Senior Director of Development

AdministrativeRemote, United States Denver, Colorado Boston, Massachusetts Seattle, Washington Los Angeles, CA San Diego, California San Francisco, CA Charleston, South Carolina Durham, North Carolina Provo, Utah Salt Lake City, UT Bend, Oregon Indianapolis, Indiana St Louis, Missouri Atlanta, Georgia Orlando, Florida Miami, Florida Scottsdale, Arizona Chandler, Arizona Charlotte, United States North Charleston, South Carolina


Position Summary:

The Senior Director of Development leads fundraising efforts and major comprehensive campaign for the University. Provides leadership in developing and facilitating opportunities for major and principal gift fundraising among development staff and creates an environment that enhances communication and collaboration among Advancement colleagues, senior leadership, faculty and staff. Manages a portfolio of individual and corporate prospects through all phases of the development process: research, initiate, design, and execute strategies for assigned prospects.  

This role establishes new prospects to support philanthropic efforts in coordination with Office of the President, External Relations, Academics, Alumni Relations, and other key institutional areas. They will steward relationships with current and future donors.

Essential Functions:

Core Functions:

Duties/Responsibilities: Development Officer

  • Collaborates with advancement leadership on the development of programs and strategies to create a growing and sustainable pipeline of philanthropic support for National University.
  • Works closely with potential prospects to cultivate relationships and secure meetings with senior leaders.  Identifies and develops relationships with individual and corporate prospects to secure fundraising opportunities.
  • Coordinates with external funding sources, foundations, research institutes, and other potential funders development opportunities aligned with institutional priorities.
  • Provides leadership for annual giving, planned giving and other key campaigns.
  • Leads and executes fundraising campaigns for annual giving and major gifts.
  • Shepherds philanthropic efforts to support institutional funding priorities and prospective donors.
  • Engages senior leadership in strategies to cultivate and establish relationships and alignment of giving opportunities associated with institutional priorities.
  • Cultivates key relationships at internal functions and external events.

Duties/Responsibilities: Corporation and Foundations

  • Develops cultivation and solicitation strategies for new and previously identified corporate and foundation prospects, working in collaboration with other staff in the development office to shape and implement strategies.
  • Identifies, cultivates, and maintains long-term relationships with local and national corporations and foundations to bring key, high priority initiatives to the attention of administrators and other leaders.
  • Monitors and evaluates progress toward goals; provides statistical reports and suggest appropriate research for individual/group, corporation and foundation prospects.
  • Collaborates with prospect researchers to conduct and manage research to identify potential funding sources from foundations through examination of past records, and identifying new prospects.

Duties/Responsibilities: Grants

  • Develops and submits grant proposals for funds from foundations and ensures appropriate follow-up and stewardship including grant reports and renewal requests.
  • Writes, edits, and proofreads proposals, reports and all correspondences to foundation funders, and for individuals requiring program proposals.
  • Oversees cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of foundation donors and determines appropriate tools including personal solicitation, written solicitation, targeted mailings, and/or major donor events.

Duties/Responsibilities: Development Support

  • Manages and prioritizes projects to meet deadlines, and manages supplemental material required for proposals; ensures prompt acknowledgment of foundation gifts and other gifts as needed.
  • Develops and writes boilerplate proposals and “letters of intent” for the University and adapts to the unique specifications of the funders and submit on-line grant applications in accordance with deadlines.
  • Works closely with leadership to compose, edit, and/or coordinate written materials, including proposals and budgets, in support of individual or foundation solicitations. Coordinates briefings for site visits for appropriate University representatives, conduct debriefing session and follow-up.

Duties/Responsibilities: Consultation and Mentoring

  • Provides consultation and training in fundraising for leadership, faculty and staff. Advises leadership faculty on foundation prospects and strategies for their research and other projects; provides coaching and direct assistance in implementing strategies and proposal writing and preparation.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Provide supervisorial support, mentoring and development of 3-4 staff members


Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree with 10 years’ or a master’s degree with 8 years’ direct experience in a combination of non-profit, community relations, advancement, and or development
  • Project management experience using project management applications (e.g., SmartSheets, MS Project). 

Technical / Functional Skills

  • Technology literacy in advanced MS Suite skills required (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Visio) as well as use of raiser’s edge and CRM tools.
  • Proven experience in the full spectrum of development and advancement, including:  cultivating donors, gift solicitations, proposals, stewardship, donor recognition and administration.
  • Ability to develop and manage annual and strategic fundraising initiatives.
  • History of securing major and principal level gifts, staffing senior-level university administrators and closing gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Experience in developing and submitting proposals for funding opportunities. 
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills to work cooperatively with diverse individuals, and ability to communicate professionally with alumni, faculty, administrators, corporate leaders and dignitaries.
  • Knowledge of higher education organizations and related opportunities for development efforts associated with academic and institutional priorities
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with key constituents and potential donors.
  • Exceptional social skills, knowledge of protocols, and etiquette in establishing and nurturing relationships in philanthropic settings.
  • Leadership skills and initiative in expanding development efforts with measurable outcomes.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience with project management and ability to exercise independent judgment in planning, design, management, and reporting of projects.
  • Ability to hire, train, motivate, supervise and evaluate staff.


  • Possess high level of integrity and able to exercise confidentiality and discretion.
  • Demonstrated personnel management skills to provide guidance and maintain a strong team of players.
  • Strong negotiating experience and adept organizational, research and analytical skills.

The National University System is committed to maintaining a high-quality, diverse workforce representative of the populations we serve. As a network of nonprofit educational institutions, the System employs more than 3,300 faculty and staff and serves over 41,000 students. We are united in our mission to meet the global education demands of the 21st Century and are dedicated to creating a supportive academic and work environment that allows for students, faculty and staff to develop their interests and talents while experiencing a sense of community and a commitment to diversity. With programs available both online and at our many campus locations, the National University System is a leader in creating innovative solutions to education and meeting the needs of our diverse student population, including adult learners and working professionals.

The National University System offers a comprehensive benefits package, competitive salaries, and an opportunity to work in an innovative environment that supports diversity. It is our policy to provide equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. The System does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, family care status, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other basis protected by state of federal laws.