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Associate Director of Principal Gifts

Wesleyan University
Connecticut, United States
Salary Not Specified
Start date
Oct 31, 2023

Job Details

Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand.

Position Details
Wesleyan University’s Office of Advancement ( ADV ) builds lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, and friends, and engages them in support of Wesleyan’s educational mission and financial goals.

The Advancement team fosters pride in the Wesleyan community and develops support for university initiatives through outreach activities, including development and fundraising, alumni and parent relations, and on- and off-campus events. Wesleyan is about to launch the public phase of a $600 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Reporting to the director of principal gifts, the associate director of principal gifts supports strategic initiatives and day-to-day operational management of Wesleyan’s Principal Gifts ( PRG ) program.

The associate director is an integral member of the Advancement team who supports the comprehensive cycle of relationship management for Wesleyan’s most capable prospects and donors, especially those deemed presidential prospects.

This role supports the realization of presidential initiatives from idea articulation to plan development. Additionally, the associate director ensures close alignment and integration of the PRG program within the overall Advancement development effort and is responsible for assisting the entire division with reaching financial goals.

Working across all areas of Advancement and the campus community, often with the university president and senior leadership, the associate director will help build relationships with donors, devise prospecting strategies, and qualify new leads and prospects.

The associate director will support the creation and implementation of strategies to cultivate, solicit, and steward individuals with the capacity to give seven and eight figure gifts, as well as grow the PRG portfolio. The work of the associate director is intended to aid in building a strong relationship between Wesleyan and each prospect.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Work with the director to design long-term engagement strategies to deepen donor dedication and increase giving.
  • Oversee the President’s Council and all associated outreach, planning, membership, follow up, and ongoing management.
  • Oversee the presidential briefing process; create strategic correspondence including solicitations, cultivation pieces, reports, presidential correspondence, financial reports, and activity reports.
  • Execute work and tasks in support of presidential travel and schedule.
  • When appropriate, serve as the director’s proxy to represent the PRG program with the president’s office, cabinet members, donors, colleagues, and campus partners; interface with the president’s office regularly.
  • Work closely with director to actively measure and track progress towards financial goals and problem solve within the team to improve available resources.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to align donor and organizational priorities in a way that increases income for Wesleyan and builds dynamic and deep engagement with the organization.
  • Staff presidential receptions, special events, Reunion and Commencement, Homecoming and Family Weekend, and other off-hours activities as necessary.
  • Undertake special projects as requested.

This position is a hybrid position with on-campus and remote work schedules.

Remote work is only considered for residents of MA, VT, NH, ME, CT, RI, or NY. (Relocation assistance to CT is available for those who qualify).

Minimum Qualifications
A bachelor’s degree and five years of progressively responsible experience in donor relations, communications, advancement or a related field or an equivalent combination of educational training and related experience.
Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
Development experience and understanding of the donor cycle.
Proven ability to perform effectively with a broad spectrum of professionals, including organizational leadership.
Demonstrated strategic problem solving skills.

Proficiency in Microsoft Office including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Self-motivation with the ability to balance competing deadlines, and manage multiple and often shifting priorities.
Effective communication skills.
High degree of discretion and confidentiality.
Demonstrated commitment to work within a diverse environment and interact collegially with individuals of different backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications
Experience with fundraising databases Experience with presentation software and presenting to all levels of an organization. Prior higher ed experience.
Special Instructions to Applicants
Position is open until filled. For full consideration please apply by December 1, 2023 when first review of applications will begin.
Additional Information
Any and all offers to external applicants are contingent on the candidate’s completion of a pre-employment background check screening to the satisfaction of Wesleyan University.

Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Connecticut, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information or non-position-related criminal record. We welcome applications from women and historically underrepresented minority groups. Inquiries regarding Title IX, Section 504 or any other non-discrimination policies should be directed to Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator. Wesleyan University complies with the Clery Act and maintains records of campus crime statistics and security policies. Copies of Wesleyan University?s Clery Act Report are available on request and online at


Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand. 

Our student body of approximately 3,000 undergraduate and 200 graduate students is housed on a beautiful 316-acre historic New England campus that offers the comfort of an intimate and collaborative learning environment supported by renowned faculty, cutting-edge facilities, and unique research opportunities.

With our distinctive scholar-teacher culture, creative programming, and commitment to interdisciplinary learning, Wesleyan challenges students to explore new ideas and change the world. Our graduates go on to lead and innovate in a wide variety of industries, including government, business, entertainment, and science.

At Wesleyan, we are all educators. We welcome your interest in Wesleyan's diverse, energetic community of employees who, by their creativity, innovative thinking, and generosity of spirit, help make Wesleyan a great place to work. In this energetic and inclusive community, our talented faculty and staff foster a liberal arts educational experience characterized by boldness, rigor, and practical idealism. Genuinely open-minded, intellectually curious, and mission-driven, our employees invest their impressive talents in fulfilling careers.

Wesleyan offers a broad range of growth and wellness opportunities—comprehensive health benefitsfitness incentives, generous paid time offretirement plansflexible work schedules, and educational benefits, including free employee access to Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies program and undergraduate tuition reimbursement for dependents of eligible employees. Benefits-at-a-Glance

Campus life affords employees countless opportunities to experience general-interest, academic, artistic, and athletic events. Our location in scenic central Connecticut provides easy access to Boston, New York, and the many other exciting and culturally rich destinations of New England. Few workplaces are like Wesleyan, and we welcome your interest in learning more about us.

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