Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia (CSFP) is a privately funded nonprofit organization with a mission to provide students from under-resourced Philadelphia families with financial access to quality, safe, K-8th grade tuition-based schools, thereby increasing the long-term economic and social success of their children. CSFP grants need-based partial scholarships via a random lottery. With a nearly $13.5 million operating budget last year, CSFP raised and awarded $11 million in scholarship dollars from private donors (individuals, foundations, and companies). CSFP currently serves more than 5,800 children enrolled at over 160 private and parochial schools.
Since 2001, Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia has been changing lives by providing parents the opportunity to select a safe, quality school for their kids. CSFP offers scholarships to Philadelphia families in financial need so that their children can attend tuition-based schools that meet their educational needs.
Now CSFP is launching a bold plan for growth. CSFP aims to serve more students longer by removing the organization’s four-year restriction on scholarships and retaining more of its scholars through 8th grade, while still providing 2,000 new scholarships annually. The CSFP Breaking Barriers Campaign, with its historic fundraising goal of $100 million, will be essential to this plan.
Context for Recruitment and Role Summary
CSFP is passionately committed to the ideal of educational opportunity for all. Its mission is to move Philadelphia one step closer to that ideal every day and help create a future in which kids realize success in high school, then graduate from college or other post-secondary programs and return to their hometown ready to make a difference. Under the visionary leadership of President & CEO Keisha Jordan, CSFP has expanded the scale of its scholarships and services, risen to a best-in-class level and national model for success, and transitioned from a volunteer-led to professionalized fundraising model. An ascendant Development program and the five-year, $100 million Breaking Barriers Campaign it has made possible are generating essential investments in CSFP’s vision: investments in families who want the best for their children, who dream of their future success, and who are ready to sacrifice to pay their part of the cost; investments in Philadelphia, a city whose health and growth tomorrow depend in large measure on how well we educate our young people today; and investments in equity, because there is no better path to breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty than through education – in fact, there may be no other way at all.
Amid this environment of strategic growth, enhanced service, and burgeoning leadership as an organization, CSFP seeks candidates for the new position of Chief Advancement Officer (CAO). Reporting to the President & CEO, the CAO will lead CSFP’s Development program – focusing on identifying and securing additional, diverse sources of funding to raise the $32 million in new funding required for a successful Breaking Barriers Campaign – and co-lead Communications staff in a newly configured advancement model. Working in close partnership with the Chief Program Officer, Vice President of Development, Senior Director of Operations, Board of Trustees, and Breaking Barriers Campaign Steering Committee, the CAO is responsible for the successful design, implementation, and monitoring of CSFP’s long-range campaign and annual fundraising strategies, thereby growing and diversifying funding resources, gaining greater financial support for CSFP, and establishing a strong brand identity and awareness in the Greater Philadelphia community. The CAO will serve as campaign director for CSFP’s Breaking Barriers Campaign currently in Year 2, working in close partnership with the Campaign Co-Chairs and Campaign Steering Committee to ensure its success. This leader will serve as a key thought partner to the President & CEO in overall organizational leadership and strategy, as well as proxy thereof as needed.
The CAO oversees a team presently comprising five positions, including the following direct reports: Vice President of Development (who currently oversees three Development staff); Senior Communications Manager, a position co-managed in partnership with the Chief Program Officer. The CAO will leverage the leadership of the Vice President of Development to guide Development staff and effectively balance high-level external and internal needs. The CAO will be empowered to evaluate and enhance the functional and/or organizational alignment of the current Development team in consultation with the President & CEO, including recommending additional staff over time as needed to achieve CSFP’s ambitious goals.
While CSFP will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:
- Authentic connection to and passion for the mission and vision of CSFP.
- Minimum of 15 years of overall fundraising experience with progressive levels of responsibility. Track record of strategic collaboration with internal and external partners to establish the conditions for success. Broad knowledge of all functional areas comprising a multi-faceted, comprehensive development program (e.g., individual, institutional, major, planned, and annual giving; special events; donor communications; stewardship; fundraising operations).
- Experience successfully leading a capital or comprehensive campaign of $50 million+ is highly desired.
- Knowledge of and fundamental adherence to the principles, ethics, and best practices of modern fundraising, including the integration of various giving programs to diversify the funding base and cultivate greater donor commitments. Working knowledge of giving and charitable vehicles.
- Minimum of seven years of demonstrated success leading a fundraising team and overseeing all aspects of the development/advancement operation. Ability to recruit, manage, motivate, evaluate, and develop a diverse team of professionals and contribute to the ongoing fostering of a high-functioning, results-oriented, multiracial/multicultural workforce. Experience managing budgets and revenue forecasts.
- Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of how to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in a development/advancement operation; culturally competent with respect to issues such as racial, cultural, religious, sexual, and gender identity. Skilled at delivering solutions in evolving, multicultural environments.
- Demonstrated success in developing the case for support and strategic, innovative fundraising plans, and executing those plans to grow fundraising and exceed goals. Experience collaborating with executives, senior staff, and board or other volunteer leaders on development-related activities, providing them with quality support and intelligence and increasing their comfort with and success in fundraising. Significant experience identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six to seven figures or greater.
- Track record of advancing prospect discovery and engagement at all levels of giving, including both traditional and non-traditional sources of potential support, as well as examination of existing donors that may have greater capacity.
- Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic, integrated nonprofit marketing and communications. Experience identifying and coaching project spokespeople. A functional understanding of how to effectively utilize various communication mediums and distribution channels for optimal exposure and impact, as well as leveraging media to increase the visibility of CSFP events and programs.
- Excellent verbal and written communicator who can forge connections between potential donors and CSFP, and lead a team to produce high-quality appeals, proposals, reports, newsletters, email communications, and other materials. Ability to develop correspondence and materials to enable potential donors to understand CSFP and how they contribute to the achievement of its mission. Strong presentation and public speaking skills.
- Knowledge of the Greater Philadelphia philanthropic community, especially where support for education organizations lies, with a preference for an existing network of relationships and significant, demonstrated fundraising success therein.
- Ability to use data and CRM systems to set fundraising strategy and priorities, measure outcomes, and drive superior performance.
CSFP is committed to a diverse and pluralistic workplace. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified individuals. As such, CSFP is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all applicants, employees, volunteers, and interns. CSFP prohibits discrimination based on an individual's race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected under applicable law.
Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia has retained the DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice of the Diversified Search Group to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) may be submitted at https://talent-profile.diversifiedsearchgroup.com/search/v2/19907, or directed to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Managing Director and DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice Leader
Diversified Search Group
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, New York 10174
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