Director of Advancement at The American School in Japan, Tokyo in Japan
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Director of Advancement
The American School in Japan, Tokyo (Japan)

Jul 8, 19





Director of Advancement

General Background: The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is an independent, co-educational day school serving students of all nationalities. Founded in 1902, ASIJ offers an American-style college preparatory education for the children of international families, including those on temporary assignment, as well as families who make Tokyo their permanent home. The school offers a standards-based curriculum culminating in an American high school diploma. ASIJ’s program develops the necessary skills for a student to be successful in their future academic endeavors, including Advanced Placement courses and other advanced topic courses. Complementing its academic program, ASIJ encourages students to engage in a wide variety of co-curricular experiences, including fine arts, athletics, and service-related clubs, which we believe contribute to the development of the whole child. ASIJ further draws on its unique presence in Japan by incorporating language and cultural studies that celebrate its host country. ASIJ is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

ASIJ is entering an exciting phase of its history as we embark on a period of program development, innovation and the revitalization of our main campus. Over the past two years, ASIJ has completed a new Strategic Design Framework and a White Paper that outlines our educational beliefs and our strategic aspirations for the future. The achievement of our plans will be built on the foundation of a World-Class Faculty, World-Class Facilities, World-Class Experiences, in the context of Japan. Advancement will play a leading role in enabling our vision. ASIJ’s next Director of Advancement will be a key face of ASIJ to our external communities of Alumni, Corporations, and Parents. He or she will work in concert with the rest of ASIJ’s Leadership Team and the Board of Directors to advance the mission and vision of the school.

ASIJ currently runs an Annual Fund which generated approximately ¥65 million during the 2018-19 school year. In addition, the school recently received a ¥100 million gift from the ASIJ PTA to kickstart an endowment. ASIJ is currently very tuition dependent, and the Board of Directors has identified the need for the school to increase fundraising income of all kinds to offset that. The Board also recognizes that with potential major capital projects on the horizon, ASIJ needs to ready itself for a capital campaign in the near future.


Position Summary: ASIJ’s Director of Advancement will be a dynamic, passionate leader who will focus on expanding ASIJ’s annual giving, corporate giving program and endowment to support the current and future needs of the school. This individual will have exceptional interpersonal skills and be experienced in all aspects of donor management. They will be experienced and comfortable with soliciting major gifts, stewarding and managing donor relationships, and working with high net-worth individuals. The Director of Advancement will have the cultural competencies and sensitivity to work effectively in an international community.

Our next Director of Advancement will be an advocate for ASIJ, promoting the school within the community at large and steer our alumni and community relations. They will be committed to providing opportunities for students and alumni to interact and to engaging our alumni community in a wide variety of ways.

ASIJ’s Director of Advancement reports to the Head of School, is a member of the Leadership Team and is responsible for planning, organizing, implementing, overseeing and assessing the effectiveness of a comprehensive Advancement Strategy. The Director of Advancement will work closely with key members of the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees to implement strategic plans and initiatives. The Director of Advancement is ASIJ’s top external advocate and will advance the school’s fundraising, reputation, alumni relations, and community relations. ASIJ’s Director of Advancement will model professional, respectful and ethical conduct aligned with ASIJ’s core values. He or she will be responsible for the overall supervision, management, and vision of the school’s Advancement Office, which includes its Communications team.


Required Qualifications:

  1. Bachelor’s degree minimum; Master’s degree or CFRE credential (Certified Fundraising Executive) preferred;
  2. 10 years of experience in Development or similar field;
  3. Experience and demonstrated results leading fundraising efforts;
  4. Experience and demonstrated success leading capital campaigns;
  5. Superior oral and written communication skills and experience speaking to both large and small groups;
  6. Exceptional interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively;
  7. Marketing and publication production experience;
  8. Experience planning and managing events;
  9. A willingness to invest considerable hours of work outside the regular school day, including evenings and weekends for donor meetings and events;
  10. Experience working with corporate and institutional donors;
  11. Experience traveling, studying, living or working overseas;
  12. Bilingual in English and Japanese preferred;
  13. Experience with Veracross or similar donor database;
  14. Extensive experience with Google Drive (Docs, Calendar, Forms, etc.); and
  15. Ability to hire, train, develop, motivate and mentor entire Advancement team.

Additional Background Information about ASIJ’s Advancement Program

Desired Personal and Professional Qualities

  •  Experienced school leadership: As stated among the required qualifications, the successful candidate will have an excellent record of experience as a senior Advancement leader in a high-performing school, preferably in an international context;
  • Strategic: Able to chart the course of engagement events and solicitations to achieve goals; able to create detailed action plans to deliver results and course correct as necessary;
  • Results-oriented: Follows through and completes tasks at exceptionally high levels, often inventing novel solutions to challenging problems;
  • Excellent data analytic skills: Comfort using databases for results analysis and program automation;
  • Outstanding communication skills: Excels in communications with all ASIJ stakeholders, verbally (public speaking required) and in writing;
  • Self-motivated and directed: Holds exceptionally high standards for him or herself, including a willingness to seek constructive criticism and adjust his or her ways of working;
  • Experienced Manager: Strong management skills to lead a team of professionals, including setting, maintaining, and fulfilling priorities and managing time;
  • Individual Contributor: Must be comfortable with being an individual contributor, not simply a manager; willing to make solicitations and be a prolific individual producer;
  • Organized: Possesses exemplary organizational and time management skills;
  • Risk-taker: Models, inspires, and encourages risk-taking, when appropriate;
  • Learner-centered: Determined to ensure that all decisions, programs, and initiatives are based in the best interests of students;
  • Reflective practitioner: Continually reflects on his or her own professional practice, modeling a willingness to accept accountability and the determination to develop, improve, and grow;
  • Open-minded: Willingly accepts and considers different perspectives;
  • Problem-Solving: Anticipates problems and maintains a solutions-based approach to solving them;
  • Good Judgment: Exhibits good judgment in setting priorities and making decisions;
  • Leads by example: Models ASIJ’s core values and other important qualities, including compassion, humility, sensitivity, sincerity, determination, honesty, grit, and passion;
  • Professional, diplomatic, and respectful: Able to build healthy relationships based on mutual trust and to resolve conflicts and build consensus through civil, professional discourse;
  • Highly collaborative: Committed to developing highly collaborative, high-functioning teams and to sharing decision-making and distributing authority, when appropriate;
  • Listens actively: Possesses excellent interpersonal skills, including the abilities to actively listen and skillfully facilitate productive focused discussions;
  • Culturally sensitive: Committed to respecting and celebrating Japanese culture, while simultaneously working to honor and promote ASIJ’s diversity; and
  • Integrity and excellence: Leads with integrity and a determination to achieve excellence.

Duties & Responsibilities

Recruiting & Supervision

  • Recruit, appoint, supervise, and evaluate Advancement and Communications staff;
  • Support the professional development of all members of Advancement and Communications teams; and
  • Communicate clear expectations and provide feedback.

Annual Fund

  • Grow Annual Fund donations and participation; and
  • Manage solicitations, gift processing, gift acknowledgment, and record keeping.

Major Gifts

  • Manage personal solicitations to increase gifts over ¥1M;
  • Conduct 50+ individual donor meetings;
  • Build prospects for new donors; and
  • Plan Annual Donor event.

Endowment & Capital Campaign

  • Solicit gifts to increase ASIJ Endowment; and
  • Begin planning for future ASIJ Capital Campaign.

Board of Director & Board of Trustees

  • Run monthly Advancement Committee Meetings;
  • Provide monthly results and report to BOD;
  • Meet with BOD & Trustees as needed on ASIJ Capital Campaign or other initiatives; and
  • Support BOD committees with giving data as needed.

Corporate Solicitations

  • Solicit direct donations;
  • Solicit Corporate Contribution Plan (CCP) donations; and
  • Partner with ASIJ PTA for corporate sponsorship of events and advertising in our publications to reach the much desired ASIJ parent demographic.

Alumni Relations

  • Increase Alumni engagement and financial support;
  • Support Alumni Council events;
  • Host Tokyo and key international city events;
  • Develop reunion strategy for each 5/10 year anniversary;
  • Create reunion gifting program; and
  • Create a Senior gift program to engage students before they leave campus. 


  •  Support Director of Communications and team in creation of world-class digital, audio-visual and print media;
  • Responsible for external and internal communications;
  • Responsible for print and digital media;
  • Responsible for social media;
  • Responsible for public relations strategy;
  • Responsible for general school marketing materials; and
  • Develop advertising to support Admissions.

Scheduling & Calendar

  • Organize, schedule and administer detailed Advancement Calendar to deliver all results;
  • Calendar should show delivery dates for materials and events showing key milestone; and
  • Advancement plans must be sequenced to leverage other school and PTA events.

Budget & Purchasing

  • Prepare the annual Advancement program budget, including publication printing & mailing, events, solicitations, general expenses, equipment repair and purchase, freelance, travel, professional development, ordering of local/overseas supplies, and swag.

Health, Safety, & Commitment to Safeguarding

  • Oversee all health, safety, and risk management aspects of Advancement programs;
  • Arrange for parental waivers when students will be present; and
  • Partner with Safeguarding Coordinator to ensure the safety and well-being of students who participate in Advancement programs.

Leadership Team

  • Collaborate with school leadership on school initiatives;
  • Partner with division principals to support faculty /staff fundraising efforts and school programs; and
  • Partner with COO and Business Office to ensure tight linkage.

Policies, Rules, & Expectations

  • Create, regularly update, communicate, and uphold fundraising policies and procedures.

Culture & Climate

  • Contribute to developing a positive school climate by modeling ASIJ’s Commitment, Mission, and Core Values;
  • Establish collaborative working relationships with leadership team, staff, students, and parents; and
  • Contribute to creating an efficient, productive and caring atmosphere where all students and staff have opportunities to be recognized for their best efforts.


  • Attend faculty meetings, as needed; and
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Reports to: Head of School

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time, 12-month, fixed-term appointment. Salary is competitive and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits include housing, health insurance, life insurance, home leave, shipping allowance, and ongoing professional learning opportunities.

Recruiting Timeline: ASIJ has appointed an interim Director of Advancement who will lead the school’s advancement efforts until a permanent director is appointed. This means that the school has flexibility insofar as when ASIJ’s next permanent Director of Advancement begins his or her service. We expect to be able to work with our successful candidate to find a start date that is mutually agreeable.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later, as the school reserves the right to appoint its next Director of Advancement when that person is identified. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis and shortlisted candidates will be brought to ASIJ for on-site interviews, if they do not already reside in Tokyo.

Application: To apply for this position, please submit the following documents to <>:

(1) a letter of application clearly explaining your qualifications, experience, and interest in ASIJ;

(2) a current CV or resume;

(3) a list of 6-8 referees, including both current and past supervisors and their contact details;

(4) a 2-3 minute video introduction (no more!) that shares your interest in the position and what you feel you can contribute to ASIJ. Please upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, your Google Drive, or another external hosting site and share the link in your letter of application.



Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us ( that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate John Ritter consults on matters of governance, planning, head and board transition, and staff development with schools all over the world.