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Executive Director of Development

Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Dec 20, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Cooperative & Experiential Education, Business & Administrative Affairs, Development & Advancement, Alumni Affairs, Executive, Executive Directors, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) seeks a dynamic and experienced Executive Director of Development to lead the planning and implementation of all VCUarts’ development, alumni and fundraising activities.

The Executive Director of Development is a visible and people-oriented development professional with a commitment to morale building and enhancing the school’s resources. The Executive Director of Development will develop and implement an aggressive strategic advancement plan, lead an energetic development team to steer the planning and operations for the next major capital campaign, and position the school in support of a new state-funded innovation building, all while maintaining the school’s reputation and ranking. Within a talented academic community that holds high achievement standards, the Executive Director of Development enters the position to see through the school’s ambitious agenda to generously support academic and student excellence and further sustainable success.

Ranked by US News & World Report as a top-five arts and design school, VCUarts ( includes over 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students with nationally recognized programs in design, visual and performing arts, and has an annual budget of $38 million and an endowment of more than $13.5 million. Students are taught by over 175 full-time teaching and research faculty members and the school is supported by over 50 staff members that assist in daily processes. The School includes two campuses; one in Richmond and one in Doha, Qatar. The Richmond campus is located on the university’s 75-acre Monroe Park campus situated in the city’s historic Fan District. Ultimately, the work of the School of the Arts extends globally with partnerships throughout the world and across fields as diverse as the humanities, health care and business.

The Executive Director of Development reports jointly to the Dean of the School of the Arts, who also serves as the Special Assistant to the Provost for VCUarts Qatar, and to the Associate Vice President of Development for the Monroe Park Campus.

· Manage a select portfolio that includes current and previous donors, new prospects, and high-level prospects and donors capable of giving at major gift levels.
· Expand the donor base and increase levels of giving by cultivating and stewarding interest and involvement in the Arts.
· Build strong collaborative relationships across the school, the university, and with a diverse body of alumni and donors.
· Effectively lead a team of development staff who are successful fundraisers. (The Development team includes the Senior Development Officer, the Assistant Director of Development, and the Director of Events & Sponsorships).
· Maintain active communication between the Development Team and the school’s Communications Office to coordinate the writing, editing, and printing of development materials.
· Provide stewardship to the school’s 150 member Pollak Society that helps support faculty and student research and special projects.
· Ensure that the school’s culture of appreciation, inclusion, integrity and respect are consistently demonstrated.
· Willingness and ability to travel regularly, including overnight and occasional weekends.
· Perform other job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Hiring Standards:

A successful Executive Director of Development will be a highly organized self-starter focused on achieving goals for individual giving and institutional fundraising, and capable of driving all major gift activity for the school. In addition, the executive director possesses compelling leadership and interpersonal skills that promote collaboration and inclusion.

Other notable skills include:
· Managing and inspiring the development team while creating a positive, inclusive work environment that values experience and new ideas.
· Communicating in a clear, consistent, and transparent manner using excellent written, verbal and digital communication skills.
· The ability to identify, cultivate and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
· Understanding and relating effectively to diverse constituents.
· The flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances with creative approaches to problem solving.

Additional Qualifications and Experience:
· Bachelor’s degree in a related field, and a minimum of five years of senior development and fundraising experience.
· Extensive experience in strategic advancement, membership programs, annual fund giving, prospect research and successful fundraising campaigns.
· Substantial responsibility in a senior development role within a higher education, cultural non-profit and/or social action organization.
· Proven ability to achieve revenue goals while being cognizant of best practices, trends, and innovations in the development arena to include philanthropic support.
· A progressive track record of successes as an effective leader with expertise in personnel management and strategic planning.
· Experience in expanding a donor base beyond “local” geography, initiating high-level gifts and facilitating discussions with industry and individual donor prospects.
· Possess outstanding interpersonal skills to relate effectively with diverse constituents.

Preferred Hiring Standards:

· Master’s degree in a related field.
· Demonstrated success securing six- and seven-figure major individual and legacy gifts.
· Experience in alumni-based philanthropy.

Procedure for Candidacy:

Review of applications begins the week of September 20, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by October 31, 2021. Candidates should complete the basic personal and demographic application through the VCU job website. Candidates should provide a resume, cover letter, a diversity statement*, and the names and contact information of three references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. All nominations and applications shall be confidential until finalists are named.

Requests for information and all written nominations and applications should be directed to:

Tanya-Lee Giscombe (
Celia O’Hallahan (

*Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational diversity, equity and inclusion – an environment where all can thrive in their pursuit of excellence. Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion providing your career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. For additional guidance on writing a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

For more information on Virginia Commonwealth University, please visit and

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.

Salary Range: Commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Position Details:

Employment Type: UF - University Employee FT
Restricted Status: No
FTE: 100%
Exemption Status: Exempt

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