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Gill St. Bernard’s School

Director of Institutional Advancement

Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc. has been retained by Gill St. Bernard’s School, located in Gladstone, New Jersey, to conduct a national search for a Director of Institutional Advancement.

Gill St. Bernard’s School

Gill St. Bernard’s School is an independent, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory school serving approximately seven-hundred (700) students from preschool through grade 12 from approximately sixty north-central New Jersey communities. This year’s senior class has 91 students. Located on a beautiful 208-acre collegiate-style campus in Gladstone, New Jersey, which includes the 128-acre Home Winds farm, the school’s dynamic liberal arts curriculum offers families a well-rounded program of academics, as well as award-winning arts and athletics programs.

The graduates of the class of 2018 were accepted at many of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities, including Chapel Hill, Cornell, Duke, Haverford, Princeton, Vassar, Wake Forest, and UC Davis.
The annual operating budget for the School is $27,293,900 dollars. The current endowment is approximately $11 million dollars. For more information and background please visit

Our Mission: To provide a balanced, diverse and secure community that prepares students academically, socially and ethically for college and a meaningful life.

Each day we challenge our students to push themselves in new directions; to stretch their minds, to hone their strengths and develop new skills. They are encouraged to embrace personal responsibility and demonstrate honor, integrity and leadership. We expect no less of ourselves as a school and community. Ours is a learning organization that is committed to continuous improvement and growth, and our dedication to strategic planning allows us to focus on our vision of becoming the very best school possible.

The Position

Gill St. Bernard’s School seeks a strategically-oriented and experienced advancement professional to fill the key leadership position of Director of Institutional Advancement.  This opportunity is available in July 2019.

Gill St. Bernard’s School Office of Institutional Advancement promotes the School’s culture of philanthropy, inspiring parents, alumni, grandparents, parents of alumni, students, faculty and staff, and friends to advance the mission of the School. An integral member of the senior administrative team, The Director of Institutional Advancement reports to the Head of School and works closely with the Board of Trustees. The Director of Institutional Advancement provides leadership for all fundraising, alumni and parent relations activities, special events, publications and marketing with the goal of building and sustaining a strong culture of engagement, philanthropy institutional messaging and branding throughout the School community.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide clear vision, management, supervisory leadership, and strategic direction for all aspects of the School’s Institutional Advancement program.
  • Supervise, set direction for, and support the goals of the eight (8) members of the Institutional Advancement Office team, providing regular performance feedback, including annual performance appraisals, to support their professional growth.
  • Serve as a member of the School’s Administrative Team.
  • Develop an annual business plan and budget based on institutional goals and priorities and in conjunction with the current Strategic Plan.
  • Generate and foster strong donor relationships by articulating the core values of Gill St. Bernard’s School
  • Create a culture and environment within the Institutional Advancement Office that encourages collaboration, inclusivity, teamwork, and a positive work environment.
  • Oversee budget for all Institutional Advancement activities.



  • Ensure that resources are in place to support the School’s long-term financial stability by designing and implementing strategies for raising funds to support current and future operations.
  • Oversee all planning and execution for the School’s fundraising efforts, including annual giving, major and planned giving, and grants on an ongoing basis and in support of strategic plans, capital campaigns, special projects, and other programs. Develop strategies for increasing philanthropic support, including growing annual giving and increasing participation.
  • Oversee the identification, cultivation, and stewardship of major donors, and develop strategies to expand the current base of philanthropic revenue sources for the School.
  • Provide research and recommendations for strategies for managing specific constituents and donors.
  • Manage and lead both Annual Giving and Major Gift staff to assure successful results and that annual dollar goals are met and achieved.
  • Oversee Institutional Advancement Services, including gift reporting, acknowledgments, accounting, and data management of the Institutional Advancement Office.
  • Personally maintain a portfolio of major gift prospects, cultivating, soliciting, and closing these gifts.
  • Ensure, in conjunction with Chief Financial Officer, institutional financial management of gifts and campus project coordination.
  • Travel locally, regionally and nationally as required.

Constituent Relations

  • Oversee alumni and parent relations, including the Alumni Association, Parents Association and other affinity groups, with the goal of building community and a culture of engagement and philanthropy.
  • Oversee Donor Relations, including cultivation and stewardship.
  • Coordinate with the Admission Office to ensure alignment of institutional objectives.
  • Provide organizational and administrative support for the Board of Trustees.
  • Attend all Board meetings.
  • Staff the Board Advancement Committee, Committee on Trustees, and Strategic Planning Committee.

Communications and Marketing

  • Provide and ensure adherence to the School’s strategic vision. Oversee and implement a coordinated publication/marketing/social media/web program for internal and external audiences.
  • Work in coordination with other Divisions and Departments to ensure accuracy, branding and consistent messaging.
  • Manage media relations; serve as a spokesperson.
  • Edit major constituent communications.
  • Collaborate with faculty to publicize innovative programs.
  • Promote faculty, staff, student and alumni successes.
  • Produce and publish three (3) alumni magazines per year.
  • Responsible for website function and architecture.
  • Supervise all promotional photography and audiovisual needs, as well as manage the electronic archive of photos and graphics.
  • Review and edit School policy documents.
  • Serve as institutional spokesperson for external media outlets.
  • Responsible for news and press releases for School related activities.
  • Work closely with Director of Admissions on enrollment marketing materials and advertising.

Other Responsibilities

  • Work with the Head of School and School’s Administrative Team to help develop priorities for the School and to implement the strategies to achieve the vision and goals of the institution.
  • Support the Head of School on other tasks as assigned.

Qualifications and Skills

  • A bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
  • 8+ years of leadership experience in institutional advancement, preferable at a non-profit institution with an educational component.
  • Successful fundraising experience with cultivation, stewardship, campaigns, major gift solicitation, planned giving and donor relations.
  • Demonstrated strengths in interpersonal skills and collaboration.
  • Experience working with and connecting to a large and diverse community.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to oversee a department and motivate, manage and inspire people while also acting as a professional mentor to build on the skills and strengths of direct reports.
  • Possess the necessary skills to effectively use technology, including Raiser’s Edge and Microsoft Office Suite among others.
  • Integrity, warmth, flexibility, confidence, a positive outlook and a good sense of humor.

Sid Rowell

Head of School

Sid Rowell was appointed Head of School at Gill St. Bernard’s in 2001. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College, where he was awarded a B.A. and an M.A. in History. Prior to becoming the Headmaster at Gill St. Bernard’s, Sid was the Associate Headmaster of Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida and Assistant Headmaster at the Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut. He has 39 years of experience working in independent schools as an administrator, teacher, and coach, and currently serves on the NJAIS Board of Directors and is a member of The Country Day School Headmasters’ Association.

What sets Gill St. Bernard’s Upper School apart from other independent schools?

While there are many reasons to pursue a Gill St. Bernard’s School education, some are of particular importance for Upper School students. Gill provides a safe and secure environment in which students learn to take intellectual risks and make healthy choices. Our students enjoy coming to school each day; they know they will be challenged, inspired and part of the conversation.

  • With an average class size of 14, our students are able to receive individualized attention and better connect with faculty members and peers alike, as they explore new concepts in the classroom.
  • For over 40 years, the Unit program has reflected the school’s motto, “The World is Our Classroom.” Unit courses are held for two weeks each May and allow students to explore an area of particular interest to them, typically outside the range of traditional academic coursework. Whether through travel abroad, SCUBA diving in the Florida Keys or improving the lives of special needs children through equine therapy, the Unit offers students the chance to work collaboratively, to explore the larger world, and to serve others.
  • Our 208-acre collegiate-style campus, which includes the 128-acre Home Winds farm, provides a beautiful backdrop for our Upper School. Facilities that include state-of-the-art academic buildings, a theater, two athletic centers, turf and grass playing fields, a track, tennis courts, farm and garden offer unique opportunities to complement the academic curriculum and student life experience.
  • We offer over 100 courses at the standard, honors and advanced placement levels. Our rigorous and varied college-preparatory curriculum is constantly evolving across disciplines based on student interest and campus advancement, with recent course additions including animal science and botany.
  • Our Office of Student Life is modeled after the college/university experience, where each grade has its own Dean with formal responsibility for student supervision. The Grade Dean is an essential “point person” for contact with parents and students. They coordinate grade-specific activities and promote regular interactions across all grades.

Gill St. Bernard’s School Benefits

Gill St. Bernard’s School offers a dynamic and supportive work environment, competitive salaries and a generous benefits package including a retirement plan, paid vacations, and medical insurance.  

Gill St. Bernard’s School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Contact Information

To explore this superb career opportunity on a highly confidential basis please send a letter of interest and a resume (both as Microsoft Word documents) to:

Doug Cooney, Executive Search Consultant, Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc.
572 Washington Street, Suite 15, Wellesley, MA 02482
Telephone: 781.237.2800

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