The Director of Development for the School of Communication is a major gifts fundraiser for the School of Communication at American University. The Director of Development is responsible for achieving aggressive fundraising, solicitation, cash, pledge, and visit goals, which are set annually. This position manages a prospect portfolio of at least 100+ active rated prospects for the School of Communication, with giving capacities from $25,000 to $100,000+. The Director of Development is expected to personally manage these relationships to cultivate, solicit, close gifts, and steward alumni donors, as well as identify and qualify new prospects for the School of Communication. Domestic travel is required in this position to personally engage alumni and secure funds for SOC. The Director of Development serves as a key member of the School of Communication’s external relations team and as an ambassador of the school; works closely with the Chief Development Officer and Central Development Office, on move management, stewardship and donor issues to raise funds for the School of Communication; and shares in the responsibilities of managing school’s advisory council/s.
This position reports directly to the Chief Development Officer and has no direct reports
The Director of Development is responsible for raising major gifts for the School of Communication
This position works closely with the Chief Development Officer to meet ambitious fundraising and pledge goals, which are determined annually
The Director of Development operates under the University’s prospect management system, APEX (American Prospect Engagement and Cultivation System), with the expectations of achieving the metrics below through demonstration of a high degree of professionalism, discretion, and refined written and oral communication
Management and strategy development of a pool of 100+ assigned, rated, and staged prospects generally rated $25,000-$100,000+
Meaningful contact or consistently demonstrated attempted contact of 100% of the assigned portfolio during any six month period
Regular maintenance of prospect pipeline (i.e., planned and executed solicitations) to reflect a minimum of 15 major gift solicitations per year
Varying by stage of cultivation, consistent movement of prospects in assigned portfolio in prescribed timeframe. (As an example, it is expected that prospects will only be in qualification and early cultivation mode for 6 months, regular cultivation for 12 months, and pre-solicitation cultivation and consideration mode for 6 months.)
A minimum of 10 planned, strategic visits per month with many other interactions, meetings, events, and unplanned visits
Regular updates to contacts, staging, and ratings so that all reports are current for supervision meetings and monthly progress reports
Work in concert with Development and Alumni Relations colleagues, including particularly close collaboration with the Planned Giving Team, and Office of Prospect Research & Management to conduct entrepreneurial prospect identification and qualification work equal to approximately 10-20% of all activity. (More if Director of Development meets expectations of progress with assigned portfolio)
The Director of Development’s financial objectives will be established collaboratively and with close review of the capacity and readiness indicators of the Director of Development’s prospect portfolio
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
Team Leader/Consultant B
Commensurate with experience
Required Education and Experience
Bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institution
Five to seven years of progressively responsible development experience with at least four years of primary focus on identifying, cultivating, soliciting, closing, and stewarding corporate and foundation sponsorships, gifts, and grants
Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills (A writing sample may be required)
Maturity, ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a deadline-oriented environment
Familiarity with fundraising systems (Ellucian/CRM systems) and strong command of MS Office Suite of products
Strong preference for experience in communication fields, a higher education environment
Preferred Education and Experience
General supervisory experience, with record of positive mentorship and delegation of responsibilities
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
This position may require travel outside the Washington metropolitan area 20-40% of the time, as well as seasonal evening and weekend work for scheduled SOC and University events and programs
Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
Current American University Employees:
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American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.
American University (AU) is one of the largest employers in Washington, DC and consistently ranks among the nation’s great universities. Our student body is cosmopolitan and globally diverse, with over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students represented by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 150 countries. Throughout our history, the engagement, inclusiveness and diversity of AU’s faculty, staff, and students have been hallmarks of the university. We offer a competitive benefits package including a 2:1 matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, 5 leadership development certificates, and have been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. For more information regarding our benefits and life at AU please visit http://www.american.edu/hr/Benefits.cfm.
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