Practice Area Leader- Advancement Services

Location: Chicago, IL

Department: Advancement Services

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Executive

Position Summary:

Grenzebach Glier and Associates (GG+A), the leading international philanthropic management consulting firm and foremost authority on fundraising best practices, seeks an entrepreneurial and energetic development professional for the position of Senior Vice President Consultant, Practice Area Leader – Advancement Services. Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President, the Practice Area Leader (PAL) has four key areas of focus.

  1. Strategy & Product Development: The PAL will develop and strengthen GG+A’s client services and support in the area of Advancement Services. This includes designing and pricing explicit products and services, as well as growing and guiding a team of seasoned consultants.
  2. Managing a Team: The PAL will recruit and manage a team of seasoned consultants, consulting associates, project managers, and project assistants, to collectively grow the Advancement Services practice area. The PAL will also be responsible for managing the practice area’s P&L and revenue targets, as well as the billable/non-billable time of his/her team resources.
  3. Senior Consulting: The PAL will serve as a senior consultant, providing services to client institutions including fundraising program assessments, strategic planning, campaign readiness assessment, advancement services planning and execution, and staff training. The PAL will maintain a portfolio of clients at any given time, while also guiding his/her practice area’s overall portfolio.
  4. Business Development: The PAL will build his/her own client base, as well as the client base of the practice area, beyond work directly assigned by the firm. He/she will work closely with the firm’s Business Development professionals to create sustainable marketing initiatives, develop and refine practice area products and services, and build a substantial market presence across those areas targeted by the firm. When the firm’s pipeline of client initiatives allows, the PAL may be assigned to assist with existing client projects.

Practice Area Expertise:

  • Leading the Advancement Services practice area requires expertise in a wide range of advancement operations, including:
  • Records (biographical records, data management, data integrity, data collection)
  • Financials (gift processing, compliance, on-line credit cards, third party payments)
  • Information Technology (database support, data governance, data security and access, coordination with Central IT, system selection, data integration, engagement scores, third party software tools)
  • Reporting (software, end-user access, self-service reporting)
  • Prospect Research (prospect identification, rating policy and procedures, assignments, research reports, wealth screening, ethics)
  • Prospect Management (prospect management system, policies and procedures, metrics)
  • Donor Relations and Stewardship (acknowledgements, gift agreements (endowment and expendable), donor recognition, gift acceptance, reporting, spending policies)
  • Benchmarking and Analytics

The Advancement Services practice area currently offers the following areas of service:

  • Advancement Services Program Review
  • Advancement Services Executive Assessment
  • Focused Review/Process Redesign

The Advancement Services PAL will collaborate with other internal practice areas to supplement the existing suite of services in order to continue to update best practices around clients’ needs.

Supporting Resources:

In order to support the PAL in achieving his/her goals, an extensive system of supporting resources has been established.

  • Chicago-Based Support Team: The PAL, either based in Chicago or remotely, will receive a high level of support from the firm’s corporate headquarters in Chicago. Contract administration, client services, data analysis, knowledge management, and marketing are all handled by a team of highly experienced and technically qualified central personnel.
  • Project Manager: Advancement Services: responsible for records management, archives management, and information architecture for the Advancement Services area, and assisting with formulating firm policies and best practices around content for the area.


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in the Advancement Services arena.
  • A demonstrable understanding of fundraising best practices and the non-profit sector. Breadth of knowledge and broad insight of philanthropic management.
  • Extensive experience in donor management/fundraising software applications, database design, and Microsoft applications. Knowledge of current advancement database landscape – resources and tools.
  • Demonstrated commitment to building a consulting practice and proven success in leading, growing and developing a successful professional team.
  • Experience in managing P&L and revenue targets along with the demonstrated ability to exceed such targets.
  • Strategic thinker who can apply a rigorous, analytic approach to client situations, tailoring his/her delivery to a client’s specific culture or need.
  • Ability to influence leadership by providing data-driven recommendations that show clients the “why” as well as the “how.”
  • Client-focused with an intense intellectual curiosity about each individual organization and what makes it unique.
  • Judgment and maturity to present findings and recommendations in a confident, inspiring manner and display discretion when dealing with highly confidential issues.
  • Emotional intelligence and intuition necessary to appropriately engage with multiple personalities in a variety of client environments.
  • Ability to take a hands-on approach to consulting with the ultimate goal of providing an individualized, long-term, sustainable solution for each client.
  • Collaborative, collegial style, strong work ethic and enthusiasm for the mission and goals of GG+A.
  • Skilled time manager with an astute attention to planning and organization.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Empathetic with strong listening skills.
  • Ability to travel 3-4 days per week.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

Personal Attributes:

The most successful GG+A PALs are motivated self-starters with strong leadership and management skills, business acumen, commitment to building relationships, and an entrepreneurial bent. It is essential that the PAL bring a high level of flexibility, stamina and perseverance with an unbridled passion and commitment to the field of philanthropy, as well as a strong and tenacious work ethic.

About GG+A

GG+A embodies a high-performance culture. It is client-centric and committed to responding swiftly to client needs and requirements. It is a challenging environment that seeks intelligent, self-motivated individuals who are achievement-oriented. The firm’s strategy  is  to  continue  to  grow,  serving  a  widening  constituency  of  non-profits, especially  in  the  sectors  of  Higher  Education,  Academic  Healthcare,  Independent Schools, Arts and Culture, and selected institutions in the human services and national and global charities.

Benefits include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, flexible spending account, long-term care insurance, short- and long-term disability, 401(k) with employer match, transit benefits, matching gift program, health club reimbursement and pet insurance.


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Why consulting? What three factors incline you toward consulting as a field or an endeavor? What most interests you? What most concerns you about the profession?*
Grenzebach Glier and Associates is a for-profit company delivering services exclusively to non-profit organizations. Why are you interested in GG+A? What experiences have you had with the firm? What characteristics of the firm make it the firm you might prefer to join?*
Travel is a major component of the work lives of consultants. Are you able to travel at least 75%?*
Travel is a major component of the work lives of any consultant in the nonprofit sector. How would you deal with the realities of being a “road warrior”? How would you cope with extensive travel, and being away from home sometimes 3-4 nights per week? How will you respond to client schedules that change, and ask for last-minute changes from you? Would you be available for occasional weekend work, such as attending client Board meetings held on Saturdays?*
Marketing and sales are a vital component of the work of all GG+A consultants. Given the nature of how consultants are hired in our field, each of our colleagues must build and sustain personal networks; deliver consulting even as we juggle initiatives to “market” new business. How would you approach the task of creating and executing a personal marketing plan?*
GG+A client institutions include colleges and universities, healthcare and academic medical institutions, independent schools, and arts, cultural, and voluntary organizations across North America and Europe, and around the world. The firm supports and advises client programs throughout advancement disciplines including fundraising, fundraising management, communications, advancement services, analytics, training, and alumni relations. Please identify or delineate explicitly where your experience and expertise might help GG+A to serve clients in one or more of these areas of activity*
How would you approach such organizations with your expertise? What might you “pitch” them? What’s the personal narrative you would utilize?*
GG+A most often works directly with fundraisers and fundraising managers. These staff typically report to chief executives, presidents, and program leaders, who in turn report to boards of directors, who govern the definition and pursuit of the organization's mission. How would you react and respond to a situation where:

a. The chief development officer and chief executive are not in alignment?
b. The development organization has serious performance issues or lack of growth?*
Please give your brief assessment of what consultants in this field, in your experience, have done well, and what they have done poorly?*
Have you ever functioned as a consultant, advisor, or counselor in the field? Please share some examples.*
Consultants at GG+A rely heavily upon data, and evidence-based rigor in their work. Few recommendations are made without reference to data, comparative institutional data, and high-performance metrics of many kinds. Explain your past engagement with or creation of metrics, data, and management tracking or performance indicators in our field?*
All of our consultants provide and edit a wide range of client reports, from brief agendas with client VPs and chief executives, to 100+ page program analyses, to extensive high-level PowerPoint presentations to Boards. Give us several examples of past reports you have written and/or presented, and to what audiences?*