Senior Development Director #605420

Northern Arizona University
Arizona, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
May 17, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Northern Arizona University (“NAU”) Advancement | Foundation builds the university’s excellence by raising awareness, engaging and strengthening meaningful relationships, and partnering with NAU’s alumni, parents, families, and friends who have the passion, commitment, and capacity to make a transformative impact at NAU through their involvement, advocacy, and philanthropy. We are seeking an experienced principal gifts professional to join our Principal Gifts team.

The Senior Director of Development, Principal Gifts, reports to the Associate Vice President of Central Advancement and is located at NAU’s main Flagstaff Campus. This leadership position manages the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts for NAU’s principal gift prospects and donors. This professional will execute numerous initiatives in a fast-paced environment to build upon NAU’s and its Advancement | Foundation’s respective mission and vision through exceptional service to both internal and external constituents.

NAU’s principal gifts are defined as one-time, or multi-year commitments, of $1 million or more. A portfolio of the university's most generous donors and prospects is managed. This portfolio is created, managed, and revised annually for both this position as well as others across NAU’s multiple campuses. This leadership position also acts as a diplomatic liaison among NAU’s Advancement | Foundation colleagues, university leadership, as well as other members of the campus community and donors/prospective donors. This position also ensures that NAU is laser-focused on engaging, as well as building meaningful and strategic life-long relationships with alumni, parents, families, and friends who have the passion, dedication, and capacity to make a transformational impact on the university’s future through their passion, involvement, and philanthropy.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Leads others to gather, analyze, and model various scenarios related to university advancement strategies to make recommendations or decisions to department management to improve the processes of the team.
  • Acts as a subject matter expert and mentor; may assign work to others and monitor its execution.
  • Presents reports to key stakeholders and works to influence their decision making with regards to university advancement changes.
  • Identifies risk factors associated with university advancement processes and addresses the need for risk mitigations to ensure effectiveness of the department.
  • Understands and applies knowledge of appropriate handling of university advancement and fundraising information.
  • Exercises a high level of independent judgment, serves as an experienced professional in principal gifts leading strategies that include highly complex gift discussions and interactions with donors capable of making significant investments to the university.
  • Creates, manages, and revises a portfolio of 60+ principal gift donors and prospective donors with the capacity to give $1 million or more.
  • Develops and drives innovative, strategic, and personalized strategies for a select group of the university’s most generous and impactful donors.
  • Promotes meaningful engagement and relationships between donors/prospective donors and NAU’s President, Vice President of Advancement | Foundation, Associate Vice President of Central Advancement, Deans, other academic leaders, faculty, staff, and NAU’s supporters and volunteer leaders.
  • Facilitates and coordinates proactive communications with the principal gift prospects and donors among appropriate NAU relationships. Promote successful, positive relations with all these individuals.
  • Leads proactive and collaborative efforts to develop effective and well-coordinated strategies for donors and prospective donors with individual and shared academic units; facilitates strategic action plans and monitor implementation of designed strategies.
  • Creates and executes events and activities for identification, validation, cultivation, stewardship, and solicitations to advance principal gifts supporting NAU’s mission, vision, and identified priorities.
  • Designs and leads “Principals Gifts Strategy Group Meetings” that provide a forum for joint strategy discussion for NAU’s prospects and donors at the $1 million or more level.
  • Facilitates interactions with principal prospects for NAU’s President, various Vice Presidents, as well as Executive Leadership Team Advancement | Foundation colleagues, and university academic and volunteer leaders.
  • Travel frequently with university leadership, and, occasionally, with selected university faculty, staff, and/or senior volunteer leaders.
  • Consistently communicates with university leaders, as well as faculty, staff, Advancement | Foundation team members, and volunteer leaders to discover university academic programs and needs that may be suitable for principal gift investments by donors. Continually identifies high-level philanthropists and formulate strategies to promote prospective donor/donor engagement with the university’s highest-priority needs.
  • Supports Advancement | Foundation development colleagues to identify, and mutually create cultivation and solicitation strategies for principal gift prospective donors/donors in their respective portfolios.
  • Assists in creating draft principal gift strategies for, as well as the creation of written communications from, NAU’s President, Vice President of Advancement | Foundation, and other senior administrators for principal gifts’ donors and prospective donors.
  • Participates (typically in concert with others) in million-dollar (or more) gift solicitations to fund university programs and to enhance the development efforts of the colleges and departments.
  • Designs and meets/exceeds pre-determined goals and objectives established annually with the Associate Vice President of Central Advancement.
  • Perform additional activities as requested by the Associate Vice President of Central Advancement.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or related field AND 5-7 years of relevant experience, OR
  • A combination of related education, experience, and training.

Please see for full job descriptions and details on how to apply online!  NAU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

Similar jobs

Similar jobs