From their first orientation meeting, Prep students are taught the motto: Excellence, Integrity, Commitment, and Courage. Underpinning the four words of the motto is the theme of Community. The motto becomes a touchstone—values that shape students’ actions and the Prep for Prep Community as a whole. Prep students and alumni strive to embody these words in everything they do.
Since 1978, Prep for Prep has identified New York City’s most promising students of color and prepared them for success at independent schools throughout the Northeast. Once placed, Prep supports the academic and personal growth of its students through college, creating a network of diverse leaders.
Prep for Prep students come from modest backgrounds and go on to excel at the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world. Many are the first in their families to graduate from college. Over 3,000 of Prep’s college graduates are now leaders in every field imaginable, from business and law, education and the arts, to science and medicine.
Founded by South Bronx school teacher Gary Simons with the support of Columbia University’s Teachers College, Prep for Prep opened its doors in 1978 with 25 students and three teachers. Eleven independent schools committed places in their seventh-grade classes.
Today, nearly 80 schools enroll over 700 Prep students each year. The Prep Community includes over 4,500 students and alumni.
Reporting to the Chief Executive, the Vice President of External Affairs will oversee Prep for Prep’s fundraising initiatives, alumni relations, and communications. The Vice President will manage the development and execution of a program of strategic fundraising and communications designed to advance the awareness and reputation of the organization and meet the fundraising goals against the $12 million budget as well as develop a plan for growth. The purpose of External Affairs is to first create a strategic fundraising program and then to craft a communications strategy while building an Alumni Affairs program that meaningfully engages alumni. She/he will direct the engagement of the public about Prep for Prep's programs, goals, and accomplishments, building financial and emotional support for its mission.
The Vice President of External Affairs will have the following responsibilities:
Fundraising & Reporting
- Lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategic fundraising program working closely with all stakeholders;
- Establish metrics across the fundraising team to meet goals;
- Develop a pipeline of donors through prospect research to feed an individual major gifts program, annual fund program, and growth strategy in coordination with the Chief Executive and Board of Trustees;
- Identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective individual, corporate, and foundation donors;
- Carry a portfolio of donors; assign donor portfolios to staff as appropriate;
- Oversee the coordination of the major gifts, foundation, and corporate outreach programs in coordination with the Chief Executive and in liaison with the Board of Trustees;
- Supervise the development and submission of grant proposals for funds from private foundations and corporations;
- Oversee the reporting to individual donors, private foundations, and corporations;
- Build and maintain relationships with Prep for Prep staff toward effective prospect identification, proposal development, and reporting;
- Manage the execution of targeted cultivation and stewardship of individual and institutional donor events, such as Prep for Prep’s Lilac Ball, with budget funding, strategic profile-raising, and stewardship goals in mind;
Board of Trustees & Associates Council
- Work with Prep for Prep Chief Executive to enhance Board relations, meaningfully engaging members in the organization’s work and needs, particularly tied to their areas of interest;
- Provide strategic direction to the Associates Council for engagement and fundraising purposes, with an eye towards developing Council members into Trustees;
- Develop and support the Board committees to enhance fundraising and advance the organization;
- Work with Trustees to follow up on their identification of prospective funding opportunities;
- Create and oversee the implementation of a plan for Alumni Affairs that results in establishing a robust alumni engagement program, exhibited through alumni involvement and attendance as well as involvement of alumni in institutional leadership goals;
- Ensure the Alumni Affairs Director is appropriately engaging the Alumni Council;
- Plan, implement, and promote alumni programming that supports Prep's strategic plan;
- Ensure accurate and complete alumni database records; use data to drive decisions about alumni outreach; oversee the creation of reports and analysis tools to help ensure the Alumni Affairs program is responsive to needs of alumni and the institution;
- Establish and build relationships with a wide range of alumni, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally; maintain regular communication with alumni via direct contact, email blasts, alumni web pages, print publication, and social media;
- Manage, update, and advance the institution’s online interactive alumni presence, along with other means of connecting with alumni.
Marketing & Communications
- In collaboration with the Chief Executive and members of the Board of Trustees, oversee the establishment of an effective brand strategy and marketing and communications plan, including digital media, traditional marketing techniques, and public relations and communications to achieve the institutional objectives in Prep for Prep’s strategic plan;
- Supplement an online and social media strategy to raise the organization’s profile among prospective partners, funders, students, and parents;
- Collaborate on the development of a comprehensive short-term and long-term communications plans and programs to support the growth in Prep for Prep’s enrollment and fundraising contributions;
- Measure results of marketing and promotional programs, and make data-driven decisions about how to invest Prep for Prep’s marketing resources for maximum impact.
- Foster a culture of philanthropy among staff, alumni, donors, and Board to create a robust pipeline that starts with alumni, annual, and major donors;
- Manage a professional staff of 5 in development; 3 in Alumni Affairs and 1 in Communications; measure performance against established metrics, reassigning, training, and amplifying staff as needed;
- Leverage and manage volunteers’ time to create a more engaged volunteer and alumni body;
- Develop, manage, and participate collaboratively in the development of the institutional budget.
The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications, knowledge, and skills:
- A minimum of 10 years’ experience leading a development function for a sizable non-profit organization, preferably in education or mission-driven organization;
- Experience managing external affairs with demonstrated accomplishment in fostering productive relationships, preferably in the context of fundraising campaigns or in the face of significant growth requirements;
- A thorough understanding of current institutional advancement best practices;
- A track record of creating a strategy to and of personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting funds in support of an institution’s ongoing programmatic activities;
- Ability to effectively leverage data to identify donors, alumni, and volunteers with capacity;
- The ability to translate ideas into a comprehensive fundraising and development plan;
- Financial management skills, including budgeting and forecasting for expense and income; experience writing and managing a budget;
- Experience/familiarity with public relations, marketing, and strategic communications;
- Proven success creating strategic cultivation and stewardship events for engagement and participation by individual and institutional donors;
- Excellent communication, analytical, and interpersonal skills, together with ability to work collaboratively throughout an institution, with alumni, students, faculty, administrators, other stakeholders, and the public;
- High professional and ethical standards for handling confidential information;
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree a plus
Critical Competencies for Success
The ideal candidate will have the following critical competencies:
- A record of accomplishment in External Affairs; expanding a fundraising program; raising and differentiating an organization’s profile among its peers; developing and managing affinity/alumni groups;
- A history of positioning an organization as a thought leader;
- Demonstrated ability to creatively assess and implement successful ways of identifying new donors and new sources of support from individuals, corporations, and foundations; successful solicitation of large-scale gifts;
- The experience to develop, manage, and assess staff, using data-driven metrics.
- Track record of introducing new concepts and strategies for philanthropy among the board, donors, and staff of an organization in order to expand the donor pipeline and engage donors and volunteers.
The Vice President of External Affairs will be strategic in his/her approach to fundraising. The successful candidate for this role will have superior communication skills coupled with the ability to be an active listener and persuasive communicator. The placement will be able to set and surpass goals; be high energy and results-oriented; and be a strategic, creative, and progressive thinker and collaborator with peers; and partner to the Chief Executive. He or she must be well-organized, intelligent, thoughtful, and have the ability to organize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and prioritization to meet deadlines. The Vice President of External Affairs will also be comfortable working with a high degree of autonomy and responsibility in a nimble work environment, advancing the mission of Prep for Prep.
Kindly send nominations or expressions of interest to:
T: (212) 547–9536
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