members, the Director of Admission, the Director of Business, and the Director of Communications and Marketing. Being a visible presence on campus, well-known to faculty, staff, and parents, will also enhance the Advancement Office’s efforts. 


Responsibilities of the Director of Institutional Advancement

  • ·        Hire, train, motivate, manage, and evaluate an advancement team of seven;
  • ·        Engage the Board of Trustees in fundraising goals and initiatives;
  • ·        Assess and monitor annual development goals and develop longer-term plans for approval by the Head of School;
  • ·        Externally represent Whitfield to current and prospective support constituencies;
  • ·        Sustain and enhance current development, alumni relations, and parent programming;
  • ·        Partner with the Trustee Development Committee to help implement annual support goals, including capital, endowment, and planned giving goals;
  • ·        Significantly increase annual giving participation and dollars;
  • ·        Formulate leadership gift solicitation strategies emphasizing campaign priorities;
  • ·        Ensure prompt and accurate gift and pledge recording, acknowledgements, and compliance with school policy and philanthropic best practices;
  • ·        Serve as an effective mentor and communicator to constituents with different personalities and cultures;
  • ·        Be an articulate and visible spokesperson of Whitfield’s mission and programs;
  • ·        Enhance the school environment by serving as an active community member;
  • ·        Be a natural team builder;
  • ·        Demonstrate a strong external and strategic focus. 


Desired Experience and Qualities of the Director of Institutional Advancement

  • ·        B.A. degree (advanced degree preferred);
  • ·        7-10 years of leadership fundraising experience, including campaign planning and management, ideally in an independent school, college, or university;
  • ·        Track record of cohesively integrating the full range of development programs;
  • ·        Demonstrated evidence of ability to raise six- and seven-figure gifts;
  • ·        Experience in creating departmental budgets and in supervising development and constituent relations administration;
  • ·        Confidence, patience, and a sense of humor that complements Whitfield’s culture and mission;
  • ·        Possess authenticity and humility;
  • ·        Be an effective storyteller who can articulate the case for support of Whitfield;
  • ·        Possess excellent analytic skills;
  • ·        Believe in the value of strong collaboration and teamwork;
  • ·        Excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
  • ·        Mastery of a relational database such as Raiser’s Edge, Word, and Excel;
  • ·        Past independent school experience a plus.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit the following materials confidentially to John Clark and Gary Dicovitsky (electronically in one email and as separate documents, preferably as PDFs):


  • ·        Current résumé with Education, Experience, and Related Professional Experience;
  • ·        Cover letter expressing interest in and suitability for the position;
  • ·        List of references with name, phone number, and email address for each—references will be contacted only with the candidate’s permission.


Send to:


John Clark

Senior Search Consultant