BoardWalk Consulting Selected to Find Chief Development Officer for Cleveland Institute of Music

June 4, 2020 – Executive recruitment firm BoardWalk Consulting has been enlisted to find a chief development officer for the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in Cleveland, OH. Leading the assignment are John Sparrow, senior director, and Paula Nicholas, senior research associate.

“As the institution strives to serve and advance the field of classical music, the chief development officer will lead CIM’s efforts to cultivate the resources and relationships necessary to further galvanize the organization’s role as an innovative model of how best to prepare the next generation of classical artists,” said BoardWalk Consulting.

The CDO will be expected to maintain and drive the organization’s focus on building external relationships, broadening fundraising efforts and calibrating the comprehensive organizational strategy necessary for CIM to achieve its immediate and long-term goals, said the search firm. The new leader will work in partnership with the organization’s board of trustees, faculty, staff and alumni and engage them in the development efforts to advance CIM’s future.

The Cleveland Institute of Music wants a seasoned development leader who brings experience in leading a fundraising team, a comfort with both annual and multi-year campaigns, a quiet gravitas and an authentic interest in both initiating and cultivating relationships with donors and stakeholders. Further, the CDO should bring a demonstrated passion for music, the organization and its mission.

Key Mandates

Mandates for the new leader will include: building the institutional fundraising capacity to meet the organization’s funding and capital needs in support of CIM’s long-range plan; positioning the role and the department as a collaborative and essential part of CIM and a key support structure for all segments and departments of the organization; strengthening CIM’s profile as an institution of first choice for philanthropic support and trustee service; and broadening the understanding among the donor/supporter community of CIM as a unique-among-its-peers institution and clearly making the case for why CIM is different.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced leader who is comfortable both leading and collaborating and who understands and promotes the value of teamwork and well-calibrated effort, said BoardWalk Consulting. The CDO must be a strategic thinker, a strong manager, coach and mentor, and possess the imagination to reach for bold aspirations and the ability to lead a team to execute and realize them.

Specific attributes being sought in the new CDO include more than 10 years of management or supervisory experience with goal achievement and an emphasis on directing, coaching and developing team members. Candidates should also have seven-plus years of fundraising and development experience in a progressively successful development role in the performing arts or music in higher education, with a demonstrated track-record of successfully building and retaining a broad and renewable fundraising base through crafting, executing and measuring a comprehensive integrated advancement strategy.

Founded in 1920, the Cleveland Institute of Music is one of just seven independent conservatories of music in the U.S. and one of three devoted exclusively to classical music. Since its inception, CIM has served over 5000 students with an average annual enrollment of 350. The typical freshman class is comprised of 60-70 students, which follows the school’s progressive idea to limit enrollment, limit the cost of education and provide scholarship support to create an optimal learning environment that serves the needs of its students. This strategy is a major component of CIM’s case for philanthropic support.

Non-Profit Recruiters

Headquartered in Atlanta, BoardWalk Consulting is a national executive search firm that specializes in recruiting CEOs and senior leaders for non-profits and foundations. The firm has seasoned practitioners who have served as non-profit executives, grant makers and board leaders for a wide variety of organizations.

BoardWalk has conducted hundreds of leadership searches for clients in at least 33 states and a number of other countries, and it has recruited candidates from all 50 states and beyond. BoardWalk Consulting was founded in 2002 by Sam Pettway, a 30-year search veteran.

Mr. Sparrow brings over two decades of experience in non-profit administration and performing arts venue management to BoardWalk’s clients. Since joining the firm in 2013, he has worked with a diverse scope of clients including those serving education, civil and human rights, public media, public safety, childhood diseases, museums, youth empowerment, environment and the needs of institutional churches.

Ms. Nicholas has three decades of experience in executive search. Before joining BoardWalk, she was retained by a large executive search firm in a number of roles. As director of research, Ms. Nicholas hired, trained and managed staff in many of the firm’s offices and served as part of a team that developed and led training for new research associates globally. As a senior associate, she also managed client and candidate management.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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