Founded in 1916, The Foote School is an outstanding independent day school for 475 students in grades Kindergarten through 9, located in New Haven, Connecticut. Students come from New Haven and more than 20 surrounding towns to form a diverse and welcoming community. The school’s 120-member faculty and staff share a commitment to lifelong learning and to incorporating best practices in elementary and middle school education.
Since its founding, The Foote School’s child-centered approach has nurtured a love of learning in children and has fostered a commitment to excellence in its students and faculty. Teachers lead students to ask questions and discover connections; to think and work independently, collaboratively and creatively; and to learn by doing. Learning at Foote is an active experience for students and teachers that balances innovation, tradition and reflection. Foote is a diverse community with a strong commitment to financial aid; more than 21 percent of students receive need-based aid totaling $1.8 million annually. Foote is beloved by its constituents, including current and past faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and grandparents.
Foote’s 18-acre campus features 11 classroom buildings, a 48,000-volume library, science and technology labs, a black-box theater, music rooms, art studios, a gymnasium, playing fields, teaching gardens, a wooded area for outdoor education, and a state-of-the-art science and technology building. Students benefit from our central location in New Haven, which presents off-campus learning opportunities from museum visits to service learning projects.
The Foote School seeks an energetic and accomplished Director of Development and Alumni Programs to lead the school’s efforts in fundraising, communications and alumni relations. The ideal candidate is a thoughtful, articulate and experienced frontline advancement professional who demonstrates the ability to think strategically and creatively, communicate effectively with a diverse constituency, and engage the community in support of a common goal. This position requires a strong ability to work effectively with alumni and parent groups, faculty, staff, and the Board of Directors to help build consensus and good will on behalf of the school.
The Foote School is currently engaged in a Centennial Campaign to double its $10 million endowment; in its first 18 months, the campaign has raised $3.8 million. The annual Foote Fund has exceeded $750,000 in recent years, with over 90 percent participation among parents and faculty. The new Director of Development will build on this strong foundation to enhance and expand Foote’s efforts in annual giving, in endowment fundraising and in planned giving, as well as in exploring new and innovative ways to build closer relationships, while managing a three-member Development and Alumni Relations Office and a two-person Communications Office. The Head of School, to whom the Director reports, values a person who is committed to an inclusive and diverse community, able to work effectively with a broad range of people, knowledgeable about capital campaigns, enthusiastic, genuine, an effective manager and leader of people, a community-minded team player with a strong work ethic and one who is dedicated to Foote’s mission.
Develop strong relationships with school constituents on and off campus to secure annual, capital, endowed, and planned gifts that support the school’s mission
Serve as a member of the Senior Administrative Team
Work effectively with volunteers, Board members, faculty and staff to instill affinity and cultivate volunteer leadership
Create and implement strategic goals and fundraising priorities in collaboration with the Head of School and the Board’s Development Committee
Lead all fundraising efforts including the Foote (Annual) Fund, major gifts, capital, endowment and legacy giving. As the school’s lead fundraiser, manage a portfolio of leadership prospects and travel occasionallyto develop and deepen donor relationships
Provide oversight, leadership, and strategic direction for the development staff
Oversee communications with all constituencies through the school’s website, e-newsletters, social media and a twice yearly magazine; supervise the Director of Communications and Communications Specialist
Manage and continuously improve daily operations of the Development and Alumni Programs Office including gift acknowledgement, database management, and reconciliation of revenues with the Business Office
Guide the Development and Alumni Programs Office staff in preparation for annual events such as Grandparents Day, Young Alums Day, Alumni Reunion, and other school functions
Oversee the planning of off-campus alumni programs to support ongoing relationships between the school and its alumni
Provide regular, detailed reports and information to the Head of School and Board of Directors; assist in orientation of new Board members; attend Board meetings and record the minutes; sustain strong ties with members of the Board of Directors, involving each in the school’s advancement program
Draft letters and proposals to donors and foundations; oversee ongoing cultivation and stewardship
Participate as a visible and active presence on campus at school-wide events, parent and faculty functions
Occasional evening and weekend days required
Perform other duties at the discretion of the Head of School
A high level of integrity, a strong work ethic, a positive outlook and a good sense of humor
A deep commitment to education and the importance of the learning process in a diverse, mission-driven independent primary and middle school
A commitment to and interest in providing the Head of the School and Board with a strong strategic orientation and implementation process that serves the school’s fundraising priorities
Skills & Qualifications
An open and collaborative management style, characteristic of a team player
Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
Knowledge and experience in managing an effective Development Office organization with multiple functions that include alumnae relations and internal and external school communications
Creativity, analytical skills, project development and senior leadership management skills
Appreciation of the importance of institutional history and tradition while forging new and innovative paths forward in fundraising and alumni relations strategies
Experience in organizing and conducting capital and endowment campaigns
Knowledge and experience with successful major gift and planned giving solicitation
Ability to oversee the identification, cultivation and securing of major gift and annual fund leadership prospects
Knowledge and experience in prospect tracking, stewardship and reporting procedures
Knowledge of how to effectively market and communicate the values and mission of the school internally and externally
Experience managing volunteers, including members of governing boards
Experience, ability and interest in managing, developing and mentoring staff
Interest in and willingness to travel (limited)
10 years of advancement experience required, preferably at an independent school or in higher education
The Foote School’s Benefits and Community
The Foote School offers a dynamic and supportive work environment, competitive salaries and a generous benefits package including a retirement plan, paid vacations, and medical, disability and life insurance. The Foote School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
At Foote School, learning is an active experience for all members of our community. Foote values critical thinking and the hands-on opportunity to learn by doing that is the hallmark of experiential learning. Our faculty is dedicated to learning how children learn and developing age-appropriate curriculum that reflects this understanding of pedagogy.
Foote School cultivates an atmosphere of mutual consideration and respect through close relationships among teachers, students and parents. We emphasize cooperative effort, accountability for one’s actions, and the value of service learning. We are deeply committed to diversity and an inclusive curriculum and community. We actively encourage applications from candidates with broad and diverse backgrounds and from individuals of all races, nationalities, and beliefs.
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A coeducational school for students in Kindergarten - Grade 9 that reflects its motto, "Gladly will I learn and gladly teach" throughout its strong and varied curriculum. Seventeen-acre campus near downtown New Haven and Yale University.