Director of Major Gifts – Alford Executive Search (Naperville, IL)

Fundraising, FT Employee
Alford Executive Search (Naperville, IL)

Red Cloud Indian School
Director of Major Gifts

About Red Cloud Indian School
More than 125 years ago, Oglala Lakota Chief Red Cloud successfully lobbied the United States government for permission to establish a Jesuit school in western South Dakota. His people were facing irrevocable economic and cultural loss-and he believed a Jesuit education would help them to survive in a rapidly changing world while remaining true to their Lakota identity.
Today, Chief Red Cloud’s vision is alive and well on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Red Cloud Indian School, a multifaceted Jesuit organization, just outside the small town of Pine Ridge, has emerged as a leader in holistic education, cultural and linguistic preservation, spiritual formation and social justice.


The mission of Red Cloud Indian School (RCIS), a Catholic Institution administered by the Jesuits and the Lakota People, is to develop and grow as a vibrant Church, through an education of the mind and spirit that promotes Lakota and Catholic values.

The Opportunity: Director of Major Gifts
In concert with Red Cloud Indian School’s leadership, RCIS’s first Director of Major Gifts will manage strategy and solicit funding toward meeting the institution’s approximately $12.8 million in annual operating expenses and an upcoming capital campaign’s initial $6 million goal in support of bus and technology upgrades, endowment funds and the developing campus plan. Reporting to the Vice President of External Affairs, with two Major Gift Officers as direct reports, the Director of Major Gifts will be instrumental in developing the infrastructure and mechanics to move from a quiet initiative to what will be a substantially larger campaign in the next year. The Director of Major Gifts will work with the Advancement Leadership Team to develop and build a national major gift effort within a successful, growing and diverse advancement effort. Ultimately, she/he, along with their advancement colleagues, will establish a solid framework for the future stability of the organization’s advancement effort.

The Qualified Candidate

Red Cloud Indian School is seeking an accomplished fundraising professional to serve as its first Director of Major Gifts. This new position will work closely with RCIS’s leadership team to develop and grow a national major gift effort. She/he will be self-motivated, results-oriented, resourceful, creative, highly energetic, intelligent, culturally sensitive, willing to learn about Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education, speak coherently about the Catholic Church, and, be a humble listener, with exceptional interpersonal, communication and organizational skills, and the ability to appreciate and encourage a team perspective. The successful candidate will be passionate and knowledgeable about RCIS’s mission and history, and, a professional fundraiser who excels at relationship-building with internal and external constituencies alike. With an eye toward launching a capital campaign, the Director of Major Gifts, in collaboration with the Advancement Leadership Team, will establish an infrastructure for future growth and development. Central to the role will be the continuum of donor cultivation and the education and nurturing of major gift prospects. A strong preference will be given to those individuals who bring a proven and progressive background in major and planned gifts fundraising. The Director of Major Gifts will travel to Red Cloud Indian School for an initial week of on-site meetings and work on location 3-4 times per year, but may otherwise reside off-site and work in/near any metropolitan area with airport access.

Specific Requirements Include:
• Deep commitment to Red Cloud Indian School’s mission with a genuine willingness to continually learn about its academic, cultural and pastoral programs.
• A minimum of 5 to 7 years of professional development experience with an established nonprofit organization in related field – education, museums, and/or social justice.
• Successful and progressive background in donor solicitation and stewardship processes.
• Strong working knowledge of strategy development and moves management systems in the cultivation, solicitation and successful closing of five-, six- and seven-figure gifts from individual donors.
• Energy, desire, and willingness to work remotely from a home office; previous experience working from a similar base of operations preferred.
• Regular travel, based on donor cultivation meetings and events, and need for external presence.
• Demonstrated experience with capital campaigns.
• Accomplished fundraiser with best practice knowledge and skills to successfully motivate, engage, and interact with senior leadership, high-level donors and Board/volunteers.
• Outstanding ability to discern and respond to patrons’ interests to meet both donor and institutional goals.
• Proven ability to effectively motivate and manage staff teams, and to build cohesive, collaborative partnerships in a fast-paced, complex and culturally-diverse environment.
• Exceptional leadership, planning, and organizational skills.
• Superior supervisory and project management skills.
• Excellent verbal, written and presentation communication skills.
• Up to 50% of time will be required for travel to make calls with the individual donors/prospects in a portfolio, or, accompanying the two Major Gift Officers, Vice President for External Affairs and RCIS’s President on visits with their designated donors/prospects.
• Hands-on experience with Raiser’s Edge and proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
• Experience with planned giving preferred.
• Bachelor’s degree; Advanced degree and/or CFRE credential preferred.

Compensation and Benefits: Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

RCIS is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V

To Apply
The search is being managed by Laura Weinman, Senior Consultant of Alford Executive Search. To apply, candidates should submit their cover letter and resume and complete the online application at No applications will be accepted via email. Questions may be addressed to Kathrene Wales at [email protected]
Alford Executive Search – The KEES to Effective Leadership is a retained search firm dedicated to providing placement services of exceptional quality. (0)

Incoming search terms:

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  • kathrene whales alford executive search (8281 Posts)

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