California Independent Schools Business Officers Association

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Director of Advancement

  • 26 Oct 2020 9:16 AM
    Message # 9326563

    La Scuola’s mission is to inspire brave learners to shape the future. 

    La Scuola aims to nurture children’s innate ability to learn by challenging them academically, creatively and innovatively, while immersing them in the Italian language and making them keenly aware of the world around them and their place in it.

    We believe our community thrives through diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and realities. Only through a persistent drive to listen and learn from one another, create and promote equitable opportunities and to continue to reflect and evolve will we be able to establish systems which will address the needs of the one and the many.


    The school currently seeks a Director of Advancement to join the school’s senior administration to oversee all advancement initiatives at the school which is in the midst of substantial growth and expansion of facilities. The Director of Advancement (DOA) reports to the Head of School and is a member of the school’s Leadership Team, working closely with the Board of Directors.

    The Director of Advancement (DOA), under the direct supervision of the Head of School, is charged with institutional advancement, including planning and managing all fundraising activities, as well as donor and alumni relations and management, external communications, volunteer supervision and supporting all school growth initiatives including new building development and community outreach. 


    The Director of Advancement reports to the Head of School and works with the Board Advancement Committee, the Director of Admissions, key volunteers, and others to identify prospective donors, nurture relationships, and secure contributions to the School.

    • Devises and manages a program designed to attract the maximum gift support possible to the institution. This program will include annual fund solicitation, planned giving programs, corporate and foundation proposals, and planning for major capital gifts.

    • Develops a complete program of research into and an action plan of solicitation of the school's key prospects. 

    • Provides direction and oversight to the Advancement Committee

    • Keeps the Head of School, the Board and the Advancement Committee informed on the school’s fund-raising activities/initiatives. 

    • Provides detailed reports to the Head of School prior to each Board meeting 

    • Creates/manages the Advancement calendar 

    • Manages the school’s capital giving programs including Capital Campaign planning and execution and major donor identification, solicitation and stewardship

    • Manages alumni program development and implementation

    • Manages all other restricted and in-kind giving and acknowledgment

    • Oversees processing of all gift income for the purpose of providing receipts and maintaining of giving records of donors to the school. 

    • Collaborates with the Director of Finance and Finance Committee on budget development and strategic financial planning

    • Manages fund-raising record keeping and timetable while evaluating progress towards goals.

    • Maintains the Advancement calendar and schedule cultivation or solicitation meetings for campaign leadership and volunteers.

    • Tracks fund-raising expenses while monitoring the Advancement budget.

    • Takes minutes during meetings and ensure that agendas and meetings are set, notices are sent, minutes are distributed and assignments are carried out.

    • Manages campaign materials and collateral inserts, presentation pieces, donor recognition (thank you cards) and stewardship and prepare reports on progress for various audiences.

    • Represents the school and its leadership to the public and at meetings as assigned.

    • Manages mailing of fund-raising materials to staff, volunteers, consultants, prospects and donors.

    • Creates policies and procedures to guide the activities of the Advancement program 

    • Directs/coordinates the school’s major fund-raisers: Annual Fund and Fundraiser LDV Night Gala (working closely with the LDV Committee)

    • Directs and coordinates smaller fund-raisers during the schools year and other fund-raising events like Grandparents/Special Friends day, Alumni events etc.

    • Participates in public relations, marketing and advertising decisions in collaboration with the admissions team and the marketing committee

    • Develops materials for School publications and other communications including brochures and quarterly school magazine which will most effectively communicate with our various constituencies

    • Develops a plan to increase alumni and long-term parental support and involvement in the institution

    • Demonstrates a willingness to work as part of a team by being service-oriented, flexible, and reliable when helping co-workers accomplish their jobs/tasks at hand.

    • Attends required school meetings and special events, and follow school rules and policies.

    • Contributes to the overall life and community of the School wherever and whenever appropriate by working with children, families, faculty and the Board of Trustees

    • Actively engages with the Italian American Community of the San Francisco Bay Area

    • Supports the school and its leadership

    • Performs any other duties as assigned by the Head of School.  

    Capital Campaign

    • Spearhead the school’s first capital campaign, with a preliminary goal of $10 -12 million. These funds, along with debt financing, will go towards the $20 million transformation of the St. Charles facility. The campaign is in its early, quiet phase, with an expected duration of five years.


    • Ability to show multiple successful campaign initiatives and proven record of success

    • A seasoned fund-raising professional who will become completely immersed in the culture, community, and mission of La Scuola 

    • Knowledge of the tools necessary to both run a campaign and enhance the advancement program and culture of philanthropy at La Scuola.

    • Ability to envision ambitious goals and to develop and articulate strategies to achieve them, and to motivate stakeholders to accomplish them

    • Skill at identifying major donors (inside and outside the school), developing meaningful relationships with them, matching their interests with the School’s institutional needs, and securing their contributions

    • Knowledge of new technology/advancement software and how it can support a sophisticated advancement effort

    • Exceptional communication, listening, oral and writing skills

    • Being a team player


    The successful candidate should ideally have the following background:

    • A minimum of a BA or BS degree;

    • Seven to ten years of demonstrated fundraising experience in a leadership role;

    • Past experience with a fundraising campaign;

    • Superb communications skills;

    • Ability to and ease with speaking in public;

    • Experience with all facets of an advancement program, from research to stewardship;

    • Familiarity with relational fundraising databases. 

    Qualities we seek include:

    • Great organizational skills and ability to work independently in a methodical manner;

    • Total resonance with the mission of La Scuola;

    • Sensitivity to cultural difference;

    • Knowledge of, or willingness to learn about, Italian culture;

    • Ability to work independently and with pace;

    • Willingness to share knowledge with colleagues and volunteers;

    • Flexibility and adaptability;

    • International mindset;

    • A sense of joy. 

    The School

    La Scuola believes that all children are born intelligent and curious, and that families and educators should work collaboratively with their children to shape a better future. Above all, La Scuola believes that learning and living should be joyful; its mantra is Niente senza gioia! (Nothing without joy!). It is a dynamic, innovative and collaborative organization. 

    La Scuola’s curriculum has three pillars: the Reggio Emilia pedagogy, the International Baccalaureate Program framework, and Italian language immersion.  

    The Reggio Emilia approach believes that: children are born curious and competent and should be respected and celebrated; they should be protagonists in their learning with parents and teachers serving as collaborators; and they deserve to have beautiful environments in which to explore and construct knowledge. Some essential components of the Reggio Emilia approach in practice are: small class size, project-based learning, classrooms that offer a home-like environment, and learning in the context of real-life issues. Indeed, the classroom itself is considered a teacher. Reggio Emilia inspired spaces (i.e., the learning spaces at La Scuola) also offer an atelier/laboratory where children can experiment and discover, as well as a piazza that serves as a central meeting place. 

    The International Baccalaureate is a globally recognized curriculum framework for children ages 3-18 that challenges students academically and fosters a sense of duty to their community to be engaged, caring, and respectful global citizens. This curriculum is inquiry based and focuses on concepts and topics that cross subject areas, which enables students to make new and meaningful connections. 

    Italian language immersion supports language and cognitive development and appreciation of other cultures. Children who study a second language score higher on verbal standardized tests conducted in English, perform better in math and logic skills testing, have better executive function skills and are better at solving complex problems. La Scuola was recently officially recognized by the Italian Government as an Italian School abroad.


    As noted, the curriculum is aligned to the International Baccalaureate-Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP) for students ages 3-12 and the International Baccalaureate-Middle Years Programme for students age 12 to 14.  

    Elementary School (K-5)

    In the Elementary School, students engage in learning through units of inquiry around a central idea, where learning requires students to develop knowledge and skills across a number of subject areas. Across all subject areas, students investigate through structured and purposeful inquiry, in line with the IB-PYP curriculum framework. Each day, students are encouraged to be curious, ask questions, explore, and interact with the environment physically, socially, and intellectually. The IB-PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six trans-disciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas (language; social studies; mathematics; arts; science; and personal, social, and physical education), as well as trans-disciplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry. Instruction is taught in both the English and Italian languages, in which students are expected to become fluent, express themselves, and effectively communicate cross-culturally. Instruction begins as majority Italian language (i.e., 80% of instruction in K-1) and slowly transitions to majority English (i.e., 70% of instruction is in English by eighth grade).

    Middle School (6-8)

    La Scuola’s first eighth grade class was enrolled this past fall at the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year. The Middle School is currently authorized as an International Baccalaureate for Middle Years (IB MYP) school. The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.

    Technology plays a significant role for all Middle School students; the Middle School offers a one-to-one Chromebook program, as well as exposure to computer science and coding.

    Notably, the Middle School curriculum is separated into two paths: the Italian Language Immersion Program and the Italian Language Learners Program.

    The Italian Language Immersion Program is for students who have grade-level literacy and communication skills in Italian. Students in the language immersion program study language and literature in both languages and Spanish as a third language. Students in this program become fully literate in Italian and English, and develop reading, writing, and conversational skills in Spanish.

    Students in the Italian Language Learners Program are completely new to Italian or are at a beginning to intermediate level of Italian. Students in this program have an enriched Italian as a second language experience that is fully integrated into the International Baccalaureate Program.

    Students in both tracks participate in science, math, and other IB MYP required subjects. This ensures that all Middle School students share a common experience and are together when not in language classes.


    Currently, the Pre-K, Elementary and Middle School are currently on three different sites. The preschool is located in the sunny Potrero Hill/Dogpatch neighborhood. This is an up-and-coming neighborhood right next to the new Mission Bay UCSF campus. The site is well-served by public transit. The Lower  Elementary Campus (K- 2) is located in the Hayes Valley/Alamo Square lively and happening neighborhood. La Scuola recently signed a 60-year lease with the San Francisco Archdiocese for its new K-8 St. Charles site located in the Mission District. Currently, Grades 3-8 are located here, with the plan for the entire Elementary School to move to the Mission District as well within the next four years or sooner. 


    • Work in a highly stressful environment dealing with a wide variety of challenges, deadlines, and a varied and diverse array of contacts.

    • Regularly sit, talk, and hear; able to visually intercept visitors. 

    • Regularly use close and distance vision.

    • Hearing and speaking to exchange information.

    • Seeing to read a variety of materials.

    • Work at desk and computer screen for extended periods of time.

    • Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard.

    • Turn, bend, reach, and may occasionally use a ladder.

    • Bending at the waist, kneeling or crouching to file materials.

    • Work intermittently in outside weather conditions. 

    • Occasionally lift up to 30 pounds.


    The Director is guided by/expected to meet the following performance standards:

    • Maintaining an awareness of the school’s mission and philosophy;

    • Performing tasks and responsibilities in a complete and timely manner;

    • Maintaining a creative, team-building approach to job performance and seeking to bring a constructive, problem-solving orientation to all tasks;

    • Seeking opportunities to develop skills and create opportunities to teach co-workers;

    • Communicating in a timely, honest and sufficient manner;

    • Exercising professional judgment and discretion;

    • Working well with a diverse staff and school community; and

    • Embody La Scuola’s Mission and values: Nothing without Joy!

    Note:  This position description is subject to review and may be updated/revised as the position and organization evolve.

    To Apply

    Submit your resume, cover letter and list of at least three references with contact information at

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