Reporting to the Vice President for Advancement and Communications, this is an exciting opportunity to develop and lead the Development program at Samuel Merritt University, which consists of annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, and corporate/foundation giving programs. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated professional history of cultivating, soliciting and closing major gifts. The Executive Director of Development (EDD) is also responsible for the strategic execution, leadership, and development of a comprehensive annual giving program at Samuel Merritt University, focusing on increasing alumni participation, retention of donors, and targeted acquisition. The EDD will be a creative self-starter who understands and appreciates the important synergy between alumni engagement and annual giving, developing programs and initiatives that leverage both disciplines to expand the SMU alumni network and donor base in the future. Day to day functions will place a priority on balancing field work and building personal relationships while also leading the internal efforts to create and implement programmatic priorities. The EDD will work closely with the office of Marketing and Communications to develop a marketing/communications plan to advance the Planned Giving and Annual Giving programs at Samuel Merritt University. Functioning much like a startup business, this is an outstanding opportunity for a creative, motivated self-starter who enjoys the challenges and opportunities associated with building and growing a new program.
In combining the annual, major and planned giving functions within Development, this unit is better equipped to assist donors with meaningful blended gift options, and provide for a more focused partnership between Advancement, Marketing and Communications and the academic units. Fostering increased collaboration with academic leadership and the academic units is a major priority for the EDD, with significant support provided from the Vice President of Advancement and Communications.
Job Duties and Accountabilities: (all items listed below are considered “essential job functions” for ADA purposes).
40% - Develop and manage a comprehensive program for annual, major and planned gifts
20% - Develop and manage a major gift portfolio
10% - Develop and implement a marketing strategy for planned giving
10% - Work with academic leadership to identify and create College/department specific fundraising priorities
10% - Assist the Vice President of Advancement and Communications (VPAC) in creating and executing a strategic plan for Advancement, focused on fundraising and alumni engagement
5% - Serve as a member of the Advancement and Communication Leadership Team
5% - **Other duties as assigned
Skills and Abilities:
• Ability to work on a team and meet performance deadlines in a dynamic environment;
• Outstanding communication and interpersonal/leadership skills
• Build and manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects
• Work with donors, their attorneys, and financial advisors to create blended gift options to achieve each donor's goals
• Create strategies to drive collaboration with all units within Samuel Merritt University
• Implement best practices in gift planning and major gift fundraising
• Oversee a multi-channel marketing plan specifically designed to reach appropriate donors for different gift options, particularly estate gifts
• Serve as a member of the VPAC leadership team
• Implement a fundraising plan with measurable goals for performance, professionalism, and collaboration that aligns with the University’s mission and Advancement’s goals.
• Assist VPAC in developing strong relationships with deans and department Chairs
Education and/or Experience:
• Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred;
• Minimum of 5 years of annual, major and/or planned giving experience
• Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of planned giving vehicles
• Ability to conduct proactive research (data mining, modeling, surveys, focus groups, benchmarking) and translate key findings into strategic and actionable recommendations;
• Oversees the day to day management of a staff of 1-3 employees to ensure that performance goals and expectations are met;
• Knowledge and experience working with Raiser's Edge or similar fundraising database
The University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to build a welcoming and supportive campus environment, and acknowledge that diversity is an educational imperative to achieve excellence.