Major Gifts Officer


Partner: John Paul II Academy

Location:  San Diego

John Paul II Academy of San Diego is an independent K-12 school in the Catholic tradition opening in the fall of 2024. The school takes up the call for a new evangelization, proclaiming the truth of the human person and promoting a culture of life and a civilization of love.

The school is shaped in a special way by the life and thought of St. John Paul II where spiritual life, academics, and school culture are integrated and animated by John Paul II’s vision of the human person in community. The new Christian humanism to which his life bears witness offers a compelling response to the dehumanizing ideologies of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Founders Team has already secured $800,000 of the projected $3M launch campaign underway. With a strategic and financial plan in place, the Academy is ready to hire its first-ever major gift offer, who will work closely with the President to cultivate and solicit likeminded donors. While most travel for this San Diego-based position is regional, some national travel will be required.




To serve families in San Diego who desire a school that celebrates the great Catholic intellectual and liturgical heritage, is faithful to the Magisterium, and helps children fall in love with Jesus Christ.


To proclaim the truth of the human person and to promote a culture of life and civilization of love.

Academy Distinctives

Spiritual Life: A devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the source and center of school life for both students and faculty. Our approach to spiritual life harmonizes four dimensions of formation: prayer and the sacramental life, evangelization, catechesis, and theology.

Academics: The comprehensive curriculum forms the whole person and is deeply informed by the classical Western philosophical, literary, and cultural tradition. From classic children’s literature to the Great Books to advanced math and science courses, and to classical languages, students will engage meaningfully with the wider community, care for plants and animals, explore the fine arts, and participate in extracurricular clubs and competitive athletics.

School Culture: The school’s motto, “Evangelium Vitae,” points to our shared life as an affirmation of the value of every human person. To realize this truth, the Headmaster, Chaplain, and faculty will intentionally shape a school culture marked by joy, order, and friendship.

Governing Structure

Board of Directors


Fall 2024


San Diego, CA


Independent Private



The major gift officer will be a witness to external stakeholders and donors and encourage them to grow in deeper relationship with the Academy. The MGO will help donors discern their commitment and gifts to the Academy, and actively solicit them to support the school and its mission. The MGO must be a devout and driven person, who is committed to the Catholic faith.

Since the Academy is a new enterprise in the San Diego area, the ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator and embody a resourceful and ambitious personality to meet the demands of a growing mission. Whether you are a rising professional or seasoned fundraiser, this position presents meaningful opportunities to develop and to make an inspired impact on the future of the Academy and generations of children in the San Diego area.


Primary responsibilities include:

  1. Mission Spokesperson: Actively embody the Catholic faith and be a trustworthy spokesperson for the mission and witness of John Paul II Christian humanism. Articulate effectively the Academy’s distinctives and ongoing promise to families in the greater San Diego region.
  1. Major Gifts Strategy: Work closely with the President and Founders Team to develop and manage a strategic major gifts donor outreach, cultivation, and solicitation plan. Research prospects, draft individual donor plans, and leverage strategic partnerships. Provide insight and direction into potential opportunities to enhance visibility of the Academy to prospects.
  1. Donor Stewardship: Maintain and strengthen relationships with current and prospective donors, traveling throughout the region and soliciting gifts. Meet with donors in-person and remotely to learn about donors’ philanthropic goals and helping them achieve those goals. Adhere to stewardship best practices through accurate documentation, written notes, and regular updates on the successful use of their gifts.


Over time, this position can grow into a director-level one that assumes more oversight and management responsibilities.


Key Values

  • A practicing Catholic with sound knowledge of the Catholic faith;
  • A basic understanding of the life and witness of John Paul II;
  • A passion for and commitment to the mission of the Academy;
  • A strong sense of integrity, poise, confidence, and initiative; and
  • A disposition of humility and collaboration.

Key Behaviors

  • Relational, communicative, and visionary
  • Opportunistic and problem-solving
  • Systematic and high standards


  • Have at least five years professional experience, preferably with nonprofit fundraising and major gifts.
  • Be highly effective in forming trusting relationships with donors, external stakeholders, and colleagues.
  • Be able to motivate others to galvanize around the mission, academics, and distinct Catholic culture.
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify needs and areas of opportunity, accompanied with a willingness to take initiative to address them.
  • Be excellent in delivering clear and compelling content in many forms—written, verbal, visual—to several different audiences.
  • Possess superior organizational, project-management, and time-management skills to ensure the successful execution of competing deadlines.
  • Seek the well-being of the mission overall.



John Paul II Academy of San Diego takes up the call of the beloved patron saint for a new evangelization.

The Academy embraces the fullness of the Catholic tradition and is faithful to the teaching of the magisterium. Inspired by this saint, the school seeks to help students fall in love with Jesus Christ and lead a full human life. 


The Founders Team

The Founders Team has collectively opened 7 highly-rated schools in four states over the last 15 years. With an initial start-up gift to hire a school founder and pave the way for a school opening in 2024, they are perfectly positioned to address one of San Diego’s greatest needs: a joy-filled and God-centered school that prepares each student for a full human life. At present, the Founders Team consists of 10 dedicated and highly experienced leaders:

David Williams

President of John Paul II Academy, Valor Education, and Valor Institute

Jon Anderson

Head of Growth360 at Centra Financial Group

Christopher Check

President of Catholic Answers

Peter Crawford

Founding headmaster of St. Jerome Institute in Washington D.C.

Dr. John D. Finley

Academic Director of the Valor Institute of San Diego

Dr. Hilary Finley

Former adjunct professor of English at St. Louis University

Dr. Conor Hill

Founding headmaster of Valor North Austin

Dan Kerr

Founder and Headmaster of Saint Martin’s Academy in Fort Scott, KS

Andrew Shivone

Doctoral candidate at Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington D.C. and founding Headmaster of Great Hearts Northern Oak

Becca Williams

Founder of Valor Education and founding board member of Valor Public Schools



  • Cover letter that outlines 1) your interest in the position 2) how your values align with the mission 3) a highlight of your professional and/or personal achievements that have particular relevance to your ability to perform the role’s duties with excellence
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample and/or Solicitation History
  • Three professional references