Director of Development for Research and Innovation (APPLY VIA SEARCH FIRM)

Job Summary

*All application materials must be submitted to the search firm.*

Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Development, with a dotted line to the Vice President for Research and Innovation, the Director of Development for Research and Innovation responsibilities include, but are not limited to, identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individuals capable of giving major gifts to the university in the department of Development. In support of these efforts, the director of development initiates, maintains and strengthens close working relationships with key academic leaders, campus administrators, various stakeholders, and University Advancement colleagues. The Director of Development is expected to partner effectively with the Division of Research and Innovation to implement strategies to secure philanthropic support for San José State University fundraising priorities identified by the University's leadership in collaboration with the Office of Development in the Division of University Advancement.

This is a position in the CSU - Management Personnel Plan (MPP), and serves at the pleasure of the President. This position will require adherence to University compliance training such as: Conflict of Interest and Ethics, AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Prevention, Information Security, and Injury and Illness Prevention Program. The person hired for this position may be required to complete an outside employment disclosure statement in accordance with Title V of the California Code of Regulations.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage an assigned prospect portfolio of key individuals supporting university fundraising priorities
  • Coordinate with the Research and Innovation team members to expand and enhance a prospect pipeline that aligns with University and campaign priorities
  • Actively manage a prospect / donor portfolio with annual goals for personal visits and fundraising outcomes based on established metrics
  • Develop and execute sound strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift prospects / donors – initiate contact, develop appropriate cultivation plans, and move individuals in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure
  • Present and regularly review top prospect strategies and immediate supervisor and other key team members as appropriate
  • Work collaboratively with the leadership of colleges, key university administrators and other stakeholders, offering them counsel on donor-centric cultivation and solicitation strategy, as appropriate
  • Work collaboratively with peers in Major Gifts as well as colleagues in Annual Giving, Planned giving and Corporate and Foundation Relations
  • Solicit gifts that support Research and Innovation initiatives
  • Work closely with University leaders to negotiate and build mutually beneficial relationships with corporate funders
  • Focus on securing funding for designated priorities including research projects, innovation programs, scholarships, unrestricted support, facility renovations, new facilities and other specified priorities
  • Collaborate with stewardship colleagues with donor stewardship efforts particularly pertaining to the Division of Research and Innovation and help promote a culture of gratitude among internal and external constituents
  • Effectively utilize campus data management system and enter prospect/donor contact reports and their relevant data in a timely fashion.
  • Prepare written donor cultivation and solicitation plans and proposals

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Ability to identify donors and close gifts of six and seven figures
  • Ability to navigate the institution / assigned unit and make the appropriate match for donor interests
  • Ability to engage and support volunteer leadership with their efforts in fundraising, consultation, and advocacy
  • Skillful in networking and opening doors as well as developing donor-centric cultivation and solicitation strategies
  • Deep appreciation and understanding of the academic enterprise and the ability to articulate academic values internally and externally
  • Sensitivity and understanding of Title IX issues, and an innate ability to interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work as part of a collaborative team
  • Unquestionable integrity and commitment to professional ethics
  • High level of initiative, attention to detail and organization skills
  • Ability to responsibly handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
  • Skillful in successfully managing multiple projects on tight deadlines and under pressure in a dynamic and open environment
  • Ability to define problems, gather data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions
  • Proficient in Google Suite and Microsoft Office Suite and ability to utilize fundraising database programs, and learn new tech platforms for project management
  • Demonstrated spirit of flexibility and strong customer service ethic
  • Ability to interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to responsibly handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
  • Excellent customer service and public relation skills

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution
  • Three years of progressively responsible experience in fundraising
  • Experience developing donor centric solicitation strategies leading to closing major gifts
  • Evidence of strong written communication skills; ability to write clearly and persuasively

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced Degree
  • Experience engaging and supporting academic leadership in their fundraising efforts including outreach, cultivation, and solicitation
  • Experience successfully negotiating partnerships, preferably in an academic setting, and working closely with organizational leaders to build mutually beneficial relationships with corporate funders
  • Experience successfully soliciting and closing gifts that support academic research and innovation
  • Fundraising experience in capital or comprehensive campaign setting, at an institution of higher education


Classification: Administrator II
Hiring Range: Commensurate with experience

San José State University offers employees a comprehensive benefits package typically worth 30-35% of your base salary. For more information on programs available, please see the Employee Benefits Summary .

Application Procedure

All applicants must apply by visiting:

For full consideration, applicant materials should be received by June 2, 2021 .

Contact Information

Another Source
Telephone: 619/215-9084

Additional Information

Satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check) is required for employment. SJSU will issue a contingent offer of employment to the selected candidate, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current CSU employee who was offered the position on a contingent basis.

The standard background check includes: criminal check, employment and education verification. Depending on the position, a motor vehicle and/or credit check may be required. All background checks are conducted through the university's third party vendor, Accurate Background. Some positions may also require fingerprinting. SJSU will pay all costs associated with this procedure. Evidence of required degree(s) or certification(s) will be required at time of hire.


All San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Equal Employment Statement

San José State University (SJSU) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion or lack thereof, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, or protected veteran status consistent with applicable federal and state laws. This policy applies to all SJSU students, faculty and staff programs and activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and certain other federal and state laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities operated by the university (both on and off campus).

Advertised: May 14, 2021 (9:00 AM) Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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