Germantown Friends School (GFS) invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Advancement Officer (CAO). GFS is an independent, Quaker, coeducational day school, established in 1845 by the Germantown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, serving students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. Dedicated to “reaching that of God in every person,” GFS lives its mission “to seek truth, challenge the intellect, honor differences, embrace the city, and nurture each student’s mind, body and spirit.” Rooted in the Quaker tradition, GFS encourages spiritual growth and intellectual integrity and values a commitment to community, equality, non-violence, service, and simplicity. One of the region’s best known Quaker schools, GFS maintains high academic standards in an atmosphere characterized by respect for the individual and the community.

GFS currently enrolls a diverse and talented student body of 865 students in three Divisions – Lower School (Kindergarten – Grade 5), Middle School (Grades 6-8), and Upper School (Grades 9-12) – and employs 85 full-time and 25 part-time faculty. GFS is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools. The School is under the care of the Germantown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. 

Reporting to the Head of School, the CAO provides leadership, strategy, support, encouragement, and integration of efforts for all fundraising, alumni, and parent activities at GFS. The CAO oversees the Advancement Office, which includes fundraising, alumni relations, and parent relations. The CAO works collaboratively with the Head, the School Committee, School Leadership, and the offices of Communications and Marketing and Admissions in providing strategic advice and setting a strategic direction for the School’s advancement and external relations efforts; establishing and implementing an overall advancement strategy and preparing the overall advancement plan; ensuring the achievement of annual goals and objectives; designing, implementing, and managing fundraising initiatives and annual, major, and planned gift programs; ensuring the development of an effective alumni relations program that includes broad representation from various alumni groups; and preparing for the School’s comprehensive campaign. The CAO serves as an exemplary advocate for and representative of the School in all these activities. The CAO staffs the Advancement Committee of the School Committee (Board of Trustees) and the Campaign Committee and works closely with alumni volunteers.

GFS seeks a strategic and creative advancement leader who can connect a demonstrated level of technical competence with the mission of an independent Friends school and who will be a strategic partner to the Head of School and the School Committee. She or he must be unquestionably committed to academic excellence and to being a visible presence within the GFS community. The CAO will exhibit a personal style of self-management that is consistent with Quaker values and culture and that reflects collaboration, transparency, and inclusion.

A proactive communicator and partner, the CAO will be an independent thinker with a clear vision of her or his role as a leader, self-awareness with respect to operating style, an ability to grow and adapt, and to serve as both a manager and a mentor of others. The CAO should bring an awareness of best practices, the flexibility to adapt practices and procedures to institutional culture; and the ability to educate and engage with others in their implementation.

The successful candidate will possess at least 10 years in progressively responsible advancement leadership roles with demonstrated expertise in major gift fundraising and the process of growing a comprehensive advancement program; experience planning and implementing a substantial comprehensive campaign; excellent organizational skills and operational experience; clear and effective communication skills and well-honed listening skills; the ability to think strategically, to manage change, and to take intelligent risks in a complex environment; the credibility to represent the School and gain the respect of donors, School committee members, alumni, parents, faculty, and other colleagues; a high level of energy, sense of urgency, and the intellectual capacity to partner effectively with a visionary Head of School. An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required with a strong preference for an advanced degree.

Nominations, inquiries, and applications (including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names of five references) should be directed electronically in confidence to [email protected].