Founded in 1989, Making Waves was established to address the disparity in educational opportunity that exists between suburban and urban youths. Making Waves consists of two organizations: Making Waves Foundation (MWF) and Making Waves Academy (MWA). MWF is a private operating foundation charged with supporting organizational strategy and vision, high level financial management, and development and communication resources for both entities. MWF also manages and operates the College & Alumni Program (CAP), an established and successful college and career-coaching program, which supports college students with life coaching, financial-aid support and need-based scholarships, through their attainment of a college degree.
MWA is a California public charter school founded in 2007. It currently serves 780 students in the Hilltop community of Richmond in grades 5 through 12. MWA holistically supports students to develop the academic and social-emotional skills necessary to gain admission to and graduate from college. MWA’s foundation for success is built on a 27-year history of effectively serving youth in Richmond and West Contra Costa County. MWA addresses the need for high-quality public school seats in a historically underserved community. Over 80 percent of students qualify for the Federal National School Lunch Program.
CAP focuses on and is committed to providing low-income students every opportunity to attain a college degree. College students participating in CAP receive both human and financial capital as they move through their college journey. Students transition to CAP following graduation from MWA. Last fall, CAP grew to include 150 Bay Area low-income high school seniors who were not graduates of MWA. The program consists of individual coaching, mentoring, financial services, and planning for a need-based scholarship. One-hundred-eighty-three CAP students have graduated from 50 different college and universities. There are currently 420 students attending 68 private colleges and universities, eight at University of California campuses, 20 at California State University campuses, and six at out-of-state public universities.
Having recently completed its first official strategic plan, as well as an internal reorganization, Making Waves continues its forward-looking trajectory with plans to aggressively grow both of its key programs, Making Waves Academy and the College & Alumni Program. The strategic plan carrying the organization through 2020 is built on commitments to grow the student population, invest in student success, increase college graduation rates, and expand educational access. Making Waves hopes to achieve significant growth through the expansion of its current site in Richmond and the addition of two additional sites in Contra Costa County. The expansion could ultimately grow MWA as follows: from 6.5 to 200 acres of land; from 1,000 to 875,000 square feet of classroom space, plus an additional 120,000 square feet of gymnasiums and 500,000 square feet of outdoor play space; from 780 to 8,575 students; from 120 employees to more than 450; and to more than 450 graduates per year. The CAP program would grow as well, expanding from 420 students to 2,150.
The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is a newly created position that will serve as Making Waves’ chief development and communications officer, and will design, build, and execute a comprehensive, enterprise-wide development and communications strategy for the organization. The CAO will provide fully integrated leadership and direction to all areas of development (individual and institutional major and principal gifts, blended and legacy gifts, the annual fund, capital campaigns, events, and development support functions). The CAO will lead communications [branding review, increased awareness, newsletter(s), events, and social media] to increase philanthropic resources, high impact partnerships, awareness, and powerful connections with both Making Waves’ existing stakeholders and new sources of support. The CAO will report to the Managing Director of the Making Waves Foundation.
The CAO will oversee a current team across development and communications functions and will determine additional needs to build a successful advancement program. S/he will work closely with the Managing Director and the Founder/Board Chair, and others as necessary, to create advancement plans and goals focused on the strategic goals of the institution. The goal will be to annually raise $15 to $20 million in philanthropic support. The CAO will work with the Founder/Board Chair and other senior leadership to directly engage the board in fund development, and identify major and principal gift opportunities. S/he will play a pivotal role in connecting the Managing Director, the CEO of MWA, the boards of MWF and MWA, and staff in building an organization-wide culture of philanthropy.
Required background and qualifications: genuine passion for and alignment with Making Waves’ mission; bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred); 10+ years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, which includes work in all functional areas (individual giving, institutional giving, annual giving, planned giving, stewardship, board relations) and participation in a major capital campaign, preferably within a major cultural institution, nonprofit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity; demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with at least five years of significant supervisory experience, including creating and managing a budget; steeped in modern philanthropy best practices and able to effectively integrate advancement functions; particular strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans to address current and future needs, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives; experience working directly with the most senior levels of an organization is very important, as is the ability to effectively strategize and engage various groups and constituents; hands-on experience with six and seven-figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual giving strategies for grooming the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors; demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic communications in support of achieving programmatic, institutional, event, and fundraising goals; a functional understanding of how to effectively leverage various communication mediums and distribution channels for optimal exposure and impact; experience in identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers, particularly board members; experience in developing, implementing, and monitoring strategic plans, as well as reporting on progress to senior organizational leaders and the board members; ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process; ability and willingness travel extensively as necessary.
Making Waves has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174