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Vice President Development

Lake Forest , Illinois, United States

Date Posted: 02/09/2011
Categories: Fundraising - Management
Job Type: Full-Time

Job Description:
Organization: SCHOLARLEADERS INTERNATIONAL ( ) exists to encourage and enable Christian theological leaders from the Majority World for the Majority World.

The Need: The rapidly growing Majority World church urgently needs theological leaders who will educate and prepare pastors, found and lead institutions that provide training for pastors, and address theologically the pressing issues in their societies. These issues – including presenting Jesus to followers of other religions or to atheists, responding to extremes in poverty and wealth, health crises and rapidly growing consumerism, working in societies dominated by corrupt and despotic governments, responding as Christians to sometimes-militant Islam – are significantly different from those encountered by the church in the traditionally Christian West.

Historical Focus: We were formed in 1984 as the Christian International Scholarship Foundation (CISF) to support the education of proven Christian leaders from the Majority World who had exhausted educational possibilities in their home countries. We granted scholarships, primarily at the doctoral level, in theology and related disciplines, to students who had been accepted by leading evangelical schools of theology in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. Graduates returned home to staff, lead and sometimes found schools of theology, to address pressing theological issues, and to found and lead other ministries.

In a 2000-01 strategy review we considered changes in Majority World theological education and reached two primary conclusions: First, in part due to leaders we had sponsored, some Majority World schools were ready to begin their
own doctoral programs. Together with a few established programs in Asia and South Africa, these provided viable alternatives to the West for advanced education. And they offered advantages related to being closer to the scholar’s home context. Second, we increased focus on China, along with Africa and Brazil, as regions of greatest need and opportunity. From that time we have worked directly with Majority World institutions to identify scholarship candidates and discuss other opportunities to advance theological leadership.

From 1984-2010 we sponsored more than 200 students from over 50 countries to study at 22 institutions in 11 countries. About half the students we now sponsor are studying outside of America and Europe. An extraordinary 95% graduate and
return home to serve.

Current Priorities: In 2010 we decided to selectively broaden the program to encourage life-long professional growth and leadership effectiveness. As part of that broadening CISF was rechristened SCHOLARLEADERS INTERNATIONAL. Specific programs now include:

Theologian & Faculty Development: as above, primarily scholarships; each recipient has specific, practical objectives that require advanced education.
PressOn: assistance for scholars when they return home, including seed funds, counsel and other help for new ministries.
ScholarLeader of the Year: recognition and a monetary award, and an important opportunity to address theological leaders outside the recipient’s
home context.
PeerLeader Forum: regional gatherings of theological leaders to address strategic issues and counsel one another regarding leadership challenges.
InSights & Publication: to encourage particularly gifted scholars to publish regarding theological and leadership issues, for the benefit of other leaders.

Development Opportunity: Our current budget is about $700,000. In the immediate future we could efficiently and effectively increase spending to $1-2 million. Visible opportunities in our general space could justify a budget of $2-4 million, more if a breakthrough presents itself for China.

Donors typically respond to the strategic nature of the ministry, especially our focus on equipping leaders that enable the church to grow in numbers and effectiveness without creating ongoing dependency on Western income and leadership. Many donors have met some of the extraordinary men and women we sponsor and respond personally to their character, vision and obje ctives. Virtually all are concerned for the global church and view SCHOLARLEADERS as a unique vehicle for contributing to its leadership. And those who are involved as part of the extended fellowship, including the board, add to their knowledge and appreciation of work that is being done worldwide by Jesus’ followers.

Our intention is to bless donors – by listening carefully to their ideas, and with insights, results and relationships – as they bless this ministry with their gifts.

New programs (above) have attracted some new donors. They have also added to the publicity we enjoy, although our sense is that the potential to raise our profile among possible donors is largely untapped.

Our current development focus is on wealthy individuals who may become major donors, and on foundations. Historically, the board has contributed over 50% of income, other major donors approximately 30%, foundations 5% (sporadic, none ongoing), churches 10%, minor donors 5%. The immediate challenge is to retain existing major donors, add new major donors, and add foundation support. We have had some success in the past year, including adding board members and major donors, and gaining support from three substantial foundations. However, this is not enough to address the perceived opportunity.

The Vice President, Development is a key role in enabling the ongoing growth and vitality of SCHOLARLEADERS NTERNATIONAL. Ideally, the candidate will have experience raising funds for evangelical causes, perhaps including advanced
education. He or she will be an effective team player, working with other staff, the board and colleague organizations to define and fund the program.

Position: Vice President, Development
Reports to: President
Location: Chicago area (preferred)
Overall: Oversee fundraising, including planning, program creation and hands-on leadership. Serve donors as we grow income. Participate as a team member in all aspects of the ministry.

Description: Strategy: Segment and target donors. Analyze development activities, spending and results. Define the unique funding constituency for each SCHOLARLEADERS program. Develop and analyze creative and new approaches to fundraising. Collaborate with development leaders in colleague organizations. Recommend and lead a specific course of action for development.

Communications: Write and guide production of materials, including print, video, audio, and web. Oversee and enhance the mailing list. Oversee and guide web and social media presence. Cooperate with the President to produce regular donor letters.

Personal Contact: Oversee all donor and potential donor contacts, with personal responsibility, primary or secondary, for almost all major donors and foundations.

Team member: Provide input and ideas regarding opportunities to deepen relations with colleague organizations, new programs that would benefit Majority World theological leaders, sponsorship candidates, program development, Board enrichment.

Maintain contact with sponsored theological leaders who are in the USA or traveling through. Work with them on various events.

Organize and lead one Majority World trip per year, in part as a vision opportunity for Board and other donors.

Join the team in prayer for theological leaders, ministry colleagues, donors, Board and staff.

Experience: Communications and marketing. Fundraising in a not-for-profit, especially if evangelical, focused on advanced education, or targeted at major donors and foundations. Demonstrated success in a collaborative environment.

Strengths: Tenacity; drive for successful completion. Creative marketer. Knowledge of communications channels. Connectedness with donors and theologian-leaders. Effective written and in-person communication. Desire to commit long-term.

Values: Enthusiastically affirm SL’s mission. Affirm Statement of Faith without reservation. Appreciate other cultures and alternative perspectives. Other-centered; team player. High personal standards.

Time: Full-time (or nearly).