Institute Advancement Officer

The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is an international community of over 2,600 Roman Catholic Sisters who sponsor and serve in more than 200 organizations dedicated to helping those in need in the U.S., Central, and South America, Jamaica, Guam, and the Philippines.  The Sisters of Mercy currently comprise six geographic communities, each a separate legal entity, with five based in the U.S. and one overseas. The Sisters of Mercy have been going through massive structural change including the consolidation of 25 regional communities into six in 2009.  Given the continuing demographic shift, the strategic decision has been made to evolve to one Mercy organization by 2023.

The Institute Advancement Officer (IAO) is a new position that will serve as the lead advancement officer for the organization and the strategic mission advancement partner for the Institute Leadership Team. The IAO will provide leadership, strategy, support, encouragement, and integration of all fundraising and external philanthropic relations across the Institute.  The IAO will take the lead in conceptualizing and implementing a mission-centered vision of philanthropy and an integrated Institute advancement strategy, working with local advancement teams in the existing communities. The IAO will develop an Institute-wide staffing model for advancement that will be responsible for cultivating donors as partners in mission, major and planned gifts, annual giving, foundation relations, events, prospect research, database management, donor records, and stewardship.  Activities supporting these functions will be handled centrally (nationally) and locally through the work of locally-based directors of development and existing development teams.  The IAO reports to the Institute Chief Operating Officer (ICOO) and works closely with the Institute Leadership Team, an Advisory Board of representatives of existing communities, and the new Institute Communications Officer and staff, who will provide support for Advancement communications.

The IAO will be a respected leader in Advancement with outstanding technical and interpersonal skills, significant management experience in a complex mission-driven setting, and a strong commitment to service and accountability.  Outstanding communications and influencing skills are required, complemented by a collegial style that engenders trust and facilitates collaboration.  The IAO must be able to function as a good thought partner to the ICOO and Leadership team and be able to identify possibilities, options, and their implications, and to anticipate issues that will require attention.

Requirements include a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field with an advanced degree preferred; at least 10 years of progressively responsible senior leadership experience in advancement roles in a complex non-profit organization; and a broad background in fundraising that includes work in several different functional areas, including individual and planned giving and annual fund.  Experience building an advancement function would be highly desirable. Other requirements include a demonstrated ability to provide management oversight and strategic direction; experience in strategic and operational planning; strong supervisory experience; the ability to manage effectively in a distributed environment and to mentor, motivate, and support employees; judgment in screening donors to ensure ethical fit with the mission and values of the Sisters of Mercy; and understanding and support for the Sisters of Mercy, including their commitment to diversity, internationality, and interculturality.  Fluency in Spanish would be desirable.

The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas has retained the services of Diversified Search to assist in the search process.  All communications will be treated confidentially.  Nominations, inquiries, and applications (including a cover letter, resume, and the names of five references) should be directed electronically in confidence to [email protected].

Kim M. Morrisson, Ph.D., Senior Managing Director 

Nancy Helfman, Vice President and Senior Associate

Diversified Search

2005 Market Street, Suite 3300, Philadelphia, PA 19103


The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is an Equal Opportunity Employer.