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Chief Advancement Officer

Breck School
Minnesota, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Oct 29, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Development & Advancement, Chief Business Officers & Vice Presidents
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Breck School
Chief Advancement Officer
Golden Valley, Minnesota

Breck School is an Episcopal, coeducational, college preparatory day school enrolling students of diverse backgrounds in grades preschool through 12. All grades are located on one exceptionally impressive campus less than 10 miles west of Minneapolis.

Founded in 1886, Breck was named for a pioneer missionary, the Reverend James Lloyd Breck. In its earliest years, Breck attracted students from a wide range of backgrounds, particularly children of local immigrant farmers. Over the course of the next 80 years, the school moved several times, briefly experimented with an all-boys, military focus and in 1981 moved to its current location in Golden Valley.

Guided by a dedication to intellectual curiosity, self-knowledge, and social responsibility, Breck is regarded as one of the finest coeducation day schools in the country.

The strength and health of the school are apparent in virtually every aspect of its operation. With an operating budget of close to $40 million and endowment of roughly $70 million, Breck is proud of its commitment to need-based financial aid, offering approximately $6.4 million annually to approximately 25% of the student body. Students come from more than 65 surrounding communities and represent a broad diversity of backgrounds, ethnicities and religions. 

As an Episcopal school, Breck holds an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Breck School welcomes all individuals to its community, whatever form their spirituality takes.  Through a robust and inclusive Chapel and world religions program, Breck lives into the belief that there are many paths to God, develops understanding and respect for varied faith traditions, and deepens our own personal beliefs.

Breck School has earned a compelling sense of distinction within the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area and beyond. Its best-in-class, forward-looking programs and vibrant, diverse school community are stewarded by trusted, high-capacity senior leadership and Trustees, and invigorated by an engaged base of support. Head of School Natalia Rico Hernández is spearheading efforts to ensure that Breck advancement efforts are on par with the school’s overall excellence and prepared to meet future needs, thus engaging external counsel for assessment, elevating the program’s strategic prominence and leadership within the institution, and prioritizing the participation of senior school leaders and Board members in advancement. As Breck School optimizes advancement, it is also planning for a future capital campaign effort that will accelerate growth by attracting additional interest, talent, and investment to the institution.

Amid this positive backdrop, Breck School seeks candidates for the newly established role of Chief Advancement Officer (CAO). Reporting directly to the Head of School, the CAO will be a central figure in inspiring and enabling the school to achieve its vision for the future, responsible for designing, implementing and executing a comprehensive institutional advancement program to support all aspects of philanthropic giving, volunteerism, alumni affairs, and other constituent relations. The CAO manages an Advancement team presently comprising five staff and is a member of the Breck Senior Leadership Team.

The CAO will provide strong, creative, energetic, strategic and operational leadership to achieve increased contributed revenue goals. The CAO will lead the planning process for Breck’s next capital campaign and be empowered to examine and evolve all dimensions of the Advancement program in consultation with the Head of School.

While Breck School will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience.

  • Commitment to the mission, vision, and impact of Breck School, as well as the ability to authentically engage and inspire others as a senior representative of the institution.
  • Seven or more years of progressive, senior leadership experience in development or advancement, including experience with the following: individual giving, institutional giving, major gifts, annual fund/membership, planned giving, stewardship, development operations, and leadership in a major fundraising campaign. Experience in an academic setting or other nonprofit environment of similar complexity is preferred.
  • Knowledge of and fundamental adherence to the principles, ethics, and best practices of modern fundraising, including the integration of various giving programs to diversify the funding base and cultivate greater donor commitments.
  • Ability to recruit, manage, evaluate, develop, and motivate a diverse team of development or advancement professionals and contribute to the ongoing fostering of a high-functioning, results-oriented workforce. Track record of maintaining best practices, clear goals, and shared accountability.
  • Experience building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, drawing on the strengths of all employees by cultivating diversity of thought to drive creativity, innovation, and improve decision making.
  • Demonstrated success in developing the case for support, as well as complementary communications, and in devising and executing strategic, innovative fundraising plans. Demonstrated experience cultivating, training, building relationships with, and working in collaboration with executives, senior staff, and volunteer leaders on development or advancement-related activities, providing them with quality support and intelligence and increasing their comfort with and success in fundraising.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with senior-level leaders on behalf of the institution, especially those focused on external relations.
  • Successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six to seven-figures.
  • A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of constituent engagement and connectivity, who will be driven by innovation in developing advancement best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.
  • The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. Working knowledge of modern data management practices and innovations that can streamline advancement processes and contribute to the integration of related functions.
  • Flexibility to travel, consistent with public health guidelines.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.

Breck is an equal opportunity employer strongly committed to providing equal access to employment for all qualified people without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, military service, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local community, disability, age, or other protected status by applicable State or Federal anti-discrimination law. 

Breck School has retained the Diversified Search Group to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to: 

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Managing Director
Fundraising & Advancement Practice Leader
Diversified Search Group
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, New York 10174 | 212.542.2587


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