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Porter-Gaud School
Charleston, South Carolina

Category: Executive officer
Field of Interest: Education

Job Description:

Porter-Gaud School and the Porter-Gaud Foundation seek an experienced, dynamic, and resourceful development professional to provide leadership, strategic vision, and direction for all philanthropic efforts, stewardship activities, and alumni and parent relations. He/she will be responsible for designing and implementing effective practices and programs that result in support for the school, for implementing an ongoing comprehensive capital campaign, for growing the school's endowment, and for managing and leading the development team and volunteers to maximize their potential. The Executive Director reports to the Head of School, partnering with him and working closely with Foundation Board Members, School Board of Trustees, and volunteers.

The Opportunity | Porter–Gaud School

Porter-Gaud School is one of the leading independent schools in the Southeast. Originally established in 1867, Porter-Gaud is an Episcopal, coeducational, independent, college preparatory day schoolnestled on the banks of the Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina. Steeped in history and tradition, Porter-Gaud strives to fulfill its mission of fostering a challenging academic environment that honors excellence in teaching and learning, respects differences, expects honesty, and applauds achievement. The school provides an environment that nurtures and protects what we value most in our children: their faith, their curiosity, their talents, their integrity, their humanity, and their dreams.

Porter-Gaud serves approximately 950 students in grades one through twelve and another 640 students from two-years-old through kindergarten on two nearby campuses, known as the O'Quinn Schools of Porter-Gaud.

The Porter Gaud Foundation was formed in 2010 and has its own Board of Directors with ten members. Five staff members oversee the Cyclone Fund, the reNEWal Campaign, planned and endowment giving. Currently, the school has a $14.5 million endowment. The $25 million reNEWal Campaign is underway with the vision to transform the campus into a flagship of academic excellence and innovation. New buildings are in the works for the Upper School (construction will be completed June 2017), a Performing Arts Center, and a Chapel.

The Community | Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is a port city founded in 1670 and characterized by its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses. Not only is Charleston the oldest city in South Carolina, but dubbed "The World's Best City" according to Travel + Leisure 2016. It is world renowned for its history, architecture, cultural offerings, coastal environment and outstanding restaurants. Charleston is part of a vibrant tri-county area of over 700,000 yet retains the charm of a small college town. Charlestonians enjoy mild winters and long summers which allows for plenty of time on the city's world class golf courses and miles of beaches.

Charleston's prosperity has been supported historically by the Port of Charleston, among the most active shipping centers in the nation. in recent years, the local economy has been ignited by the aerospace industry and technology innovation, particularly in computer engineering and biomedical technology.

The Position | Executive Director

The Executive Director of the Porter-Gaud Foundation provides informed, articulate, inspirational leadership that fosters a culture of philanthropy in support of Porter-Gaud School, and communicates the strong connection between philanthropy and the school's continued success. The Executive Director is charged with building strategic and favorable relationships with potential donors through communication, personal requests to give, and disciplined follow-through. By growing the culture of philanthropy and philanthropic support, the Executive Director fills a crucial role of articulating the school's vision and strategic priorities to engage its constituents in investing long-term in Porter Gaud School.

The responsibilities of the Executive Director include:

  • Develop and implement short-term and long-term, high-impactfundraising plans to engage donor prospects face to face, seeking their generous financial support for the School's mission and vision with annual, capital, planned, and endowment giving.
  • Implement disciplined methods to grow a broad Porter-Gaud constituent base (e.g. parents, past parents, grandparents, alumni, corporations, foundations, & friends).
  • Organize and oversee various philanthropic initiatives under the Foundation: reNEWal Campaign, Cyclone Fund (Annual Fund), planned giving, endowment efforts, and special projects.
  • Identify, recruit, motivate, and hold accountable key volunteers for development-related teams and projects.
  • Integrate the efforts of key people (Head of School, board members, key staff, & volunteers) in the implementation of giving campaigns and development programs.
  • Lead, mentor and build a Development team that will provide effective implementation of the overall Development strategy.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of visibility among Porter – Gaud constituents at school events to build and strengthen relationships with Porter-Gaud constituents.
  • Integrate and coordinate the efforts of various school staff, associations, committees, and parent/affiliate groups in organizing and implementing development programs.
  • Provide appropriate training for staff or volunteers related to development and communications.
  • Provide leadership for major development events (small and large group meeting, key donor lunches, banquets, organized phone-a-thons, etc.)
  • Work in partnership with the Director of Strategic Communications to develop transparent, authentic, and engaging internal and external advancement communications that inspire philanthropic support of Porter–Gaud.
  • Recruit and collaborate with Foundation Board of Directors and attend Foundation Board meetings.
  • Attend School Board of Trustees meetings to provide Foundation reports and acitvities at the special request of the Head of School.
  • Communicate and administrate fundraising policies and procedures among constituent groups (faculty, staff, parents, students, and alumni).
  • Maintain careful notes, updating the appropriate development records at all times.
  • Other job-related duties as assigned.

The Candidate | Critical Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Executive Director must have a demonstrated mastery of fundraising techniques and skills in all aspects of development. He or she should have an acute sense of strategy at the individual donor level as well as significant capital campaign experience. The Executive Director will have successfully executed multiple capital campaigns in excess of $10 million. Candidates will maintain a sense of optimism and will exude enthusiasm for the school's mission and vision as well as the Foundation's corresponding role. The Executive Director will have compelling personal qualities of integrity, leadership, energy, and outstanding communications skills – especially as characterized by the ability to listen carefully – exceptional judgment, and an entrepreneurial nature.

Critical knowledge, skills, and abilities should include:

  • General knowledge of fundraising techniques with particular focus on capital and endowment giving.
  • Ability to build long-term strategies, set priorities, and implement work in a disciplined manner to keep multiple projects progressing to completion simultaneously with minimal direction.
  • Knowledge of educational fundraising principles, methods, and techniques.
  • Experience in budget preparation and fiscal management.
  • Ability to successfully manage, motivate, and lead a staff team and volunteer leaders.
  • Analytical skills; comfortable using data in developing and delivering presentations to major donors, potential donors and the board, and the ability to develop and deliver stewardship reports.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relational skills: a friendly, poised, and professional demeanor, courteous, energetic, and polite.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality at all times.
  • Ability to work independently and make decisions in accordance with the Head of School's expectations, established school policies and procedures and school mission and core values.
  • Experience maintaining donor records - Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge database experience a plus.
  • Proficient computer skills including word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation creation, social networking, and web-based technologies.
  • Porter-Gaud School and the Porter-Gaud Foundation seek an enthusiastic person who thrives and works effectively within a close-knit and diverse community.

Procedure for Candidacy

Porter-Gaud School has retained Capital Development Services to assist with professional recruitment. Nominations, expressions of interest, and applications can be submitted via email to

Candidates should include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references. All material will be confidential. Additional inquiries may be directed to Jen Tozier at Capital Development Services, 336-747-0133 x 208.