Saint Francis High School (SFHS), one of the largest and most prominent independent Catholic schools in America, is seeking a campaign-experienced advancement leader and manager to join its senior administrative team. It is expected that the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement (EDIA) will embrace and embody the Holy Cross charism and help guide this extraordinary institution to the next level. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker and will balance Saint Francis tradition with innovative leadership and external relations.
Rooted in the Catholic values of the Holy Cross tradition, Saint Francis High School is dedicated to educating the hearts and the minds of its students in an inclusive and welcoming environment. Inspired by its Holy Cross charism, the school educates its students to be well-balanced, service- oriented, and ethical young adults, prepared for college and global citizenship. All students who seek a Catholic education are welcome, and SFHS is committed to offering an accessible education in the spirit of its Holy Cross mission.
A commitment to excellence pervades all aspects of SFHS. More than 100 members of the Class of 2018 were recognized by the National Merit Foundation, with 32 of those earning the rank as Finalist. Students annually contribute more than 50,000 hours of community service, and participate in immersion trips to economically poor communities in the state and abroad. The robust athletic program, which fields 66 teams in 26 sports, has captured hundreds of titles. More than 80 arts and other extracurricular activities provide a myriad of opportunities for students to grow, lead, and excel.
The new EDIA will report directly to recently-named school President Jason Curtis, who begins work at Saint Francis on July 1, 2019. President Curtis brings extraordinary leadership, management, and community engagement experience from his time as Principal at Cardinal Gibbons School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Saint Francis operates in the President/Principal model with a deep and talented management team. The Principal, Katie Teekell, joined Saint Francis in July 2018. She is an educational visionary and graduate of the school who brings a solid track record of school leadership to this vital role. The EDIA will be a key member of the senior management team and will manage a team coordinating development, community relations, and communications.
Opportunities and Challenges
The next Director of Institutional Advancement at Saint Francis High School will join an institution that seeks to fulfill its philanthropic potential. Working with fundraising consultants Campbell & Company, the School is currently conducting a feasibility study testing a comprehensive campaign goal of $100 million. The centerpiece of the campaign will be a new Innovation Center that will accentuate Saint Francis’s commitment towards STEAM education in a major way. Other key campaign components include financial aid and programmatic additions to support the new academic building. Hence, the new EDIA will be charged right from the start with leading the campaign effort, working closely with the President, Principal, Board members, and staff to elevate significantly the overall culture of philanthropy at Saint Francis. To this end the EDIA will ensure that all school communications and marketing materials are consistent and strategic to feasibility study recommendations and campaign awareness.
The Board and administration are prepared to increase the number of Advancement FTEs to accomplish the School’s fundraising goals (current staff numbers 11). The Annual Fund, currently raising $2.5 million annually, has significant room for growth. A major gift program will need to be installed that features one-on-one cultivation, as will a planned giving effort. A true constituent engagement strategy will be enhanced to ensure these efforts are achieved. Thus, the new EDIA must be a good evaluator of existing and new talent, an even better manager of people, and a teacher/mentor at heart.
The School’s location has allowed it to take advantage of some venture capital opportunities provided by alumni and current and past parents. This unique aspect, dubbed the Growth Fund, funnels dollars into priority initiatives including an endowment that currently stands at around $55 million. The EDIA works closely with the Institutional Advancement Committee and provides input to the Finance committee.
In the first year, the EDIA must come to understand and appreciate the values of the Holy Cross tradition, get to know the key donors within the Saint Francis community, move campaign planning and execution along (including assessment of staff roles and hiring additional personnel), and build a strong working relationship with Board members, the President, the Principal, and other key senior administrators. The EDIA simultaneously will be building a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects for personal oversight.
In sum, the new EDIA must like building teams and infrastructure while recognizing the immediacy and urgency of a pending campaign. Having the experience and confidence to know when the School is “ready” and managing expectations will be crucial. The EDIA will have an opportunity to be part of the new leadership team that will create its own legacy at Saint Francis and lead the School into an exciting new chapter.
Desired Qualities and Qualifications
The successful candidate should ideally have the following background:
A minimum of a BA or BS degree;
Seven to ten years of demonstrated fundraising experience in a leadership role, preferably at a university or large Catholic or independent school;
Direct past experience with a large-scale comprehensive fundraising campaign;
Superb communications skills;
Ease and ability to speak in public;
Demonstrated experience in hiring, evaluating, managing, and motivating;
Experience with all facets of an Advancement program, from research to stewardship;
Understanding of best practices in coordinating timely initiatives into longer-term programmatic development;
Familiarity with relational fundraising databases.
Qualities we seek include:
Great organizational and management skills;
Total resonance with the mission of Saint Francis High School and the Holy Cross tradition;
Ability to work independently and with sense of immediacy;
Willingness to share knowledge with colleagues and volunteers;
Flexibility and adaptability;
About Saint Francis High School - Mountain View, CA
From the foundation established by the Brothers of Holy Cross in 1955, Saint Francis High School has grown into an inclusive, diverse and lively community of more than 1,700 young men and women motivated by high expectations, enduring Christian values and opportunities to excel across many dimensions. As a leading coeducational Catholic college-preparatory school with a well-established reputation, SFHS received nearly 1,500 applications this year for 450 available seats. Its graduates are welcomed each year to the nation’s finest colleges and universities.
Rooted in the Catholic values of the Holy Cross tradition, Saint Francis High School is dedicated to educating the hearts and the minds of its students in an inclusive and welcoming environment. Inspired by its Holy Cross charism, Saint Francis High School seeks to educate its students to be well-balanced, service-oriented and ethical young adults, prepared for college and global citizenship. Saint Francis High School welcomes all students who seek a Catholic education and is committed to offering an affordable education in the spirit of its Holy Cross mission.
A commitment to excellence pervades all aspects of the SFHS ...experience. More than 100 members of the Class of 2018 were recognized by the National Merit Foundation, with 32 of those earning the rank as Finalist, marking this the fifth out of the last six years Saint Francis has had more Finalists than any other Catholic school in California. Students annually contribute more than 50,000 hours of community service, including immersion trips to economically poor communities in the state and abroad. The robust athletic program, which fields 66 teams in 26 sports, has captured hundreds of titles. More than 80 arts and other extracurricular activities provide a myriad of opportunities for students to grow, lead and excel.
Among the school’s greatest assets are the dedicated, 170-member faculty and staff, who bring the mission to life with skill and enthusiasm. Located between the Santa Cruz Mountains and San Francisco Bay, in the heart of Silicon Valley, SFHS occupies an attractive, well-equipped, 25-acre campus that supports the wealth of opportunities available to its students.
The new President will enter this position with the benefit of a talented leadership team serving by his or her side. The new principal, Katie Teekell, was announced in March 2018 and will begin her work in July 2018. She is an educational visionary who brings a solid track record of school leadership to this vital role. The two leaders will collaborate to ensure that the President/Principal partnership continues to serve the students, school and Saint Francis community well.
As Saint Francis High School enters its 63rd school year, the next President will have the opportunity to build on the school’s Strategic Plan, Leading with Hope & Zeal. For more information, visit www.sfhshopeandzeal.com.