Assistant Director of Advancement – Major Gifts

St. John's Episcopal School
Tampa, FL United States


Reporting to the Head of School, the Assistant Director of Advancement – Major Gifts is a key member of the Leadership and Advancement Teams and will understand and support St. John’s mission and the institution’s funding priorities. He or She will partner with the Associate Director of Advancement and Annual Giving, the Director of Alumni Relations, the Director of Marketing and Communications, the Head of School (who serves as de facto Director of Advancement) and others to meet the school’s advancement goals. The Assistant Director of Advancement – Major Gifts will maximize the total philanthropic relationship of major gift donors and prospects to the school. This will involve developing strategies to generate higher levels of support and implementation of individual multi-year fundraising plans that focus on renewals and increased gifts. This means establishing long-term relationships with major donors while working collaboratively with the Head of School and Advancement team.

This position will focus on the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major giving prospects through face-to-face meetings, utilizing written solicitations, phone follow-up, special events, and other methods that will allow for maintaining regular contact with these donors and prospects. The Assistant Director of Advancement – Major Gifts will be an ambassador for St. John’s, keeping the school’s mission at the center of all fundraising with the ability to understand and communicate the school’s strategic goals.


  • Oversee all aspects of the capital campaign, soliciting corporate and foundation proposals; and special development events.
  • Nurture and maintain a highly collaborative relationship with the Head of School, the board chair, and individual board members, supporting them in all their fundraising responsibilities, and accompanying them on donor visits when appropriate.
  • Establish and execute forward-thinking development, advancement and strategic programs that optimally grow the annual, major, and capital campaigns; legacy gifts; and planned giving.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Marketing and Communications to produce major gift fundraising-related materials as aligned with the overall Advancement plan.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major and planned gift prospects to support the priority giving areas of St. John’s Episcopal School.
  • Develop a major giving portfolio of prospects capable of making gifts of $100,000+ to the school; implement cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for the assigned prospect pool; draft gift proposals, personalized correspondence, endowed fund agreements, and named space agreements as needed.
  • Develop metrics systems that track strategic cultivation meetings, indicate the number of non-donors converted to donors, the “close rate” of solicitations, and the percentage of those renewing or increasing their giving; meet or exceed measurable performance goals and related metrics with respect to number of personal visits, major gift revenue, and prospect moves management.
  • Maintain regular contact with donors; scheduling individual and joint visits with the Head of School and recommend top donors to meet with the Head of School; personally solicit major donors.
  • Work closely with the Advancement Team to cultivate and solicit annual fund leadership gifts.
  • Work closely with the Associate Director of Advancement and Annual Giving to ensure that all major donors receive appropriate, consistent recognition and an accounting of the impact their gift has on the school.
  • Work closely with the Business Office to ensure that funds are reconciled on a regular basis; provide continuous updates on gift agreements and schedules.
  • Plan major donor cultivation and stewardship events in coordination with the Advancement Team.
  • Develop and manage a planned giving program; maintain a broad understanding of planned giving techniques and vehicles and promote planned giving when appropriate to maximize donor potential and support.
  • Develop and manage a corporate/foundation giving program.
  • Research and prepare reports on potential corporate/foundation grants and individual major donor prospects.
  • Participate in the review and generation of the school’s annual Impact Report and other communications as needed.
  • Support the maintenance of data integrity, accurate records of gifts and event participation, and manage filing of related paperwork.
  • Attend various St. John’s events to actively connect with prospects and donors.
  • Manage the Advancement budget in collaboration with the Advancement Team.

Essential Skills

  • A big-picture, strategic thinker who is flexible, highly detail-oriented, and has impeccable follow-through.
  • Ability to deal diplomatically and comfortably with high level donors and volunteers.
  • Ability to communicate with a diverse community of parents, students, alumni, and faculty – leading and motivating groups and individuals.
  • Intellectual curiosity, coupled with a skill for synthesizing information and exceptional communication skills.
  • Ability to build collaborative relationships with colleagues, volunteers, and prospective and current donors to foster effective, reciprocal communication and promote a collegial environment.
  • Ability to navigate change and manage challenges in a positive and professional manner.
  • Fluency and ability to articulate St. John’s mission, vision, and case for support.
  • Outstanding analytical skills used in identifying school needs, donors’ interest, and connecting the two.
  • A high-touch relationship builder who thrives on community and connection; excellent interpersonal skills.
  • High level of professionalism, including the ability to appropriately handle confidential and sensitive information.
  • Eagerness to work hard as both leader and team member with proven fundraising, leadership, and consensus-building skills and a positive, passionate, can-do spirit.
  • A disciplined, results-oriented self-starter with high ethical standards.
  • Ability to meet deadlines within the context of a complex office/school calendar.
  • Sense of humor; relentless optimism.
  • Flexibility, energy, and ability to work occasional evenings and weekends when needed.

Experience & Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred. Independent school experience preferred.
  • 5+ years of progressive experience in non-profit or educational fundraising, preferably in major gift fundraising with a track record of closing gifts of $100K and above.
  • Proven ability to network; to develop cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies; to conduct in-person and virtual prospect/donor visits; and to successfully close gifts for capital, endowment, and annual support with minimal oversight.
  • Proven success in directly soliciting and closing charitable gifts.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with all the school’s constituents while maintaining strict confidentiality.
  • Exceptional oral, written, telephone, and email communication skills; ability to effectively articulate the mission of the school and provide a compelling case for support to a variety of constituents.
  • Outstanding knowledge of fundraising data software and database management software.
  • Experience working with and motivating volunteers and staff members.
  • Familiarity with the local community.
  • Sound judgment and strong interpersonal skills to effectively build relationships with prospects/donors and to manage and motivate volunteers.
  • Well-developed strategic, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills with a demonstrated ability to be self-directed and highly motivated to meet deadlines in a time-sensitive, fluid environment.

Contact Information

The position is accompanied by a competitive salary and benefits package. St. John’s is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified candidates are invited to submit a current resume, cover letter, and list of not fewer than three references as soon as possible to Diane Scott, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, at The position will remain open until filled.