Director of Development

The Out-of-Door Academy
Florida, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Sep 7, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Development & Advancement
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Located on two campuses totaling 95 acres in beautiful, Sarasota, Florida, The Out-of-Door Academy (ODA) is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school serving 800 students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. At Out-of-Door, students are happy, engaged, and excited about their academic, artistic, athletic, and personal growth. A talented and dedicated faculty challenge students to reach their full potential while providing a high level of individual guidance and support. The school’s rigorous and innovative academic program ensures that learning is both meaningful and lasting. Robust offerings in the arts, athletics and service learning enrich the ODA experience and provide opportunities for students to discover and develop their unique interests and talents. Graduates leave Out-of-Door not only academically prepared but also with the strength of character and passion for learning that provide a strong foundation for future success in higher education and in life. Out-of-Door’s core values:  Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Responsibility are the foundation of our school community.  

Out-of-Door was founded on Siesta Key in 1924 to serve students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. In 1996, a second campus in the Lakewood Ranch area of Sarasota was acquired to accommodate the addition of an upper school. Both campuses have evolved and developed to meet the needs of a growing enrollment as well as to enhance and enrich the experience of every student at ODA.  Today, the five-acre Siesta Key campus is home to the Lower School (PK-5), and the 90-acre Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch houses both the Middle and Upper Schools. Facilities include interactive technology in every classroom, a fine and performing arts center with a black box theater, a student and STEM Center, a competition gymnasium with a wellness center, a field house, a lighted stadium, tennis courts and a practice complex. A new Middle School campus was recently completed and opened in August, 2020.

The Out-of-Door Academy seeks a Director of Development to join a thriving school during a continued period of programmatic growth and enhancement.  The successful candidate will help foster a strong culture of philanthropy in the school community, will utilize a data driven, donor centered approach to philanthropy, will seek opportunities for long term engagement for donors and prospects and will strategically convey the School’s mission and philanthropic priorities to selected constituents.


Reporting to the Head of School, the Director of Development will be responsible for the following:

  • Planning and executing the Annual Fund campaign, annual gala and other fundraising initiatives and cultivation/recognition events.
  • Managing a portfolio of donor prospects for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Preparing written donor communications including personal letters, emails, social media, and printed publications.
  • Researching, implementing and managing appropriate online fundraising platforms to best meet the needs of the School’s varying constituents.
  • Preparing projections and accurate reports, preferably with experience utilizing Raiser’s Edge and/or RE NXT.
  • Leveraging cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies to position the school as a community asset.
  • Managing volunteers effectively for long-term engagement.
  • Live the school’s mission and core values of respect, integrity, service, excellence, and responsibility.


Experience, Skills & Knowledge

  • Bachelor’s Degree is required; advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
  • At least ten (10) years of fundraising, leadership and external relations experience, ideally in an independent school, college or university setting.
  • A proven track record of relationship-based fundraising with an intentional focus on cultivation, stewardship, and building personal relationships with philanthropists and donors.
  • Demonstrated experience of leading, implementing, and integrating a full range of development programs, including annual fundraising campaigns and initiatives.
  • Demonstrated experience in cultivating and securing major gifts.
  • Keen attention to detail and the ability to maintain discretion with respect to confidential information is essential.
  • Must possess strong communication and organizational skills; must possess a successful track record of working effectively with a wide range of constituencies including students, faculty, staff, parents, trustees, alumni, donors and potential donors.
  • Mastery of a relational database such as Raiser’s Edge and/or RE NXT; Proficient with technology including Word, Excel and the Google drive platform.

 Personal Attributes

  • An honest person who will live the school’s values and who effectively blends candor, care, and empathy in dealing with others, and whose style is rooted in honesty, transparency and collaboration.
  • A thoughtful individual who embraces managed risk-taking and experimenting with new ideas, and is excited by the opportunity to help a well-established and thriving independent school reach new levels of success.
  • A flexible, open-minded individual who is comfortable with ambiguity, sees the “grays” rather than simply the “black and white” of various issues, and possesses the courage to follow through on his or her beliefs and convictions.
  • An approachable, collaborative professional, who values teamwork, builds meaningful relationships, listens well, and respects differences of opinion.
  • A thinker who possesses excellent communication skills and a high level of emotional intelligence.
  • A hard-working professional who thrives in a fast-paced work environment with high expectations.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a 12-month full-time exempt position beginning as soon as possible. Compensation is highly competitive and commensurate with experience and includes a comprehensive benefits package.

At Out-of-Door, we value a diverse workforce. Applicants of any race, creed, physical ability, color, religion, sex, age, gender, sexual orientation or national origin are encouraged to apply. Once an offer is accepted, the position will require the successful completion of a national background screening and drug testing.  

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