Website OrchardOwl The Orchard School

A Private Independent School Inspiring Children Ages 3 - Grade 8

Director of Major Gifts


The Orchard School

Indianapolis, Indiana




Founded in 1922, Orchard is an independent, non-sectarian, Progressive school for 500 students in preschool through 8th grade. Orchard is committed to advance each student’s academic success, self-confidence, open-mindedness, ethical character, leadership, and love of learning. Located in north Indianapolis on a 43- acre wooded campus with a state-of-the-art facility, Orchard promises academic excellence through a well-rounded education, engaging the natural curiosity of students in an active, child-centered, and experiential learning environment.  We seek, and strive to maintain, a diverse and inclusive school community, and are committed to the principles that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. We value the skills, knowledge and experiences a diverse workforce brings to our school. Long a beloved institution in Indianapolis, Orchard has an operating budget of $11.5 million, and a $36 million endowment.


Orchard’s record of fundraising is impressive. In 2021, the School completed an $11 million comprehensive capital campaign: adding a state-of-the-art Makerspace and three new Natural Playgrounds, while also building endowed support for faculty and student scholarships.

The Orchard School has no long-term or short-term debt.


Learn more at:


The Position

The Orchard School seeks an experienced, creative, and energetic Director of Major Gifts to join an inspired and dedicated team of advancement professionals at an exciting time in our school’s history.  As we celebrate the centennial of the Orchard School and continue to build upon the success of our integrated development, admissions and marketing work, Orchard’s Director of Major Gifts will be a key member of an innovative and joyful school community that understands the strategic importance of advancement.


The Director of Major Gifts is a member of the advancement team, and in addition to supervising major giving, endowment growth, and grant acquisition, s/he will support our overall institutional initiatives by actively engaging with faculty, staff, parents, alumni, trustees, and governors.


Reporting to the Director of Institutional Advancement, the Director of Major Gifts will be responsible for identifying and cultivating relationships with prospective major gift donors and planned giving donors, as well as pursuing grant opportunities both locally and nationally, that are aligned with Orchard’s mission to develop and educate the whole child.


This involves prospect research and developing effective solicitation strategies as well as stewarding donors throughout the major giving process. The Director of Major Gifts will compile this information in a donor portfolio and emphasize gifts of $25,000 or greater.

This individual will also work with our Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, and the Head of School to coordinate and execute long-term fundraising initiatives. Our ideal candidate will have an undergraduate degree and at least five years of major gift/planned giving experience, preferably in education or nonprofits.


They will also have a thorough background in fundraising best practices and donor databases for managing donor and solicitation records. Applications will be accepted through September 23rd and early submissions are encouraged.


Please send application materials (resume, cover letter, references and salary requirements) to (Crystal Lax, HR Generalist).


This is a full-time, 12-month administrative position.


Major Functions and Responsibilities:

·      Enthusiastically advocate for the direction of the School and its leadership.

·      Manage a portfolio of 125-150 major gift prospects, which may include current parents, alumni, grandparents, parents of alumni, foundations and corporate friends.

·      Plan and execute 100+ prospect visits per year.

·      Craft proposals, talking points, contact reports and cultivation/stewardship correspondence as needed and in partnership with the Head of Schools, Director of Institutional Advancement and the Director of Development.

·      This role will primarily travel locally, with some long-distance travel, as opportunities present.

·      Prepare and submit goals that contain specific timelines, projected results, and outcomes.

·      Assist in the identification of annual giving (Owl Fund) leadership prospects in partnership with the Director of Development.

·      Participate actively in grant acquisition and stewardship.

·      Serve as a highly visible team member at school events.



Experience and Skills:

·      Alignment with and an ability to articulate the mission and values of The Orchard School.

·      Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication and data base skills.

·      Experience in successfully cultivating and securing major gifts is required and experience with planned gifts and grants is preferred.

·      A proven track record of accomplishment in discovery, cultivation and solicitation of prospective donors, or comparable experience in sales and client development.

·      Knowledge of educational fundraising is an asset and a clear understanding of moves management is preferred.

·      Successful track record in fundraising.

●      A bachelor’s degree; advanced degree or certifications are preferred.

●      Experience with Raiser’s Edge or an equivalent CRM.

●      Value and embrace diversity.

●      Ability to be an inspiring spokesperson for the school in all settings.

●      Ability to model high ethical and professional standards.

●      Forward thinking and flexible.


Compensation and Benefits:

The Orchard School values our employees and offers a total compensation package designed to attract and retain talented individuals who make our school successful.


This is a full-time salaried, on-site position. Start date TBD. Compensation is dependent on experience. In addition to meaningful and rewarding work, Orchard provides an excellent compensation and benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance. There is a generous retirement program, with both personal and vacation time off, plus paid school holidays. Employees may also be eligible to receive tuition discounts.


Interested Persons Contact:


Candidates should apply by sending a resume and cover letter to (Crystal Lax, HR Generalist)


Please place “Director of Major Gifts” in the email subject line.


Orchard values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse

backgrounds. Orchard does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual

orientation, religion or national origin in the administration of its admission, tuition assistance, or employment determination.


The Orchard School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is

accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States.


For more information about The Orchard School, please visit:


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