Founded in 1889, The Wheeler School is a co-educational independent day school for over 800 students from Nursery through Grade Twelve in beautiful and dynamic Providence, Rhode Island. The essence of our vision comes down to a simple concept: Wheeler is a place where we strive to make anything possible for students, where choice, inquiry, and interest are of primary import, where we know individuals well, and where we insist upon and nurture intellectual character, critical thinking, empathy, and creative spirit.
An integral member of the school’s leadership team and a strategic partner to the Head of School, the Head of Advancement and Engagement provides leadership and oversight for all development, communications, public relations, marketing, parent engagement, and alumni relations. In the coming years, this role will have responsibility for strategic implementation of vision stemming from a new Head of School and a new strategic plan, as well as resulting communications, facilities and campaign planning to be completed during the first year. The Head of A&E will be among the new Head of School’s first appointments and will be critical in setting and implementing vision for the future through highly effective development and engagement strategies and initiatives. Wheeler has already established a vibrant culture of philanthropy, having quadrupled our endowment over the past 15 years to over $40 million dollars.
At the highest level, the ideal candidate will be a dedicated leader and manager, a pragmatic visionary, collaborative, self-motivated, and decisive. He or she will have experience leading growth and change, and will garner trust through open and direct communications and a strong work ethic. He or she will be creative and dynamic, and will have a high energy level to match the dynamism of the Wheeler School environment. He or she will act with humility and a sense of humor. She or he will be organized and an excellent, thoughtful communicator, and will have extremely strong relational skills.
More specifically, the Head of Advancement and Engagement will work closely with the Head of School to provide leadership and oversight of all development and fundraising; communications; public, parent and alumni engagement functions, ensuring a cohesive, consistent message and ethos for the school’s overall engagement with our parents and larger community, resulting in the expansion of overall support and resources for the school.
More specifically, she or he will:
Provide clear vision, supervisory leadership and management, and strategic direction for all aspects of the School’s A&E program.
Manage a cohesive, collaborative team that encourages innovation, risk-taking, inclusiveness, and teamwork.
Collaborate with the Director of Admissions on marketing strategy and implementation.
Identify, cultivate, and steward major donors in support of critical priorities.
Collaborate closely with the Director of Operations and Director of Finance to ensure timely and accurate reporting and collaboration between offices.
Represent the school and be an active participant in the community through membership in civic groups throughout Providence, attending functions as a representative of Wheeler as appropriate.
Qualifications and Skills
Experience in leadership positions in fundraising and development, strategic marketing and/or communication, preferably at a non-profit institution with an educational component.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Strategic and pragmatic vision for a dynamic engagement, communications, and advancement strategy that is inclusive, integrated, and relationship-oriented.
Successful fundraising experience with donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
Experience with social media, including digital development and marketing strategies.
Excellent management and collaboration skills.
Demonstrated cultural competency and interest in working in a diverse community on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Effective use of a variety of programs and software, including Google Suite and Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge.
A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.
To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to Dawn Kelliher, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the position title in the subject line.
Statement on Diversity
At Wheeler we actively seek students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds in the belief that a broad range of experiences and viewpoints enhance learning, enrich life on campus, and better prepare us all for full participation in a pluralistic, democratic society. The Wheeler School is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, or disability, and any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.
The Wheeler School is a Nursery through Grade 12 co-ed independent day school founded in 1889 in Providence, Rhode Island located on College Hill on the East Side of Providence. Wheeler is comprised of four divisions, Lower School (N-5), Middle School (6-8), Upper School (9-12), and Hamilton School (1-8), the latter a special school- within-a-school for students with learning differences. We are a vibrant, joyous family with exceptional Fine and Performing Arts, Athletics for grades 6-12, Summer Programs open to the public, and numerous curricular and co-curricular choices for our students. Our programs are creative, innovative, and challenging.