Director of Development

Posted on 02/28/2023

Laurence School

Valley Glen, CA

Laurence School is conducting a search for its Director of Development to build on its already successful fundraising programs. Laurence welcomes interest from accomplished advancement professionals who want to take the school to even greater heights of excellence by inspiring our school community to support generously, and give of their time, talents, and resources. Position will start as of July 2023.

School Description: 

Laurence School is a dynamic and cutting-edge independent elementary school located near Sherman Oaks, California. Founded in 1953 and grounded in our “Total Child” philosophy, Laurence provides Kindergarten through 6th Grade students with a personalized, well-rounded education to our students, ensuring their academic, social, emotional, and physical growth and development. With an enrollment of 350 students and a dedicated team of faculty and staff that is more than eighty members strong, Laurence is an excellent place to work. At Laurence, employees have the opportunity to thrive in a stimulating and diverse environment, where new ideas, opportunities, skills, and experiences are constantly being exchanged and shared.

The top characteristics/qualities Laurence seeks most: 

  • Prior experience in creating and executing an annual giving campaign, major gifts strategies, planned giving (bequests, annuities) and a spectrum of fundraising event planning and execution at a non-profit institution.
  • Demonstrated history of successful campaign project management
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice as an institutional lens for advancement work 4) Excellent constituent relations experience, including volunteer and alumni engagement
  • Exceptional management skills that build ownership and coalesce the team around a culture of joyful and spirited fundraising
  • Strong marketing, writing, proposal, and presentation skills that are critical to this successful communicator’s role

The four focus areas for the DOD role: 

  • Create and execute both an Annual Giving and Major Gifts program that encompasses current parents, Trustees, grandparents, and an alumni strategy and a legacy giving program.
  • Ability to develop and run a capital campaign with a focus on building donor enthusiasm to support our strategic plan
  • Manage special event programming for community engagement and stewardship, as well as annual fundraising events for faculty and staff.
  • Oversee the array of giving campaigns throughout the course of the year: Annual Giving program, Scholarship Fund campaign, Capital Campaigns, Spring Gala, etc.


  • Works closely and collaborates with the Development Manager
  • Serve as an active member of the Administrative Team representing the advancement needs of the School in relation to the overall leadership of the institution
  • Collaborate with the Head of School to set philanthropic and strategic goals for Laurence
  • Work closely with the Head of School to set fundraising objectives and solicitation strategies, evaluate results, and develop corrective strategies as needed
  • Foster a vibrant culture of joyful philanthropy
  • Oversee capital giving, leadership giving, alumni relations, stewardship, planned giving, and research, and lead and support the Advancement/Development Office to reach annual goals in each of these areas
  • Oversee all capital campaign activities, including selection and support of the campaign board committees, volunteer management, campaign expenses, funding priorities, volunteer training, and more
  • Develop and launch an alumni program encompassing alumni of recent and more historical past; and wider family networks, i.e., grandparents, parents of alumni. Plan and execute Annual Alumni Reunion and other related events
  • Produce frequent analysis for the Head of School, Board advancement/development committee, and Board of Trustees
  • Create a productive and positive work environment for advancement staff, inclusive of regular team meetings, individual meetings with staff, retreats, supervision and evaluation, and professional growth
  • Strategize, plan, and solicit top annual gifts from a portfolio of prospects
  • Design a multi-year plan for building a donor pipeline using wealth screening and predictive analytics
  • Use data to inform planning and to lead change with a balance of decisiveness and collaboration
  • Create a portfolio of capital campaign gifts in the range of $50,000 to $5M
  • Serve as liaison to top campaign and annual volunteers in their role as solicitors
  • Plan, execute and manage Annual Phone-a-thon event
  • Partner with parent leadership to support volunteer engagement. Manage all fundraising events chaired by the Parent Association including: Spring Gala, Party Book, Holiday Boutique, Spirit Wear, etc.
  • Support a new parent leadership gift drive and support the admission office in new family onboarding and orientation to ensure effective parent education on the importance of philanthropy
  • Co-create multi-faceted campaign marketing, including the Annual Report, Newsletters, as well as multiple campaign email pushes, social media messaging, and invitations, etc.
  • Produce capital campaign analyses and goals for Head of School and Board of Trustees
  • Serve as direct liaison with the business office and Chief Financial Officer on all items related to campaign funding, donations and expenses
  • Provide materials, collateral, strategy, and support around all of the Head’s donor prospect meetings, attending donor meetings as needed
  • Manage weekly agenda for 1:1 meetings with Head of School
  • Advise the Head of School on speaking points at advancement events, cultivation and solicitation meetings with advancement prospects, capital projects, trustee advancement work, strategic planning, campaign strategy, Annual Fund, alumni relations, and special events
  • Serve on and drive the agenda for the Board advancement/development committee, including all meetings, analyses, presentations, and solicitation functions
  • Attend Board meetings and make advancement presentations as needed
  • Support the Head of School in training advancement functions for the Board governance committee
  • Oversee Trustee Annual Fund solicitation every year as well as capital solicitations of trustees
  • Remain up to date on major issues in the School to be able to serve as an ambassador
  • Support fellow Administrative Team members in their goals and aspirations
  • Serve as a leader for the School community by participating in daily life and operation of the School in a present and hands-on manner and by extending oneself beyond the responsibilities of the role
  • Familiarity and proficiency with Senior Systems, Veracross or other school database systems
  • Assist the Head of School with other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Minimum 5 years of advancement/institutional advancement management experience and a strong understanding of the factors that create transformative philanthropic outcomes
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize, plan, and cohesively integrate a full range of development programs; an alumni relations background is desirable
  • Contributor to the overall strategic planning of the School through innovation and creativity
  • Event management experience and/or passion for community social events
  • Excellent marketing and communication skills, both oral and written, and an understanding of what should be communicated to different audiences
  • Decisive and confident leader who embraces the School’s mission-driven culture
  • Knowledge in and experience using donor wealth screening platforms and development data systems, significant experience using technology including databases, spreadsheets, and Google tools
  • Proven track record of thriving on and contributing to teams
  • Strategic thinker and creative problem-solver with the ability to see the big picture
  • Demonstrated dedication to multiculturalism, equity, and inclusion in school settings with a record of accomplishment
  • Superior interpersonal, organizational, leadership, and managerial skills
  • High level of energy, flexibility, warmth, and a ready sense of humor
  • Comfortable with the use of data to drive decision making
  • Ability to work effectively with multiple constituencies
  • Experience with independent school is preferred yet not required

Physical Demands: 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. The employee is occasionally required to sit, climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and move objects up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

The ideal candidate must be able to complete all physical requirements of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

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