September 26, 2019 – Boston-based recruitment firm Lois L. Lindauer Searches has been enlisted to find a chief advancement officer (CAO) by the Hotchkiss School, a college preparatory boarding school in Connecticut. Senior consultant Gretchen Dwyer is leading the assignment.
The next chief advancement officer will be expected to provide strategic vision, innovative leadership, and clear direction for all development and alumni relations programs, said Lindauer. The individual must be an enthusiastic, thoughtful and organized professional who leads by example and empowers the members of the office of alumni and development.
Reporting to the head of school and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the CAO will lead all aspects of the development and alumni relations office including annual, major, principal and planned giving programs; alumni and donor relations; advancement services; stewardship; events; and prospect research and provide oversight and management of the office budget, said Lindauer.
The individual will launch systematic initiatives to identify and cultivate the next generation of donors to Hotchkiss while maintaining and strengthening ties to existing donors, seek out with determination new philanthropic opportunities, and create a strong and consistent message about Hotchkiss to its constituencies, said the search firm.
The Hotchkiss School, located in Lakeville, Conn, was founded in 1891. It has an enrollment of 600 students, 16 percent of whom are international, 36 percent are U.S. students of color, and 33 percent receive financial aid. Students, in grades nine through 12, with a small number of postgraduates, come to Hotchkiss from six continents, 35 countries and 32 states.
Another Advancement Search
Lindauer was also recently brought in by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to find a director of advancement. The firm said that this is an opportunity to be part of an organization that has had an extraordinary role in the advancement of academic and artistic life in the U.S., Canada and beyond. Founded in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards an average of 175 fellowships annually.
Why Recruiters Center On Fundraising Skills
Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.
Senior consultant Terri Rutter is leading this assignment. Ms. Rutter has consulted a number or organizations including MIT, Alzheimer’s Association, UMass Medical School Department of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital Boston, Tufts Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the Betsy Lehman Center.
Lois L. Lindauer Searches serves higher and secondary education, hospitals and academic research centers, think tanks, research facilities and foundations, as well as advocacy, public service, social justice and other mission-driven non-profits. It has led searches for the Boston YMCA, Center for Applied Special Technology, Healthy Minds Innovations/Center for Healthy Minds, the University of Texas at Austin and the Cockrell School of Engineering, among others.
With a wealth of non-profit and advancement experience, Ms. Dwyer knows firsthand the value of being recruited by Lindauer. The firm first placed her as director of development at Tower School, a private elementary school on Boston’s North Shore, and then as director of leadership giving at Amherst College. Having hired many development professionals over the course of her career, she said that the skills she has developed transfer well to the search process.
Ms. Roberts has extensive philanthropic experience at blue-ribbon organizations, establishing relationships with diverse constituents, focusing on strategic planning, executive search, team-building and board development. Her signature clients at Lindauer since 2014 have included: Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Berea College, Brookings Institution, Cranbrook Educational Community, Emerson College, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mind Springs Health, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Museum of Arts and Design, and University of Technology Sydney.
Advancement and Fundraising
The field of advancement is an extension of development/fundraising. Over the past two decades, educational institutions and charitable groups have shifted toward more integrated models of collaboration between communications, marketing, branding and development. Advancement represents the full integration of these functions under a single leader, the chief advancement officer.
Advancement talent is being groomed all around the field and within organizations that understand the direct connectivity between messaging and contributed revenue, say recruiters. The function is only relevant to the non-profit and education sectors. In corporate setting, such executives are commonly referred to as chief development officers or a chief business development officer.
In general, the best training for such roles is experience. Industry conferences and summits can also help one learn benchmarking and best practices. And while the best fit for these roles ultimately depends on the culture of the organization, recruiters say that “tenacity and drive” are two traits always necessary for successful advancement and development officers.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media