Chief Advancement Officer


On behalf of our client, College Possible, formerly Admission Possible, KeyStone Search is conducting a retained search for a Chief Advancement Officer. www.keystonesearch.com

College Possible Chief Advancement Officer Page 2

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW College Possible, formerly Admission Possible, is helping break the cycle of poverty for low-income families and build an educated workforce for a globally competitive economy. College Possible is a high-growth nonprofit organization, providing low-income students with an intensive curriculum of coaching and support to earn college admission and a degree. College Possible has a budget of nearly $6M, 31 full-time employees, and 78 AmeriCorps and VISTA members working at the organization. Founded in 2000, College Possible has demonstrated that its program can dramatically improve students’ chances of attending and succeeding in college. To date, 98% of College Possible’s students have earned college admission and nearly 80% are working toward their degree or have graduated. A 2011 Harvard study found the program to more than double a student’s chance of college enrollment. Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, College Possible currently serves students in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area as well as in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and just opened a new site in Omaha, Nebraska. Over the next five to ten years, College Possible will expand to serve students in ten metropolitan areas across the country bringing its award-winning high school and college programming to 20,000 students annually. EXTERNAL RECOGNITION College Possible has received numerous national accolades and recognition for their innovative and impactful work. Learn more about their national recognition and quantitative results via the website under the “Results” tab on our website homepage. OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION During College Possible’s critical expansion phase, the Chief Advancement Officer (“CAO”) will lead and manage the development, external relations, and marketing and communications functions. Oversight of these functions will allow the Chief Advancement Officer to play a key role in the planning and execution of College Possible’s broader strategic plan, which includes expansion to new regions. The CAO’s work will span geographies (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and future expansion states), and he/she will be the organization’s primary fundraiser and spokesperson along with the CEO. The CAO will oversee effective management of relationships that ultimately impact the organization’s mission and program impact goals, including donor and community engagement, government relations, new site development, district partnerships and stewardship of College Possible’s brand. He/she will work closely with the CEO and COO of College Possible to ensure that throughout its expansion, College Possible becomes an even more prominent, effective partner in supporting college access and persistence throughout the country.

College Possible Chief Advancement Officer Page 3

The CAO is a newly created senior position and will be a key member of College Possible’s national executive leadership team reporting directly to the CEO and Founder. In addition to taking on a very public leadership role, the CAO will collaborate closely with College Possible’s executive team focus internally to meet the challenges of scale – maintaining a strong organizational culture, refining the organization’s strategic plans, developing systems for increasing scale. The primary strategic focus for the CAO will be to achieve College Possible’s ambitious fundraising goals. As the organization grows, the CAO will build and expand College Possible’s current marketing, external affairs and government advocacy efforts. PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES Fundraising      Lead all fundraising efforts including the launch of a national fundraising strategy Identify and recruit prospective donors (individual, corporate and foundation) Lead, manage and develop the fundraising team Build long-term relationships with College Possible’s major gift donors Create opportunities for board members and community partners to connect with key donors

Marketing and Communications    Manage the communications team members, ensuring effective planning and execution of marketing goals and stewardship of College Possible’s brand Serve as one of the primary points of contact for media inquiries Oversee and participate in organizational profile raising strategies through its speaker’s bureau and awards/endorsement efforts.

Partnership Building, External Affairs & Advocacy    Manage the development of an overall strategy for sharing knowledge, lessons and strategies Liaise with the regional Executive Directors to ensure that, at the local and state levels, College Possible builds and maintains positive educational relationships with key government officials and policy makers Actively participate in the most important city, state and national conversations about college access and persistence. Share the success of College Possible’s students and the implications of what the organization does and how they do it to promote more effective educational policy

College Possible Chief Advancement Officer Page 4

Board Relations    Manage the regional teams in charge of external relations to ensure that all boards are focused on the most important issues and that the boards and College Possible maintain a positive, productive governance-management relationship Attend meetings of the College Possible national and select regional board In coordination with national and regional team members, work with state and city officials and key community leaders to build favorable conditions for College Possible’s further growth into new regions

QUALIFICATIONS A Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree and/or the CFRE or ACFRE designation is preferred. A minimum of 10 years of leadership in fund development, demonstrated increasing level of responsibility and performance in fund raising, and national fund raising experience is vital. The Chief Advancement Officer must be able to capably manage the operational and administrative areas of the national external relations functions for College Possible. Important expertise to bring to this position includes past success with soliciting and closing leadership gifts and building relationships with existing and new constituent groups, as well as experience in human resources, database management, budget administration, communications, strategic and tactical planning, including leading cross-divisional teams. This leader will have demonstrated success in motivating and managing multiple staff members in distributed locations and experience in process management and process improvement. The Chief Advancement Officer should embody and reflect the values of College Possible and be committed to and enthusiastic about the mission and programs and services of the organization. Other important qualifications are: 
       

Demonstrated maturity and ability to manage multiple, simultaneous priorities. Demonstrated ability to teach, inspire, build confidence and lead. High degree of competency in writing, public speaking, and interpersonal communications. Ability to recruit, motivate, lead, coach, inspire, manage and retain talented staff members and develop high performing teams. Self-starter and finisher who is creative and entrepreneurial, as well as team-oriented and collaborative with others at all levels of the organization. Proven problem-solving skills and ability to manage multiple priorities on varying deadlines and bring new concepts to fruition. Well-organized, with exceptional attention to detail and follow through. Comfortable with ambiguity and constant change. Ability to make tough decisions while being resourceful, with the ability to anticipate and act on events and opportunities that advance the organization regionally, nationally and internationally.

College Possible Chief Advancement Officer Page 5

     

Experience with and commitment to mission-driven non-profit organizations; enthusiastic about the mission, programs and services of College Possible; able to embody and reflect the organization’s values. Strong professional initiative, bearing and confidence. Self-aware and able to manage self and model effective leadership approaches and behavior. Proven high degree of integrity, ethical decision-making and sound business judgment; able to honor high degree of confidentiality. Able to bridge departments by building consensus in approach and accomplishment of common goals in a manner which best serves the organization. Able to negotiate compromise and facilitate success among diverse work groups. Able to develop and manage budgets. Project monitoring, reporting and conflict management skill and knowledge. Leadership and personnel skills and ability to motivate staff and develop high performing teams.

CANDIDATE CHARACTERISTICS To be successful inside of the College Possible culture, the candidate must be:     Passionate about working with students and enabling educational attainment A warm leader who exudes confidence and care for others, engenders trust and goodwill, and builds enduring relationships, is a model of authenticity, credibility and ethical conduct. A visionary and entrepreneurial spirit, willing to propose, strategize and execute new ways of delivering service and solving challenging problems in the community. A humble person who is oriented toward the greater good of the organization versus recognition for the self. Possesses a “roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude and good sense of humor. A good listener with a respectful, consultative, and accessible leadership style, self-assured and comfortable with situations of ambiguity, able to relate easily to a wide range of constituencies including staff, students, donors, and community partners. An individual who celebrates diversity in all its forms. A person who personally involves and welcomes diverse voices in the workplace. Highly competent, a team player, finds enjoyment in the work place, is an honest, open and balanced individual. The candidate should possess a high degree of emotional intelligence and be skilled at communication and collaboration. Flexible and readily availability to the Board of Directors, the senior management staff, and a variety of stakeholders. Strong in public speaking and public communications.

 

College Possible Chief Advancement Officer Page 6

COMPENSATION The compensation package for this position is competitive and attractive. It includes an executive pay structure and participation in the organization’s comprehensive benefits plan. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Lars Leafblad, MBA Principal 612-375-8989 larsl@keystonesearch.com

“Because Culture Matters” KeyStone Search is a prominent Minnesota-based executive search firm with a special emphasis on corporate culture fit. KeyStone Search has specialized expertise in the recruitment of C-Suite leaders in general management, sales/marketing, financial, technical/operations, and human resources as well as non-profit executives. KeyStone Search 105 Fifth Avenue South Crown Roller Mill Suite 512 Minneapolis, MN 55401 612-375-8900 www.keystonesearch.com

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful