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Director of Advancement

Ursuline Academy

Wilmington, Delaware

Reporting to the President and serving as a member of Ursuline Academy’s Core Leadership Team, the Director of Advancement is responsible for overall leadership and management of all fundraising programs undertaken by the Academy, including annual fund, major gifts program, planned giving, and any future capital campaigns, as well as managing Alumnae and Parent Relations.The Director of Advancement leads a staff of three including Annual Fund Manager, Alumnae & Constituency Relations Officer, and Advancement Services Coordinator.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Lead a fundraising program that includes the Ursuline Fund, capital campaigns, major giving, foundation grants, planned giving, corporate support/gifts, and special events.
  • Cultivate and steward relationships with a wide range of donors, grant funders and volunteers.
  • Create and implement research and strategies to identify, prioritize, cultivate, solicit, recognize, and steward all prospects and donors.
  • Develop both long- and short-term strategic and tactical plans for all aspects of the development program in consultation with the President, Board of Trustees, and Advancement Committee.
  • Plan, manage, and implement an Advancement program that will attract the maximum gift support possible to the Academy to meet the needs of the operating budget, endowment, and facility needs.
  • Implement a plan to increase participation in each of the donor constituencies: alumnae, parents, friends, faculty, and grandparents.
  • Facilitate relationships between current and prospective principal gift donors and the President, Board members, Advancement Committee members, and others as appropriate.
  • Articulate annual fundraising goals and evaluate Advancement goals, as well as the effectiveness of the program on an annual basis.
  • Work with the Director of Marketing and Communications to produce fundraising materials.
  • Work with the Director of Finance and Operations to manage budget and collect funds.
  • Increase volunteer involvement in Advancement and Parent Association.
  • Work with the Director of Enrollment Management to welcome new families and to educate both prospective and current families on the opportunities available to support the Academy.
  • Work collaboratively with volunteer committees to coordinate special projects and events.
  • Serve as staff support and attend meetings of the Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees, and Governance Committee.
  • Build and sustain an effective partnership with the Board of Trustees, President, and Core Team to ensure that advancement goals are integrated into the overall school’s strategic goals and ensure that the advancement program obtains the necessary resources to achieve the Academy’s goals.
  • Participate as a member of the Senior Administrative staff of the Academy and, in that capacity, perform duties as assigned by the President.
  • Support the Alumnae and Constituencies Manager in the development and operations of an academy-wide parent association.
  • Respect, cooperate and maintain a positive attitude with colleagues (faculty and staff), students, parents, and alumnae and exemplify the core values.


The Director of Advancement must have an understanding of and passion for the goals and mission of Ursuline Academy and a commitment to contribute by personal example to an atmosphere of faith in a manner consistent with Catholic values and the founder of the Ursuline order, St. Angela Merici. The ideal candidate is an experienced fundraising strategist and relationship builder with a history of innovation in fundraising and donor development to support the strategic direction of the Academy. The ability to effectively articulate specific fundraising goals and motivate and manage a team to achieve those goals will be essential to the success of the incoming Director.


  • Minimum of seven (7) years of increasingly responsible roles in development/fundraising with a preference for independent school or higher education experience.
  • Broad exposure to all facets of development, including annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, capital campaign planning and implementation, and data management and analysis.
  • Proven experience developing solicitation strategies and a track record of success cultivating, soliciting, and closing six-figure plus gifts.
  • Strong management skills, both strategic and operational, and a demonstrated ability to build, manage, mentor, and motivate an effective team, while effectively engaging and staffing volunteers.
  • Demonstrated success in soliciting gifts from individuals, meeting annual fund goals, enlisting sponsorships, and planning special events is required.
  • Visionary and strategic planning capabilities to be applied toward the development of an innovative fundraising program and capital campaign designed to support an upcoming strategic plan and the leadership necessary to ensure its successful implementation.
  • Ability to engage the President, Board members, campaign volunteers, and others in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities.
  • A team player and team builder that has a passion for and commitment to achieving excellence in all aspects of the mission of Ursuline Academy while fostering a high level of respect for colleagues.
  • Ability to serve as a trusted advisor to the President and the Board of Trustees on matters related to development.
  • A high degree of professionalism, sound judgment, awareness, and discretion while maintaining complete confidentiality.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to build, foster and maintain positive relationships with both internal and external constituencies including administrators, faculty, trustees, volunteer leaders, students, donors, and prospects.
  • Excellent public speaking skills complemented by a demonstrated ability to interact in a social setting with ease and grace among individuals from a variety of diverse backgrounds and professions.
  • Superior communication skills to express, orally and in writing, Ursuline Academy’s mission, vision, and goals with clarity, passion, and persuasion.
  • Self-confidence and humility combined with a sense of humor and a collaborative management style.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office; experience with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases; Raiser’s Edge preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Must be willing and able to travel regionally and work nights and weekends when necessary.


Founded in 1893 by the Ursuline Sisters, Ursuline Academy of Wilmington, Delaware, is an independent, Catholic, college-preparatory school comprised of four academic branches: Early Childhood, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School, that serves over 400 students. Coeducational in the Early Childhood and Lower School divisions, Ursuline Academy transitions at the Middle School level to provide an all-girls education through Grade 12.

Supported by a liberal arts and science foundation, Ursuline’s curriculum utilizes the most relevant, effective, and proven teaching practices, which spark passion and encourage collaboration. Infused with the spirit of St. Angela Merici, the school motto is Serviam, meaning “I will serve.” Students learn to adapt, empathize, and serve with resilience. Every student is provided with opportunities and support to find their unique voice. Through global education, a leadership and innovation curriculum, STEM, arts, athletics, and clubs, Ursuline students become confident leaders who will make an everlasting mark on the world. Ursuline graduates are known for being accomplished and innovative. They have saved lives in war zones, founded life-changing judicial courts for those in need, and led presidential campaigns. Some have even advanced technology companies into global prominence.

For additional information, please visit their website at

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