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Assistant or Associate Director, Development - University Advancement

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Jan 23, 2024

Job Details

Carnegie Mellon is enjoying its most productive fundraising years in its history, surpassing the initial fundraising goal for its $2 billion Make Possible campaign more than 18 months ahead of schedule.

University Advancement (UA) supports the entire CMU community in building relationships with key constituencies and securing the financial resources the university needs to continue its ascent. As the division grows, we are seeking an assistant director or associate director, Development. This is an exciting opportunity if you thrive in an interesting and fast-paced work environment.

Reporting to the executive director, Development, you will be responsible for identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospects with a specific rated capacity. You will manage a portfolio of prospects and will be expected to travel 10-12 times per year outside of the Pittsburgh region and conduct some prospect meetings locally and virtually.

Your core responsibilities will include:
  • Setting annual goals for qualifications, cultivation moves, solicitations, gift closures and dollars raised according to standard University Advancement gift officer metrics. Tracking and reporting progress on goals; making periodic adjustments with supervisor as needed based on analysis.
    • Assistant Director level : 35+ qualifications; 150+ cultivation moves; 30+ solicitations; 10+ gift closures, and $200k+ dollars raised.
    • Associate Director level : 25+ qualifications; 150+ cultivation moves; 30+ solicitations; 12+ gift closures, and $350k+ dollars raised.
  • Preparing and sending communications to prospects/donors, such as meeting requests, post-meeting follow-up, written proposals, agreements, stewardship updates, gift recognitions and engagement opportunities.
  • Managing and developing a portfolio of leadership annual giving prospects, with a specific rated capacity, primarily through in-person or virtual visits, but also by utilizing email, phone or direct mail. Qualifying prospective donors by identifying capacity and inclination. Determining ongoing relationship activities with prospects. Recommending specific gift designations and levels of support. Identifying those to be involved in cultivation and solicitations. Soliciting multi-year leadership annual giving commitments. Bringing solicitations to closure.
    • Assistant Director level : portfolio size of approximately 150+ prospects, with a general rated capacity of $10,000-$99,999.
    • Associate Director level : portfolio size of approximately 125+ prospects, with a general rated capacity of $50,000-$249,999.
  • Stewarding donors and participating in events that recognize donors on campus and in assigned travel areas. Collaborating with Annual Giving team. Occasionally assisting University Advancement with niche fundraising projects, such as reunion class giving and Giving CMU Day.
  • Consistently tracking prospect outreach and relationship building efforts through each fundraising stage in T360 database. Producing individual contact reports summarizing each prospect interaction and meeting. Tracking progress of proposals of $10,000 or greater.
  • Other duties as assigned
Passion, excellence and flexibility are vital qualities within University Advancement. A commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; collaboration; and cultural awareness are valued competencies at CMU. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who is able to effectively interact and work with a varied population of internal and external partners at a high level of integrity. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the university through their work.

You should demonstrate:
  • The ability to:
    • recognize and understand the objectives of the University Advancement division, and integrate personal goals with those objectives
    • initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and alter strategic advancement plans for prospect moves management
    • articulate the case for supporting the vision/mission/goals of Carnegie Mellon
    • work under the pressure of deadlines, solicitation and dollar goals
    • prioritize work and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
    • participate in all aspects of the gift cycle: (1) to initiate contacts with potential donors; (2) to determine the capacity and inclination of potential donors to make a gift or pledge; (3) to develop and execute appropriate cultivation strategies for prospective donors, including working with advancement colleagues, volunteers, faculty and university leadership; (4) to move prospective donors in a deliberate and timely fashion toward solicitation; (5) to make solicitations when appropriate; (6) to close gifts and pledges in a swift manner; (7) to maintain stewardship contacts with donors
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Adherence to the highest ethical standards, with an empathetic disposition, perseverance, optimistic and positive attitude, and sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others.
  • Interest in all aspects of education and a dedication to promoting the university's fundraising priorities through developing excellent working relationships with university constituencies
  • Broad knowledge of tax laws that impact charitable giving, personal assets and estates
  • Personal belief in mission, goals and objectives of private higher education
  • Knowledge of the principles of fundraising
You should be able to travel domestically and be willing to work outside of normal business hours as needed.


Assistant Director level:
  • A bachelor’s degree is required
  • One to three years of fundraising experience, preferably in higher education
Associate Director level:
  • A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree is preferred
  • Three to five years of successful fundraising experience, preferably in higher education, including direct solicitations of five and six figure gifts from individuals
  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license and successfully complete a driver's license verification on an annual basis. Must complete the National Safety Council Defensive Driver Training once every three years
  • Successful background check
Joining the CMU team opens the door to an array of exceptional benefits, available to all full-time Carnegie Mellon University employees. Experience the full spectrum of advantages, from comprehensive medical, prescription, dental, and vision insurance to enticing retirement savings programs. Unlock your potential with tuition benefits, and take well-deserved breaks with generous paid time off and holidays. Rest easy knowing you are covered by life and accidental death and disability insurance. For a comprehensive overview of the benefits awaiting you, explore: .

At Carnegie Mellon, we value the whole package when extending offers of employment. Beyond just credentials, we consider the role & responsibilities, your invaluable work experience, and the knowledge gained through education and training. We acknowledge and appreciate your unique key skills and the diverse perspectives you bring. Your journey with us is about more than just a job; it’s about finding the perfect fit for your professional growth and personal aspirations.

Are you interested in this exciting opportunity?! Apply today!


Pittsburgh, PA

Job Function

Major Gifts

Position Type

Staff – Regular

Full Time/Part time

Full time

Pay Basis


More Information:
  • Please visit Why Carnegie Mellon to learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.

  • Click here to view a listing of employee benefits

  • Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran .

  • Statement of Assurance


Carnegie Mellon Univesity

Carnegie Mellon University challenges the curious and passionate to imagine and deliver work that matters.

A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon stands among the world's most renowned educational institutions, and sets its own course. Start the journey here.

Over the past 10 years, more than 400 startups linked to CMU have raised more than $7 billion in follow-on funding. Those investment numbers are especially high because of the sheer size of Pittsburgh’s growing autonomous vehicles cluster – including Uber, Aurora, Waymo and Motional – all of which are here because of their strong ties to CMU.

With cutting-edge brain science, path-breaking performances, innovative startups, driverless cars, big data, big ambitions, Nobel and Turing prizes, hands-on learning, and a whole lot of robots, CMU doesn't imagine the future, we create it. 

Many seek Pittsburgh for being a hot spot for entrepreneurship and a model for future cities. Others come for the city's burgeoning food scene.

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