Organization: Westridge School

Location: Pasadena, CA

Express Interest

About Westridge School:

Westridge School is an independent day school for college-bound girls located in Pasadena, California. Founded in 1913, the school has an enrollment of approximately 500 girls in grades 4 through 12 and has a long-standing reputation for the excellence of its academic program. Westridge is committed to educating intellectually adventurous thinkers, and courageous, compassionate leaders. Westridge is a vibrant and diverse community that is grounded in the commitment to goodness in all aspects of life and learning. Students are encouraged to learn and thrive in new ways, to try new things, and to be resilient. At Westridge, girls gain the confidence and courage to stand up and speak for the ideals of responsibility and integrity as they take their places in an ever-changing world.

Westridge School’s Statement of Purpose

The fundamental purpose of Westridge School is to prepare young women to live lives of meaning, contribution, and impact.


Westridge is an independent, forward-thinking girls’ school committed to educating intellectually adventurous thinkers, and courageous, compassion leaders.

Fundamental Principles

  • A tradition of academic excellence for girls
  • A legacy of leadership and service
  • A commitment to excellence and goodness in every facet of the school
  • A vision that embraces reflection, innovation, and action

Diversity and Community

In an increasingly interdependent and interconnected world, Westridge School educates girls with the skills to recognize, respect, and embrace diversity of all kinds. Westridge’s core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, and inclusion express the aspirational goals of the community. The culture of Westridge emerges from the consistent and conscientious pursuit of these ideals, whose power to inspire and guide individual and collective actions builds a vibrant and thriving community. Westridge draws strength from the diversity of cultures, voices, and values in its community and will ensure that a culture of inclusion remains a commitment of the school.

For more information on Westridge School, please visit their website here.

Position Summary:

Westridge School is seeking an accomplished Director of Advancement who draws on tradition and innovation in order to advance the mission and vision of Westridge through philanthropy and engagement.

Reporting directly to the Head of School, this motivated and confident leader will be at the forefront of completing a newly public $15 million endowment campaign and will be responsible for further developing a culture of philanthropy within the Westridge community, with a focus on the Annual Fund. S/he will provide strong leadership to expand the fundraising capabilities of Westridge’s Board of Trustees as well as enrich and broaden the philanthropic support offered by alumnae, parents, grandparents, and employees.

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of cultivating and soliciting major gifts successfully, both personally and in collaboration with others. This position joins the Westridge Leadership Team that also includes the Assistant Head of School, Chief Finance and Operations Officer, Director of Marketing and Communications, Director of Admissions, Director of Technology, Director of Athletics and two division directors. S/he will supervise a team of six, including the Director of Alumnae Affairs, Associate Director of Advancement (who along with philanthropic considerations has oversight of Parent Relations), Advancement Services Coordinator, two Advancement Associates (one for Alumnae Affairs and one for Parent Relations), and the part-time Planned Giving Officer.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Lead strategic planning and goal-setting for advancement in accordance with the school’s strategic plan.
  • Oversee efforts to establish and strengthen constituent relationships and engagement.
  • Provide direction and support to the Head in fulfilling her advancement responsibilities.
  • Provide regular analysis of advancement program results and status to the Head of School, Board of Trustees, and Westridge Leadership Team, as appropriate. This will include regular verbal, written, quantitative and qualitative analyses, briefings and recommendations
  • Develop strategic partnerships with the Advancement/Endowment Committee, Head of School, and Board of Trustees.
  • Actively manage portfolio of prospects and donors.
  • Develop policy and direct alumnae affairs and parent relations in support of defined goals, budget, and timetables.
  • Manage and provide regular guidance and support to the Advancement Team.

Endowment Campaign:

  • Lead the Endowment Campaign, focusing the efforts of the Advancement Team on the success of the campaign.
  • Manage all prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation activities to ensure the success of the campaign.
  • Ensure campaign stays on schedule through successful completion.
  • Play a key ongoing role in identifying, recruiting, and training campaign volunteers.
  • Facilitate and plan all committee meetings including scheduling, agenda, and minutes.
  • Provide regular and timely status reports to both the Head and the Advancement/Endowment Committee.
  • Provide oversight and leadership for events in support of the campaign.

Annual Giving:

  • Provide oversight of Annual Fund operations including goals, timelines, and milestones, including alumnae, parents, past parents, trustees, and former trustees.
  • Oversee foundation relations, including calendar of solicitation and reporting.
  • Develop and implement annual giving strategy targeting goals including detailed annual giving solicitation calendar.
  • Identify opportunities for increased giving capacity and develop multi-faceted solicitation.
  • Oversee all stewardship activities including donor acknowledgement, donor recognition, and pledge reminders, donor record accuracy.
  • Promote and increase participation amongst employees.
  • Collaborate with Director of Communications in developing all communication and solicitation materials for both annual giving and donor acknowledgement.

Planned Giving:

  • Oversee all planned gift activities, including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of all planned gift donors and prospects.
  • Oversee activities of the Madeline Society, whose members have included Westridge School in their estate plan.
  • Ensure that planned giving and on-going endowment goals are an integral part of Advancement activities.

Parent Relations:

  • Manage and maintain relationship between school and Westridge Parent Association (WPA) including managing the coordination of parent relation activities.
  • Oversee promotion and staff support of all WPA activities including the annual Summer Opportunities Fair.
  • Responsible for maintaining productive and collaborative parent relations.

Alumnae Relations:

  • Manage relationship between school and the Westridge Alumnae Association, including managing the coordination of alumnae engagement activities, including Alumnae Weekend, and other strategic alumnae opportunities both locally and nationwide.
  • Oversee promotion and staff support of all Alumnae activities.
  • Maintain meaningful and strategic alumnae relations.

Core Competencies:

The Director of Advancement (DOA) will have a minimum of 10 years of progressive advancement leadership experience with a successful and proven track record in fundraising; demonstrated experience managing a team and achieving results; and a thorough understanding of all components of a successful fundraising campaign and program. In concert with the Head of School and Board of Trustees, s/he will be responsible for envisioning and executing on a strategic advancement plan aimed towards Westridge School’s future success and impact.

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree; an advanced degree is preferred. The ideal candidate will have the following competencies and personal characteristics:

Expertise in Advancement: The DOA will be an experienced leader in the field of development/ advancement with a measurable track record of success. S/he will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising and communications channels with particular focus on major fundraising campaigns (capital, endowment etc.), principal donors, and individual giving with success as a high touch leader engaging with all the School’s constituents. The DOA will be a flexible self-motivated team player who will serve as counsel to the Head of School and Board of Trustees in identifying fundraising strategies and devising the strategy. S/he will have a demonstrated broad history of donor cultivation and solicitation resulting in increased giving. The DOA will also have experience leading the planning and implementation of fundraising events as well as effectively working with the Board of Trustees.

Strategic Leadership and Management: The DOA will be a visionary and strategic leader with a demonstrated ability to develop clear, innovative strategies towards fundraising, donor cultivation, and communications, driven to meet high, attainable benchmarks and goals. A motivated and results-oriented leader with at least 6 years of senior management experience, s/he will be focused on the outcome of a given strategy, able to analyze and adjust expectations, processes and approach if necessary. S/he will be a superior project manager, able to make practical, realistic and data-driven decisions in a timely, thoughtful way, effectively leveraging her/his resources when appropriate. This leader will be an effective and visible manager who will build, nurture and retain a strong team of professionals focused on excellence, accountability, and efficiency.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator: The DOA will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships across all levels of the School, including the Board, the Head of School, parents, faculty, staff, and students. S/he will be a natural collaborator with a sophisticated ability to work in partnership with a diverse team of School leaders, staff members, donors, and community members. As an experienced fundraiser, s/he will be able to make the ‘ask’ when appropriate, including to Trustees, as well as to principal and major gift donors and other funding sources.

Persuasive Communicator: The DOA will be a superior and diplomatic communicator, adapting her/his choice of language and the presentation of ideas to fit the audience needs and perspective in a manner that energizes, educates and inspires. The DOA listens intently and responds effectively to inquiries or challenges on a range of subjects. S/he makes effective and persuasive presentations on topics of importance to a Board, donors, staff, students, and external partners and stakeholders with complete transparency. Additionally, s/he will have excellent written skills with strong knowledge of marketing and communications tools/platforms.


Westridge School has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle R.S. Bonoan and Sheila Hennessey. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director
Sheila Hennessey

Equal Opportunity And Affirmative Action Policy:
Westridge School is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are evaluated without consideration of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. For more information: visit our website.

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