Chief Advancement Officer
St. Mark’s School, Southborough, MA
About St. Mark’s School
St. Mark’s is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for students from 9th through 12th grade on 250 acres in the picturesque suburb of Southborough, Massachusetts, only 25 miles from the cultural and social center of Boston. St. Mark’s is a school with an inclusive educational pedagogy and has been providing transformative experiences for their students since its founding in 1865.
The school’s diverse and talented student body is composed of 375 boarding and day students from 24 states across the United States and 10 countries around the world. Students benefit from intellectually and academically rigorous curriculum, a small class size, and a 6:1 student-faculty ratio. The school’s curriculum is based on the philosophy to advance three core values: intellect, character, and leadership, while also learning the skills to become curious, well-rounded, and responsible citizens of the world.
This framework isn’t limited to the classroom; it extends to a student’s life in the dorms, on the athletic fields, and through leadership opportunities, experiential and community engagement. St. Markers are prepared to make a meaningful difference in whatever arena they choose to focus their energy and talents in.
St. Mark’s remains affiliated with the Episcopal Church; however, the community embraces students, faculty, and staff from all faith and non-faith traditions, encouraging and supporting them in religious and spiritual diversity. The school’s required twice-weekly interfaith chapel service is a place to build and foster unity and respect across the school. Faculty and administrative staff are encouraged to share dining hall meals with faculty and students and attend sporting events, student performances, and other campus-wide events so they may be fully integrated in the St. Mark’s community.
St. Mark’s commitment to community and equity is integral to its mission of encouraging curiosity, self-reflection, personal development, and service. The school has made great strides to go beyond the surface to address social, racial, and ethnic injustices through investing in counseling and mental health services for Black, Brown, and Asian students, establishing professional development trainings for faculty, staff, and alumni, and through a Community and Equity program that includes a strategic plan for antiracism in the St. Mark’s community. Additionally, the Admission team is focused on establishing a new, more inclusive rubric and open-ended essay questions about lived experiences as part of their admissions process.
About Philanthropy at St. Mark’s
St. Mark’s has proudly raised more than $107 million to date for its Lives of Consequence campaign, just shy of its $110 million goal for the campaign, the most ambitious in the school’s history. In June 2021, Head of School John C. Warren ’74 and members of the Board of Trustees celebrated the opening of the Alice Yin Hung ’86 East Gallery, a key priority for the campaign. This new addition enhances the main building and provides greater accessibility to accommodate students and faculty who will use this entrance when the school’s new $50-million, state-of-the-art residence hall opens in the fall of 2022. Other priorities for the school include a faculty excellence fund and financial aid for students.
About the Position
The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will lead all aspects of the institutional advancement program toward maximum success now and in the future. The CAO will report to the Head of School and will serve as a trusted partner to the Head and Board of Trustees for all advancement activities. They will also serve as a contributing member of a highly collaborative Senior Administrative Team. The CAO is an impactful role for someone who would bring enthusiasm and the background to further enhance the St. Mark’s student experience and the legacy of the school. This is an opportunity for a highly accomplished and creative advancement professional who is ready to roll up their sleeves and use strategic thinking and relationship management to drive success at all levels of philanthropy.
The CAO will lead and mentor a team of 13 committed, ambitious, and talented advancement professionals, including four direct reports. They will be responsible for planning, organizing, leading, evaluating, and implementing all functions of advancement and alumni relations, working in concert with the Head of School and school and volunteer leadership. The CAO will develop and maintain strong relationships with all school constituents to help secure annual, capital, and planned gifts to meet ambitious annual and capital goals.
- Lead and direct the work of the Advancement team, including management of overall office personnel activities, including the hiring, training, supervision, goal setting, and evaluation of the Advancement Office staff, and helping them successfully meet their responsibilities.
- Direct all current campaign activities to meet the goal, design and implement future capital campaigns for St. Mark’s, and help grow the school’s overall endowment.
- Build relationships with diverse internal and external constituents including, but not limited to, faculty, students, families, alumni, prospective donors, and members of the local community.
- Help develop ongoing, bold, and compelling institutional initiatives that will attract and increase philanthropic support and move St. Mark’s forward.
- Work with the Head of School to develop dollar goals and strategies for each giving program, including cultivation strategies for all major gift prospects.
- Travel with the Head of School, as appropriate, in the solicitation of major capital gifts.
- Provide regular, detailed reports and information to the Head of School and Board of Trustees to help in decision-making and program evaluation.
- Oversee all advancement-related communications and marketing activities, including print, electronic and video publications.
- Personally manage a select portfolio of major gift prospects.
- Serve as administrative liaison to the Trustee External Relations Committee and Campaign Steering Committee and assist the Head of School with liaison work with the Committee on Trustees.
- Serve as member of Business and Facilities Senior Administrative Group and External Relations Senior Administrative Group.
- Collaborate with internal stakeholders and engage with students, staff, and faculty to understand and articulate the St. Mark’s experience to diverse constituencies.
- Oversee major internal and external events including family weekend and reunion weekend.
Significant travel required; some weekend and after-hours work required
- Experience, knowledge, and appreciation for independent schools and the ability to effectively articulate a school’s mission.
- Minimum of 10 years’ experience with major gifts fundraising, familiarity with education institutions and independent school environment strongly preferred.
- Proven track record of soliciting and closing 6-7 figure major gifts.
- Experience in organizing, managing, and
conducting a capital campaign.
- Staff management experience.
- Demonstrated ability to identify and develop donor pipelines; experience with budgets, reporting tools, and best practices for major gifts pipeline and moves management.
- An appreciation for the Episcopal tradition and culture.
- Intercultural acumen and an interest in building out international alumni and family engagement and donor programs with particular focus on East Asia.
- Flexible, adaptive, and solution-oriented; a natural collaborator and team player.
- Independent with a high level of accountability.
- High level of integrity, strategic thinking, relationship management skills and humility.
- Exceptional oral and written communication.
- Communications and Marketing experience preferred.
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required
St. Mark’s School is a small, coed, boarding high school with a strong, college preparatory curriculum. It offers competitive salaries and a generous benefits package including retirement plan, paid vacations, and medical insurance. St. Mark’s School provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or genetics, and any other characteristic or status protected by law.