Philanthropic Engagement Officer
  • Advancement

The Wheeler School, Providence, RI

Accredited by NEASC

Apply here by submitting your resume and a cover letter that includes your fundraising philosophy to Michele Sczerbinski Diaz, Director of Advancement.  Please include “Philanthropic Engagement Officer” in the subject line of your email. 

Founded in 1889, The Wheeler School is a co-educational independent day school for approximately 800 students from Nursery through Grade Twelve in beautiful and dynamic Providence, Rhode Island. The essence of our mission and vision comes down to a simple imperative reflected by Mary C. Wheeler’s founding precept: “to learn our powers and be answerable for their use.” Wheeler is a community through which we strive to make anything possible for students, where choice, inquiry, and interest are of primary import, where we know individuals well, and where we insist upon and nurture intellectual character, critical thinking, empathy, and creative spirit.

The Philanthropic Engagement Officer is a key member of the 8-person Advancement Team who helps to propel the successful achievement of fundraising goals, through effective and successful donor-engagement strategies and solicitations. The Philanthropic Engagement Officer believes in and supports the continued evolution of Wheeler’s culture of philanthropy, and is a results-oriented collaborator who can thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic setting, with colleagues who believe in and uphold a non-siloed approach to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship donor-centric practices.

As a lead fundraiser at a time when the School is preparing for its next comprehensive campaign, the Philanthropic Engagement Officer is expected to have the ability, experience and fluency of raising leadership level philanthropic gifts that include the three areas of program support: annual, special projects (campaign) and future(planned) gifts.

They must also have a proven ability to: raise donor sights to increased levels of support, engage new probable donors, creatively steward current donors, manage volunteers, and thoughtfully and strategically represent the Wheeler School, both on and off-campus.

The ideal candidate will have the motivation, ambition, and ability to travel throughout the country, for single or multi-day trips and be available to work ‘non-traditional’ business hours as needed.

More specifically the Philanthropic Engagement Officer will:

  • Actively manage the qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of assigned alumni, parents, or other identified donors/probable donors for current use, special project/campaign and future “planned” gifts (Approximate pool of 75 – 100 donors)
  • Engage donors through personal visits, - with a target of 12-15 in-person visits per month - phone calls, and correspondence to inspire philanthropic support

  • Collaborate with and support the Philanthropic Programs, Alumni Engagement, and Parent Relations programs to identify key opportunities for donor/probable donor identification, engagement, cultivation, and solicitation

  • Serve as a member of the Wheeler’s Night Out Sponsorship Committee, with a sponsorship target goal of $75,000

  • Attend and assist with events hosted by and at the School where opportunities for connecting with donor constituents are probable

  • Support the marketing strategies for Advancement program initiatives, including work with the Strategic Communications Office for publications, invitations, or other media platform content participate in Advancement Committee and other Volunteer meetings as requested

  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned that support the fundraising goals and mission of the

    Advancement Division


  • Success in prior front-line fundraising role(s), in an independent school or higher-ed setting, preferred

  • Excellent listening, written and oral communication skills

  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as necessary

  • Experience with donor-centric fundraising principals

  • Maturity and ability to communicate across generations

  • Demonstrated leadership and management experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree required

To apply, please submit your resume and a cover letter that includes your fundraising philosophy to Michele Sczerbinski Diaz, Director of Advancement, at Please include “Philanthropic Engagement Officer” in the subject line of your email.

Statement on Diversity

At Wheeler, we actively seek students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds in the belief that a broad range of experiences and viewpoints enhance learning, enrich life on campus, and better prepare us all for full participation in a pluralistic, democratic society. The Wheeler School is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, or disability, and any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

Learn more about The Wheeler School at ​​. Read our new Mission and Strategic Plan for Wheeler at ​