KEES Retained by United Methodist Communities to Find VP of Philanthropy 

August 25, 2020 – Executive search and non-profit consulting firm KEES (Kistner Eddy Executive Services) has been retained by Neptune, NJ-based United Methodist Communities (UMC) to help find a new vice president of philanthropy. The assignment is being led by Heather Eddy, president and CEO.

UMC, a senior living and healthcare organization, is seeking a senior-level philanthropic professional to complement and grow its development program, said KEES. The vice president of philanthropy reports directly to the organization’s president and CEO, and supports the advancement of UMC and the UMC Foundation. The individual is charged with providing oversight to all fundraising activities and driving the agency’s philanthropic engagement strategy internally and externally.

“Over the past four years, the foundation has created a strong operational program, supported by processes that facilitate a growing culture of philanthropy within UMC,” said the search firm. “Moving forward in maintaining these program activities successfully, this base will sustain current giving levels and create new opportunities for incremental growth moving forward. The greatest opportunity for this growth lies within UMC’s planned giving program. The successful candidate will execute a comprehensive development plan that capitalizes on this opportunity while also focusing on campaigns, special events, annual giving and major gifts.”

The vice president of philanthropy will manage a portfolio of top donor prospects and provide leadership and guidance, in conjunction with the CEO, to the foundation and UMC boards, as well as lead and oversee the work of the foundation team, said KEES. Further, the vice president will partner with the site executive directors and leaders to build community-level relationships and increase engagement with local leaders, families and residents.

Key Qualifications

Performance objectives for the role will focus on strategic leadership, fundraising, organization management and external community and partner relations.

The non-profit wants an innovative and collaborative individual with a minimum of seven years of effective fundraising and leadership experience in diverse, high-impact development programs. Preference is given to those who have managed fundraising efforts spanning multiple geographic sites, with significant leadership experience in fostering an organization-wide culture of philanthropy.

“It is imperative that the person who assumes this role is passionate and committed to the full mission and vision of United Methodist Communities,” said KEES. “Candidates who are energized by enriching the lives of older adults of every faith and background are encouraged to apply.”

Candidates should have a strategic orientation to growing a philanthropic and marketing program, with demonstrated ability to develop and implement creative fund development and communications plans, said the search firm. Leadership experience in building teams and fostering a culture of collaboration and cooperation is essential. Significant experience in securing funding from individuals, corporations and foundations is also required.

Setting goals

In addition, prospects for the role must have a demonstrated ability to set and achieve or exceed goals. Their career track record should show stability with an organization and capacity to develop and nurture relationships culminating in major gift success. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to serve as a key spokesperson for UMC and the UMC Foundation is also expected. Candidates should have knowledge of and expertise in various major and planned gift instruments, and a proven track record of successful marketing of such instruments.

A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree and/or CFRE is preferred. Candidates should have seven years of progressive fundraising experience; experience with a faith-centered and/or senior living organization preferred.

United Methodist Communities is driven by principles of faith and its charitable mission to serve seniors of all faiths, backgrounds and needs. Throughout its 112-year history, UMC  has continued to grow and innovate to meet the needs of older adults. Each of UMC’s full-service campuses has been designed as a continuum to allow residents to access multiple services under one roof. UMC customizes and scales services to accommodate residents’ needs. Transforming the healthcare residences from traditional nursing into household models where residents can experience greater autonomy and satisfaction represents one innovation. Also, UMC offers hospice and palliative care in private assisted living neighborhoods for people who prefer not to or cannot receive these services at home, establishing a new model. UMC also operates UMC-HomeWorks, its homecare division, at three distinct locations across New Jersey.

Non-Profit Recruiters

KEES, based in Naperville, IL, focuses on building transformative teams and leaders in the non-profit sector. The firm was founded in 2013 as an expansion of Alford Executive Search. It is women-owned and operated and provides a wide variety of services, including executive search, specialty and interim staffingHR consulting and leadership development.

Ms. Eddy has worked with non-profits and institutions to build capacity for more than 20 years. For the past 12 years, she has focused on strengthening executives, boards, managers and philanthropic leaders. She co-founded KEES and leads the organization’s team after serving for 17 years in multiple executive leadership roles with the Alford Group/Alford Group Executive Search, a national consulting firm that partners with non-profits and provides fundraising and organizational strategy consulting.

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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