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Senior Development Officer

New Mexico State University
New Mexico, United States
$99,389.00 - $105,000.00
Posted date
Oct 19, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Development & Advancement
Employment Level
Non-Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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Senior Development Officer

Las Cruces, NM 

New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico’s flagship land-grant and space-grant institution, and the NMSU Foundation seek a highly-collaborative, thoughtful, and entrepreneurial fundraising professional to serve as (Senior) Development Officer. The Development Officer (DO) will join a dedicated advancement team, contributing to the Foundation’s growth, and will play a critical role in identifying opportunities to support NMSU community impact, especially for students and faculty. Responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals capable of making gifts of five- and six-figure and up, the DO will manage and develop a diverse portfolio and will collaborate closely with fellow Foundation staff to ensure prospects and donors are best served in their pursuit of helping the NMSU Aggie family reach their fullest potential. This is a wonderful opportunity for an accomplished fundraiser to develop their craft further, raise philanthropy at NMSU to the next level, and join a vibrant community.

For the NMSU community, private philanthropic support is vital to increased accessibility. The recently-completed Ignite Aggie Discovery Campaign, the largest in the university’s history, raised over $125 million across three distinct pillars – student discovery, faculty and staff discovery, and NMSU achievement. Of the total, $39 million was dedicated for student support, and $56 million was raised for programmatic and research support. With an endowment of over $230 million, NMSU and the NMSU Foundation have a massive opportunity to raise even more for student, faculty, and community success. 

Critical to the continuation and growth of NMSU’s impact, and building off the momentum from the Ignite campaign, the University will rely on talented, motivated development leaders to amplify its fundraising and broader Aggie community engagement strategies. With a new Foundation President joining in Spring 2020, there is an energetic eagerness throughout the advancement team to develop and execute on an ambitious growth plan. To do so, NMSU is looking to attract professionals with the unique balance of fundraising success, authenticity, and passion for the New Mexico community.

Ideal candidates will be dedicated, hard-working, and curious. They must possess the proven ability to work with a widely diverse set of stakeholders and have the personal maturity and political acumen to communicate effectively with University leaders, prominent alumni, and donors of all kinds. A personal and professional commitment to valuing the differences in who we are, what we’ve experienced, and how we think, is vital. Excellent leadership and organizational skills in addition to superior verbal, written and interpersonal skills are essential. While not required, Spanish-speaking ability is always a plus. Regular travel (around 40%) and evening/weekend work are required. Candidates with experience in nonprofit environments, particularly higher education, and the demonstrated ability to work directly with donors and volunteers are preferred. 

Required Education & Experience

The position requires a Bachelor’s degree and at least ten years of fundraising experience related to the standard duties as outlined. Experience must include at least two years at the Associate Director of Development level. The distinction between Associate Development Officer and Senior Development Officer is based upon years of demonstrated fundraising success well over the six-figure amount and some dedicated management/mentorship experience.

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University invites you to apply to be a part of a diverse, dynamic and welcoming learning and working environment in Las Cruces, NM. NMSU seeks employees who are creative and flexible in developing and evaluating new ideas and ways to evolve NMSU into the future. Located in the borderlands and adjacent to the mighty Rio Grande, NMSU is a proud Hispanic-serving institution in the minority-majority state of New Mexico. Southern New Mexico features an average of 294 days of sunshine annually, making NMSU ideal for job-seekers who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and bird-watching. NMSU is committed to sustainability through improving and maintaining the quality of human life while preserving the integrity, stability, and beauty of ecological systems for the future. We are looking for student-centered employees with a passion for success. NMSU invites you to take the first step to your successful and rewarding career by applying today.

NMSU is New Mexico’s land-grant and space-grant institution, a comprehensive research institution dedicated to teaching, research, public service and outreach. In addition, the NMSU system includes a satellite learning center in Albuquerque, Cooperative Extension Service offices located in each of New Mexico’s 33 counties, and 12 agriculture research and science centers. New Mexico State University is the institution of choice for more than 15,000 students from 49 states and 89 foreign countries.

Las Cruces

The City of Las Cruces is the second largest city in New Mexico and is located in Doña Ana County, approximately 45 miles north of El Paso, Texas, and 225 miles south of Albuquerque. Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the Mesilla Valley, the agricultural region on the floodplain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch to the west side of El Paso, Texas. The Organ Mountains, 10 miles to the east, are dominant in the city’s landscape, along with the Doña Ana Mountains, Robledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak. Las Cruces lies within a short driving distance of the Mexican border at Santa Teresa, as well as many other locations in the broader borderland region.

Geography, climate, demographics, and ambiance of Las Cruces and NMSU combine to offer a truly excellent place to thrive. Family members will discover a warm, open community that offers an attractive array of activities and outdoor recreation, amenities, services and opportunities, whether they are looking for top-notch education, meaningful employment, or simply a safe and comfortable place to live.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Develops a personal prospect portfolio, travels to meet with donors and potential donors to secure major gifts to meet fundraising goals and objectives.
  • May lead, manage, and mentor a team of development officers of various experience levels, coordinators, and other staff that are responsible for managing and soliciting a portfolio of major gift prospects.
  • Creates and fosters an environment conducive to high performance and a cohesive team; mentors and manages staff maintaining clear monthly goals and annual performance reviews; develops performance plans and conducts reviews.
  • Assesses effectiveness of staff, processes, procedures, resource allocation, and strategies.
  • Leads constructive change through collaborative, inspiring approaches.
  • Builds high-performing team through clear articulation of expectations, establishment of standards of accountability, and guidance of staff toward desired outcomes.
  • Builds constructive, authentic, professional relationships with key volunteer leadership groups, including campaign committees and advisory councils.
  • Ensures the work of these groups effectively assists in the achievement of the dean’s and the unit’s goals.
  • Monitors progress toward individual and unit goals by monitoring monthly gift/pledge totals.
  • Manages staff toward development of effective, individualized solicitation strategies that lead to successful closing of gifts.
  • Develops and fosters a strong partnership with the dean/director of the unit; his/her involvement in the development process; ensure that s/he is devoting sufficient time to fundraising activities; and utilize his/her efforts in such a way as to capitalize on this individual’s strengths.
  • Meets regularly with supervisors and Advancement leadership to review team and individual staff performance.
  • Develops proposals and presentations materials relative to top fundraising priorities that will keep top prospects informed and involved.
  • Identifies and resolves barriers to team/unit success, in collaboration with Advancement leadership, deans/directors.
  • Develops and monitors approved operating budget; ensures strategic resource allocation to support achievement of desired results.
  • Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.


In addition to the abilities to achieve the above core responsibilities, ideal candidates will possess the following qualification and attributes:

  • Possesses and applies a broad knowledge of principles, practices and procedures of higher education fundraising to the completion of difficult assignments.
  • Possesses knowledge of related fields and areas of operation which affect, or are affected by, own area.
  • Knowledge of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gift regulations, fundraising techniques and strategies, and accounting and budgeting principles and practices. Extensive knowledge of management/supervisory practices and principles.
  • Skill in the use of personal computers and related software applications. Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities. Database and records management skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to present effectively to small and large groups.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Skills in budget preparation and fiscal management.
  • Under general guidance, plans, conducts and leads complex assignments and areas of functional responsibility.
  • Acting with substantial latitude for unreviewed action, applies broad subject matter expertise to solution of significant issues or development of new programs, services, processes or other initiatives to meet the University’s goals in a specific area.
  • Recommends changes in procedures or policies, and leads change initiatives to completion, often persuading or coordinating work of others outside own department. Ability to plan and implement fundraising programs and marketing strategies.
  • Ability to effectively lead a team and manage others with full supervisory responsibility.

How to Apply

We only accept applications from our website please use the link below. The electronic application is the official document that will be used to qualify applicants. Paper/email documents will not be accepted. Required documents must be attached to this application. 

NMSU is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. 

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