Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School is a Preschool through 8th grade educational institution that provides an excellent general studies and Judaic studies program in Hyde Park to a diverse community of children from all over Chicagoland.
Our school is unique in many ways. Most important: we teach students, not subjects. Students and teachers come from diverse Jewish observance and cultures, forming a family whose members respect one another because of their differences – not in spite of them. New students are integrated into the Akiba-Schechter family every year through all-school events and multi-class programs. We are especially proud of our multi-age classrooms and low student-teacher ratio. Learn more at www.akibaschechter.org.
The Director of Institutional Advancement is responsible for planning, directing and evaluating all development activities for the advancement of Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School. The Director is responsible for the development of an annual fundraising plan. It is the overall goal of this position to cultivate a culture of philanthropy throughout the school community by building effective relationships with the Akiba board, principal gift donors, alumni, staff and others who can positively impact the generation of revenue streams as well as collaborate with all staff to create an environment that nurtures and integrates a major-gift fundraising mindset throughout the organization.
The Director works directly with the Head of School and board committees on advancement and alumni affairs. This position reports to the Head of School.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DIRECTOR:
Develop, monitor and evaluate the annual development plan and long-term strategic goals in collaboration with the Head of School and Advancement and Alumni Affairs Committees of the Board of Trustees
Direct all of Akiba’s fundraising activities including capital projects, annual fund appeal, special events, major and planned giving, and corporate and foundation giving
Manage day to day operations of the advancement office including managing professional staff, gift and data entry, and reconciliation of revenues with the Finance Office
Develop and implement Marketing and Public Relation strategies in collaboration with the Communications and Marketing staff.
Steward the relationship with major donors and identify, cultivate and monitor philanthropic support for Akiba.
Organize and reinvigorate Akiba’s alumni base as new and prospective donors.
Ensure attainment of Akiba’s advancement activities through the selection, development, motivation and evaluation of the human resources, both professional and volunteer
Direct ongoing efforts to increase giving and grow the endowments
Initiate, develop, monitor and evaluate all grant proposals
May perform other duties as assigned
All employees are expected to be aware of and committed to the mission of Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School as it relates to all aspects of school life and functions of the Office of Institutional Advancement. Evening and weekend hours will be required.
A respect and appreciation for diversity and Jewish education
Minimum of four (4) years of successful fund-raising (preference given to those who have experience fundraising in an educational setting), including demonstrated effectiveness in prospect identification, solicitation and stewardship of individual donors for major gifts along with experience in communications, marketing and advertising
Knowledge of major gift development practices and principles
Successful track record in managing and closing major gifts with individuals, corporations and foundations
Strong interpersonal, written and oral communication skills
Demonstrated ability to manage multiple and competing demands and to establish priorities and meet deadlines
Experience in a role requiring collaboration within an organization, as well as a demonstrated ability to work with efficiency and diplomacy
Knowledge of and experience with development software.
Akiba-Schechter is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all employees without regard to race, color, religious creed, national and ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or physical disability.
At Akiba-Schechter, we teach students—not subjects—giving them the skills of life-long learning.
In the Lower School, literacy is the foundation of that independence, which is why we’re so committed to teaching it well. In multi-age classrooms, children in 1st/2nd grade read one-on-one with a teacher every single day, allowing them to advance at their own rate. Teachers at Akiba a...re not the “keepers of knowledge,” but empower students to find answers themselves. Moreover, open-ended and collaborative assignments promote the fact that there is not “one” right answer. Students mentor each other and develop empathy and respect for one another, secure in the knowledge that each is integral to the community. Multi-age and flexible ability groupings mean that children are always in flux, never stagnating at either the top or the bottom of a class. This promotes humility while still encouraging constant growth. Small class sizes and individualized attention mean children advance quickly, limited only by their own motivation.
In Middle School, the focus shifts more toward independence. Through hands-on activities, problem-based learning, and seminar-like discussions, students learn to ask good questions and find meaningful answers. National programs like History and Science Fair promote independent research skills and the confidence that comes from defending one’s findings to an audience. Subject matter often transcends the classroom; large-scale projects like debates, mock trials, and historical re-enactments involve even the Lower School. High standardized test scores, awards in statewide competitions, and numerous other scholastic achievements bear out the success of our approach.