head of school, advancement, development, leadership, money, fundraising

RG175: More Than Just Head of School Searches

Slap a $10 bill on the counter, get $100 back … you’d do that all day, wouldn’t you??? Well, that’s the sort of return on investment in a well-run advancement operation at a school that you should come to expect. It means having the right people in the right place and advancement leaders who know how to make that happen. A well and appropriately staffed advancement team is an investment in a school’s future that will pay dividends over time.

RG175’s roots are in its Head of School searches, one you may have benefited from personally. But nearly half of RG175’s business of conducting searches for school leadership involves those OTHER than Heads of School such as Division Heads, DEI Directors, Deans, Director of Enrollment Management and… the vital area of Advancement/Development.

Many familiar with RG175 are unaware of this full-fledged component to RG175’s range of service to schools. Two RG175 partners, Jim Pattison and Emilie Henry, stand ready to help.

Whether it is conducting an advancement audit to see the areas of opportunity and places to grow and improve, doing a search for the leader of the office, a front-line fundraiser such as a Major Gifts Officer, or providing counsel and advice, Emilie and Jim are seasoned professionals who can assist you in each of these efforts. Whether it is a large, urban school or a small, boarding rural school, regardless of geographic location and any denominational identity (or not), RG175 can do it for you.

Emilie recently joined RG175 and maintains her leadership position as Vice-President of Institutional Advancement at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. Emilie is also the Chair of the U.S./Canada Council of CASE. Emilie has led successful fundraising outcomes for multiple non-profit institutions, with collective fundraising of over $350 million. At Westminster, her team has won multiple CASE Circle of Excellence awards, for both outstanding work in communications and fundraising initiatives. Prior to Westminster, Emilie served as Director of Advancement at Trinity School and as Director of Development for Yellowstone National Park. She also served on the faculty of CASE’s Summer Institute for Independent Schools for six years which helped provide access to talented up and coming colleagues for whom an opportunity may prove attractive. Emilie is former Chair of CASE’s Independent Schools Leadership Group (ISLG), a consortium of the country’s top performing chief advancement officers. She followed Jim who was the inaugural chair and a founder of ISLG.

Since joining the firm in 2018, Jim has provided advancement consulting for Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA, Landmark Christian School in Atlanta, GA, Oakwood School in North Hollywood, CA and Poly Prep in Brooklyn, NY. Jim has conducted successful searches for 30 schools across the country including Cranbrook School and Detroit Country Day School (Detroit), Viewpoint School (Calabasas), St. Mark’s (Dallas), The Park School, Brookwood School and Belmont Day School (Boston area), Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach) and The Field School (Washington, DC). Jim has made 36 placements, 21 of those with women or people of color. These have included the largest Jewish day school in the country, the largest Jesuit high school in the country, several Episcopalian schools, a Christian evangelical school, and independent and parochial Catholic schools. Geographically, Jim has made placements in the Northeast (Boston, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York), mid-Atlantic, Florida, Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Toledo), Texas (Dallas, Houston, Ft. Worth), Utah and California (NoCal and SoCal).

Jim has over 40 years of experience with stops in Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. He recently retired as the Senior Advancement Officer at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles where he had been for 26 years and an essential part of the teams that raised over $800 million. He received the CASE Robert Bell Crow Award in January 2016. The Robert Bell Crow award recognizes independent school advancement professionals for their distinguished service to the profession, their school and CASE. This is the highest award accorded an advancement professional in independent schools. Nominees are judged on their professional achievements, length of service and involvement in CASE national and/or district activities.

With Emilie as a current practitioner and Jim’s long experience at Harvard-Westlake, they can provide insight into current operations and where improvements might be made. Because of the ever-increasing complexity of the job, their roles as outstanding advancement practitioners and deep roots in advancement efforts—a combined total of over 65 years—uniquely positions them with the ability to recognize the ingredients for a successful advancement professional. Emilie and Jim—like all at RG175—know the independent school business. Each consultant’s life purpose has been to help young people realize their potential and become their best selves. We have done this by teaching, coaching, and leading. Today we do this by helping schools identify, cultivate and support independent school leaders.

When the occasion arises when you need an advancement professional for your school, RG175 is prepared to help you every step of the way.