Deerfield Associates has been retained by The Taft School, located in Watertown, Connecticut, to conduct a national search for a Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Relations.
The Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Relations will oversee all aspects of Taft School’s annual giving efforts.
This professional will be one of the leaders on the Alumni & Development team charged with assisting Taft in building a more robust culture of philanthropy through education, engagement and relationship development across the constituency. The director will have an entrepreneurial spirit and see engagement and revenue generation opportunities that may not be apparent in standard development and advancement practices. The professional will be a “player-coach” with a team-oriented view to management and will oversee a cohesive team of three highly talented and productive professionals: the Director of Parent Giving, Assistant Director of the Annual Giving, and Administrative Assistant to the Annual Giving. Partners and collaborators to this position will be the Director of Communications, Director of Alumni Relations, Director of Constituent Engagement, and Frontline Relationship Gift Officers.
The ideal candidate will be experienced in marketing communications, preferably with a background working in an advancement program. A background in applied analytics, using data and analytical insights to enhance the operations of the annual fund, donor relations and the overall pipeline development of Taft’s prospective donor base, will also be important. Taft has recently invested in new technology platforms that have enhanced the constituent database, as well as the volunteer management system.
The Taft School enjoys a robust constituency that can be quantified with nearly 14,000 constituents in the school’s information development database. The new hire will be responsible for increasing annual giving revenue (gifts up to $50,000), broadening the base of support, and strengthening the major gift pipeline. The position reports directly to A. Lawrence Crimmins III, Director of Development. This opportunity is available immediately and will be filled following a comprehensive national search.
The Taft School is a private, coeducational grade 9-12 day and boarding school located in Watertown, Connecticut. Founded in Pelham Manor, New York in 1890 by Horace Dutton Taft, the brother of the president, the school was relocated from a single residential home to a former hotel in Watertown in 1893. Over the ensuing century, the school has grown in every way: from a handful of students and faculty in a one building campus to an internationally recognized school set on a beautiful 220-acre campus.
Today, Taft is one of the nation’s top middle-sized boarding schools. The admissions process is a highly selective one. In 2020 there were 1,873 applicants for 198 places, and the diverse student body is comprised of students from 31 states and 44 nations. Typically, the school has 500 boarders and 100 day students. The school has approximately 250 employees, of which 130 are faculty. The alumni number 10,014 and in 2020 39% supported the Annual Fund. 2020 marked the 28th consecutive year the Parents’ Fund had 90% participation and raised over $2.6 million, the highest among peer schools. The current endowment of The Taft School is approximately $300 million. The campus is comprised of relatively older collegiate gothic style buildings built approximately ninety years ago as well as multiple dormitories, two hockey rinks, two brand new turf facilities, and a state of the art science and math center, all of which were completed in the last twenty-five years. The buildings have undergone a thorough renovation process to be completed in the near-term. To learn more about The Taft School visit www.taftschool.org
Head of School
In February 2001, the Board of Trustees appointed its first Taft-educated head of school: William R. MacMullen, Class of 1978. MacMullen, only Taft’s fifth head of school in its more than 125-year history, earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale and his master’s from Middlebury. He returned to Taft in 1983 to teach English, and at the time of his appointment as head of school had served as dean of faculty, dean of academic affairs, a college counselor, a class dean and boys’ varsity soccer coach. His wife, Pam, is also an English teacher, dean, and coach at Taft. “Mr. and Mrs. Mac,” as students affectionately know them, have two sons who are both Taft alumni.
Under his leadership, the school has added several historic Watertown buildings to campus, including Walker Hall, Woodward Chapel, Hillman House (59 North Street), and Baldwin School. Major renovation projects have dotted the campus, including the new Moorhead Academic Center, the Martin Health Center, Bingham Auditorium, and the installation of artificial turf athletic fields. Perhaps the most significant change, however, has been a renovation of Horace Dutton Taft Hall that included the expansion of the dining halls and restoration of the founder’s residence into the Moorhead Wing. Designed by the Gund Partnership of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the wing includes Laube, Prentice, and East dining halls, as well as the Mortara Academic Wing.
Head of School MacMullen also included the creation of the Global Studies Department, the expansion of the office of Multicultural Affairs and Education, a steady increase in financial aid, as well as increased diversity in both our faculty and student body.
The Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Relations position at Taft offers an exciting and supportive work environment, a competitive salary and benefit package, which includes medical and dental plans, a pension plan, tuition remission, and four weeks of paid vacation.
The Taft School is an affirmative action-equal opportunity employer in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. It is the policy of The Taft School to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to age, gender, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, actual or perceived disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran’s status, genetic predisposition or any other class protected by law.
To explore this career opportunity on a confidential basis, please send your resume, letter of interest and a list of 4 references (which will only be contacted if mutual interest is determined) to: