Executive Director of University Development

Virginia, United States
Competitive Salary
Sep 15, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Reporting to and working closely with the vice president for University Advancement, the executive director of development (EDOD) is responsible for creating and implementing an ambitious comprehensive fundraising strategy for the university. The EDOD will have primary responsibility for campaign fundraising, including driving the internal processes of the campaign and managing the fundraising functions. Oversees a team of approximately 32 development staff members, including corporate and foundation relations, leadership gifts, planned giving, parent programs, annual fund, and donor stewardship. Direct reports include the director of leadership gifts, director of corporate and foundation relations, director of annual giving, and the director of gift planning. The EDOD sits on the VP’s executive management team, working collaboratively to advance the goals of University Advancement.

University Advancement is committed to the development of a welcoming and inclusive environment and we strive to advance diverse perspectives and approaches in carrying out the mission of Washington and Lee University.

Essential and Related Functions: 

  • Fundraising/Campaign Strategy and Implementation: In collaboration with the president and vice president, creates, directs, and implements the fund-raising strategy for the University. In close collaboration with the director of leadership gifts and the vice president, assists with advising the president on fund-raising strategies for top donors. Drives the effort for a successful campaign process and outcome. Serves as a primary contact for senior administrators and faculty on fundraising priorities.
  • Staff Management: Manages direct reports with a focus on fund-raising success. Creates and cultivates a work environment that celebrates diversity and promotes equity and inclusion. Meets regularly with staff, individually and as a team. Completes administrative work related to the budget, performance reviews, and managing the office and the campaign.
  • Fundraising: Manages 30-50 key prospects with a goal of visiting each of these prospects at least annually. Many of these prospects will deserve presidential and vice-presidential attention. Designs and implements strategy for donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Collects and analyzes data on donors’ patterns of engagement and philanthropy at W&L, and uses this information to guide decision making regarding the deployment of staff and volunteer resources.
  • Presidential Planning: Coordinates the president’s fundraising meetings and events. Coordinates prospect strategy meetings with the president, the vice president, and key University Advancement staff and development staff.
  • Other: As a member of the vice president’s executive management team, works collaboratively with other directors in University Advancement in strategic planning and advancing the goals of the division. Develops appropriate stewardship for all significant donors. Frequently staffs University Advancement events, both on campus and off campus. This position requires frequent independent travel and extensive evening and weekend work.


This position requires a proven track record as a front-line fundraiser and manager; significant experience closing gifts of six figures and above; excellent written and oral communications; experience staffing and collaborating with trustees and other volunteers, senior administrators, and faculty on fundraising priorities; experience in managing staff with a compassionate, clear, and decisive leadership and management style; the highest ethical standards; the ability to motivate staff, volunteers, and donors; a passionate commitment to higher education; an entrepreneurial spirit; a nuanced understanding of donors’ motivations; creativity; and the ability to travel regularly.

Bachelor’s degree required, and relevant advanced degree preferred.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and list of three professional references along with the online application forms at http://apply.interfolio.com/78476. Review of applications begins October 15, 2020. You may contact Emily Floyd, Executive Assistant, University Advancement at efloyd@wlu.edu with inquiries. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Washington and Lee is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance and professionalism and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity in our faculty, staff and student body. Job description requirements are representative, but not all‐inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Statement of Commitment to Diversity

Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.