Organization: Frances Xavier Warde School

Location: Chicago, IL

Express Interest

About the Frances Xavier Warde School:

The Frances Xavier Warde School (FXW) is unlike any other Pre-School through Eighth grade educational institution in the City of Chicago. Located downtown on two campuses, FXW is an independent Catholic school that provides an academically excellent, values-oriented education to students of all religious, ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds in a child-centered urban environment. As a keystone of its diverse community, FXW provides need-based scholarships to 30 percent of its students – one of the largest percentages of school scholarships in the country.

The Frances Xavier Warde School began as a small school with a powerful mission and unique model. Over the years, FXW has grown into a dynamic community of almost 1000 students offering families a unique educational experience rooted in the following Charisms:

  • A Community of Faith: Founded by the Catholic community and teaching in the Catholic tradition, FXW welcomes the gifts that the interfaith members of the community contribute to the mission. FXW encourages all members of the community to evaluate their cultural values in the context of faith;
  • A Community that is Purposefully Diverse and Intentionally Inclusive: By inviting all the neighborhoods into the school FXW shows value and respect toward all cultures. The school seeks out diversity and rejoice in the gifts that an inclusive community has in a global society;
  • A Community of Service: The FXW community puts their faith into action by reaching out to serve others, especially those in need. Students and their families perform service projects for both the local community and the community beyond our borders; and
  • A Community of Thinkers and Leaders in an Academically Enriched Environment: The FXW community prepares students to be leaders in the world. The education is rigorous and inextricably linked to becoming a person of faith and character. The program of studies is project based, progressive and helps the student think critically in the pursuit of excellence.

This mission remains at the heart of FXW. The student body is as diverse geographically as it is culturally, religiously and socioeconomically. FXW partners with its families, nurtures faith development for its Catholic students, and engages all its students to learn about and respect all faith traditions. With the initial blessing of Cardinal George, continued support of Cardinal Cupich and strong partnerships with Old St. Patrick’s Church and Holy Name Cathedral and, FXW maintains its Catholic identity while embracing all faiths.

In efforts to support the financial aid portion of the mission, the Children at the Crossroads Foundation was created. Now, nearly thirty years later, the foundation has provided over $11 million in financial aid to students attending FXW.

The Frances Xavier Warde School uses a rigorous curriculum that enables students to grow, clarify their values, and develop decision-making skills and a sense of responsibility for themselves and the world they will inherit. Social responsibility is at the heart of the FXW experience. In every lesson, prayer service, activity and service project, the faculty strives to instill a passion for advocacy, philanthropy and civic responsibility in their students. As a result, FXW graduates are some of the most sought-after high school applicants and are accepted to many of the top high schools in Chicago.

FXW is located in the heart of Chicago with campuses in the Gold Coast and the West Loop. FXW leadership believes an urban school should be a part of – and not apart from – its city. With that in mind the school community takes advantage of all the great city of Chicago has to offer.

For more information regarding The Frances Xavier Warde School, please visit www.fxw.org.

The Opportunity:

The Director of Advancement (Director) is a newly created leadership role at FXW. The Director will develop a best-in-class development program, allowing FXW to achieve its mission and vision.

Reporting to and partnering with the Head of School, the Director will work with Board, faculty, staff, parents, students and other key constituents to advance the school’s fundraising efforts and build a thriving culture of philanthropy at FXW.

The Director will be a proven development professional energized by the opportunity to grow a strategic, creative and entrepreneurial development program. S/he will oversee and lead the development team, currently consisting of three development professionals. The Director will actively manage a donor portfolio by personally participating in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. S/he will collaborate with the Head of School, leadership team and Board Members to ensure that they are effectively supported and leveraged to achieve fundraising goals.

The Director will have a discernible passion for FXW’s commitment to meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of students from the City of Chicago’s many communities. The Director will also focus on the creation and execution of integrated marketing and communications efforts. S/he will be a gifted storyteller with an unparalleled ability to present the FXW mission and vision in cohesive and compelling narratives.

Key responsibilities for the Director include:

  • Establishing state-of-the-art development capability by inspiring a high-performing development operation, positioning FXW for long-term, sustainable success through strong and growing philanthropic support;
  • Bearing significant responsibility for the identification, cultivation and solicitation of a portfolio of individual major gifts prospects;
  • Collaborating with school leadership to develop clear systems for managing communication regarding fundraising initiatives to FXW families, staff, and other stakeholders;
  • Building and stewarding a robust capital campaign to increase the scholarship fund, support facilities enfacement and grow need-based financial support for extra-curricular activities;
  • Increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the development team by serving as a coach and mentor, motivating team members with energy and passion and ensuring clear expectations and accountability; and
  • Working with the leadership team and Board Members to develop appropriate and consistent messaging for all aspects of FXW fundraising programs designed to reach multiple audiences that support FXW brand building and awareness.

Candidate Profile:

The Director will be an engaging and self-motivated development leader who is deeply invested in FXW’s mission. S/he will a natural ‘builder’ and creative thinker with deep fundraising success.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

An Expert in Development

The Director will be a results-driven and experienced leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success. S/he will be energized by the prospect of building a culture of philanthropy and leading the development team, implementing processes and best practices. S/he will be a trusted partner of the Head of School, Board and school leadership, providing strategic guidance in the cultivation of prospective donors. S/he will have demonstrated experience successfully soliciting individuals and institutions. A tactical leader, s/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives.

A Marketing and Communications Strategist

The Director will be an experienced leader with a curious mindset rooted in purposeful inclusion and diversity. S/he will have a proven track record of setting and implementing innovative marketing strategies and serving as a catalyst and leader within the organization. Collaborating closely with Head of School, the Director will implement a comprehensive and multi-faceted donor communication and stewardship strategy ensuring donor satisfaction and resulting in the donor community feeling a sense of recognition and inclusion. S/he will have a strong working relationship with key leaders and volunteers and will be a proactive communicator at all times.

A Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The Director will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels with varied constituencies including the Board of Directors, faculty, donors, staff, parents, students and the broader FXW community. S/he will have a proactive approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from stakeholders. S/he will be a charismatic leader who can establish rapport and open communication with all constituents and successfully convey FXW’s mission and objectives. S/he will be a confident and articulate communicator with the ability to work fluidly across all levels. S/he will be able to develop a strong working relationship with key leaders and be a proactive communicator at all times.

A Passion for the Mission

The Director will have a passion for FXW’s mission and commitment to community. S/he will have a strong desire to ensure financial need is not a barrier to the children of Chicago receiving an excellent education rooted in social responsibility. S/he will confirm that fundraising aligns with FXW’s mission and vision. S/he will embrace the FXW community while continually innovating to help expand its brand and reach. The Director will be an energetic leader who treats others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred.

Contact:

Marissa Martin and Chartíse Clark of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Marissa and Chartíse directly at koyachicago@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Frances Xavier Warde School in offering a multicultural experience to students and strives to mirror global diversity within the school community. With this in mind, FXW is continually seeking to diversity its staff.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.