Search Completed! Carleton College – Development Officers

Update: This search was completed and three new Development Officers began at Carleton in June, 2016.

On behalf of our client, Carleton College, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained executive search for three DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS.

To view a full position profile, click here: Position Profile – Carleton College – Development Officer

The Organization: High-achieving students thrive at Carleton College, a top-10 liberal arts college that inspires a joyful balance between academic life and everything else in life. In the classroom, they’re challenged and mentored by outstanding professors who are recognized nationally for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Outside the classroom, they’re welcomed into a supportive campus community that encourages them to live large—to follow their passions, find their people, and venture outside their comfort zone to embrace all Carleton has to offer. Along the way, they forge real connections with professors, staff, alumni, and one another, becoming part of a worldwide Carleton network that lasts a lifetime.

The liberal arts education offered at Carleton is widely considered to be among the best in the world, according to the College’s academic peers as well as U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Princeton Review (to name just a few). See what others say about Carleton.

The Role: Carleton College seeks three Development Officers, each responsible for prospects that they will qualify as campaign prospects, cultivate for the College, and eventually solicit and close gifts of $50,000 and up. As a member of the Development team, this position reports to and works closely with the Director of Major Gifts to secure gifts from donors living in one of six defined regions within the United States. This position will participate with Development colleagues and others in regular planning meetings that facilitate initiating, cultivating, and stewarding donor relationships, planning events, and developing meaningful communications.

The Ideal Candidate: Candidates must be committed to the values of a liberal arts education, demonstrate intellectual curiosity, and possess the ability to directly solicit gifts. They must be persistent in following up with donor prospects, engage in authentic and meaningful interactions and possess excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills. The candidates must subscribe to and demonstrate the highest ethical standards. This candidates must have experience and ability to build relationships and work collaboratively across an organization, including engaging multiple types of stakeholders in donor cultivation and solicitation. Experience in Development is desirable, and 4-6 years of experience in major gift fundraising is preferred. Working knowledge of capital campaign efforts and various planned giving instruments is also desired.

For more information, or to share your credentials, contact us at All inquiries will remain confidential.

CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is a boutique, national search firm, dedicated to finding the best executives for nonprofit and public organizations.


Clients in the news!

We were thrilled to see our client,, on the Today Show! Watch as Sheryl Crow surprises her hometown high school teachers with cash to spend on their classrooms.
Did you know that teachers spend an average of $600/year on materials, out of their own pockets? AdopotAClassroom is helping to close that gap!

Corporate Responsibility – Recruiting and Retention

This article was originally published

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer a choice for Indian companies of a certain size: It’s a legal requirement. In April 2014, the hotly debated Companies Act forced approximately 3,000 organizations to form a CSR committee, and spend 2% of their average net profits over the past three years on social development and environmental projects. The initiative only affects Indian companies with a market cap over 5 billion INR (about $77 million USD), turnover above 10 billion INR (about $155 million USD), or annual profits greater than 50 million INR (about $770,000 USD).

In theory, the mandate has its appeal; it’s comforting to think that “too big to fail” is, at least in one country, also associated with “big enough to do their part.” In the highly competitive North American talent market, however, companies that champion social initiatives also improve their employer brand, and ultimately their ability to recruit employees. In the United States, where CSR is voluntary, determining a company’s true level of commitment remains a challenge for job seekers. While there is no universal measurement tool for social impact, pressure from job seekers has forced organizations to recognize the impact they have on the world, which may ultimately prove more effective than any government legislation.

“Everyone has a different definition, and its called different things at different companies, but it’s about more than philanthropy; it’s about how you operate as a corporate citizen,” said Karyn Margolis, the director of CSR and sustainability at Avon Products Inc. “It goes back to authenticity; it has to be about how the company operates, and philanthropy and social programs are an extension of that, but it’s much broader than giving away money.”

To view the full article, click here.


Search Completed! – Executive Director

Update: This search was completed and the new Executive Director, Ann Ness, was place in March 2016. Read the story from the Pioneer Press!

On behalf of our client,, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained executive search for their EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

Click here for a full position profile: Position Profile – AdoptAClassroom – Executive Director

The Organization: is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports student success by empowering teachers with the funds they need to purchase classroom supplies. Research indicates that use of hands-on learning materials in the classroom has a direct and positive impact on student achievement and future success in school and in life. It is estimated that more than 15 million children don’t have the resources they need and that teachers spend more than $1 billion each year stocking their own classrooms, due to a lack of funding in schools. Teachers purchase nearly 75% of their classroom supplies out of their own pockets. Through their online model, makes it easy for donors to connect with classrooms in need.

More information about can be found on their website or blog, and on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

The Role:, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, seeks a dynamic and seasoned leader for their next Executive Director (ED). In support of the mission, this new leader will provide overall leadership and strategic direction for the organization, drive social media technology needs, and conduct outreach to current and prospective project partners, stakeholders and the community. The ED will have overall responsibility for the financial and operational management of the organization. In addition the ED will focus on collaboration with internal staff, Board of Directors and external partners to develop and implement cause marketing and innovative social media programs aligned with the organization’s vision and strategic plan. The ED will assume a leadership position in the promotion of at both a regional and national level to ensure a strong and sustained financial base. The ED manages a staff of five full-time and three part-time employees.

The Ideal Candidate

  • Possess leadership skills and industry credibility in the areas of education, nonprofit management, and/or corporate relations, ideally in the retail or related space.
  • Experience guiding an online business model or digital strategy is highly desired.
  • Have experience leading a social enterprise.
  • Bring experience partnering with sponsors, donors and stakeholders to create and steer the organization’s philanthropic strategy.
  • Bring demonstrated excellence in cultivating and maintaining relationships, including community organizations; local, state and national organizations; and other key community partners.
  • Experience guiding innovative program development. Strong understanding of technology is critical, including ecommerce, online marketing and social media.
  • Experience developing and maintaining a business model that produces exceptional mission impact and sustained financial health.
  • Have experience building and managing effective and collaborative teams, including professional development for staff, conflict resolution and personnel transition skills.
  • Bring experience and best practices building a diverse and inclusive workplace that draws on the strengths of all employees by cultivating diversity of thought to drive innovation and improve decision-making.
  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree; a Master’s degree is preferred.

A full position profile is available at For more information, or to submit your resume, contact All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! Minnesota Public Radio – Director of Major and Planned Giving

Update: This search was completed and the candidate, Mark Abner, placed in May 2016. Learn more about supporting MPR!

On behalf of our client, Minnesota Public Radio, and parent company American Public Media Group, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained executive search for their DIRECTOR of MAJOR and PLANNED GIVING

Click here for a full position profile: Position Profile – MPR – Director Major & Planned Giving

MPR Mission: To enrich the mind and nourish the spirit, thereby enhancing the lives and expanding the perspectives of our audiences, and assisting them in strengthening their communities.

The Organization: American Public Media Group (APMG) is the not-for-profit, parent organization of Minnesota Public Radio®, Marketplace®, American Public Media® and Southern California Public Radio™. APMG is the largest station-based public radio organization in America, combining multi-regional station operations, national programming creation and distribution as well as innovative digital, social and mobile services in one organization. 19 million listeners tune in weekly to APMG’s national programming and regional stations on nearly 1,000 radio stations nationwide. American Public Media (APM), the national production and distribution arm of the organization, is one of the largest in the world with a portfolio that includes A Prairie Home Companion®, BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programming in the nation. Supported financially by contributions from individual donors, sponsors, philanthropic foundations and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), APMG’s regional operations include Minnesota Public Radio, a 45-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states and Southern California Public Radio, a four-station network serving Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County and the Inland Empire. Launched in 2014, the Infinite Guest podcast network includes diverse offerings from best-selling authors to the best food, culture and comedy shows featured on public radio. APM’s lifestyle classical music stream,, packages classical music in an unconventional and innovative way with streams suited for life’s biggest moments and everyday situations.

Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR) has state-of-the-art headquarters in the heart of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota and is the largest owner and operator of public radio stations nationwide. Since its origins as a single classical music station in 1967 at KSJR in Collegeville, Minnesota, MPR has earned nearly 1,000 broadcasting and journalism awards, including seven George Foster Peabody Awards (dubbed the “Oscar of broadcasting”), six Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, a prestigious Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Gold Baton Award and a Grammy Award. Since 1967, MPR has informed, inspired and engaged citizens as a trusted convener, storyteller and sense-maker. Minnesotans look to MPR for fact-based, balanced journalism that provides vital context for infirmed decision-making, innovative arts and cultural programming, national and international content, and music that can’t be found anyplace else. Over nearly five decades, loyal supporters and listeners have helped build MPR into a state-wide treasure and national leader, now providing three award-winning regional services – MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current®. MPR meets all 27 of the Charities Review Council (CRC) Accountability Standards. More information about APMG and MPR can be found on their websites at and Connect and engage with MPR’s primary accounts on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and follow the Twitter hashtag #mprlife for insight into the work culture.

The Opportunity: Minnesota Public Radio’s workplace is as dynamic as its programming!  Diverse, creative and compelling, MPR taps into the life experiences of its employees for perspective and balance. In addition to using one’s talents in a creative, energetic workplace, the organization offers competitive pay and benefits, a culture that encourages learning and development, and opportunities for advancement. A career at Minnesota Public Radio is an opportunity to inspire – and to be inspired!

Minnesota Public Radio has a comprehensive membership and development program which generates $30+ million in total support and revenue annually from more than 132,000 donors/members. The greatest opportunity for revenue growth is in major, individual giving. While the membership program is well-established, major and planned giving are relatively new programs and the opportunity to enhance these programs is significant given the financial capacity and longevity of giving in the donor base. Today there is a unique opportunity to expedite the growth of these programs with the introduction of a $75 million campaign to fund the reinvention of public media for the 21st Century. For the appropriate candidate, this opportunity includes working with a team of experienced development and media professionals, building the major and planned giving programs, completing a successful major campaign and working in an exciting, fast- paced, rapidly changing public media environment.

The Role: Minnesota Public Radio seeks a Director of Major and Planned Giving. The Director of Major and Planned Giving is responsible for leading the major and planned gifts team of seven professionals, securing at least $3.7 million in gifts (annually) and co-managing the implementation of a $75 million capital and endowment campaign; of which $54 million is targeted to  come from individual donors. As a member of the Directors team and larger Development staff, this position reports to and works closely with the Senior Vice President for Development and with senior leadership of MPR and APMG to secure gifts from donors living inside and outside of Minnesota. The Director will work closely with the President/CEO and Senior Vice President for Development to build both visibility and a stronger relationship with the organization’s stakeholders.

The Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate will have eight or more years of demonstrated successful experience in all aspects of individual giving and capital campaign planning and execution. The candidate should be able to demonstrate prior success in securing six and seven-figure individual gifts. Additionally, five or more years of supervisory/management experience is required with the ability to inspire, coach and lead a diverse team. The candidate must have experience in planning, execution and control of significant sized campaigns—including both annual and capital fund efforts. S/he must have experience and ability to build relationships and work collaboratively across an organization, including engaging multiple types of stakeholders in donor cultivation and solicitation.

To apply, please send your resume to All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! Chief Development Officer – Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Update: This search was completed and the new CDO, Rebecca Kolis, was placed in April 2016. Click here to learn more about supporting BSM!

On behalf of our client, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for Chief Development Officer.

Click here for a full position profile: Position Profile – BSM – Chief Development Officer

The Organization
Benilde St. Margaret’s is a premier, recognized leader in Catholic college preparatory education. Through a challenging curriculum and a uniquely caring experience that includes faith formation, academic rigor, social responsibility and extensive extracurricular activities, BSM prepares students to make a difference in an ever-increasingly interconnected world. BSM provides an environment that enables students to acquire the skills and habits needed for lives that are balanced ethically, spiritually and physically. More information about BSM can be on their website at

BSM Fast Facts:

  • BSM is a Catholic co-ed college preparatory school for grades 7-12
  • Founded in 1974 with the merger of St. Margaret’s Academy (founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1907) and Benilde High School (founded by the Christian Brothers in 1956)
  • Located in St. Louis Park, MN on a 29 acre campus with a building size of 199,428 square feet
  • Total enrollment of 1172
  • 52% male, 48% female
  • 18% students of color
  • 33 Twin Cities school districts represented
  • 18% of receive financial aid, totaling nearly $1.4 million (avg award $6, 345)
  • Diversity in faith traditions exist; 72% self-identify as Catholic
  • 96% move to post-secondary education
  • 94% participate in clubs and activities
  • BSM offers 29 varsity sports and over 35 extracurricular activities
  • 140 Employees
  • Student-to faculty ratio of 11:1

The Role
Benilde-St, Margaret’s School, located in St. Louis Park, MN, seeks a Chief Development Officer (CDO). The CDO is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive Development plan to support all aspects of philanthropic giving and to create a best in class Development team. Reporting directly to and working closely with the President, they will have full responsibility for donor engagement, fundraising, stewardship and management of the day-to-day functions of the Development team.

Responsibilities to BSM as a Catholic School:
Except in the teaching of religion, it is not an essential prerequisite that all employees be Catholic. However, all employees are expected to respect the teaching of the Church. As a leader, ensure that all areas of responsibility are operated consistent with the Catholic mission of the school.

The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate for this position will be a seasoned professional with extensive experience in academic or nonprofit development/advancement work. Must have a proven track record of success in a professional environment, with 5+ years of experience and success in leading an effective development team. Must have a Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred.

For more information, contact All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! Vice President of Development – MacPhail Center for Music

Update: This search was completed and the new VP of Development, Jackie Peterson, was placed in May 2016. Click here to learn more about supporting MacPhail!

On behalf of our client, MacPhail Center for Music, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for Vice President of Development.

Click here for the full position profile: Position Profile – MacPhail – VP of Development

The Organization
MacPhail Center for Music is one of the largest community music schools in the country, and is widely regarded as a leader in music education. Exceptional teachers, the majority with master’s degrees or higher in music, provide world-class instruction to 14,000+ students each year. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, MacPhail holds hundreds of events and workshops, offering music education to the Twin Cities community and serving as a resource for music learning for all.

The Role
MacPhail Center for Music, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, seeks a Vice President of Development. This Vice President is directly responsible for the organization’s contributed revenue goals and serves as the organization’s primary fundraiser. Reporting directly to the CEO, this VP works closely with the CEO and the Board of Directors to set a strategic direction for MacPhail’s fundraising program. This role will focus on collaboration with internal staff, Board, donors and external partners to develop and implement fundraising strategy aligned with the organization’s vision and strategic plan.

The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate for this position will be a seasoned professional with extensive experience in nonprofit fundraising. Must have a proven track record of success in a professional environment with 10+ years of experience and success in growing annual unrestricted contributed revenue. Must have a Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred.  CFRE or ACFRE designation is desired.

To assure consideration, submit resume to All inquiries will remain confidential.


Musings — Leadership Transition

Don W. Taylor, MBA, CohenTaylor Founding Partner
Our daily professional lives have often been interrupted as of late with announcements of leadership changes.  We are living in a world that includes lots of transition.

The past several years’ experience in helping facilitate transitions of leadership have given way to thought about these changes. Often times, it has brought more questions than answers.

All sectors of the work world have experienced the notion of a workforce that is “aging out.”  Traditionalists are long gone and now, with a greater sense of financial security and hope, Boomers are following suit.  Not unlike all sectors, it’s a generation that represents a significant number of executive leaders in the social sector.

We have not dutifully planned for their succession.  Most (but not all) nonprofits with limited resources have focused on service to client stakeholders as a priority.  Identification of a succession plan and the critical professional development of inside leaders around future competencies needed for the organization have gone untended.

The departure of this generation from the workplace—many who are long-time organizational leaders or founders—includes the exit of a critical amount of social and intellectual capital that leaves with them.  That will bring both challenge and opportunity to complex social problems that exist in our communities.

The challenge (and opportunity) might be to understand more fully how to work differently with this generation of leaders as they exit. They have clearly identified that full retirement is not where they want to be.  This generation wants to continue to make contributions—but in ways that don’t represent a typical work day world.  Are we thinking about creative ways to capture or retain that capital for the benefit of the sector?

The opportunity is for growth of a new generation of leaders and, potentially, their new and different approach to strategy.  Their own life experiences and how they have witnessed their parents in the working world have helped defined their own values and behavior. This new generation of leadership is already shaping how we work in the physical space of workplace.

A September 2015 article in Bridge Partners Insights ( introduces the concepts of “cognitive diversity” and “cognitive conflict” in problem solving around complex social issues.  Okay so, maybe just new buzzwords?—but I like them.

Cognitive diversity incorporates what is innate to our being, combined with the behaviors (or how you act) as result of what you have learned in your life experiences. We all bring both to the experience of and the creativity in problem solving and strategy development.  It does not assume that your competence is based on your generation, your ethnicity, or your sector experience (for profit, nonprofit, public). With cognitive diversity, is it likely that each of us brings bias to how we might approach leadership?

Cognitive conflict is a gift—the opportunity to use that diversity to form and create collaborative solutions in leadership.  It gives permission for others to challenge any bias we might bring, to consider a problem from different perspectives and to build strategy from collective input.

In our executive search experience, organizations are not always ready to introduce the kinds of leaders who bring cognitive diversity and conflict to organizational management and an organization’s culture.  Multinational corporations have begun to find their way successfully and many corporate leaders who sit in nonprofit board leadership are open to it and have a desire to bring it into the nonprofit sector.  In the end, boards may not be ready for the inherent risk it brings—especially around disruption of organizational culture.  How might we change that paradigm to be open and prepared?

What I’m most confident about—is that the sector’s approach to leadership will be evolutionary, likely to be disruptive and most certainly, transformational.


Search Completed! Executive Director – Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

Update: This search was completed and the new Executive Director, Teresa Spaeth, was placed in March 2016. Click here to learn more about Teresa and CCMI!

On behalf of our client, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained executive search for their EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

Can you be the architect and leader for the future of nature conservation and youth development? Join one of the nation’s leading conservation organizations and make a difference in the lives of young people. Corps members work hard all year to conserve natural resources and wildlife habitats, improve state parks and trails, and provide relief to communities ravaged by floods and other natural disasters. These projects give youth members leadership skills, greater confidence and job opportunities that can lead to leadership careers in conservation. The Corps offers life-changing experiences to nearly 600 youth and 2,000 volunteers each year.

Click here for the full position profile: Position Profile – Executive Director – Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

Conservation Corps is a nonprofit organization that provides engaging work for young people in managing natural resources, responding to disasters, conserving energy and leading volunteers. Through youth programs (ages 15-18) and young adult AmeriCorps participants (ages 18-25), The Corps helps young people develop personal responsibility, a strong work ethic and greater awareness of environmental stewardship. Corps goals are to help young people from all backgrounds become more connected to the environment, engaged in conservation, involved in the community and prepared for future employment.

To apply, please send your resume to info@cohentaylor.comAll inquiries will remain confidential.


Searches Completed! Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) – Washington, DC

Update: These searches were completed in Spring 2016. Click here to learn more about RISE!

On behalf of our client,Responsible Industry for a Sound EnvironmentCohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained searches for three positions:

State Manager, Public Affairs

Communications Coordinator

Administrative Assistant

THE MISSIONProtect and advance the specialty pest management and plant health industries by:
Representing a strong industry voice
Advocating to shape public policy
Influencing positive public opinion

THE VISIONAn industry free to create inspiring and healthy places where we live, work and play.

As the national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders involved with specialty pesticides, RISE gives the facts about pests and the threats they pose to our health and safety. RISE provides accurate information about pesticides, their use and regulation, sharing news releases, fact sheets, and other valuable resources highlighting the benefits of the products our members provide.  We promote the safe use of pesticides to control pests and invasive species that are detrimental to our health and our environment. As the only national trade association representing this industry, our members supply products essential to public health and safety, and to protecting our environment. RISE staff members communicate with policymakers and regulators to ensure products are used properly and are available when needed. These exciting positions will have an impact on safe chemical use, policy and advocacy on the local, state and national level.