Founded on the principle of building a school “where children come first,” The Fay School serves roughly 285 students from 3 years to Fifth Grade in the Uptown area of Houston, Texas. It is among the best independent early childhood and elementary schools in the competitive Houston marketplace.
By fostering their emotional intelligence and leadership development while providing challenging and engaging academics, The Fay School’s graduates gain admission into Houston’s most sought-after middle schools.
A joyful educational oasis, the school sits on 8.5 acres of naturally landscaped property where children frequently work and play in its beautiful outdoor setting. Many Fay families speak of the immediate calm they feel as they drive onto campus, delivering their children to this unique student-focused learning environment.
To capitalize on the evolving landscape of education and plan its direction for the next three to five years, The Fay School is engaged in a partnership with Ian Symmonds & Associates, a leading firm in facilitating innovative strategic planning. Fay’s strategic planning process is taking place during the 2019-2020 school year. The forward-thinking plan will be unveiled early in the 2020-2021 school year, in conjunction with the celebration of The Fay School’s 30th Anniversary. This is an exciting time to be a part of a community focused on the evolving landscape of education and innovative thinking.
The Fay School seeks an advancement leader who will continue to inspire our school community by clearly and enthusiastically articulating the school’s new strategic priorities. The Director of Advancement position is a stellar opportunity for an ambitious, experienced, motivated, and visionary leader eager to join an evolving school at a critical time in history. The target start date for the twelve-month Director of Advancement position is July 1 of 2020.
The Fay School is a nonsectarian, not-for-profit, co-educational school in which children of diverse talents and backgrounds with strong academic abilities are offered a high-quality education in a secure, enriching, and academically challenging environment. Here children learn and grow intellectually, physically, socially, ethically, and artistically while developing self-confidence and a lifelong love of learning through an active partnership among educators, parents, and students.
Leadership Development through Emotional Intelligence: A successful leader is someone who inspires growth in self and others. This requires a high degree of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, social-awareness, and relationship skills. The Fay School’s Leadership Development Program engages students to cultivate these abilities through reflection, study, communication, and real-world problem solving. By providing opportunities to practice these skills across the curriculum and in real-world settings, we foster student leadership to positively impact the world.
At Fay, we believe that humans will undoubtedly be measured by the success of our relationships and our ability to think creatively. The Fay School is committed to the development of these skills and to intentionally empower the next generation of leaders for our world.
Outdoor Education and Environmental Responsibility: The Fay School enjoys one of the most beautiful landscapes in the city of Houston with our very own habitat of abundant green space, including nature trails in our 3-acre Fay Forest. Situated on Buffalo Bayou just upstream of Buffalo Bayou Park, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, and Memorial Park, The Fay School’s ideal location allows for an Outdoor Education curriculum that cultivates both a love and understanding of nature and the encouragement to act on an ethos of environmental responsibility. The Outdoor Education curriculum at Fay, along with other developing initiatives, empowers children with a hands-on experience to explore and learn through our natural world. Children learn how to use tools to discover and gain a science-based understanding of plants and animals in our habitat. Equally as important, our students learn to appreciate the sensory aspect of our habitat, with exposure to art and poetry that is inspired by nature. Ask any child at The Fay School about Outdoor Education and watch them light up with joy and enthusiasm.
Ethnic Diversity: The Fay School’s nonsectarian mission, coupled with Houston’s status as one of the most diverse cities in the United States, allows for an inclusive student body that is over 34 percent racially/ethnically diverse by NAIS definition.
With more jobs than the entire population of many states, enriching diversity, expansive parks and trails, and elevated arts and culture, Houston truly offers something engaging for everyone. Nestled on the Texas Gulf Coast just an hour from Galveston Island’s swimming, fishing, and camping, Houston is the fourth most populous U.S. city and is home to more than a dozen major industries.
Nearly 30 percent of the city’s population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher, and an additional 51 percent hold a high school diploma or associate’s degree.
The cost of living is roughly 17 percent below the average for major metropolitan areas.
Much of Houston lies in Harris County, where the average weekly wage is about 30 percent above the U.S. average.
Houston is the leading domestic and international center for virtually every segment of the energy industry.
The largest medical complex in the world sits in the heart of Houston. The Texas Medical Center (TMC) hosts 21 renowned hospitals, 13 support organizations, eight academic and research institutions, six nursing programs, three public health organizations, three medical schools, two universities, two pharmacy schools, and a dental school. In addition, the area surrounding the TMC is home to 385 medical offices staffed by 21,000 physicians, scientists, researchers, and other advanced degree professionals in the life sciences.
The Houston region has approximately 380,000 students in more than 60 degree-granting colleges, universities, and technical schools.
A humid and subtropical climate means that city residents enjoy plenty of time outdoors. In Houston, the temperature ranges between 32 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for about 70 percent of the year.
Houston is home to 25 shopping centers with more than 500,000 square feet; 10,000-plus restaurants from more than 70 national categories; and congregations of virtually every faith.
Houstonians can always root for the home team thanks to the city’s nine professional sports teams and five major sports facilities. There are more than 170 golf courses and six racing facilities in the Houston area.
More than 500 Houston institutions are devoted to the performing and visual arts, science, and history. The renowned Theatre District features nine major performing arts organizations in four venues, and the Museum District houses 19 world-class art, history, culture, nature, and science museums within proximity.
Houston contains nearly 50,000 acres of managed parks, six National Wildlife Refuges, and a 300-mile interconnected bikeway. Together, Houston and Harris County offer more than 350 miles of hike and bike trails.
When students in Houston dream of becoming innovators, astronauts, chefs, world-class physicians, ballerinas, artists, scientists, filmmakers, educators, religious leaders, financiers, petroleum engineers, or litigators, they only have to look as far as their neighbors. Inspiration and aspiration both abound in this haven of opportunity that so many talented people call home.
Who Should Apply: Important Qualities and Qualifications:
The Director of Advancement serves as The Fay School’s storyteller of its past, present, and future, uniting families, alumni, donors, and the larger Houston community. The Director of Advancement works closely with the Head of School and collaborates with a small and excelling Advancement Team (marketing, communications, admissions, enrollment management) as they build a strong culture of philanthropy and vision delivery throughout the school and broader community. The goal of the Director of Advancement is to steward, design, and execute programs of giving that attract gift support of time, talent, and treasure, and connect Fay constituents to each other and to the school to drive The Fay School into the future.
The chance to lead The Fay School’s Advancement Office and philanthropic efforts as Director of Advancement is an exciting opportunity for two types of professionals:
A rising star with the ambition to position themselves as a future head of their own school through successful support and implementation of The Fay School’s strategic plan and completion of subsequent campaign(s). This hungry professional will have significant experience working in fundraising, admissions, or enrollment management at an independent school. Robust professional development will be available to fuel the rise.
An experienced development/advancement leader eager to impact the future of education by leveraging Fay’s potential in ways that will transform The Fay School’s position as a leading educational organization in Houston to one that is considered a national leader.
Excellent professional credentials, including an advanced degree
Documented experience as a skilled and successful fundraiser
Exceptional organizational and management skills, including the ability to mentor effectively
Mastery of best practices in fundraising and program development
Experience working with an energized team of leaders and educators
Outstanding and highly responsive communication skills, written and oral
Experience managing a budget
Leadership Style and Personal Characteristics:
A persuasive, emotionally intelligent, and socially adept communicator with polished intrapersonal and interpersonal skills
A motivated and appropriately competitive leader oriented towards data-driven results
A decisive and sensitive administrator with excellent judgment and problem-solving skills
A leader aligned with ambitious standards and who will energize The Fay School community in pursuit of common vision
A leader with a variety of interests and an appreciation of many perspectives, especially those of environmental responsibility
An energetic, hands-on leader with a natural ability to relate to elementary school-aged students and their families
A leader motivated by the opportunity to authentically and confidently connect with donor prospects in a way that energizes them to solicit large financial gifts to leverage The Fay School’s assets for the benefit of children and their future
A leader who adheres to deadlines and executes on time while prioritizing customer service
A warm, engaging, and compassionate human being with a healthy sense of humor
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Oversee all aspects of The Fay School’s development program, including fundraising, leading the established 5-week annual fund giving program, guiding capital campaign(s), soliciting corporate and foundational proposals, identifying and pursuing grants, and cultivating a community of dedicated giving.
Establish and execute forward-thinking development programs that optimally grow the annual, major, and capital campaign(s); legacy gifts; and planned-giving.
Identify, research, and spearhead the implementation of a diverse and multifaceted fundraising and volunteer programs to support the school’s strategic vision, cultivating a culture of giving and gratitude across all constituencies and socio-economic strata.
Identify corporate and foundation funding opportunities and help support grant applications and proposals.
Personally solicit major donors and nurture and maintain a highly collaborative relationship with the Head of School, the Board Chair, and individual board members, supporting them in all their fundraising responsibilities, and accompanying them on donor visits when appropriate.
Actively enhance existing relationships while building new relationships, systems, and programs that further tap the generosity and resources of the community.
Capitalize on The Fay School’s idyllic campus and commitment to environmental sustainability.
Oversee management of development and donor activities, including maintaining a donor database, providing development reports, completing an Annual Report, and other donor management activities as required.
Oversee the coordination of Fay’s volunteerism efforts and their alignment with the strategic priorities.
Celebrate the generosity, that comes in all forms, of all constituencies in personal and genuine ways.
Collaborate with the advancement office on annual marketing and campaign plans that engage internal and external constituents in the support and promotion of the school, especially as it innovates.
Cultivate and oversee the Parents’ Club to strengthen connection, engagement, and community support.
Strengthen relationships with The Fay School’s alumni by further developing meaningful avenues for alumni connection and participation in the life of the school.
Support the Parents’ Club in their fund raising and friend-raising work while serving as the liaison between the Parents’ Club and Fay.
Directly supervise a veteran Assistant Director of Advancement.
Lead and nurture the entire Advancement Team.
Manage the development and event budgets.
Enthusiastic willingness to work some nights and weekends
Application Requirements and Search Process:
Inspired candidates should submit the following in PDF form in lieu of submitting our online application:
A cover letter indicating why they are particularly interested in and qualified for the position, including specific fundraising accomplishments.
A current resume or C.V.
A statement of educational and leadership philosophy.
The names and contact information of 3-5 references.
Optional: Other supporting materials (e.g. CliftonStrengths Assessment, CFRE certificate, digital portfolios, articles, speeches, presentations, letters of recommendations, transcripts, etc.,) that would be useful to the Search Committee.
Please email required materials to Brenda Lockett, Assistant to the Head of School, at [email protected].
About The Fay School
School Mission:The Fay School is a nonsectarian, not-for-profit, co-educational school in which children of diverse talents and backgrounds with strong academic abilities are offered a high-quality education in a secure, enriching, and academically challenging environment. Here children learn and grow intellectually, physically, socially, ethically, and artistically while developing self-confidence and a lifelong love of learning through an active partnership among educators, parents, and students.School Vision:Anchored to a challenging, engaging, and relevant academic program, The Fay School’s Leadership Development Program distinguishes itself among all other schools in Houston. Grounded in both emotional intelligence and human capital strategy, The Fay School’s vision is to deliberately build and educate the next generation of leaders for our world. Our students experience leadership training and curriculum reserved for Fortune 500 companies, and they graduate from Fay with skills that will serve them for a lifetime.