Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Cushing Academy seeks an experienced and dynamic development professional with a collaborative nature to contribute to the Academy’s fundraising growth and engagement of its alumni community. The Director of Development and Alumni Relations will join the Academy during a period of excitement and growth with increasing enrollment and several donor-funded capital projects recently completed and in progress. The Academy is fiscally sound, enrollment is growing, and it is well-positioned to embark on a major fundraising campaign for its future sustainability.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL

Cushing Academy is a private, coeducational college-preparatory school for boarding and day students located in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, serving grades nine through twelve and a postgraduate year. Cushing is located on a 162-acre campus that overlooks the town center of Ashburnham, located 62 miles from Boston. Cushing has approximately 390 boarding and day students from over 30 states and 30 countries who excel in outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. Guided by its mission, Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. For over 150 years, Cushing has transformed students as scholars, athletes, artists, and individuals who are endlessly curious and actively engaged in discovering new talents and interests. A Cushing education begins and ends with inquiry and challenges and supports each student through intentional collaboration, feedback, and reflection. 

POSITION SUMMARY
Cushing Academy seeks an experienced and dynamic development professional with a collaborative nature to contribute to the Academy’s fundraising growth and engagement of its alumni community. The Director of Development and Alumni Relations will join the Academy during a period of excitement and growth with increasing enrollment and several donor-funded capital projects recently completed and in progress. The Academy is fiscally sound, enrollment is growing, and it is well-positioned to embark on a major fundraising campaign for its future sustainability.

Recent success in raising substantial operating and capital funds over the past two years establishes the base for ambitious plans in campaign, annual gifts, major gifts, and alumni relations. Areas of priority include growing the development office’s infrastructure and sustaining and growing the annual fund and endowment.

Reporting to the Head of School and working closely with the Board of Trustees, the Director of Development and Alumni Relations will conduct prospect analysis, cultivate and solicit donors, and provide donor stewardship and recognition. In pursuit of philanthropic goals, he/she will articulate Academy priorities, engage leadership and board members in seeking philanthropic support and directly supervise a team of four professional Development staff. Experience in leading campaign, annual giving, and major gifts programs and alumni relations work is required.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Lead and manage the Development Office and develop a highly collaborative relationship with the Head of School to achieve strategic and fundraising goals to help sustain and enhance the Academy;
  • Manage and direct all Development Office personnel activities including hiring and performance reviews;
  • Oversee all Development Office operations, including gift accounting and stewardship, and the maintenance of all financial records and donor records;
  • Work with staff to lead the annual Development Office budget planning process to identify a pipeline of major gifts prospects and manage prospects;
  • Lead and grow annual giving and the annual fund efforts;
  • Establish strong working relationships with the senior leadership team;
  • Cultivate relationships among a base of high net worth individuals, corporations and foundations, including influencers and nonprofit board members;
  • Develop and implement strategies to engage the Cushing alumni community, and oversee all aspects of alumni relations programming, including all alumni-related special events;
  • Develop and execute strategies to widen the reach of Cushing’s philanthropic programs;
  • Recruit and engage volunteer leadership as appropriate to grow a philanthropic culture;
  • Provide leadership, creativity, and energy in identifying prospects;
  • Establish relationships with donors and volunteer leaders that will endure;
  • Ensure regular and ongoing communications with prospects and donors and lead and direct all development-related communications and marketing activities, including print, electronic and video publications;
  • Engage board members, staff, and parent volunteers in the fundraising process;
  • Represent the Academy at various functions and activities;
  • Serve on the Head’s Leadership Team and serve as a liaison, along with the Head of School, to the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees.
 
POSITION REQUIREMENTS

Education
A Bachelor’s degree is required; a graduate degree is preferred.

Qualifications/Experience
  • A minimum of seven years of experience in development with a track record of success, especially with special and major gifts;
  • Experience working in development at the director or chief development officer level;
  • Experience engaging with nonprofit boards;
  • Experience in leading alumni relations efforts and functions;
  • Success in growing a fundraising program with working knowledge of the principles and practices of institutional fundraising;
  • Ability to manage donor relationships through periods of engagement and growth, ensuring that donor and volunteer interests are in alignment with the Academy’s priorities;
  • Ability to conceptualize and implement a program for growth;
  • Ability to communicate persuasively.
Special Skills/Knowledge
  • A breadth of knowledge and experience that will allow the successful candidate to overcome perceived obstacles in achieving results;
  • A leader who engenders confidence in the planning and implementing of strategic plans and working with ambitious metrics;
  • An entrepreneurial ability, with demonstrated success in devising solutions to resource needs through a combination of best practice and innovation;
  • A passionate commitment to the mission of the Academy.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary offers are commensurate with experience. Cushing Academy values its employees, and this appreciation is reflected in the salary and compensation benefits packages offered.

TO APPLY
Nominations and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to Gonser Gerber Search, c/o Gonser Gerber LLP, 1776 Legacy Circle, Suite 100, Naperville, IL 60563; search@gonsergerber.com. To apply, please submit a cover letter, résumé, and four professional references. References will not be contacted until later in the search process. Diverse and traditionally underrepresented candidates are encouraged to apply.

Cushing Academy does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
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Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430
978-827-7000
admissions@cushing.org

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.

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