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Director of Development

Sanford School

Hockessin, Delaware

Reporting to the Associate Head of School for Advancement, the Director of Development is a newly developed position that will be responsible for helping to manage a major gift fundraising plan with an emphasis on donor relationships, solicitation, and stewardship. This person will design and implement a comprehensive strategy for a robust major gifts and planned giving program. They will work closely with the Associate Director of Development who oversees Sanford’s Annual Fund to ensure effective donor-recognition including reporting, events, and other communications. In addition, the Director of Development will play a central role in building strong relationships between Sanford and the alumni community.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward current and prospective donors of major/leadership gifts, planned gifts, and future campaign gifts and pledges through fundraising best practices and strategies.
  • Maintain and increase donor engagement, and secure major, leadership, and planned gifts (five and six-figure) through personalized correspondence, in-person visits, telephone/video calls, proposals, presentations, and/or other relationship-building methods.
  • Ensure achievement of fundraising goals, moving donors along the prospect pipeline, deepening relationships to better understand and strategically align donors’ priorities and goals with Sanford’s needs, and growing a culture of philanthropy in the school’s current and alumni communities.
  • Solicit gifts and pursue grants for building renovation/construction, naming opportunities, endowment, programs, scholarships, or other initiatives identified as a priority by the School.
  • Work with the Associate Head of School for Advancement to establish clear metrics for success, track progress to goal, and adjust strategy as required.


  • Minimum of 3 years of progressive experience in frontline fundraising; familiarity with education and/or fundraising in an independent school environment is preferred.
  • Proven success in achieving or exceeding fundraising goals and a successful track record of cultivating, soliciting, and securing major and planned gifts.
  • Demonstrated success in major gift fundraising including soliciting and securing 5+ figure gifts/pledges including timely and appropriate follow up.
  • Ability to successfully manage all aspects of the giving cycle and establish/build relationships with top-level donors.
  • Ability to make in-person major and planned gift solicitations, as well as assisting others with solicitations.
  • Ability to analyze donors’ propensity, capacity, and enthusiasm to give, and ensure donor alignment.
  • Self-starter with the ability to create, plan, implement, and manage multiple and concurrent projects and events.
  • Capable of building collaborative relationships and working in a collegial environment.
  • Superior communication skills to express, orally and in writing, Sanford School’s mission, vision, and goals with clarity, passion, and persuasion.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office; experience with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Willing and able to travel locally; must be available to attend events after work hours or on weekends as needed.


Sanford School is an independent, college-preparatory school for boys and girls in preschool (age 3) through high school. Located on a striking 100-acre teaching campus in Hockessin, Delaware, Sanford School is proud to be one of the best private schools in the region. Sanford was founded in 1930 as an innovative school where No Talent Lies Latent. Sanford’s faculty is dedicated to bringing this motto to life for every child, in every classroom, every day. Students enjoy rigorous academics, opportunities in the arts and athletics, an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, and immersion in a humane, worldly community that prepares them to succeed in every aspect of life.

For additional information, please visit their website at

The Director of Development is a salaried, full-time, benefit eligible position. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, 403b retirement fund with a percentage match, and tuition remission.

Job Details

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