The Thacher School is one of the most selective and highly regarded boarding schools in the nation. Founded in 1889 by Sherman Day Thacher, the School serves academically talented students from 22 states and 9 countries in a rigorous college preparatory experience. 44% of students identify as people of color. The faculty and students live and work closely together on a 427-acre campus nestled in the foothills of the Los Padres National Forest in Ojai, California (85 miles north of Los Angeles). Honor, fairness, kindness, and truth are the cornerstones of School life. Together, Thacher commits to the belief that demands in the academic classroom, when combined with those of mountains and horses, of sports and the arts, produce independent minds, strong bodies, and powerful character. The School enrolls 260 students, has an operating budget of $25 million, and an endowment of $170 million.
Thacher’s track record of fundraising is exceedingly impressive. In 2008, the School completed an $81 million campaign: adding two new dorms, a performing arts center, student commons, all-weather track, a new field, and a weight room. Thacher is currently in the public phase of the $170M “Next Peak” Capital Campaign, that is projected to end in 2020. The annual giving and events programs are very strong with close to 50% percent of alumni supporting the school every year. Thacher raised $4M in the 2018-19 School year, which on a per-student basis places Thacher among if not at the most supported annual fund programs in the nation.
Director of Development
The Director of Development reports directly to the Director of Institutional Advancement to advance the mission and vision of Thacher and strengthen the school's already strong culture of philanthropy. The Director of Development will serve as the day-to-day leader of the Development Office and co-lead the Development Committee with the Director of Institutional Advancement.
The Director of Development will lead and inspire a 15-person team that is responsible for annual giving, alumni relations, events, and advancement operations. The Director of Development will sit on the School’s administrative team and will work in close partnership with the Head of School on development activities. In support of the School’s mission, values, and goals, the Director will provide visionary leadership to the development, constituent relations, and communications and marketing programs. This work will be rooted in a deep appreciation and understanding of the School’s mission and the ability to articulate its values and vision internally and externally. The Director will plan, design, implement, manage and oversee annual giving, alumni relations, events, special projects, and other school-related solicitations.
Major Functions and Responsibilities:
Co-run Development Committee with Director of Institutional Advancement
Be a member of and provide support to the Governance Committee
Lead day-to-day activities of the Development Office.
Oversee three of the four major functions of the team: Operations, Annual Fund, Alumni Relations, and Parent Relations.
Collaborate on initiatives and decisions related to overall program direction, strategies, and fundraising goals.
Cultivate a positive and supportive office culture, providing mentorship and guidance to a seasoned, professional staff.
Serve as a member of the School’s Administrative Team.
Serve as the central liaison with Head of School, Academic Program, Business Office, Admissions, and Facilities.
Run weekly staff meetings and senior team meetings.
Oversee and monitor the Development Office master calendar.
Oversee the Development and Campaign budget.
Manage staffing, hiring, evaluation and other HR processes.
Oversee alumni and community relations efforts to establish and strengthen ties with the School’s constituents, including parents, grandparents, alumni, parents of alumni and friends.
Lead retreats and regular strategy/progress meetings.
Compensation and Benefits:
Compensation dependent on experience. The Thacher School offers competitive salaries and an excellent benefits package. In addition to meaningful and rewarding work, Thacher provides an excellent compensation and benefits package including medical, dental, life & long-term disability insurance, a generous retirement program, and paid time off.
All inquiries and nominations are kept confidential.
Thacher School does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, religion, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or national or ancestral origin in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other School-administered programs, or in the administration of its hiring and employment practices. The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.
Bachelor’s degree required.
Ten years of fundraising experience in related field, with preference given to independent school or higher education development experience.
Superior written and oral communication skills.
Strong managerial, leadership and supervisory skills necessary.
Ability and interest in managing, developing, motivating, and mentoring staff.
Ability to work independently and cooperatively within a team environment.
Proven track record of creatively building and leading successful teams
Willingness to work nights and weekends, as required.
Openness to new ideas and their implementation.
Ability to react and adapt to changing situations appropriately.
Demonstrated analytical and fund-raising skills with the ability to recognize opportunities, identify critical, high pay-off activities and prioritize them to attain goals.
Familiarity with boarding school culture a plus and willingness to be part of a close-knit community.
Ability to work effectively with fellow administrators, volunteers, and boards.
Ability to assert leadership that inspires and motivates others.
Ability to set goals and direct the efforts of staff and hold individuals accountable for the accomplishments of said objectives.
Thorough grasp of the current trends in development, alumni and external relations.
About Carney, Sandoe & Associates
Carney, Sandoe and Associates is an educational recruitment firm that places teachers in private, independent and like kind (charter, magnet, pilot and merit) schools across the nation and internationally. Since 1977 we have placed over 28,500 teachers and administrators in independent schools.