Senior Director of Development, Principal Gifts

California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Dec 21, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Position Summary

San Diego State University’s Division of University Relations and Development has a culture of collaboration, communication and dedication which has resulted in significant successes. We are actively searching for a dynamic individual to join our talented development team as the Senior Director of Development, Principal Gifts.

The Senior Director of Development, Principal Gifts reports to the Associate Vice President for University Development and is responsible for collaborating with campus partners and University Relations and Development staff for the oversight and coordination of principal level current gifts ($1,000,000+) for identified priorities and university-wide initiatives. The incumbent will focus on identifying, engaging and securing new, unaffiliated corporate, individual and foundation support and will pursue growth of this portfolio by partnering with SDSU’s schools, programs, faculty and colleagues and SDSU’s committed alumni, parents and friends in supporting the university’s research, teaching, and strategic initiatives.

The Senior Director will oversee the URAD Principal Gifts program by identifying and
managing a list of key principal gift prospects and coordinating divisional efforts toward continual progress in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding principal level current gift prospects.  The incumbent will identify and engage existing and new, highly philanthropic individual prospects who are unaffiliated with SDSU as a first priority. The director is responsible for managing philanthropic relationships with alumni and parent prospects.

At SDSU, diversity and excellence go hand-in-hand.  SDSU is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with an extremely diverse student population. The University celebrates diversity and inclusion, embracing a broad definition of diversity that includes people of every race, religion, gender, ethnicity, veterans, people with varying abilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. SDSU hires individuals with a commitment to working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

For more information regarding University Relations and Development click here.

This is a full-time (1.0 time-base), benefits eligible, at-will position. This position is designated exempt under FLSA and is not eligible for overtime compensation.  Standard SDSU work hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but may vary based on operational needs.

Candidate Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have proven experience in all facets of development including: gift administration, gift acceptance, prospect management, research, annual giving, and volunteer management and communications.  The candidate must have demonstrated success as a development professional in a donor-centered fundraising environment, the ability to thrive in an environment of change, the ability to make complex decisions, problem-solve and serve as an effective team member.  This position requires a high degree of commitment to higher education and philanthropy, ability to handle competing priorities in a complex development environment, the ability to represent San Diego State and University Development in a positive manner on campus and with external constituencies and must have the ability to travel and attend off-campus appointments and events.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field or combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in major gifts fundraising.
  • Success in major gift fundraising ($100,000+) that demonstrates an ability to align strategy. development/implementation with pre-approved goals/priorities.
  • Management of a development team with proven results.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Fundraising experience in a large, complex university.
  • Demonstrated success with comprehensive and/or capital campaigns.
  • Experience working with executives and/or volunteers in fundraising strategy development and execution.
  • Planned giving experience.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field.

Licenses and/or Certifications Required 

  • Valid State of California driver’s license.

Compensation and Benefits

San Diego State University will offer a competitive salary based on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.  San Diego State University also offers a rich benefits package that includes:

  • Extensive Leave benefits: 14 paid holidays, 24 vacation days, and 12 sick days per year;
  • Retirement security through a CalPERS defined benefit pension (with CalPERS and UC Retirement Plan reciprocity) and retiree healthcare benefits;
  • An array of health, dental, and vision coverage at no-cost or low-cost to the employee; and
  • California State University system fee reduction program (fee waiver) for the employee or their qualified dependent
  • Supplemental Information

    Initial review of the required application materials, including cover letters and resumes, will begin on February 1, 2021. To receive full consideration, apply by January 31, 2021. The position will remain open until filled.

    The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. 

    San Diego State University is not a sponsoring agency for staff or management positions (e.g., H-1B visa). Applicants must currently be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. Offers of employment are contingent upon the presentation of documents that demonstrate a person's identity and authorization to work in the United States, which are consistent with the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act

    A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.

    SDSU is a smoke-free campus. For more information, please click here.

    SDSU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.

    Applicants with disabilities and applicants who require assistance completing an application may contact Casie Martinez at 619-273-3343 or