Folger Shakespeare Library Taps Diversified Search for Chief Advancement Officer

June 27, 2016 – Diversified Search has been retained by the Folger Shakespeare Library to lead its search for a chief advancement officer (CAO). Managing director Gerard F. Cattie is heading the assignment.

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.

The Folger seeks its first-ever chief advancement officer at a time of cultural growth. The organization is seeking someone to coordinate and enhance its marketing, communications and fundraising efforts to maximize its philanthropic reach.

Reporting directly to the Folger director, the incoming CAO will oversee these opportunities, leading a dedicated staff and working collaboratively with a senior leadership team to enhance the Folger’s resources and institutional reach. The CAO 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.


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The Folger is seeking a proven leader with a track record of effectively leading organizational change. It seeks an innovator in both philanthropy and marketing, who possesses credibility and passion for Shakespeare and the humanities, and has deep experience in major gifts fundraising. The incumbent must be a student of modern philanthropy best practices and able to effectively leverage an advancement model through the strategic integration of corresponding functions.

The organization is looking for some with a minimum of seven to 10 years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, which includes 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.

“Approximately 50 percent of the searches we do within Diversified Search’s development & philanthropy search practice are now conducted for ‘advancement’ leadership,” said Mr. Cattie. “It has both been a change in the nomenclature, but also in the skillset that is required today within the profession.”

The field of advancement is an extension of development / fundraising, said Mr. Cattie. “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,” he said. Advancement, he added, represents the full integration of these functions under a singular leader: the chief advancement officer.

“Today, 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,” he added.

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

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