Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Engagement
Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Engagement
The Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Engagement (VPAAE) will be charged with creating, from the ground up, an Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement. Though Fisher College receives a modest number of gifts each year, and has over 13,000 alumni of record, it has no formal advancement or alumni relations department. Therefore, the current search presents an exciting opportunity for the right person to design and bring to life his or her vision and to create a vibrant culture of philanthropy at a largely tuition-driven institution.
Founded in 1903, Fisher College is an independent, non-profit four-year college, fully accredited, offering undergraduate and master's degrees. Based in Boston's historic Back Bay, Fisher's nearly 900 undergraduates choose from among 29 degree programs and 15 minors. While grounded in the liberal arts, the most popular majors are practical in nature, designed to help students flourish in professional careers, in line with the Fisher College mission to "improve lives by providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary for a lifetime of intellectual and professional pursuits."
Despite its small enrollments, Fisher College is financially stable. Unlike many schools of its size, Fisher has recorded operating surpluses every year since FY02. Fisher's portfolio includes significant real estate holdings worth over $16.5M, in addition to approximately $30M in assets under investment. The College is rated BBB+ by Standard & Poor's.
Dr. Alan Ray joined Fisher College as its ninth President in July 2017, and established as his first priority the creation of a robust Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement. His bio can be found here. Plans for this Office enjoy the enthusiastic backing of the Board of Trustees, as well as the rest of the Fisher community. Under the budgeted proposal approved by the Board, the school will first fill the position of VPAAE, who will then be responsible for hiring a Director of Alumni Engagement, Database Manager and a third professional position, to be determined between the VPAAE and the President. As the Office proves itself, more positions will be added. Initial fundraising priorities are student financial assistance, faculty initiatives and special capital projects.
About the Position
The Development Guild DDI has been retained to provide interim on-site counsel and consultation until the search is completed thereby providing the new hire with a "running start". In the first three months, the VPAAE will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive assessment of the organization and presenting recommendations for new goal setting and budgets.
Fisher College is especially interested in interviewing qualified candidates from underrepresented groups. Fisher has a highly diverse student body and diverse pool of 13,000 alumni/ae of record.
Please note, this is not a position to learn leadership on the job. The VPAAE will come to Fisher with a record of success, fully ready to build an advancement office.
Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
The VPAAE will design and launch a comprehensive advancement program from the ground up, which reflects and contributes to industry best practices and provides the philanthropic support the College requires to achieve its ambitious strategic goals.
• Provide hands-on leadership, supervision and management for the Department of Advancement and Alumni Engagement.
• Design, launch and manage comprehensive advancement program that includes: major gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving, donor recognition and stewardship activities, advancement services as well as alumni engagement.
• Participate in College's strategic planning at the highest levels.
• Work with the President and other members of the college community in major fundraising activities, keeping the President apprised of the status of the attainment of fundraising objectives, new sources of potential financial support, and key personal contacts that would benefit from Presidential communication.
• Persuasively represent and advance the College's vision and goals and culture of philanthropy and engage supporters towards that end, including College stakeholders.
• Maintain an initial portfolio of 40-60 six and seven figure gift prospects which will grow over time.
• Engage and encourage faculty and staff, when appropriate, to take an active role in supporting fundraising activities, including providing strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, close and steward donors and prospects.
• Establish annual fundraising priorities in conjunction with the Strategic Plan, President's Office and Board.
• Design, develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive advancement program and budget to ensure effective use of institutional resources.
• Work closely with the Finance Department and President's Office to develop and implement gift policies and guidelines for the College to ensure compliance with federal and state legislation and regulations.
• Ensure the current "SCAN" data base system is viable to meeting the growing needs of the department—recommend alternatives as appropriate.
• Hire and oversee Director of Alumni Engagement and Database Manager, a third professional position (TBD), and administrative support staff.
• Work closely with the Marketing and Communications Department to create fundraising materials such as fundraising letters and brochures, pledge cards, endowment brochures, case statements, and scholarship guidelines and applications.
• Develop and maintain positive relationships with the College Board of Trustees, alumni, donors, prospects, corporations, foundations and public funding agencies.
• Work with Marketing and Communications and Webmaster to ensure College has strong online development presence, including apps, social media and College website.
• Work diligently to create a set of outside support vendors, as needed, to accomplish the goals of the program.
• A track record of building comprehensive fundraising programs and plans that achieve results.
• Major gift success including identifying, cultivating, solicitating and stewarding six and seven figure individual gift prospects.
• Strong supervisory experience that demonstrates the ability to lead, coach, and develop staff.
• Successful experience working with:
o Diverse constituencies
o High level volunteers
o Senior management
• Familiarity with four or more of the following: Advancement systems, alumni engagement, corporate relations, foundation relations, gift planning, prospect research, public relations, social media, special events.
• Appreciation of the mission and values of Fisher College and the ability to effectively support and communicate them, especially to external audiences.
• Knowledge of best practices and the ability to apply them in innovative ways.
• Excellent judgment and interpersonal skills.
• Self-starter who seizes opportunities.
• Travel (regional and national) as required.
• Higher education experience preferred but not required.
Fisher College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, building strength through diversity. The College is committed to building a community of talented students, faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of global business. We strongly encourage applications from persons from underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, covered veterans and those with diverse experiences and backgrounds.
Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:
For more information about Fisher College, please visit http://www.fisher.edu