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Director of Development

Fairfield University
Connecticut, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Oct 13, 2022
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Fairfield University is a co-educational, comprehensive Jesuit university with a 200-acre campus located along the scenic shoreline community of Fairfield, CT. The University is comprised of approximately 3,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students pursuing degrees within 5 schools: The College of Arts and Sciences, The Charles F. Dolan School of Business, The School of Engineering, The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and School of Education and Human Development. As an expression of our Jesuit, Catholic mission and identity, Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values.

Job Description:

TITLE: Director of Development

DIVISION: Advancement

DEPARTMENT: Development

POSITION OBJECTIVE: Reporting to the Senior Associate Vice President, Advancement (SAVP), the Director of Development will be a member of a high-achieving, eight person major and planned gifts team as Fairfield prepares for its next comprehensive campaign. The DOD will raise major and leadership gifts (five to seven figure) by serving as the liaison and primary fundraiser to the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). In this key role, the DOD will work closely with the Dean of CAS as well as its advisory board to maximize support for CAS. The Director will work with the SAVP and Dean to develop fundraising case statements for CAS priorities, identify prospects from the alumni, parents and community base, develop the advisory board, and provide guidance to the Dean on prospect fundraising strategies.

The Director will also provide fundraising and strategy support the Bennett Center for Judiac Studies, and the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.

In addition to raising major and leadership level gifts, it is expected that the DOD will use planned gift vehicles for closing gifts, as appropriate, ask for and close gifts to Fairfield’s annual fund, and focus efforts to maximize alumni participation, as well as support from all prospects in portfolio.


EDUCATION: A Bachelor’s degree in a related field is required. A Master’s Degree is preferred.

EXPERIENCE: Minimum five years fundraising experience, with experience in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and securing individual major gifts at the 7 figure level. Experience working with volunteer boards. Higher education experience strongly preferred. Experience in securing capital, endowment and planned gifts.

WORK CONDITIONS: Occasional travel including some overnights. Ability to work occasional evenings and/or weekends as required for meetings and special events. Valid driver’s license required.

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL NEEDED: Strong verbal and written communication skills; excellent proposal writing skills. Strong ability to understand complicated case statements and articulate the need for support for campaign priorities to prospective donors. Excellent listening skills are required, as well as the ability to retain and share information verbally as well as in writing. Ability to exercise appropriate, mature judgment and work collaboratively as part of the University Advancement team, as well as independently and responsibly. Ability to think strategically and utilize effective time management skills. Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the field of higher education is necessary. Strong desire to excel and exceed goals, and a strong passion for fundraising. Keen attention to detail. Ability to travel regionally and nationally. Flexibility with weekend and evening hours for University Advancement special events, dinners, and University related activities.

UNUSUAL WORK CONDITIONS: Ability to travel extensively. Some weekend and evening responsibilities required.

REPORTS TO: Associate Vice President of Development


Designs and executes comprehensive development plan in support of the identification, cultivation and solicitation of prospects for securing major and leadership (five to seven figure) gifts for campaign priorities. This includes:
  • Growing and managing a portfolio of approximately 150 prospects;

  • Maintaining extensive personal contact with prospects to identify areas of interest and opportunities for engagement;

  • Achieving an agreed upon visit goal (ultimately increasing visits to 160) with major and leadership gift prospects within the fiscal year and meeting other moves management metrics;

  • Partnering and working collaboratively with other University Advancement staff members, including others in Major and Planned Gifts department, Annual Gifts, and other colleagues to maximize philanthropic support for priority areas and in support of other shared Divisional goals;

  • Designing and executing prospect strategies which will result in meeting University campaign goals;

  • Soliciting and closing major, principal and planned gifts.

Works closely with the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences as the liaison to the College on fundraising strategies, prospect visits and advisory board activities.
  • Work with Deans on viable funding opportunities and prospect strategies

  • Conduct cultivation and solicitations visits with the Dean. Prepare materials for the meeting and as follow up.

  • Identify new prospects from the Fairfield community and beyond, by working with UA’s Research and other departments, as well as with the Dean/faculty members of the College. Also, conduct research on community philanthropists who may be interested in Fairfield.

  • Work with the Dean and advisory board chairs to identify prospective board members, create meeting agendas and develop meaningful ways for members to engage on the boards.

Works closely with the leadership of the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the DiMenna-Nyselius Library to develop and/or identify:
  • Fundraising opportunities and case statement

  • Advisory board for the Bennett Center

  • Work with leadership in their efforts to identify prospects from the community who may be interested in supporting priority areas.

Actively works with the Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement, Vice President of University Advancement and other senior leadership, deans, and faculty in all aspects of implementing development plan, including identification of new prospects, coordination of fundraising strategies, and completion of prospect cultivation, solicitation and closure visits.

Prepares briefings and other supporting background materials for University officials, and staffs University officials including the President, deans, faculty, and volunteers, on cultivation, solicitation and stewardship visits. Prepare all meeting follow up letters, materials and proposals.

Designs and executes stewardship strategies for donors of major and leadership gifts in conjunction with the Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement and Director of Constituent Relations.

Solicit and close gifts from prospects in portfolio in support of Fairfield’s annual fund. Ask all alumni in portfolio at least one gift on an annual basis to maximize alumni participation.

Responsible for accurate inputting of records pertaining to visits, contacts and solicitations and update on all relevant donor/ information in Raiser’s Edge.

Attends departmental and divisional staff meetings as requested.

Acts as a responsible and professional public representative of the University at all times and at both academic and non-academic University events.

Works to continually educate oneself on developments in the areas of advancement, and higher education.

Participates in the growth and development of the department. This involves:
  • promoting an image of efficiency and courtesy throughout the university community and consistent with the department’s mission.

Promotes safe and secure working conditions. This involves:
  • promoting the proper utilization of equipment and materials;

  • notifying supervisor immediately of any unsafe working conditions.

Performs other duties as required and as departmental needs dictate.

Duties may change and/or be added at any time.


Advancement - Admin

Performs such other duties, responsibilities, and activities as required by supervisor and as departmental/University needs indicate.


The above information indicates the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain and should not be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, activities, and/or qualifications required or expected of employees assigned to this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change and new ones may be assigned at any time, with or without notice.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a satisfactory background check.

Fairfield University provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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