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Chief Advancement Officer

Company: Appleby College
Date Posted: September 28, 2016

The Opportunity

Appleby College is seeking a Chief Advancement Officer to further develop and implement an Advancement strategy that supports Appleby College’s mission and vision.  In addition to directing and overseeing all development and alumni activities and staff, the Chief Advancement Officer will play a lead role in stewarding, cultivating and securing major gifts.  Reporting to the Principal, the incumbent will serve as a member of Appleby’s senior leadership team.

About Appleby College

Appleby College is a non-profit, independent school located in Oakville on a beautiful 60-acre campus on the shores of Lake Ontario.  Founded in 1911, Appleby is a co-educational day and boarding school which offers a university preparatory education for boys and girls in grades 7 through 12.  The student population of 750 students, includes approximately 250 boarders and come from nearby communities, from across Canada, and from more than 35 countries around the world, creating a unique learning environment that fosters the development of fascinating minds through sharing diverse cultures and perspectives.

Appleby College’s mission is to educate and enable young men and women to become leaders of character, major contributors to, and valued representatives of their local, national and international communities.  Our mission, vision, and pillars of strength are woven into every aspect of life at the school, and serve as the foundation for continuous growth and advancement.

The curriculum offers an exceptionally diverse education that combines rigorous academics with dynamic arts, athletics, community and global service.  Promoting the development of the whole student, there is a blend of academic excellence, athletic achievement, and creative expression with opportunities for leadership and community engagement.  Appleby College develops young men and women of personal integrity who are prepared for university, societal change, responsible involvement and leadership in their local, national and global communities.

Appleby College is a member of CAIS, CIS, the International Round Square Organisation, and the G20 Schools.  The school is accredited by the Canadian Educational Standards Institute.

Advancement at Appleby College

The school’s Advancement Office is comprised of eight staff focused on donor relations, alumni and parent relations, major gifts, annual fund and events.  The Advancement Office is responsible for overseeing all fundraising activities at the school, including student fundraising for charity.  In addition to leading campaign activities and annual, major, and planned giving programs, the Advancement Office coordinates the Gala Auction, the Fine Wine Auction, Appleby Community Golf Classic, and supports the work of volunteers.  The Advancement team also meets with alumni, parents, and friends around the world encouraging continued engagement in the school, and cultivating relationships. 

The Advancement Office raised $9.5 million last year and we aspire to raise $35 – $50 million in the next five years.

Recently, Appleby’s successful Promise the Future campaign with a $20 million goal was a landmark campaign in the school’s history, and enabled the school to increase endowment funds, and invest in capital projects including the building of a new library, new dining hall, new technology centre and invest in campus infrastructure that re-routed parking and traffic to create a pedestrian campus. 

The commitment to offering students an outstanding education is well secured; however excellence comes with a price.  Appleby tuition fees are not insignificant; these fees are an investment in students, and are reflected in the programs and opportunities offered at Appleby College.  Appleby College is committed to attracting exceptional students first and foremost.  An Appleby College education would be out of reach for many were it not for the generosity of donors, and the assistance provided by the Appleby College Foundation.

Engaging Our Community

Community and volunteerism plays an important role at Appleby College.  Through an ever-widening circle of friends, parents, faculty and alumni, Appleby College’s community shares a special fellowship and a lifelong connection to the school.  The school is fortunate to benefit from the commitment, efforts, and generosity of many great volunteers.  In particular, four groups that are significantly involved with the Advancement Office are:

The Appleby College Board of Governors is a volunteer board comprised of parents, alumni and alumni parents.  There are five standing committees: finance, development, property and governance and risk.  The Board’s commitment to supporting the school financially is evidenced by 100% Board participation in giving.

The Appleby College Foundation is a registered charity, governed by its own board of trustees, to which endowed funds of $14 million are entrusted to be invested appropriately and disbursed to the school for very specific purposes.  The Appleby College Foundation’s endowment provides income that is primarily directed to need-based student financial assistance.

Since 1928, the Appleby College Parents’ Association has provided a variety of excellent volunteer opportunities by organizing a variety of friend and fundraising events in conjunction with the school, such as Christmas house tours and the Harvest Colours fall fundraising event.  In addition to increasing parent involvement at the school and raising community spirit, the ACPA contributed $1 million to Appleby’s fundraising initiatives over the last 10 years.

The Appleby College Alumni Association is committed to fostering and sustaining a lifelong relationship between the School and its alumni.  The Alumni Association strives to engage alumni in mutually beneficial ways that support both the school and alumni, and its goals including the following: to foster and promote close interest and involvement of alumni in the life of the School; to support, celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of alumni; to nurture and maintain school friendships; to engage alumni as well-informed ambassadors for the school; to help graduates get jobs; to aid and support the school in all of its endeavours, including being supportive of the school’s philanthropic efforts.

Ideal Candidate

A strategic thinker who sees the bigger picture and understands how to put the smaller details in place, the Chief Advancement Officer will bring a systematic approach to developing and implementing an integrated advancement plan and program.  The successful candidate will have a proven track record of successfully achieving program and fundraising objectives, and will be confident in his or her professional knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Excited about what we’re doing at Appleby in terms of educating young people, the Chief Advancement Officer will be passionate about Appleby’s mission and vision, and will believe strongly in the school’s purpose and values.  The ideal candidate will be an experienced leader and professional who will take a long-term view on building a sustainable and effective Advancement program, and will be committed to seeing plans through to fruition over an 8 to 10 year period.

An inspiring people leader and manager, the Chief Advancement Officer will be committed to sharing knowledge and developing talent to build an effective, integrated, and accountable Advancement team.  Comfortable playing the lead in a staff-driven fundraising model, the successful candidate will also be experienced in teaching and engaging others in prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

The Chief Advancement Officer will possess exceptional interpersonal and listening skills, and the ability to build rapport and relationships with diverse groups, donors and the community at all levels. The successful candidate will nurture and tend to relationships, both internally and externally, and will work closely with colleagues across the school to develop a greater understanding for and involvement with Advancement activities.  Ethical and transparent, the Chief Advancement Officer will possess a depth of experience and calm confidence that will engender trust in others.

Collegial and professional, the ideal candidate will have exceptional interpersonal skills and a high level of emotional maturity, and will work skillfully and effectively with and through others.  The successful candidate will be a collaborative team player who operates with humility, possesses a natural inclination toward servant leadership, is respectful of all people, and celebrates success inclusively. Straightforward and pragmatic, the Chief Advancement Officer will possess strength and determination coupled with patience and diplomacy. 

The Chief Advancement Officer will be an attentive listener who seeks input from others, and who will collaborate, navigate, and integrate well into our school community.  Curious and interested in others, the ideal candidate will have an engaging personality and will pursue opportunities to authentically interact with others.  Given the global reach of our students, parents, and alumni, the successful candidate will be knowledgeable of and experienced with diverse cultures.

Specific Accountabilities

In the role of Chief Advancement Officer, the new incumbent will:

  • Further develop and implement an advancement strategy and execution plan in collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team that captures the Appleby opportunity.  This plan will include strategies for all stakeholder groups, including parents and alumni both domestically and on a global basis, which will engage and strengthen relations with the broader Appleby community.
  • Lead and oversee all aspects of fundraising programs for Appleby, including major gifts, capital campaigns, annual fund, planned giving, event-based fundraising, and stewardship.
  • Oversee all aspects of the off-campus constituent relations programs for Appleby with a focus on alumni and parent relations.  These include but are not limited to reunions, special events, communications, volunteer engagement and services.
  • Play a central role in the major gifts program as a moves manager for major gift prospects.  As such, the Chief Advancement Officer will be involved with the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospective leadership donors.
  • Ensure that Appleby has in place the appropriate tools and processes to support Advancement programs, including database, records, prospect research, and market research.
  • Lead, coach, and develop the advancement team staff, ensuring the right people are in the right jobs to create a high performing, collaborative, team environment that encourages skill development and creativity.
  • Work with the Leadership Team, the Board of Governors, Parents, Alumni, the ACPA, the Alumni Association, the Appleby College Foundation, and with employees so there is cohesion among stakeholders who genuinely feel engaged, valued, and utilized in the delivery of a well-executed, relationship-focused, advancement program.  This will enhance a sense of belonging, engagement, fundraising, acquisition of new donors, goodwill, and a culture of philanthropy in a diverse community.
  • Ensure the ethical management of donor policies and procedures.
  • Recruit, orient, train and retain volunteers and staff to deliver an effective advancement program through cross-functional management that embraces a spirit of collaboration and excellence.
  • Responsibly manage the department budget.

Living in Oakville

Originally founded in the 1800s, the Town of Oakville is a thriving community of 182,000 people. Oakville is considered to be a premium location for a vibrant work-life balance desired by busy professionals.  In fact, MoneySense Magazine recently rated Oakville number 3 in the top 20 places to live in Canada.

Located in the heart of the Halton Region, Oakville offers easy access to Toronto and surrounding communities on three major highways, and by VIA and GO train service.  Oakville’s economic growth is driven by industry clusters in four key sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Digital Media and Animation, Life Sciences, and Professional Services.  Many market-leading companies continue to choose Oakville as their place to do business.

Oakville offers a variety of recreational and competitive sporting activities for the community.  Boasting over 60 soccer fields and a soccer club facility with a 2 star full size FIFA-certified indoor soccer pitch, our town is home to the Canadian Soccer League.  Oakville is also home to the Oakville Ice of the National Women’s Hockey League, the Tier II Junior "A" franchise, the Oakville Hornets Girls Hockey Association, and the Oakville Rangers of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association.  Oakville has the largest rugby club in Canada, and a lacrosse team, and the Glen Abbey Golf Course, which hosted several Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts houses several performances by local and international artists, and is also the performing venue for the Oakville Children’s Choir, and the Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival, the Waterfront Festival, and For the Love of the Arts Festival.

For More Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained by Appleby College to conduct this search.  For more information about this opportunity, or to submit your resume and letter of interest, please contact Tara George, Senior Vice President and Lead Search Consultant at

Candidate submissions are requested by October 25, 2016.

More information about Appleby College can be found online at