Director of Advancement: Cornerstone Christian Academy


Cornerstone Christian Academy is a faith-based, non-denominational, co-educational, urban Christian school serving children in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Established in 1988, Cornerstone is an ACSI/Middle States-accredited independent school with a current enrollment of 162 students. Cornerstone is located in the Kingsessing neighborhood of southwest Philadelphia, among the city’s most economically disadvantaged communities. Through individual and corporate giving, most students receive annual scholarship support of up to 80 percent of tuition. Amid a strong charter-school presence, Cornerstone is committed to being a curriculum-driven, high-performing, technologically proficient school with a strong emphasis on responsive classroom practices and social emotional learning.

Mission and Vision

The mission of Cornerstone Christian Academy is to educate children in an environment that provides the highest standards for academic achievement and spiritual development. The vision of Cornerstone Christian Academy is to be a model urban Christian school where students are grounded in faith, shaped with Christ-like character, and equipped with knowledge and skills to excel in high school, college, and throughout life.

Philosophy of Education

The educational philosophy of Cornerstone Christian Academy reflects our vision of a learning, serving, worshiping and witnessing community that is in partnership with families to develop children to their highest potentials: spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, culturally, and morally (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Luke 2:40, 52). We believe all children are children of God and that God has a good and hopeful plan for each child (Jeremiah 29:11).


Reporting to the President/CEO, the Director of Advancement is responsible for setting the strategy for all aspects of advancement and philanthropy at Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA), building lasting relationships with donors, and overall attainment of key fundraising targets/goals. The Director is responsible for all elements of CCA’s philanthropic activities, notably the design, development and execution of all fundraising-related efforts, including campaigns (annual and capital), all aspects of donor relationships, planned and endowment giving, and development efforts that successfully maintains current donors and builds new donors.

The Director will build and manage an Advancement team by setting clear objectives, providing regular feedback and encouraging open and ongoing communication both within the Advancement office and with other key departments. The Director will support Board level committees and collaborate with other senior school leaders to advance the mission of the school by identifying, attracting and securing non-tuition revenue in support of the school’s financial sustainability.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Lead all aspects of the school’s Advancement efforts, including donor identification, cultivation and solicitation; management of the Annual Fund; cultivation of major, planned and endowment gifts; building the foundation for future capital campaign efforts; alumni and community-wide relationship development and stewardship; and major event planning and execution.
  • Work with the President/CEO, Advancement staff, Advancement Committee, and the Board of Trustees to establish and implement a cohesive and forward looking Advancement strategy that is aligned with the school’s strategic plan, fosters a community-wide culture of philanthropy, and provides a revenue stream that significantly contributes to the financial sustainability of the school.
  • Establish the direction for, and manage all aspects of, school fundraising efforts, including goal setting; annual and capital campaign execution; donor stewardship; alumni and parent relations and activities; and philanthropic financial reporting and analysis.
  • Collaborate as a strategic member of the President’s Administrative Council, contributing to the overall vision, strategy and leadership of the school. Collaborate with all Advancement Team members and Administrative Council members, notably Marketing/Communications and Admissions to ensure that all programs are aligned with CCA’s advancement strategy and incorporates a philanthropic perspective.
  • Maintain a portfolio of businesses to discover, cultivate, solicit and steward through the process of soliciting a gift for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) Program.
  • Provide oversight of the recording, acknowledging and reporting of contributions, including monthly development reports. Collaborate closely with the Director of Finance and Operations to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of all financial records related to CCA fundraising.
  • Nurture and maintain a highly collaborative relationship with the President/CEO, Board Chair and individual Board and Advancement Committee members, supporting them in all of their fundraising responsibilities and accompanying them on donor visits when appropriate.
  • Coordinate with the Admissions and Marketing/Communications under the direction of the President/CEO regarding public relations efforts and keep the media informed of school news including student accomplishments, special programs, alumni functions and other events.
  • Serve as staff support for the Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees and attend the meetings of the Finance Committee. Set and maintain high quality standards for the enlistment and stewardship of board and volunteer leadership in the advancement program.


The Director of Advancement must believe in the mission and vision of Cornerstone Christian Academy. The Director of Advancement must model Christian ideals, work to inspire colleagues and constituents and strive to build a long-term sustainable strategy for the school. The ideal candidate is an experienced fundraising strategist and relationship builder with a history of innovation in fundraising and donor development to support the future of Cornerstone Christian Academy. The successful candidate will be a relationship builder and visionary thought leader who can productively leverage the contributions of others. The Director of Advancement should have the ability to communicate the mission and successes of Cornerstone to the community at large. 


  • An appreciation and passion for the mission of Cornerstone Christian Academy with a deep-rooted commitment to Christian values.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in advancement, with a proven record of success securing major gifts and building development program infrastructure.
  • Proven experience developing solicitation strategies and a track record of success identifying, cultivating and soliciting major gift level donors, including sophisticated, high-net-worth individuals.
  • Broad exposure to all facets of development, including data management and analysis, annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations and capital campaign planning and implementation.
  • Ability to cultivate, grow and maintain excellent donor relations while identifying opportunities to work with foundations, businesses and government agencies.
  • Visionary and strategic planning capabilities to be applied toward the development of an innovative fundraising program, and the leadership necessary to ensure its successful implementation.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to build, foster and maintain positive relationships with both internal and external constituencies including administrators, faculty, trustees, volunteer leaders, students and donors.
  • Ability to articulate a Christian philosophy of education that recognizes the need for appropriate programs to serve a range of students’ needs, interests and enrichment.
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills complemented by a demonstrated ability to interact with diverse personalities and situations with ease and grace.
  • Superior communication skills to express, orally and in writing, Cornerstone Christian Academy’s mission, vision, and goals with clarity, passion, and persuasion.
  • Possess a sense of humor, positivity, and a spirit of generosity.
  • Willingness to listen, to learn, and to grow professionally as well as personally.
  • Experience with diversity and can demonstrate a high degree of cultural competency.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office; experience with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases; eTapestry preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree is a plus.
  • Willing and able to travel periodically; must be available to attend events after work hours or on weekends as needed.

For inquiries, nominations and applications, please contact:

Tara Sweeney, Partner

610-924-9100 ·