January 25, 2017 – Diversified Search has placed Abbey Fagin as chief advancement officer (CAO) at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Managing director Gerard F. Cattie led the assignment.
Reporting directly to the Folger director, Ms. Fagin will oversee advancement opportunities, leading a dedicated staff and working with a senior leadership team to enhance the Folger’s resources and institutional reach. She will provide leadership during a likely capital campaign for a project that will expand physical access to the Folger’s treasures, engage a wider audience with its collections and programs, and drive new forms of research.
Change Agent Sought
The Folger was seeking a proven leader with a track record of effectively leading organizational change. The organization was looking for some with a minimum of seven to 10 years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, including work in all functional areas (individual giving, institutional giving, annual giving, planned giving, stewardship, and board relations) and participation in a major capital campaign, preferably within a major cultural institution or non-profit organization.
Ms. Fagin most recently served as vice president of development and public affairs for Charles E. Smith Life Communities, where she oversaw fundraising, community engagement, government affairs, and communication for the $100 million senior services organization. Before that she was assistant vice president of development at American University. There, she served as a capital campaign manager for a $200 million campaign drive.
The Folger Shakespeare Library houses the world’s largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare. The library is home to a world renown collection that supports scholarship and international research.
Advancement and Fundraising
The economic strength of the non-profit sector has been increasing as the economy expands and it is now the third largest employer in the U.S. Nearly two million non-profit organizations employ 10.7 million people and produce revenue in excess of $1.9 trillion. That’s leading to some complications for recruiters, who report that non-profits are under varying degrees of pressure to find fundraising leaders. Demand is intensifying and that is creating supply line problems ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.
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The Girl Scouts of America recently turned to Diversified Search to find a new CEO. The search firm’s founder and chairman, Judith M. von Seldeneck, is leading the assignment. The 104 year-old organization seeks a motivational leader and fundraiser extraordinaire.
The field of advancement is an extension of development / fundraising. Over the past two decades, educational institutions and non-profit organizations have shifted toward more integrated models of collaboration between communications, marketing, branding and development. Advancement represents the full integration of these functions under a singular leader: the chief advancement officer. Approximately 50 percent of the searches that Diversified Search’s development & philanthropy search practice now conducted are for ‘advancement’ leadership positions.
According to recruiters who specialize in the field, advancement talent is being groomed within all parts of the non-profit sector and within organizations that comprehend the direct connectivity between messaging and contributed revenue. The function is only relevant to organizations within the non-profit sector.
Diversified Search has worked with more than 300 educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations over a 40-year span. Its not-for-profit practice recruits leaders for associations, foundations, arts & culture organizations, religious groups, workforce development entities, as well as professional and social service concerns.
The firm recently placed Connie C. Chin as executive director for The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. In addition to the Folger Library search, Mr. Cattie is leading the president and CEO search for the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC).
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media