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Executive Director of Development

Willamette University
Oregon, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Aug 26, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Development & Advancement
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Details

Executive Director of Development

Posting Number: R0003539
Location: Salem Campus

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Please read the following carefully before beginning the online application process.

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Position Summary:
The Executive Director of Development (EDOD) reports to the Vice President of Advancement and is a member of the Advancement Senior Leadership Team. The EDOD is both a major and principal gift fundraiser for the University and the Supervisor of the Development Team which includes fundraisers across all colleges who focus on securing major and principal gifts for the University. The EDOD works in close partnership with the Campaign Counsel, the Vice President of Advancement, and Executive Director of Strategy and Operations to plan and implement a multi-year fundraising strategy to meet and exceed annual fundraising goals. This position will partner closely with the Vice President, AVP for University Relations, and Director of the Annual Fund to plan and execute annual fund solicitations from the assigned portfolio as part of the cultivation and solicitation of larger gifts and pledges. The EDOD also serves as the Program Director for the Gift Planning Program. The EDOD must facilitate a healthy and inclusive team environment, supervise and inspire employees towards excellence, and lead by example in exemplary data-driven constituent engagement and fundraising. The EDOD must demonstrate familiarity with a variety of the field's concepts and demonstrate a willingness to learn and work in a best-in-class environment.

Willamette's fundraising program strives to be donor-centered on the individual level, and data-centered on the portfolio level. Annual fundraising goals have increased in the last five years from $8-10M to $15-20M, with natural fluctuations from year to year due to the variable stages of our top donors' philanthropic relationship with the University. Annual fundraising goals for the Development Team include a commitment to using the soliciting and closing of Annual Fund gifts from donors in the assigned portfolios as a tool for cultivation of major and principal gifts. Willamette has ambitions to raise $150M in commitments in seven years (from 2017 to 2024), and at the halfway mark (January 2021), we have reached the halfway point in dollars. The EDOD will lead the Development Team to contribute to this goal by closing an additional $65-70M in gift commitments over the next three years.

Reasonable Accommodations Statement
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Advancement Leadership, Management and Supervision (50%)

-Partner with the Advancement Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to develop and implement Advancement vision, goals, and operation plans
  • Contribute positively to the healthy culture of the Advancement Team which places high value on inclusion, innovation, integration, and information-based planning and decision making.
  • Participate in and lead during department and division-wide staff meetings, professional development activities, and portfolio management meetings
  • Partner with Advancement Senior Leadership to develop Annual Reports for the Willamette University Community
  • Partner with the AVP for University Relations and the Senior Leadership Team to support community and volunteer engagement for the short- and long-term according to the strategic and operational plans for the division.
  • Partner with the Executive Director of Advancement Strategy and Operations (ASO) and the Senior Leadership Team to build a best-in-class, information-based advancement program which prioritizes data acquisition and accuracy, utilizes data for information-based planning and reporting, and commits to The Raiser's Edge as the system of record.

-Supervise the Development Team to Meet and Exceed Annual and Multi-Year Fundraising Goals
  • Facilitate a culture of fundraising that prioritizes excellent discovery/qualification work, donor-centered cultivation, aspirational sight-setting, and effective solicitations and proposals. Aim to meet or exceed development team goals each year. Report regularly on progress to goals to the Senior Leadership Team and the Advancement Division.
  • Develop annual program plans for the Gift Planning Program, the Major Gift Program, and the Institutional Grants Program that are grounded in the institutional strategic plan and the vision and goals of Institutional Advancement. Partner with the Annual Fund Director and Team to develop annual program plans for the assigned portion of the Annual Fund. Partner with the Donor Relations Team on Stewardship Plans for known and expected commitments from the assigned portfolio.
  • Make Development Team budget recommendations and oversee the effective management of operating budget resources.
  • Partner with the Executive Director of Strategy and Operations (ASO) and thePipeline Development Team to implement an annual commitments goal setting process for the assigned portfolio, including the development of sophisticated prospect strategies, multi-year major gift solicitation goals, single-year annual fund goals from the assigned portfolio, and activity/discovery goals.
  • Utilize monthly and quarterly reports to monitor progress to goals and report to the Senior Leadership Team and fundraising volunteers as appropriate.
  • Establish and maintain a culture of performance management, including effective onboarding and training of new staff, coaching and mentoring of all staff, and formal mid-year and annual performance reviews. In partnership with HR, recruit, search, and hire with best practices for diversity, performance, and retention.
  • Coach and supervise development team members in a manner that establishes and reinforces clear expectations, uses data to manage and monitor performance, and provides training and support to achieve ambitious and achievable goals.

-Partner with the VP for Advancement, the Campaign Counsel, and the Advancement Communications Counsel on the implementation of the campaign plan.
  • Participate in the development of campaign and development materials for internal and external use.
  • Train and supervise Development Team members on the effective use of campaign materials in cultivation and solicitation.

-Lead the Development Team in the implementation of small group major gift cultivation gatherings in support of annual and multi-year engagement and solicitation plans.
  • Partner with the Pipeline Development Team to identify opportunities for the most impactful small group cultivation (virtual and in person) with campus leaders and high-level volunteers.
  • Work with the Development Coordinator and gift officers to plan and implement small group cultivation (virtually and in person).

Lead by example in the cultivation, solicitation, and documentation of major and principal gift commitments to the University (45%)

-Develop and execute annual and multi-year strategies for the cultivation, solicitation, documentation, and stewardship of annual fund gifts and major and principal gift commitments for the EDOD portfolio of approximately 50 assigned prospects.

-Lead by example in the timely documentation of strategic actions (casual and substantial) in the Advancement Database.

-Meet or exceed annual and multi-year fundraising goals from the EDOD assigned portfolio.

-Collaborate with Donor Relations on individualized stewardship plans for principal gift prospects and donors.

-Collaborate with Willamette Annual Fund staff on the yearly solicitation of each prospect in the EDOD portfolio for an unrestricted gift to the university.

Willamette Advancement Duties (5%)
-Understand the mission and priorities of the Office of Advancement and serve as an advocate for the department.

-Adhere to the principles of ethics and standard practices as articulated in the Council for Advancement and Support of Advancement (CASE) Donor Bill of Rights from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) Statement of Ethics and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Code of Ethical Principles and Standards as well as the standards of practice of his/her departmental profession, as appropriate.

-Represent Willamette during priority events, including the whole of Alumni Weekend, Homecoming & Family Weekend, and Campaign events.

-Other duties as assigned.


Minimum Requirements
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Five years of fundraising experience required, with a proven track record of cultivating and closing leadership Annual Fund, major, and principal gifts
  • Experience managing fundraisers to achieve annual and multi-year goals
  • Experience with deferred giving vehicles and complex deferred gifts preferred
  • A clearly articulated fundraising management philosophy required and three years of management experience strongly preferred
  • A demonstrated commitment to cultivating an inclusive environment for colleagues and constituents required, equity/diversity training preferred
  • A demonstrated commitment to data-driven management and fundraising
  • Strong proficiency in the use of a computer for communications, data management, data reporting, and budget review and analysis. Ability to learn and adapt quickly to new software.

Preferred Requirements
  • An advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
  • Experience in higher education development and fundraising experience preferred.
  • Experience with The Raiser's Edge database and online engagement platforms preferred.
  • The successful candidate will be an innovative, forward-thinking leader with exceptional interpersonal skills, a passion for liberal arts, and high degree of professionalism and integrity.
  • Applicant will have strong facilitation skills and the ability to build consensus among campus stakeholders around cultivation and proposal strategies.
  • Applicant will be a compelling, charismatic leader with the ability to move a team forward by inspiring and motivating people with creativity, energy, and a sense of humor.
  • The EDoD should not only possess strong communication skills, but should also be able to create an environment that is conducive to open and direct communication with individuals of varying degrees of involvement with the University and its work.
  • Applicant should have the ability to think strategically, generate new ideas, plan, and set goals and objectives, as well as implement and follow-through on these goals.

Advancement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement:

Advancement is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive work environment that values diversity. We engage and work with our constituents, our potential employees, and our colleagues in an inclusive and respectful manner to cultivate and support a diverse community. We work hard to ensure that our organizational culture affirms the value of each member and acknowledges the differences in our lived realities through ongoing learning and change.

Typical Work Schedule:

Typical work schedule will be Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Some evening and weekend activities are expected.

Physical Demands & Working Conditions:

Typical work is performed indoors in a normal office environment.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as received until the position is filled.

All University positions require that candidates submit to a criminal conviction record check prior to hire. Conviction does not automatically preclude candidates from being hired. Nature of conviction will be considered relative to the duties of the position.

You will need to upload the following two documents as part of your application materials in the "My Experience" section labeled Resume:
  • Cover letter addressing the required/desired qualifications and presenting any other applicant characteristics which deserve emphasis
  • Current Resume

​Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Typical work schedule

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Believing that diversity contributes to academic excellence and to rich and rewarding communities, WU is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body. We seek candidates, particularly those from historically under-represented groups, whose work furthers diversity and who bring to campus varied experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.

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