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21 Sep 2023

School Network Staff Chief Advancement Officer

Independence Mission Schools

Job Description

Organization Summary

Independence Mission Schools (IMS) is a network of Catholic schools that provides a transformative education to develop students intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. IMS provides children of all faiths across the City of Philadelphia with the opportunity to learn in an academically rigorous environment and to grow in a culture of love, setting them on the path to a promising future.


The vision of the IMS network is for students to leave the school community  formed by IMS’ Catholic example, performing at or above grade level, and enrolled in their first-choice high school.


During their first nine years, the IMS network has established a successful private school network, having served 4,000+ students in 14 Pre-K through 8th grade schools.  IMS’ goal is to remain a top tier academic destination for a wide range of families in the City of Philadelphia.


As it approaches its tenth anniversary year, IMS is in the process of implementing a strong strategic plan, with priorities that are aligned with and will be supported by a comprehensive campaign.


Position Summary

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is an active member of the Executive Leadership Team with responsibility for leading and implementing IMS’ fundraising strategies, managing and building the advancement team, and driving advocacy and awareness for IMS’ mission.  The CAO will oversee all fundraising functions in support of IMS’ mission: annual, capital, institutional and planned giving; donor relations and stewardship; advancement operations and communications.   IMS intentionally seeks an experienced CAO candidate, who has a track record of successful fundraising, especially in the context of comprehensive campaigns, team building, and advancement services.  The successful individual will have seven to ten years of experience in advancement, with increasing levels of responsibility, working across many functions and with many stakeholders to maximize impact.  The CAO will also serve as a champion of IMS’ mission and vision both internally and externally.


IMS is an equal-opportunity employer with benefits that may be found here We take pride in our collegial, entrepreneurial, results-oriented work culture.


Duties and Responsibilities

Executive Leadership

  • Serve as a key member of the executive leadership team, working collaboratively with the CEO and other senior leaders to implement IMS’ strategic plan and vision.
  • Provide leadership and direction to the Development Team as needed to ensure alignment with the IMS’ goals and objectives.
  • Lead the annual planning and budgeting process for the development department and schools.
  • Represent IMS in public forums and develop and maintain relationships with external stakeholders, including donors, community leaders, and peer organizations, to advance the organization’s mission and goals.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Team to prioritize and plan for institutional leadership support and resources.


Advancement Leadership

  • Lead and manage all aspects of the fundraising program, as outlined in the position summary
  • Overseen the development and implementation of marketing and communications strategies to support fundraising efforts, including creating collateral materials, social media content, and other communications to promote the organization’s mission, programs, and services and ensure a successfully completed anniversary campaign.
  • Manage and maintain relationships with major gift donors through personalized engagement and stewardship activities, such as one-on-one meetings, cultivation events, and recognition programs.
  • Position the CEO and other essential high-level staff and volunteers in relationship building for fundraising success.
  • Manage a budget for the Development Team that is aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities and goals.
  • Oversee and support staff who create and implement technological and other solutions to support fundraising and development operations, including donor engagement and stewardship.
  • Ensure productive and accurate systems are in place for tracking, reporting and reconciling fund-raising progress and success.
  • With staff, develop strategies for identifying and cultivating major gift prospects, including individuals, corporations, and foundations, to expand the organization’s donor base.
  • Develop and implement strategies to raise awareness of IMS’ mission, programs, and services to increase its visibility and support.


Network Management and Support

  • Ensure IMS achieves annual and multi-year financial sustainability goals and budget results through development efforts throughout the schools in its network.
  • Work in close collaboration with colleagues to develop and deliver best-in-class services to schools.
  • Serve as a culture carrier for the network in building positive morale.
  • Set vision for and manage efficient and effective use of the team’s time and talents across major institutional priorities and work streams described above.
  • Manage a high-performing development team that is aligned with IMS’ mission, values, and strategic priorities and able to successfully achieve campaign goals.
  • Develop and implement performance metrics and evaluation tools to ensure the team’s performance meets or exceeds fundraising targets and other organizational goals.


Board Management

  • Serve as the primary liaison to the IMS Board – Development Committee.
  • Work with the CEO and Board of Directors to develop and maintain a robust donor pipeline to support the organization’s long-term fundraising goals.
  • Work closely with the Board of Directors to solicit major gifts and to develop tailored proposals and gift agreements that align with donors’ interests and the organization’s priorities.
  • Provide regular updates to the CEO and Board of Directors on fundraising progress and challenges and make recommendations for course correction as needed.
  • Additional duties as assigned.



  • Commitment to IMS’ mission, vision, and core beliefs.
  • Commitment to serving children of all faiths in an urban environment with the belief that all students can learn.
  • Experience creating and implementing strategic multi year fundraising plans and building consensus among stakeholders to achieve fundraising goals.
  • Proven experience overseeing and developing grant writing programs and securing funding from a variety of sources, including foundation, state, and federal grants, with a track record of achieving fundraising goals.
  • Ability to lead, model and inspire others to deliver high performance in a collaborative, collegial working environment.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills, with the ability to leverage qualitative and quantitative information in decision-making.
  • Ability to plan and manage complex projects and develop effective systems or processes.
  • Ambitious and innovative mindset with a track record of translating strategy into action and delivering results.
  • Exceptional communicator: adept at sharing information both verbally and written in a way that resonates with a variety of audiences, both internally and externally.
  • Understanding of the complexity of managing school-based organizations, and the ability to communicate effectively with a full range of stakeholders involved in a school’s community.
  • Demonstrated professionalism and responsibility, and a strong work ethic.
  • A positive, high-energy attitude, and a drive for personal excellence.
  • Flexible attitude, ability to work with urgency.


Education and Experience

  • Minimum of ten (10) years relevant work experience required.
  • Ideally experience in a Chief Advancement Role or similar role working at the executive level in large and/or complex organizations required.
  • Minimum of three (3) years of experience leading a team required.
  • Experience working or serving in a faith-based, Catholic School, preferred.
  • Experience in education, nonprofit, or higher education organizations required; Knowledge of or exposure to education preferred.
  • Experience cultivating partnerships with individuals and institutions across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.
  • Experience effectively managing complex budgets and the strategic allocation of resources.


Physical Requirements

Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required such as:

  • Local Travel to external meetings– valid driver’s license and/or access to transportation when necessary.
  • Functioning in office space – reaching file cabinets, filing, faxing, scanning, copying, typing, mailing, making phone calls.
  • Must be able to sit for up to two hours looking at a computer monitor, using a keyboard/mouse and typing.



Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Application Instructions Send cover letter and resume to Molly Farley, HR Consultant, at

Bureaus: Philadelphia. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: School Network Staff. Salaries: 100,000 and above.