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Director of Development, SPA (16323)

American University
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Start date
Sep 20, 2023

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At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail.

Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work.

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The Director of Development for the School of Public affairs is a major gifts fundraiser for the School of Public Affairs at American University. The Director of Development is responsible for achieving aggressive fundraising, solicitation, cash, pledge, and visit goals, which are set annually. This position manages a prospect portfolio of at least 100+ active rated prospects for the School of Public Affairs, with giving capacities from $25,000 to $100,000+. The Director of Development is expected to personally manage these relationships to cultivate, solicit, close gifts, and steward alumni donors, as well as identify and qualify new prospects for the School of Public Affairs. Domestic travel is required in this position to personally engage alumni and secure funds for SPA. The Director of Development serves as a key member of the Dean’s external relations team and as an ambassador of the school; works closely with the SPA Assistant Dean of Development, SPA and the University Advancement Office, on moves management, stewardship and donor issues to raise funds for the School of Public Affairs; and shares in the responsibilities of managing the SPA Dean’s Board of Advisors as well as managing donor-focused events.

Essential Functions
  1. Major Gift Fundraising/Stewardship:This position is responsible for identifying, qualifying, visiting, cultivating, soliciting, closing, and stewarding donors to raise major gifts for the School of Public Affairs. Personally manages key relationships with 100+ rated donors ($25,000 to $100,000+) in an active portfolio. Responsible for meeting aggressive fundraising, visit, solicitation, cash, and pledge goals, which are established annually, with minimal supervision. Works closely with SPA Assistant Dean of Development, SPA Dean, SPA faculty and staff, and collaboratively with University Advancement colleagues to achieve campaign goals and has a key role in managing the SPA Dean’s Board of Advisors and strategic events and projects to advance SPA development goals and priorities.
  2. Prospect Management:Work in concert with University Advancement colleagues, including particularly close collaboration with the Planned Giving Team, and Office of Prospect Research & Management to conduct entrepreneurial prospect identification and qualification.
  3. Reporting & Recording:Conducts timely updating of reports, recording strategic moves and other activities in CRM database, updating portfolio status
  4. Other duties as assignedin support of the broader objectives of the Associate Vice President for Development and the Vice President for Advancement.

Work Environment
  • Travel Required: This position may require travel outside the Washington metropolitan area 20-40% of the time, as well as seasonal evening and weekend work for scheduled SPA and University events and programs.
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Full Time.
  • Team Leader B.
  • Exempt.
Required Education and Experience
  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 5-8 years of relevant experience.
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Proven track record of closing individual and/or corporate and foundation gifts of $25,000+.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills. (A writing sample may be required.)
  • General supervisory experience, with record of positive mentorship and delegation of responsibilities.
  • Maturity, ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a deadline-oriented environment.
  • Familiarity with fundraising databases and strong command of MS Office Suite of products.
  • Strong preference for experience in a higher education environment.

AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite.Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options .

Other Details
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.
  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Current American University Employees

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Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email .

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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