Major Gifts Officer 5 – Job 86511

As Penn State pursues its fast-paced and focused campaign, A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, the University seeks a seasoned and successful fundraising leader for the role of Senior Director of Development in the Eberly College of Science. This development professional will lead a team of thirteen to engage alumni and friends as partners in supporting the College, a national leader in higher education science instruction and research.  Following the retirement of the current Senior Director, the new leader will be charged with guiding and overseeing all development and alumni relations activities for one of Penn State’s largest and highest-potential constituencies.  This position reports directly to the Executive Director of Development and receives direction and supports the Dean and academic leadership team of the Eberly College on fundraising objectives and priorities.

The successful candidate will have significant experience not only in fundraising but also in development and alumni relations management, with an entrepreneurial and ambitious vision for the college’s fundraising operation with a mind to growing the office’s capabilities and fundraising success over time.  The Senior Director of Development will:

  • Act as the leader and lead fundraiser for the College, managing a diverse staff of fundraisers and alumni relations and stewardship professionals
  • Collaborate with College leadership and volunteers to define and further existing fundraising priorities consistent with College and Penn State University
  • Identify a pool and a pipeline of prospects for immediate and long-term cultivation
  • Develop annual goals, plans, and budgets for a comprehensive fundraising program
  • Supervise, train, and mentor a team of fundraisers, alumni relations and stewardship professionals, and support staff – with a focus on building team cohesiveness and increasing and sustaining fundraising results as well as long-term alumni and friend relationships
  • Recruit and guide a volunteer committee charged with meaningful roles and responsibilities in the fundraising/campaign process
  • Personally manage a portfolio of top prospects and plan and execute solicitation strategies leading to principal and major gift level commitments
  • Travel extensively throughout the region and across the country to pursue these strategies and build enduring relationships, tracked to a fixed and appropriately aggressive set of fundraising metrics
  • Serve as a confident and enthusiastic ambassador for the Eberly College of Science and its priorities and values
  • Articulate Penn State’s needs, ambitions, and values through excellent informal and formal communications, and written proposals and, specifically, support University and College efforts in increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion

This position typically requires a bachelor’s degree or higher and eight years or more of combined major gifts and related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.  An advanced degree and/or experience in the sciences and/or STEM fields will be a plus.  The successful candidate will also have:

  • A track record of success in securing major gifts and meeting fundraising goals
  • Experience in managing and leading goal-oriented, metrics-driven teams and in planning development strategies
  • Exemplary interpersonal and communication skills, with a sensitivity to sophisticated, high-net worth audiences 
  • Impeccable writing, presentation skills, and ability to utilize various technologies
  • A passion for higher education and an understanding of complex institutions
  • Demonstrated knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education with a dedication to and understanding of the skills required to build relationships with diverse communities
  • A commitment to professional development, learning, and being mentored

 Operation of a motor vehicle as part of the position’s duties and a valid driver’s license are required. Successful completion of a motor vehicle records check, in addition to standard background checks, is also required.

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