Founded in 1889, The Wheeler School is a co-educational independent day school for approximately 800 students from Nursery through Grade Twelve on two beautiful and dynamic campuses in the city in Providence, Rhode Island and “on the farm” in Seekonk, MA. The essence of our mission and vision comes down to a simple imperative reflected by Mary C. Wheeler’s founding precept: “to learn our powers and be answerable for their use.” Wheeler is an environment in which we strive to make anything possible for students, where choice, inquiry, and interest are of primary import, where we know individuals well, and where we insist upon and nurture intellectual character, critical thinking, empathy, and creative spirit.
Wheeler’s Advancement Department is responsible for supporting and advancing the goals of the school to ensure excellence into the future. The Director of Annual Giving provides leadership to build a program that raises annual philanthropic support among families, alumni, and within all of Wheeler’s constituencies. The Director creates, implements and evaluates a comprehensive, fundraising Annual Giving plan which directly supports the School’s annual operating budget. The Director enhances the strong culture of philanthropy and the understanding within the community that charitable giving leads to and helps the School innovate.
At the highest level, the ideal candidate will be a dedicated and accessible colleague, leader and manager, and a pragmatic visionary — collaborative, self-motivated, and decisive. An ideal candidate will have experience leading growth and will garner trust through open and direct communications and a strong work ethic. The ideal candidate will be creative and dynamic and will have a high energy level to match the dynamism of Wheeler’s environment. The candidate will act with humility and a sense of humor, will be organized and an excellent, thoughtful communicator, and will have extremely strong relational skills and exceptional follow-through.
More specifically, the Director will have the following responsibilities:
Reporting to the Head of Advancement, expand the education and culture of philanthropic giving in the school community
Establish strategies across multiple mediums to reach annual giving dollar objectives and monitor progress against those objectives, with a focus on donor acquisition and retention
Assist the Head of Advancement and Senior Director for Philanthropy & Engagement in qualifying and advancing leadership gift and planned giving donor prospects which will lead to a strong foundation for a future campaign.
Execute and improve upon an Annual Giving Program that is clear in its expectations, consistent and predictable over a multi-year period with demonstrable outcomes
Perform ongoing data analysis and reporting related to all aspects of the annual fund program, using statistical analysis to evaluate current annual programs and to make recommendations for program modifications or enhancements
Oversee volunteer recruitment and training for all annual giving activities, including but not limited to, providing staff support to volunteers, solicitor tracking and follow up
Support the the Senior Parent Gift Committee
Oversee annual fundraising events related to annual giving including Wheeler’s Night Out and Community Giving Day
Manage a pool of annual giving prospects and maintain an active schedule of visits
Working with the Director of Strategic Communications, oversee strategy and production of all annual giving materials and online presence, including dynamic communications for events throughout the year
Work with colleagues to ensure timely, accurate pledge acknowledgements and stewardship schedules and programs are followed
Plan, develop and have accountability for the Annual Giving budget to support the program’s strategy, ensuring maximum cost-benefit ratio is achieved
Build effective relationships with faculty and staff as an active member of the school community, and serve as an ambassador for the impact of giving at Wheeler
Support and staff Advancement events and other duties as assigned
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in a relevant field
Five years’ experience, preferably in the education or nonprofit sectors, in fundraising
Direct solicitation experience and success in closing gifts of $10,000 or more
Experience and competency with Raiser’s Edge or a similar fundraising data management software program
Ability to work collaboratively in a mission-driven, fast-paced, team-oriented department
Prior experience in promoting the mission of an organization through relationship building and fundraising and a demonstrated ability to accomplish established goals and objectives
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Strong interpersonal skills and a sense of humor
Demonstrated organizational skills and experience in meeting deadlines and goals, multi-task with close attention to detail
Experience with social media applications within communications and giving programs
Willingness and ability to attend evening and weekend events, as well as periodic travel
Highly professional and ethical standards for handling confidential information
To apply, please submit a resume, writing sample, and cover letter to email@example.com. Please include the position title in the subject line. This is a full time, 12-month exempt position with competitive salary and benefits.
Statement on Diversity
At Wheeler we actively seek students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds in the belief that a broad range of experiences and viewpoints enhance learning, enrich life on campus, and better prepare us all for full participation in a pluralistic, democratic society. The Wheeler School is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, or disability, and any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.
The Wheeler School is a Nursery through Grade 12 co-ed independent day school founded in 1889 in Providence, Rhode Island located on College Hill on the East Side of Providence. Wheeler is comprised of four divisions, Lower School (N-5), Middle School (6-8), Upper School (9-12), and Hamilton School (1-8), the latter a special school- within-a-school for students with learning differences. We are a vibrant, joyous family with exceptional Fine and Performing Arts, Athletics for grades 6-12, Summer Programs open to the public, and numerous curricular and co-curricular choices for our students. Our programs are creative, innovative, and challenging.