Senior Director of Principal Gifts

Georgia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jan 26, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


The Senior Director of Principal Gifts will serve as a visible, front-line fundraiser and manage a portfolio of 30-40, high-capacity, $5 million + prospects. The position will work closely with the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, the Senior Associate Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations, the President of the University of Georgia, Deans, and with other key academic leaders to set short and long-term donor-centric strategies. The incumbent will be responsible for developing initiatives to advance each prospect’s meaningful connection to the university in order to inspire their most generous support to campus priorities.


The University of Georgia (UGA), a land-grant and sea-grant university with statewide commitments and responsibilities is the state’s oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education ( UGA is currently ranked among the top 20 public universities in U.S. News & World Report. The University’s main campus is located in Athens, approximately 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campuses in Atlanta, Griffin, Gwinnett, and Tifton. UGA was founded in 1785 by the Georgia General Assembly as the first state-chartered University in the country. UGA employs approximately 1,800 full-time instructional faculty and more than 7,600 full-time staff. The University’s enrollment exceeds 36,000 students including over 27,500 undergraduates and over 8,500 graduate and professional students. Academic programs reside in 17 schools and colleges, as well as a medical partnership with Augusta University housed on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens.


The Division of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Georgia advances the goals, objectives and priorities of the university by generating private financial support, building and maintaining relationships with alumni and donors, and assisting students with career development opportunities.


  • Maintain a portfolio of 30-40 Principal Gifts prospects (35%)
  • Design and implement fundraising strategies to secure principal gifts of $5M+ in support of the University’s strategic priorities (30%)
  • Work collaboratively with development and alumni colleagues across campus on prospects to maximize giving potential for schools, colleges and unit fundraising priorities (20%)
  • Complete managerial processes critical to travel, scheduled meetings, and fundraising performance (10%)
  • Attend university events and development staff meetings as required (5%)


  • Strong people management skills and time management skills
  • Ability to cultivate and solicit private gifts from high-level prospects
  • Knowledge of private funding landscape in higher education
  • Knowledge of IRS rules and regulations regarding charitable gifts and non-profit organizations
  • Self-starter and highly motivated
  • Collaborative style combined with the ability and desire to work in a team-based environment
  • Excellent writing skills with extreme attention to detail and confident, strong verbal communication
  • Problem solver who can take initiative and set priorities while being flexible
  • Team-oriented strategist able to effectively manage complex situations
  • Ability to establish the trust of colleagues and build strong relationships with key faculty/staff
  • Highly organized and able to handle multiple projects
  • Analytical, with adherence to self-guided goals and deadlines
  • Adept at navigating complex environments with evolving priorities
  • Ability to maintain high degree of confidentiality and responsibility regarding information related to university business and confidential donor and prospect information
  • Skilled using Microsoft Office products such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Creative thinker with ability to receive constructive feedback on ideas
  • Ability to respond to donors needs and concerns in a kind and professional way
  • Through open, honest, and respectful communication, all staff, supervisors, and colleagues of the Division of Development & Alumni Relations are expected to interact with fairness, compassion, and decency. All employees will be held accountable for meeting the expectation of promoting a stable, productive, and healthy work environment.
  • Adherence to CASE standards and commonly accepted industry standards relating to fundraising reporting are expected of all fundraisers. All fundraisers will be held accountable for meeting this expectation.


  • Work in a standard office environment
  • Travel in and out of state
  • Work nights and weekends necessary
  • Work using electronic mail, telephone, face-to-face discussions, paper form correspondence
  • Communicate effectively in writing, speaking, and listening
  • Organize and establish priorities; Remember detail; Multi-task
  • Lift and/or move up to 20 pounds
  • Walk, stand, stoop, lift, kneel, climb



  • Advanced degree preferred or bachelor’s degree and 10 years of related higher education experience; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience related to sales, marketing, development, business administration, higher education, project management, or relationship management
  • Experience with comprehensive campaigns is a plus



The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, genetic information, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status.

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