Senior Director of Advancement

The First Tee
May 10, 2019
St. Augustine, Florida
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Jim Clarke
425 South Legacy Trail


Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to conduct a search for a new Senior Director of Advancement for The First Tee, an amazing, prestigious sports and youth development organization. This onsite philanthropic leadership opportunity is for immediate hire and based full-time at The First Tee’s headquarters in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida.


The First Tee was founded in 1997 as a partnership between the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR, and the USGA. Its purpose was and is to provide accessible golf programs and education to youth across the country. Through teaching golf, The First Tee also teaches life, leadership, and integrity lessons to young people, creating both an investment in youth and healthy golf communities worldwide.

The First Tee is part of a national and international community of golf organizations and associations, including the World Golf Hall of Fame, the World Golf Foundation, and the PGA TOUR. The PGA TOUR and The First Tee are very closely and deeply tied, and the PGA TOUR is the number one advocate for The First Tee, as incredible supporters both financially and from a leadership standpoint.

The First Tee’s continuing mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. This position offers the ability to aid in the expanding growth of The First Tee, its nationwide chapters, and its related organizations through generating and securing major gifts from the global golf community and beyond.


The Senior Director of Advancement brings an unwavering drive to cultivate and nurture new philanthropic connections on behalf of The First Tee. Under the leadership of the Vice President, Advancement, the Director is primarily responsible for securing individual and corporation gifts of anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million. The Director also manages an extensive network and pipeline of donors and consistently maintains a large matrix of relationships both internal and external to the golf community. Many of these gifts will be focused towards providing opportunities for young people, including, but not limited to, golf programs and scholarships for underserved communities.

The Director’s work is largely focused in a determined geographic region, where they both work with regional chapters and actively prospect donors for The First Tee. The Director seeks major gifts in pursuit of achieving personal, team, and organizational fundraising goals each year.

The First Tee is seeking a highly ambitious development and philanthropy expert with experience in nonprofit and major giving who can exceed existing giving expectations and standards to elevate the organization to the next level. The ideal candidate will thrive on making and growing personal connections, and on setting high benchmarks of success and growth.

The First Tee is looking for an energetic, creative, personable, and experienced development expert that is passionate about expanding philanthropic support, building strategic partnerships, engaging donors, and mentoring others. The selected Director will be someone who can build trust with chapters, major donors, and trustees, as well as someone who is comfortable prospecting high-level donors and genuinely enjoys connecting with people and fundraising on behalf of the mission of The First Tee.

This exciting opportunity is well suited for seasoned philanthropy professionals with a proven track record of fostering organizational excellence and effectively interfacing with donors to secure society-level gifts, and that have a strong passion for sports and youth education.


Donor Relations/Major Gifts – The primary function of this role is to bolster The First Tee’s major donor base, and to interface with and cultivate individual and corporate donors on behalf of The First Tee. The Director is responsible for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting donors capable of giving major gifts of anywhere between $100,000 and $1 million. This role also maintains consistent contact with donors by methods including acknowledging gifts and attending to a variety of ongoing donor relationships.

Donor Prospecting – The Director is responsible for developing an effective system, methodology, and strategy for prospecting new donor leads at the society and trustee level. The Director must be able to capitalize on and leverage new opportunities in order to expand the donor base of The First Tee. The role must also be able to eloquently expound the mission and values of The First Tee and identify donors passionately connected to that mission.

System Management – The Director maintains an organized and accessible record and system of donors, both active and prospective, for use by the development team as well as the organization at large. This system also facilitates consistent reports to relevant parties concerning donor and fundraising progress at key intervals.

Communication Skills – The Director must be comfortable and skilled at presenting information to a wide range of audiences, and must be comfortable representing The First Tee on a regular basis. They should be willing to be interviewed in a variety of media outlets, including print, radio, and television.

Reporting Practices – The Director consistently makes available relevant information to key personnel in the organization in order to shape a culture of communication, accountability, and collaboration. The ideal candidate is someone who is communicative and open by second-nature, and who consistently keeps channels of communication open.


  • A proven track record in philanthropy and successfully interfacing with donors to secure society-level gifts.
  • At least 3 years’ experience in major gifts, ideally with a nonprofit organization.
  • A strong passion for development, youth education, and sports/golf.
  • A four-year degree in a relevant field, including, but not limited to: marketing, business, nonprofit development, or finance.
  • Ability to make and cultivate new connections on behalf of The First Tee, and to drive donor engagement and giving beyond expectations.
  • Positivity, high-energy, and optimistic professional demeanor, with a sensitivity to the needs of others and high level of emotional intelligence.
  • Ability to represent The First Tee in the philanthropic community.
  • Highly competent skills with donor tracking systems and software, and an ability to learn new systems as needed.
  • Ability to act as a savvy prospector of leads, and to establish a system for discovering new prospects.
  • Experience creating and refining processes, and leading complex projects that required the coordinated activities of multiple groups and organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to drive development and philanthropic strategy and empower high performing teams, with significant experience building and managing effective teams.
  • Ability to provide excellent leadership, as well as followership, and work well in various capacities as a team member.
  • Excellent project management skills.
  • Ability to travel up to 20% as needed to meet with prospective donors, partners, and attend meetings and events.


This wonderful full-time onsite opportunity offers the ability to make significant impact on behalf of a prestigious and internationally impactful sports and youth organization. This exciting role offers a competitive base salary, bonus structure, in addition to an exceptional full benefits package. Benefits include a comprehensive group health insurance package (medical, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, and dependent life insurance); 401(k) plan; fantastic vacation, sick, and holiday pay; employer paid Short and Long Term disability, employee life, and AD&D insurance; and Family Membership to TPC Sawgrass.

This position also brings the opportunity for additional bonus potential for outstanding performance, as well as long term career growth potential and regular performance and salary reviews. Starting base compensation also earns up to 30% bonus annually dependent on your individual performance and organizational goals. This is an opportunity, position, and mission that will inspire you daily!


The First Tee has retained the services of Scion Executive Search, a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your resume and cover letter, in Microsoft Word format if possible, via:

Please address applications:

attn: Isaac Schild, Managing Partner

Scion Executive Search

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

The First Tee is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity and equity in all facets of the organization’s work. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other protected class.


Scion Executive Search is a retained executive search firm connecting executive nonprofit leadership to nonprofit organizations and foundations across the country. Born out of the nonprofit sector, we provide expert search strategies and leadership for your organization. Our executive candidates are true agents for change, and we are experts at matching their talents, motivations, and passions to your organization’s mission. Scion Executive Search has led hundreds of successful executive searches. Information about our firm and successes can be found online at

Scion is an equal opportunity employer and service provider committed to not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation or belief, or any other protected class. We are committed to the principals of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value, for ourselves, our client companies, and for the candidates we represent.

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