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Director of Development & Community Relations

Gillispie School
La Jolla, California
$90,000-110,000 per year + benefits
Closing date
Feb 23, 2023

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Focus Areas
Job Function
Development / Fundraising, Event Planning
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level

Gillispie School, an independent, coeducational day school located in downtown La Jolla, enrolling students from age two through Grade Six, is hiring for a Director of Development & Community Relations. This is an exciting time to join the Gillispie team. The School is nearing completion on a creative and thoughtful strategic plan, which will chart the course for the next several years, and is planning for its 70th anniversary celebrations.

The successful candidate will be a team player who enjoys working with various constituent groups in advancing the mission and goals of Gillispie. We are looking for someone who has positive energy and likes wearing multiple hats. The successful candidate will be someone who can soar at 30,000 feet to see the big picture, think strategically, plan tactically, and is comfortable rolling up his or her sleeves to get the work done.


The Director of Development & Community Relations reports to the Head of School and works closely with the Director of Finance & Business Operations, Board of Trustees, and Development and Community Relations Committees to continually strengthen the School's culture of philanthropy and engagement.

The Director of Development & Community Relations will:

  • Develop,  coordinate, and execute Gillispie School's two major fundraising initiatives: ONEGillispie Annual Campaign and the Spring Fundraiser.
  • Manage the School’s foundation-relations program, including writing grant proposals, arranging site visits, and preparing annual reports to funders.
  • Ensure that all gifts are entered, processed, and reconciled correctly.
  • Create and implement a comprehensive stewardship program that thanks and recognizes donors and volunteers for their investment of time, talent, and treasure.
  • Develop and oversee the Gillispie Alumni, Alumni Parent, and Grandparent Programs.
  • Provide staff support for the Board's Development and Community Relations Committees.
  • Plan and execute all friend- and fundraising events and community relations activities.
  • Contribute to marketing and communications efforts to expand and enhance the School’s visibility, image, and reputation and to develop an appreciation of the School’s mission, vision, and goals.
  • Work closely with the Business Office in forecasting donor revenue for budgeting purposes and have proficiency using development software.
  • Coordinate with the Business Office to oversee the accurate processing of all gift income.
  • Oversee and coordinate community service initiatives and community relations efforts, in partnership with the Community Relations Committee.
  • Keep the Head of School abreast of plans for and the status of development and community relations initiatives.
  • Become and remain actively engaged in the life of Gillispie.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.



  • A generative thinker who possesses vision and practicality in moving fundraising initiatives from concept into action
  • A collaborative team leader who empowers staff and volunteers to feel ownership of their projects and a sense of camaraderie in the community


  • At least five years in the field of institutional development, preferably with an education-related organization, that includes leadership roles in annual and major gift programs, capital and endowment campaigns, communications, special events, and constituent relations
  • Successful experience in, and enthusiasm for, donor cultivation, vendor solicitation, and major gift solicitation and completion
  • History of recruiting, training, motivating, and working with volunteers in leadership roles

Skills and Knowledge

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Ability to conceptualize, plan, and implement a cohesive strategy for development and marketing/communications
  • Natural networking instincts that make one adept at developing meaningful relationships with donors and understanding their individual motivations to give
  • An understanding of independent school culture that allows one to perceive and to capitalize on the connections between people, programs, and development goals
  • A willingness to understand the School's mission and conduct oneself in keeping with the Gillispie values and culture
  • An interest in designing and promoting community service opportunities for students and families
  • Proven ability to balance multiple priorities and meet frequent deadlines in a complex environment
  • A commitment to seek best practice professional growth experiences that augments development work
  • Ability to use technology (e.g. databases and other giving platforms) to support development goals
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to be a vocal and visible advocate both internally and externally for Gillispie School
  • Personality and disposition characterized by collaboration, collegiality, excellent follow-through, discretion, openness to suggestions, and a kind sense of humor

Salary Range

$90,000-110,000 per year (12-month contract)

Please reply with a letter of interest, and resume to Jon Bluestein, Assistant Head of School, jbluestein@gillispie[dot]org; no calls, please.

Gillispie School does not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, financial aid determination, or admission and employment practices based on sex/gender, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, or any other legally protected class.

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