1779 Director of Development


TITLE Director of Development




IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR Executive Director of Major and Planned Giving


The primary duty of the Director of Development (DOD) is to bring in major gifts (gifts of $25,000 or more) by identifying, cultivating, and soliciting prospects for major gifts on behalf of an assigned area(s). The DOD works closely with University administration and appropriate faculty to cultivate potential donors. The DOD exercises discretion and independent judgment in determining which donors and prospects in their prospect pool (consisting of alumni, friends, parents, businesses, foundations, and organizations) to approach based on prospect research, determining how to approach each potential donor, whether the potential donor would be more receptive to a formal written proposal or a verbal proposal, discussing options for potential outright and/or estate gifts, ways of giving, negotiating the donor agreement for administration of gifts, determining when travel to meet with donors is appropriate, exercising budgetary authority over the their travel and development budget, etc.


Education: A Bachelor’s degree is required.  An equivalent combination of years of experience and education may be considered for substitution of educational requirements.

Experience: At least three years of successful professional experience is required, preferably in higher education fundraising or in a related career with a comparable, demonstrated, successful track record.

Skills: Exceptional interpersonal skills with all age groups are required. Strong oral and written communication skills are required. Organizational skills, particularly planning, setting deadlines, and evaluating progress, are required. Computer literacy, particularly in word processing, using Internet resources, and using databases, is required. Must be a self-starter committed to follow through. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required. Experience working effectively in a diverse environment is preferred.

Effort: Occasionally required to lift and carry boxes of materials and equipment weighing 25-50 pounds.

Other: The scope of the job requires travel as well as attendance at evening and/or weekend activities, meetings, events, seminars, and workshops and visits to donors in their homes and offices.


1. Assures long-term financial support for University priorities by identifying, cultivating, and soliciting donors and prospective donors for major and planned gifts, managing a rated prospect list of at least 100 – 150 donors and prospective donors, and developing cultivation and solicitation plans for prospects.

2. When assigned by the Executive Director of Major and Planned Giving, serves as the communication liaison for the Development Office to a college by acting as a development resource for the Dean and Department Heads, consulting on questions related to development activities in the College, conducting scheduled meetings with the Dean to understand the fundraising priorities of the College, communicating those priorities to University Advancement staff, prospects, and donors, participating in select College meetings, serving as a source of information about the College for other University Advancement staff, and encouraging the College work with the Alumni Office to establish programs and conduct activities to involve alumni in meaningful ways to advance the mission of the College.

3. Develops and follows an annual work plan that encompasses major gift fundraising, administrative responsibilities, and professional development.

4. Creates annual report briefings for the Assistant Vice President of Development & Strategy and the Executive Director of Major and Planned Giving by synthesizing the data from the management reports produced by the Foundation.

6. Prepares for professional and donor appointments by establishing and maintaining professional competency and currency in the field of university development work through professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, attending training and/or courses required by the Executive Director of Development, and maintaining appropriate professional memberships in organizations like the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

7. Enters detailed contact reports, strategic plans for cultivation and solicitation, and proposals for donors and prospects into the contact management tracking system in a timely manner in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Office of Development.

8. Assures donor confidentiality as well as confidentiality regarding projects undertaken by conducting all personal contacts and communications in a professional manner.

9. Facilitates the achievement of established goals by developing and maintaining cordial and professional working relationships with University administrative, support, and professional staff, and appropriate off-campus constituencies.

10. Participates as a fully productive member of the professional staff by adhering to all University policies and procedures and the internal policies and procedures of the Office of Development.

11. Facilitates a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.

12. Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses as directed by the Executive Director of Development.

13. Contributes to the overall success of the University by assuming primary responsibility for special projects as assigned and performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned in a timely, thorough, and professional manner.


Directors of Development are supervised by the Executive Director of Major and Planned Giving and may supervise clerical staff from time to time.