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Director of Development

Cary Academy seeks an experienced, dynamic, enthusiastic Director of Development to provide leadership, strategic vision, and direction for all philanthropic efforts, stewardship activities, and alumni and parent relations for the school. He/she will be responsible for designing and implementing effective practices and programs that result in support for the school, for implementing future capital campaigns, for growing the school's endowment, and for managing and leading the development team and volunteers to maximize their potential. The Director of Development reports to the Head of School, partnering with him and working closely with the Board of Trustees and other volunteers.

The Opportunity | Cary Academy

Cary Academy was established in 1996 as an independent, coeducation, college preparatory day school for students in grades 6 through 12. Located on 65 acres in the heart of the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, the school is intentionally student-centered and future-oriented in providing a traditional liberal arts program with cutting-edge pedagogical and technological techniques. It is a learning community committed to discovery, innovation, collaboration, and excellence. Curiosity is more than encouraged; it is required.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and AvancED, the school has a current enrollment of 764. All the school's graduates attend four-year colleges or universities; 90 percent report completing their undergraduate degrees in four years or less. The school enrolls the highest percentage of students of color (39 percent) among private schools in the state. Eighty percent of the school's students participate in its 14 sports programs and 48 teams. Each student receives a Tablet PC to use across the curriculum. The school is on strong financial footing with a $19 million annual budget and a $24 million endowment that supports student financial aid.

The Community | Cary, North Carolina

Cary is a thriving community in the heart of the Triangle area of North Carolina, located between Raleigh and the renowned Research Triangle Park. The Triangle area is repeatedly ranked among the top regions in the country to live and work, find a home, start a business, raise a family, or retire. Located only 20 minutes from major universities like Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina, education is an important part of Cary life. Cary is the seventh largest incorporated area in the state and continually ranks as one of the top 20 safest large municipalities nationally, as well as the safest in the Southeast. It is home to pro sports facilities for baseball, soccer, and tennis; more than 25 parks; miles of greenways for biking and walking; and a performing arts amphitheater that hosts concerts and other events year-round.

The Position | Director of Development

Cary Academy seeks to fill the position of Director of Development. This full-time position is responsible for strategically leading all aspects of fundraising and community engagement for the school, to include:

  • Coordination of activities related to annual giving, capital giving, and major gifts; schoolwide fundraising events; and constituent relations and events involving parents, grandparents, and alumni;
  • Development and implementation of policy and communications regarding fundraising and related events;
  • Working closely with Director of Communication and Director of Admissions to oversee the school's external relations and profile within the community; and
  • Developing data-driven processes to establish benchmarks and evaluate success in fundraising and constituent relations.

The Director of Development reports directly to the Head of School and chairs the Board's Advancement Committee. In addition, the Director supervises five full-time staff: annual fund coordinator, alumni coordinator, administrative assistant, constituency relations coordinator, and data base manager.

Successful candidates for this position will exhibit the ability to:

  • Serve capably as a highly visible representative of the Head of School in the community;
  • Understand best-practice fundraising among current parents, and be visibly and actively engaged with parents, students and others in the community;
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of innovative, cutting-edge, non-traditional methods and practices for fundraising;
  • Work in a mission-driven environment led by forward-thinking leaders; and
  • Explain a breadth of current tax and financial knowledge that is critical to donors, as well as various instruments and options available to them.

Responsibilities of the position include:


  • Identify, develop, cultivate and solicit donor prospects, and support the Board and Head in their cultivation and solicitation.
  • Direct the annual, capital, and major gifts programs of the school.
  • Develop, write, and manage all grant requests.
  • Coordinate all fund-raising and solicitation occurring at Cary Academy.
  • Oversee gift administration, including donor records, acknowledgement letters, mailing lists, and contact tracks.
  • Maintain effective communication with the Business Office regarding gifts management.
  • Identify, train and supervise all fundraising volunteers.

Constituent Relations:

  • Develop and implement a plan for a Parents Association that contributes meaningfully to school life.
  • Oversee all parents' groups, making certain all activities follow the school's mission and operate in concert with other school groups and activities.
  • Oversee all events to ensure they enhance mission and build community.

Alumni Relations:

  • Develop and implement programs to increase alumni involvement and giving.
  • Oversee senior class endowment campaigns.
  • Ensure alumni communications are varied and reach alumni population.
  • Ensure alumni data is current.

The Candidate | Critical Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Director of Development must demonstrate mastery of innovative fundraising techniques and skills in all aspects of development. He or she should have an acute sense of strategy at the individual donor level, as well as significant experience in fundraising campaigns of all types. Candidates will maintain a sense of optimism and will convey enthusiasm for the school's mission and vision.

The ideal candidate for this position will be a proactive leader with strategic vision who has the ability to influence others and solve problems. He/she will be an effective communicator, through writing and public speaking, and will exhibit a professional appearance. Also, the ideal candidate will have experience with capital campaigns and major gifts; a track record of success with grants; and demonstrated skills with stewardship.

Critical knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position include:

  • Demonstrated capabilities in school finance, fundraising, and strategic planning.
  • Significant experience in hiring, developing and evaluating outstanding employees.
  • Substantial understanding of technology and its potential to improve donor identification, communication, and cultivation.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to meet expectation of regular, predictable and reliable attendance established for all employees.


Minimum of a Bachelor's degree; Master's preferred.


Five to seven years' experience in a major fundraising role, including directing strategy.


Directly related experience or a combination of directly related education and experience may be considered in place of the above requirements.

Procedure for Candidacy

Cary Academy has retained Capital Development Services to assist with recruitment for this position. Nominations, expressions of interest, and applications should be submitted via email to .

Candidates must provide a cover letter, resume, and list of three references. All materials will be kept confidential. Additional inquiries may be directed to Jen Tozier at Capital Development Services, 336-747-0133 x 208.