Mary McDowell Friends School, a co-educational, K-12 college preparatory program dedicated to the success of students with learning disabilities in New York City, seeks a dynamic and mission-driven fundraising professional to become its next Director of Development.
Mary McDowell Friends School is a K–12 college preparatory program dedicated to the
success of students with learning disabilities. Grounded in the Quaker values of equality, integrity, and social responsibility, we cultivate a diverse community in which each student can reach his/her/their full potential. Our specialized teaching methodologies and challenging curricula empower students to become academic achievers, creative thinkers, and contributing members of a global society.
Established in 1984 with a class of five students as the Mary McDowell Center for Learning at the Brooklyn Meeting House, the School now occupies three campuses for its lower, middle and upper schools, serving 398 students. Students come to Mary McDowell Friends School (MMFS) with their own individual skills, talents, and abilities. Through differentiated instruction, the commitment of our highly skilled teachers and support staff, and the rigorous academics we offer, our students succeed in school.
At MMFS every learner shines. We support our students to grow and to find their innate gifts and “inner light.” We provide them with opportunities to reach their full potential by understanding how they learn, drawing on their strengths, and encouraging them to meet their challenges. Our students work hard at academics, the arts, and athletics so their many talents can emerge.
When families start at MMFS, they often ask, “Can my child gain the skills needed for college?” Even parents of the very youngest children ask this question. The answer is yes! When children come to MMFS, they are welcomed into a brighter future. From our youngest students through our 12th graders, our students come to understand how they learn best, how to self-advocate, and how to challenge themselves.
We equip them with the tools they need to thrive. Mary McDowell Friends School graduates succeed at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities. Others forge fulfilling career paths through hands-on programs that provide important life-skills. The MMFS experience empowers students to take an active role in learning at every level – elementary, middle and high school, college, and beyond. Students build a foundation at MMFS that will support them long after they’ve graduated.
Opportunities for The Director of Development
Reporting to the Head of School, the DoD will provide the visionary leadership for and execution of the School’s development plan necessary to advance the School towards its mission. The next Director of Development will be a leader in nurturing a culture of philanthropy, building broad and deep relationships with the school and external community.
Provide leadership to assess, integrate and articulate the School’s development efforts including the annual fund, capital campaign, external relations, endowment, annual benefit auction, special events, major gifts and make recommendations for improvements;
In consultation with the Head of School and Board of Trustees, help develop and coordinate all aspects of ongoing campaigns. Establish goals and priorities for fundraising to attract the maximum gift support possible on behalf of the institution, including annual fund solicitations, planned giving programs, corporate and foundation gift and grant proposals, major capital gift fundraising, and endowment;
Nurture a culture of philanthropy by building broad and deep relationships within the School’s diverse constituencies and building the case for support of the School
Provide oversight and direction for communications and constituent relations program to share MMFS’ story and cultivate the notion of MMFS as a primary philanthropic commitment.
Responsibilities and Duties: The responsibilities of the DOD fall into nine main areas:
Senior Leadership Team
Build and sustain an effective partnership with the Head of School and the Board of Trustees in order to ensure that development goals are carefully integrated with overall school strategic goals.
Engage in leadership decision-making with other senior leadership team members including Associate Head of School, Director of Admissions, Director of Facilities and Director of Communications, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Technology.
Attend all Board of Trustees meetings and prepare and present reports including statistical analysis of all development efforts.
Serve on and facilitate the work of the board Development Committee. Serve on other board committees as appropriate.
Construct and implement the annual board development plan, with development committee approval.
In consultation with the Head of School and the Board Clerk, make recommendations for new Board of Trustees members.
Supervise the Advancement Associate
Determine the annual fund goal each year, in consultation with the Head of School.
Develop the case for giving.
Coordinate and manage the school’s annual fund appeal targeted to trustees, parents, faculty and staff, grandparents, alumni and alumni parents, friends, foundations, corporations, and matching gift programs.
Engage volunteer participation in The Mary McDowell Friends Fund Committee, the appeal’s volunteer leadership committee.
Engage annual fund leadership donors division co-chairs.
Set gift ask amounts for parent donor appeal, in consultation with the Head of School.
Write all constituency solicitation letters. Write all gift recognition letters. Steward the leadership division of donors to the annual fund. Retrieve online giving gift data from web-based gift payment portal. Supervise integrity of senior systems data.
Identify and coordinate participation by major donor prospects in feasibility studies.
Make recommendations for campaign steering committee co-chairs and volunteers.
Coordinate cultivation events.
Write and collaborate on case statement marketing materials.
Annual Benefit / Auction
Oversee the planning, organization and execution of all aspects of event. Co-coordinate the engagement of volunteer Benefit committee. Steward honorees and when available, master of ceremonies. Prepare and disseminate auction solicitation communications.
Data entry of each auction donation into the auction software. Negotiate venue rental and catering contract.
Supervise journal and catalog design (writing and layout) and preparation of bid sheets.
Negotiate and supervise printing of auction catalog and signage. Engage and prepare live auctioneer. Supervise invitation design. Send auction donation recognition communications.
Supervise integrity of auction software data.
Engage host family, supervise invitation design, manage replies and organize program for Annual Fund Leadership Donors recognition cocktail party.
Supervise and engage participants for school’s annual special events
Engage host families, supervise invitation design, manage replies and organize program for assorted cultivation and stewardship cocktail receptions.
Marketing, Public Relations and Communications
Collaborate on all printed materials generated by the Development Office including annual fund solicitation materials, brochures, invitations, programs, journals, publications, press releases, campaign brochures, letters to the editor and the Annual Report.
Collaborate on branding and content of the MMFS website.
Contributor to the MMFS News, the monthly publication of the school.
Organize alumni/ae events and maintains an ongoing relationship with same.
Maintain an alumni/ae network.
Assist Director of Communications & Institutional Funding with grant writing and reporting.
Work with Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller to ensure proper recording of pledges, pledge payments and all cash and stock gifts.
Work with Chief Financial Officer to develop annual budget for expenses and gift income for both operations and capital fundraising.
Assist the business office in preparing documents for the annual audit.
MMFS At a Glance
136Lower School Students
120Middle School Students
142Upper School Students
190Faculty and Staff
6:1Avg. Student : Teacher Ratio
New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Friends Council on Education (FCE)
Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY)
Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS)
Located in Northwestern Brooklyn, MMFS occupies campuses in the Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens neighborhoods. Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City and boasts a diverse array of historic neighborhoods and landmarks. Brooklyn has a rich arts, music and food scene. Its parks and open spaces make it family and recreation friendly.
Procedure to Apply
Interested candidates should submit the following materials confidentially as separate PDF attachments in one email:
Cover letter expressing interest in the position
Three letters of recommendation
Email to Orpheus Crutchfield email@example.com and Mary Rose Fernandez firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “MMFS—Director of Development”
Application Deadline: August 19
Semifinalists interviews: August 27
Finalists interviews: September 9
Hiring announcement: September 16
Start Date: September 30
Mary McDowell Friends School seeks a Director of Development who reflects its values of equality, integrity, social responsibility and diversity. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate expertise and success in comprehensive development efforts, donor cultivation and stewardship and a highly collaborative and relational approach.
Proven ability to design, implement, and bring to fruition major gifts campaigns
Demonstrated ability to collaborate with and nurture relationships with a team of professionals
High level of integrity, diplomacy, and initiative
Demonstrated commitment and experience working in a diverse, multicultural community
Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
Strong communication, public relation, and interpersonal skills.
Outstanding knowledge of fundraising data software and database management software
Flexibility, sense of humor, and willingness to assist with administrative tasks in a fast-paced team environment
High regard for confidentiality
Familiarity with independent schools is a plus
About Mary McDowell Friends School
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