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Sr. Director of Philanthropy, Athletics

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Florida, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Jun 8, 2023
Job Description

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University:

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is an independent, culturally diverse institution providing quality education and research in aviation, aerospace, engineering, and other related fields with residential campuses located in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona. The University's Worldwide campus provides educational opportunities online and at approximately 130 locations throughout the United States, Asia, Europe, and Central/South America.

As the largest and most comprehensive aviation and aerospace-focused university in the world, Embry-Riddle is a unique institution. Over the past 90 years, the University has evolved with industry to break new ground and produce top-level graduates who serve the ever-changing needs of aviation and aerospace and other STEM-related disciplines. Embry-Riddle offers programs in seven primary fields of study including: Applied Science; Aviation; Business; Computers and Technology; Engineering; Safety, Security, and Intelligence; and Space.

For Academic Year 2021-22, there were over 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students that attended the University's residential campuses and approximately 20,195 students in total enrolled with the University around the world .

The Opportunity:

The Senior Director of Development for Athletics develops and maintains substantive portfolio of alumni, parents, and friends of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University through identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship to raise significant philanthropic resources necessary to meet the Athletics Department’s annual giving, capital and endowment needs. The Senior Director works closely with the Director of Athletics and senior staff of the central development enterprise to establish philanthropic priorities and develops both long-term strategies and tactics for addressing them. The position reports to the Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement and is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with donors through face-to-face visits, donor dinners, receptions and other cultivation and community events. The Director is responsible for the strategic and effective management of a portfolio of 150+ current and prospective donors. The director will be expected to meet or exceed assigned fundraising goals that are determined on a yearly basis through collaboration with University Administration and the Athletic Director.

The Senior Director is expected to actively engage and collaborate with Athletics, supporting the Athletics Department in their efforts to secure philanthropic gifts. The Senior Director is expected to develop a rapport with coaches and staff in Athletics and to master the needs, opportunities, challenges, strategic plans, and points of pride for the Athletics Department. The Senior Director will engage with the Eagle Athletic Association providing the appropriate follow-up and stewardship activities. The Senior Director shall routinely attend planning and leadership meetings to which they are invited by the Athletics Director. The Senior Director shall also be actively engaged with the central development enterprise, attending required meetings and fulfilling all organizational and supervisory obligations, such as maintaining their training level.

The ideal candidate will be proactive, self-motivated, high-energy, and an outstanding listener and communicator, with proven experience in successfully engaging high-net worth prospects, foundations, and corporations to secure philanthropic support for the Athletics Department and the University.

Responsibilities include the following:

Major Gifts, Annual and Planned Giving:

The Sr. Director shall be assigned a portfolio of approximately 150 major prospects; conduct discovery, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship within this portfolio, engage current and prospective donors through print or electronic correspondence, calls, encounters at events, and, most importantly, individual, face-to-face visits; and travel extensively for those meetings. The Sr. Director’s primary objective is to secure gifts for the assigned unit, though other opportunities may be pursued as well, in order to optimize overall giving to the University. A major gift is defined as $5,000; however, the pursuit of gifts of $25,000 or more must be emphasized in order to achieve annual goals.

Develop Major Gift, Annual and Planned Giving Strategies:

Develop long-term strategies and tactics for each prospect, implement them, and collaborate with colleagues in the division to achieve unit and institutional donor engagement and stewardship goals. The Sr. Director’s primary responsibility is to develop strategies for the prospects assigned to them for the unit.

Athletic Unit Liaison:

Engage with and coordinate development activities within assigned unit. Participate in leadership meetings at their assigned units in order to better understand the unit’s needs, challenges, and opportunities. Help coordinate central advancement efforts in the areas of annual giving, advancement communications, data acquisition, planned giving programing, donor relations and donor impact reporting associated with the unit. Build lasting, effective relationships with the coaches, staff and student-athletes associated with their unit and across campus to best engage them in the process of philanthropy. Advise the Athletics department staff on the institution’s philanthropic policies, practices, schedules, and strategies as well as on general best practices in philanthropy. Operate within the framework of the MOU governing the position and ensure a strong healthy relationship with between their assigned unit, other units, and the central administration of the University. Effectively deploy the unit leader and their personnel.

Support Central Development:

Observe institutional development policies, participate actively in obligatory meetings held by central development, and maintain a satisfactory level of training and knowledge of best practices. The Senior Director’s main emphasis is to secure funds for their assigned unit. However, we shall be donor-centric. Thus, as necessary or as assigned, assist the central development enterprise in achieving its broader objectives. This may entail transferring or sharing assigned prospects based on interests in other units. Conduct discovery, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship in accordance with those assignments. Engage current and prospective donors through print or electronic correspondence, calls, encounters at events, and most importantly, individual, face to face visits. Complete timely, accurate, concise, and complete contact reports and enter them into the Division’s enterprise system(s).


Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree and four years of experience as a successful, professional face-to-face solicitor of philanthropic gifts of $25,000 or more
Preferred Qualifications
  • Professional experience in a higher education advancement setting is strongly preferred
  • Professional experience in the aviation or aerospace environments are a plus
  • Development and alumni relations best practices, especially in the area of major giving strategy and solicitation
  • Proper business correspondence
  • Proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Use of general office equipment and computer
  • Use of the internet as a productivity or research tool
  • Business and professional etiquette
  • Development and alumni relations best practices
  • Basic understanding of research
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills, emphasizing a solutions-oriented mentality
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Basic budgeting and cost-estimating
  • Customer relations skills
  • Comprehend, analyze and synthesize prospect reports, maps, tables, graphs and other technical information
  • Successfully conduct face-to-face major gift solicitations
  • Use mobile devices to enhance professional productivity
  • Energetic and self-motivated, well-prepared, with routinely robust follow through
  • Demonstrate strong character, emphasizing integrity, caring and honesty, as well as loyalty to the institution
  • Develop proficiency with University’s fundraising database/software
  • Maintain positive and respectful engagement with colleagues and clients
  • Effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Adaptable and resilient when confronted with challenges and changing priorities
  • Manage and meet deadlines
  • Adhere to divisional and University policies and procedures
  • Compile expense reports
  • Plan and appropriately execute social engagement activities
  • Read and generate prospect reports, maps, and other technical information associated with giving and engagement
  • Work effectively in a multi-faceted organization and develop cooperative and mutually respectful relationships with stakeholders at all levels, as well as diverse individuals and communities
  • Manage sensitive and confidential information
  • Demonstrate an authentic and enthusiastic interest in the mission of the university
  • Optimize travel planning and execution
  • Work frequently on evenings and weekends
  • Maintain a valid driver’s license and possess the ability to safely and effectively drive

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