Sterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the new Director of Major Gifts (DMG) for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy (FSHA).

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is a Catholic, Dominican, college-preparatory day and boarding high school for girls. Eighty-seven years ago, three Dominican Sisters traveled up the Hill to take possession of their beautiful school carrying only “a statue of the Blessed Virgin, a $5 bill and their faith.” Today under the 14 year leadership of its President, Sister Carolyn McCormack O.P. and 15 year tenure of Principal, Sister Celeste Marie Botello O.P., FSHA has grown in ways no one could have imagined in 1931, and offers cutting-edge academic opportunities, unparalleled co-curricular experiences and a dedicated and talented faculty.

A Catholic, Dominican vision of education commits FSHA to educating the whole person in an educational setting that allows adolescent girls to flourish into young women who are well-prepared for college and beyond. To this end, FSHA strives to partner with parents in the formation of their daughters. FSHA recognizes the interdependence of physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social and environmental health, and their benefits for learning. Thus, FSHA offers an rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, outstanding visual and performing arts, an excellent athletic program, a dynamic campus ministry and service program, unique leadership opportunities in clubs, athletics and co-curriculars.


Empowering young women for a life of faith, integrity and truth.


Sister Carolyn McCormack, O.P., a passionate and innate fundraiser herself, has successfully asked and been blessed with many million dollar plus gifts.  The Sisters, its talented Board of Directors and a long-tenured CFO/COO are not only capable fundraisers, they recognize the value of robust strategic and financial planning, sophisticated technology, full transparency and best business practices. FSHA has a clear vision for its future and a path to attain it.

FSHA has an annual revenue of $12 million of which approximately $2 million is fundraising revenue and boasts a $14 million endowment. This Fall FSHA will launch the leadership gift phase of a $16 million comprehensive campaign for an art center expansion, innovation center (STEAM/classrooms) and eleven remodeled classrooms. In preparing for this campaign FSHA hired a new Director of Advancement in the summer of 2017. Under the director’s leadership the nine person advancement team has become a cohesive high performing staff ready to embark on significant growth. The only missing link is this new Director of Major Gifts which will be critical to the success of the campaign.

The Director of Major Gifts is a career-making opportunity to serve in an organization that values philanthropy and has a Board of Directors, committed to 100% giving. It is especially timely to join at this phase of the campaign as many of its potential donors and friends of FSHA have not yet been cultivated but have been wealth screened and are ready for cultivation.


Reporting to the Director of Advancement, the Director of Major Gifts serves as a senior strategist in the development and implementation of cultivation and solicitation strategies for major gifts prospects. The Director of Major Gifts is personally responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual prospects capable of making gifts in the range of $25,000 and above, which may include planned gifts, and works collaboratively with the Director of Advancement, the President, the Board of Directors and others.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

Overall Management:

  • Provides overall coordination of the school’s major gifts program.
  • Prepares an annual major gifts plan detailing program goals, objectives, schedules, and budget for inclusion in the overall advancement plan.
  • Consults with the Director of Advancement on special activities, events, communications and programs to increase awareness of the role that philanthropy, particularly leadership giving, plays in achieving the school’s vision and goals.
  • Supports the Director of Advancement in managing capital and endowment campaigns.


Major Gifts Cultivation and Solicitation:

  • Manages portfolio of 100 to 150 major gift prospects.
  • Personally contacts, develops relationships, and assists major gift prospects and donors.
  • Facilitates relationships between current and prospective major gift donors and the President, Director of Advancement, board members and others as appropriate.
  • Accompanies the Director of Advancement, President, board members, volunteers and others on cultivation and solicitation meetings with current and prospective donors.
  • Advises the Director of Advancement on matters that affect the attitudes and interests of major gift prospects and their propensity to give.
  • Assists prospective donors and their advisors in clarifying gift planning goals, preparing and presenting appropriate proposals, and completing major gift agreements.
  • Finalizes specific strategies for the cultivation and solicitation of major donor prospects, including written proposal and presentation materials.
  • Develops long-range plans for current and prospective donors’ involvement in the life of the school.
  • Manages prospect management and tracking system, including documenting all initiatives with major gift prospects.



  • Contributes to a comprehensive stewardship plan designed to build a strong culture of philanthropy.
  • Responsible for post-gift stewardship of each donor with the highest possible degree of personalized attention.
  • Assist the Director of Advancement and Director of Annual Giving on endowment reporting.


Professional Experience and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree, with a minimum of 7 years of development experience
  • Strong experience soliciting and closing major gifts, preferably in a school setting
  • Comprehensive campaign experience preferred
  • Experience with planned giving
  • Must be a highly energetic professional with a proven track-record of building donor relationships and closing gifts in the six-figure range
  • Track-record of successful collaboration with development volunteers and board members
  • Ability to develop relationships between them and the school
  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies
  • Ability to travel locally, regionally and nationally
  • Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Must possess excellent planning, writing and communication skills
  • Team-oriented, strong interpersonal skills and willing to assist wherever needed in all advancement programs and events
  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously
  • Competent in Microsoft Word and Excel and be familiar with Raiser’s Edge fundraising software
  • Ideal candidates must be willing to work weeknight and weekend events as needed


Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is an equal opportunity employer.  We encourage minorities, females, disabled and qualified veterans to apply. We evaluate all applicants without unlawful consideration of race, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy offers a rich, nurturing environment, competitive salary and benefits, and a chance to make a difference in this important position.   Ideal candidates must be willing to work weeknight and weekend events as needed.

Phone: 714-433-7042

 Direct all correspondence emails and telephone calls to Sterling Search, Inc.

Any resumes sent or telephone calls made to FSHA will be redirected to Sterling Search, Inc.


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