Director of Advancement

Director of Advancement

Mercy McAuley High School is seeking applicants for The Director of Advancement. The Director of Advancement is charged with leadership of a team of resource development and alumnae relations professionals for the advancement of the school’s mission.  The Director is the chief development and major gift fundraising officer for the school. With the Mercy McAuley president, the director develops a comprehensive fundraising program for private support from individuals (including but not limited to alumnae), as well as organizations, corporations, and foundations.  The Director will be responsible for building a culture of giving, with particular emphasis on major gift development, as well as for leadership of the advancement team and program.

The Director develops strategies for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors for all approved fundraising priorities of the school and others when appropriate. S/he is a professional fundraising generalist with management and leadership responsibilities. His/her fundraising portfolio will consist of a wide range of constituents and is primarily responsible for securing major gifts from donors.

The Director will demonstrate an ability to “manage up” in a complex organizational environment and model this behavior for staff. 

Accountability: The Director of Advancement reports to and is supervised by the President of Mercy McAuley High School.

Supervises: S/he will supervise the Manager of Annual Giving & Alumnae Engagement and the Advancement Associate.

Position Responsibilities

  • As a member of the President’s Leadership team (PLT), the Director works with senior staff, the Advancement Committee and key volunteer and constituent groups to identify, plan, coordinate and implement fundraising priorities.
  • Manage a portfolio of a minimum of 60-75 key donors and prospects.
  • Develop and execute a fundraising annual plan.
  • Continue to develop and implement a prospect management system for use by staff, the president and key volunteers involved in fundraising.
  • Develop and manage a successful legacy giving program.
  • Serve as the manager for the Advancement budget.
  • Supervise and work with Manager of Annual Giving and Alumnae Engagement to set goals and long-term strategies that engage alumnae (20,000+) through local and national events, reunions, fundraising campaigns, publications, social media, and school website.
  • Supervise and work with the Advancement Associate to achieve accurate gift accounting and donor stewardship practices. 
  • Work with the school administration, board members, advancement committee members, volunteers, and consultant to help position the school for a capital campaign.
  • Actively and visibly support major school goals and activities, such as (but not limited to) student recruiting and retention events and Open Houses, Student Raffle, major athletic milestones, parent engagement events, significant alumnae reunion year events, Hall of Fame dinner, annual gala, etc. in a way that is appropriate to his/her role as a member of the President's Leadership Team.
  • Provide regular quantitative reports to the president, school leadership team, and Board of Directors regarding short and long-term fundraising goals, results, and challenges.
  • Develop relationships with professional philanthropy colleagues at peer institutions and those within the Mercy Education.
  • Attend conferences and professional development seminars to stay current with fundraising trends, opportunities, challenges, and innovations.  Share learning with staff, volunteers, and administration.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Strong commitment to all girls’ Catholic, Mercy education by maintaining a personal and professional presence consonant with the charism of the Sisters of Mercy and Catholic teaching.
  • Strong sense of ethical conduct and the ability to maintain the highest level of integrity of confidential and sensitive information.
  • An understanding of the full spectrum of the advancement professional, including gift policies and procedures, donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, donor recognition, prospect research and managing high level board committees and volunteers.
  • Proven record of cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts.
  • Ability to recruit, organize, and manage salaried, hourly, or volunteer personnel, as well as direct any individuals or committees of influence and affluence in fundraising protocol and competencies.
  • Awareness of trends and issues in philanthropy.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with faculty, advancement professionals, administrators, and directors of the school.
  • Strong time management, managerial and leadership skills.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to develop and mentor the next generation of fundraising professionals.
  • Entrepreneurial, creative, self-starter, and oriented toward action and results.
  • Ability to set and meet goals.

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; some graduate school and/or Master’s degree a plus.
  • Minimum of seven years’ experience in fundraising, including demonstrable leadership skills; experience in secondary or higher education, or hospital/healthcare development strongly preferred.
  • Willingness and ability to travel on a limited basis; nights and weekends are expected.

To Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Lisa Starkey, Director of Finance & Administration, at