Chief Advancement Officer

D.A. Blodgett - St. John's  |  

Grand Rapids, MI

On behalf of our client, D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, we are looking for a Chief Advancement Officer. D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s team truly makes a difference every day in the lives of children, families, and our community as a whole. If you are an experienced fundraiser who is a relationship and team builder, this could be an outstanding opportunity for you. The organization is wrapping up a capital campaign and looking for the next leader to leverage and foster the momentum of the community’s outstanding support. You will have the opportunity to partner with a strong and collaborative leadership team to make a difference in culture, transparency, and growth. If you are ready to roll up your sleeves, partner with, and lead a strong Advancement team to make an immediate impact, we’d love to speak with you!

About D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s

Mission:  To help children and empower families by providing safety, advocacy, and support.

Vision:  A safe, nurturing home for every child, and a supportive community for every family.


  • Exceptional Service: Client-focused and teaming at the center of our work.
  • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: All are welcomed, valued, and belong.
  • Excellence: Ongoing commitment to learning and improvement.
  • Integrity: Responsibility and ownership of our actions and results.
  • Creativity: Imagination, innovation, and intelligent risk-taking.
  • Passion: Relentless positive energy toward our mission and vision.


You will be responsible for promoting, sustaining, and advancing the agency’s mission by providing leadership and oversight of agency fundraising strategies and plans. You will directly engage in donor relations; current and prospective. Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization. Assure that the organization’s corporate culture, systems, and procedures support fund development and vice versa. Lead staff and leadership volunteers to institutionalize philanthropy and fund development within the organization. Plan, coordinate, and assure implementation of strategies to develop donors and contributions to support the organization. Assure development and maintenance of appropriate systems to fund development including but not limited to volunteer and donor management, research and cultivation, gift processing, and recognition. Maintain and actively promote accountability, transparency, and compliance standards for donors and funding sources.


  • Develop advancement plans that ensure achievement of the agency’s strategic objectives.
  • Oversee the Advancement team staff and functions. 
  • Achieve annual fund goals by leading the development and execution of major donor strategies, foundation requests, special events, multi-channel appeals, and donor communications.
  • Coordinate with gift officers to cultivate estate gifts and grow the agency’s endowment.
  • Engage in major donor relations and provide leadership to CEO, gift officer staff, and the Board of Directors in conducting donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Lead agency capital campaigns when they are strategically identified.
  • Assist the CEO with relationship building and engagement of the Board of Directors and other volunteer leadership groups (i.e., Advisory Council). Serve on the Board Development Committee.
  • Speak publicly to the media and in various contexts in the community about the organization’s mission and services.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Minimum (7) years of job experience in roles with transferrable experiences and skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, or substantial equivalent experience
  • Master’s degree desired.
  • Three (3) or more years of supervisory/leadership experience
  • Excellent communication, collaborative work style, and demonstrated ability to build relationships at all levels.
  • Ability to work with a variety of people both within and outside the agency.  Must be able to work effectively with board members and those from the business and foundation community.
  • Desire to strive for the organizational values in all work, actions, and efforts.


  • Relationship building: Ability to establish and maintain a good rapport and cooperative relationship with customers and co-workers.
  • Engagement:  Ability to engage people, organizations, and partners in developing goals, executing plans, and delivering results to receive improved morale and business outcomes.
  • Organized: Ability to be structured and methodical in working skills, balancing multiple projects, and prioritizing. 
  • Communication: Ability to effectively receive and express ideas, both written and verbal; using clear and concise vocabulary and active listening skills.  Ability to communicate with both small and large groups and with a wide variety of audiences. 
  • Self-Motivated:  Ability to reach a goal or perform a task with little supervision or direction. 
  • Leadership: Ability to influence and inspire a team towards the outcomes identified.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.

D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s has retained the search firm Palladian West to conduct this search. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please send a cover letter and resume directly to Lesley Hassenrik at

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