Vice President of Advancement

Catholic Charities | Office of Advancement

Catholic Charities of Boston has served the most vulnerable residents of Eastern Massachusetts for more than 100 years. Working to build a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people, Catholic Charities “does not ask if you’re Catholic, we ask if you’re hungry.” In 2016, Catholic Charities provided almost 200,000 people with shelter, food, education, refugee support, child care, and behavioral health services.

Catholic Charities seeks a Vice President of Advancement who is both passionate about serving people in need and an accomplished fundraiser who excels in building operations and fostering a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization. Successful candidates will be those who recognize the integral contributions of donors at all giving levels, and who know how to coalesce multiple valued stakeholders toward a shared mission. The Vice President of Advancement oversees fundraising and marketing, supervising five direct reports and a team of 15. The Vice President reports directly to Catholic Charities President and CEO Deborah Kincade Rambo. The search is being led by consultant Carolyn O’Brien. Information on how to apply can be found at the end of this description.


One of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities of Boston encompasses nearly 90 distinct programs in 27 locations. Five regional offices, with local advisory boards and their own longstanding groups of supporters, provide help with basic needs across ages, races, cultures, and religious faiths. Originally a loose coalition of Catholic Charities groups in communities across Eastern Massachusetts, Catholic Charities of Boston became one independent nonprofit in the late 1990s. Whether through food assistance, help for struggling teens or outstanding refugee and immigration support during a time of intense uncertainty for that population, Catholic Charities provides support for individuals most basic needs while respecting the dignity of each individual.

Among Catholic Charities’ outstanding human service programs are the following:

  • Child Care for over 1,100 culturally diverse infants to school aged children.
  • Youth Programs supporting health, wellness, productivity, leadership development, education and preventing gang violence.
  • A Counseling Center, headquartered in Danvers, providing a comprehensive, integrated continuum of quality mental health care for people struggling with a range of life issues.
  • Community Interpreter Services (CIS) assisting persons with limited English proficiency in accessing legal, medical, educational and other services.
  • Adult Education helping young adults achieve their GED, newcomers learn English, and the under-employed establish a career path with job training.
  • Family Services visiting new young parents, supporting fathers, and mentoring families involved in DCF.

In addition, immigration legal services, shelters for homeless mothers and children, Sunset Point Overnight Camp, and the Teen Center at St. Peter’s in Boston’s Bowdoin Street/Geneva Avenue neighborhood collectively serve as a bridge from crisis to stability for thousands of Eastern Massachusetts residents.

The pressing societal needs Catholic Charities addresses are increasing, while government support for that work continues to be at risk. There has been no more important time for philanthropic support for Catholic Charities and its nearly 200,000 constituents. Both the Catholic Charities Board of Trustees and its senior management are committed to ensuring that fundraising reflects the most current models while encompassing the broad and diverse support the organization has traditionally received. The ideal candidate will evince a grounding in grassroots fundraising with the ability to identify, attract, and retain investment from sophisticated investors.

Vice President of Advancement

The successful Vice President of Advancement candidate will combine his or her personal commitment to addressing society’s most intractable problems with the leadership, organizational savvy, extensive fund development experience, and sense of humor that will make this position both successful and fun. This role is integral in leading Catholic Charities to a next chapter with no let up in its social service mission and confidence in its sustainability. The current development team includes managers with significant experience in event management, constituent relations, and direct mail. Regional leaders produce events that serve both as important engagement opportunities and reliable fundraisers year after year. A marketing and social media team works diligently to not only attract new supporters, but ensure that the general public understands Catholic Charities’ critical social safety network. Adept grant
writers effectively present Catholic Charities’ case to private foundations and public funders generating more than $1.5 million in revenue in FY2016.

Overall, the Vice President of Advancement oversees nearly $8 million in philanthropic revenue annually. In addition to foundation revenue, events, bequests, and more than $2 million in annual giving represent the bulk of funds. Ideal candidates will show expertise in leveraging a solid foundation into one with multi-year investments, larger commitments, and more strategic planned giving.

Both setting and implementing a strategic shift in fund development is critical for this role. Catholic Charities has updated its advancement staffing, made its board recruitment more strategic, and undergone both a fundraising assessment and overhaul of its database. Change management requires focus and patience and candidates must demonstrate both.

Among the Vice President of Advancement’s primary responsibilities are the following:

  • Set and implement a strategy for next generation fund development supporting Catholic Charities’ critical work.
  • Provide leadership across Catholic Charities for its staff, board, volunteers, Archdiocese constituents, and supporters in adopting a culture of philanthropy and implementing best practices for the short and long term.
  • Serve as a partner and coach for the CEO, board, and program staff in executing fund development activities.
  • Identify, recruit, and lead a top performing staff of fundraisers and marketing and communication staff.
  • Serve as a member of the senior leadership team, collaborating with the Chief Financial Officer, the Vice President of Programs, the Chief Information Officer, and others to implement the mission of Catholic Charities.
  • Actively solicit funds, coach and mentor other staff in fund solicitation, and set ambitious yet achievable goals across all philanthropic channels.
  • Strategically inspire current and new volunteers to increase support for Catholic Charities’ mission.

Qualifications and Qualities:

While no candidate possesses every qualification and personal quality ideal for success, candidates should demonstrate an ongoing commitment to Catholic Charities’ work, and proven success in organizing a successful, multi-faceted advancement program.

  • Preferably at least a decade of advancement experience with responsibility for both strategic oversight and personal solicitation of five and six figure gifts.
  • Proven success in leveraging longstanding events and tactics while adopting longer range efforts that engage donors and attract significant investment.
  • Facility with using data, incorporating technology, and embracing innovation to maximize returns and develop pipeline.
  • Significant history in building and mentoring a team to be high performing and independent.
  • Experience in multi-site, multi-initiative, regional organizations with multiple constituencies is preferable.
  • Facility in translating a complex program into a clearly articulated case for support and a demonstration of the subsequent results.
  • Successful direct mail programs with expertise in new methods.
  • Planned giving expertise both with regard to identifying potential planned giving supporters and accurately incorporating planned giving into overall strategy.
  • Coaching and partnering experience with board and staff leadership that empowers and enables participants to become powerful advocates for their organization.
  • Moves management expertise, particularly in launching and implementing a system that grows from greater donor engagement to long-term investment with appropriate donor segmentation.
  • Outstanding communications skills, in writing, one-on-one meetings, reviewing marketing materials for the agency.
  • Tact and grace in partnering with volunteer leaders and constituents that have supported the organization for decades.
  • Roots within anti-poverty agencies and/or Catholic institutions are useful.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced professional development training, such as the CFRE preferred; advanced degree preferred.
  • A spirit that embraces humble trappings that deliver life changing service is critical!

Please note: Catholic Charities’ central office is located in South Boston but the majority of the advancement team is located in Braintree. Services are delivered across Eastern Massachusetts, and candidates must be available to provide their own transportation to meetings and events throughout the region, including on weekends and evenings.

Salary and Benefits

Candidates can expect a competitive compensation package, generous vacation and retirement, flexible hours, and very nice people.

To Apply

Please send a resume and thoughtful cover letter to Please submit Word or PDF files titled your last name resume (e.g. Smith J. RESUME) and your last name cover (e.g. Smith J. COVER). All applications will be acknowledged, but only those demonstrating an excellent alignment with the position description will be contacted for additional information. Referrals to potential candidates are welcome. No phone calls please.

Catholic Charities of Boston is an equal opportunity employer.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 10:30am