Senior Development Officer

Ringling College
Florida, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted date
Oct 19, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Development & Advancement, Jobs Outside Academe, Educational Service Providers
Employment Level
Salary Band
Employment Type
Full Time
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About Ringling College

Mission Statement

Ringling College of Art and Design recognizes that artists and designers play a significant role in

society. The College’s primary mission is to provide programs leading to degrees that prepare

students to be discerning visual thinkers and ethical practitioners. Visual arts and creative professionals must understand diverse aspects of past and present cultures and develop their capacity for creative expression and effective communication. 

Ringling College of Art and Design strives to enroll both full and part-time students from diverse backgrounds who intend to become professionals in the creative and visual arts. Through its policies and practices, the College supports excellence in teaching and fosters the aesthetic, intellectual, professional, personal, and social development of its students. Academic programs and advising, career services, and an extensive co-curricular student life program prepare students for an art or design profession, or when appropriate, for continued studies on the graduate level. 

In addition to its degree program, Ringling College offers courses, lectures, exhibitions, and other art-related services to the local, national, and international communities through its museum, galleries, library, continuing education, and community service programs.

Through the efforts of its Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, support staff, alumni, and friends, Ringling endeavors to provide the necessary resources, services, and environment to fulfill its institutional mission. 

POSITION SUMMARY Reporting to the Assistant Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy, the Senior Development Officer is responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors, including individuals, corporations and foundations, for gifts of $50,000 or more, concentrating on the current fundraising initiatives yet also accommodating donors’ wishes to contribute to scholarship, gifts of art and any other strategic initiative of the College. The Senior Development Officer will also be responsible for overseeing the planned giving program. Under the direction of the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Philanthropy, collaborates with senior staff, faculty, alumni, trustees, and volunteers to develop and implement initiatives and strategies for successful major gift solicitation.  The Senior Development Officer represents Ringling College of Art and Design in campus activities, community events and organizations that further the development of major gift donors to Ringling College. This position requires sensitive interaction with a variety of internal and external constituencies.

The scope of the job requires travel as well as attendance at evening and/or weekend activities, events, meetings and visits to prospects/donors in their homes and offices throughout the country. 


  1. Identify major gift donor prospects, gather relevant information, and ensure data is accurate and appropriately recorded.
  2. Adhere to all goals set by Advancement Department metrics.
  3. Manage a pool of approximately 150 qualified major gift donors and donor prospects; complete an average of 20 meaningful contacts each month as documented by call reports meeting and exceeding annual solicitation goal. This includes prospect and donor visits for the purpose of discovery, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  4. Increase College philanthropic revenue through gifts of every type including major gifts, planned gifts and gifts in kind. Annually meets assigned revenue goals.
  5. Prepare and present development progress reports at assigned meetings.
  6. Create and manage strategic cultivation and solicitation plans for top tier prospects and meet regularly with leadership to provide updates.
  7. Participate in all prospect/donor related meetings to include the Ringling College President, Vice President for Advancement, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Philanthropy and volunteer campaign leadership.
  8. Create a solicitation plan for assigned prospects to facilitate the department reaching its fundraising goal.
  9. Meet with Vice President for Advancement, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Philanthropy and fellow Development Officers routinely to review top prospects and metrics which include number of solicitations, number of discovery visits, number of call reports and dollars raised.
  10. Oversee assigned operating budget to ensure accuracy.
  11. Create and implement, with Assistant Vice President for Strategic Philanthropy’s oversight, the design of all short and long-term fundraising strategies.
  12. Responsible for the writing of proposals concentrating on the assigned prospects in portfolio.
  13. Ensure that major gift donors are appropriately recognized, communicated with and stewarded, and gifts are used in accordance with donor wishes.
  14. Collaborate with appropriate development team members and volunteers to create and implement effective donor cultivation and recognition events, giving circles and publications.
  15. Meet with the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Philanthropy at least weekly to maintain complete understanding of the College’s fundraising needs and goals. Secure gifts and pledges matching College needs with strict adherence to donor wishes.
  16. Routinely participate and take leadership roles in community activities that provide contact with major donor prospects.
  17. Represent the Office for Advancement at functions and meetings as assigned, working with prospects, donors, alumni and friends to strengthen their ties to the College.
  18. Maintain professional competency in the field of higher-education fund development through reading, professional contacts, attending courses and participating in organizations such as CASE, AFP, and Southwest Florida Planned Giving Council.
  19. Participate as a fully productive development department staff member by effectively communicating, collaborating to achieve goals, supporting and contributing to the efforts of others, adhering to the College’s procedures and policies and strictly maintaining confidentiality.
  20. Maintain knowledge of the College’s donor database management system’s functionality and ability to input data necessary to effectively manage donors and prospects cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities.
  21. Speak at community and fundraising events including audio visual presentations.
  22. As required, conduct and manage tours of the College’s facilities.
  23. Act as staff liaison with volunteer leadership on fundraising activities and divisional campaign meeting preparation and execution. 


  1. Knowledge of the fundamentals of fundraising including prospect research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  2. Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, including database management, and fundraising software such as Raiser’s Edge.
  3. Ability to build relationship with donors and effectively solicit support.
  4. Excellent communication, listening, and interpersonal skills.
  5. Exceptional collaborative and team building skills.
  6. Ability to facilitate the development of others’ knowledge and skills.
  7. Skilled in developing budgets, action plans and schedules.
  8. Proficient in developing and implementing plans.
  9. Professional enthusiasm to stay current with relevant professional information, trends and technology. 


Minimum Qualification Requirement:

  • Bachelor’s degree and four years of successful professional fundraising experience, or a demonstrated comparably successful track record soliciting and closing major gifts
  • Proven experience in endowment and capital projects planning and fundraising


  • Experience in higher education or not-for-profit development.
  • Master’s degree or CFRE accreditation. Advanced knowledge in gifts of art, other in-kind gifts and planned gifts

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