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Director of Development, Arts & Science, Development and Alumni Relations
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee
Date Posted 08/24/2020
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

The Director of Development assists in planning and implementing the programmatic vision on behalf of the College of Arts and Science.

In addition to identifying, cultivating and soliciting alumni, friends, firms and foundations for major gifts, the Director also supports the Associate Dean in coordinating operational services and activities, and helps to integrate the major gift fundraising efforts with the work of the Director of Alumni Relations, the Annual Giving team, and other DAR colleagues.

The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals. The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help design, implement, and coordinate the College of Arts and Science development programs, consistent with the overall development program at Vanderbilt University.
    • DAR’s university development team is responsible for seeking new resources from alumni, parents, friends, corporations and foundations to support key fundraising priorities at the College of Arts and Science (A&S). The Director of development is charged with assisting in the setting, tracking, and assessing progress towards A&S’s fundraising goals in coordination with other DAR teams (e.g. Annual and Leadership Annual Giving, Corporate Relations, Foundation Relations, the Parents and Grandparents Campaign, and Planned Giving). The Director will assist in working with the Dean to effectively engage boards, committee, or councils whose membership includes alumni or other supporters and whose responsibilities – in part or solely – include increasing philanthropy.
    • This position will manage and mentor three Assistant Directors of Development on the A&S team. This includes training, setting goals, and tracking progress.
  • Secure major gifts.
    • The Director of Development serves as a major gift officer for A&S – driving forward the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of approximately 65-75 prospects that are capable of making gifts of $100,000 or greater. Outright gifts, pledges, corporate and foundation awards, and planned gifts at this level are all part of the Director of Development’s portfolio.
  • Increase the overall fundraising success for A&S.
    • The Director of Development is charged with assisting the comprehensive fundraising program that will drive larger success in securing funds to support key priorities, which could include, but are not limited to - endowed scholarships and chairs, academic program support, research funding, and capital.
    • Develop solicitation strategies for potential major gift donors; make direct solicitations; staff dean, faculty, and volunteers as needed.
  • Establish oneself as a knowledgeable staff member by:
    • Learning the Vanderbilt mission and being knowledgeable about Vanderbilt and A&S’s responsibilities to the mission
    • Attaining an in-depth understanding of the development programs and their goals in A&S.
    • Collaborating with DAR staff to build and maintain best practices in soliciting major gifts.
    • Support the Associate Dean in coordinating operations regarding major gifts fundraising, alumni relations, public relations, and communications. This includes working with prospect research, gift processing and accounting, reporting and analysis, office management, budgeting, and collaboration with the school/college and DAR colleagues as needed.
  • Enhance departmental performance standards by:
    • Maintaining a level of reliability that helps stability in the department
    • Fostering a spirit of cooperation
    • Understanding and effectively communicating departmental policy and procedures
    • Conveying thoughts/ideas to the Associate Dean of Development on improving team performance
  • Approach each situation with a professional attitude by:
    • Exercising good judgment in discussing issues and results
    • Maintaining composure and a calm demeanor during challenging situations
    • Respecting the need for confidentiality of donors and colleagues
    • Performing other duties as assigned
  • A Bachelor's Degree, or the equivalent, is necessary.
  • Advance degree is preferred.
  • The Director of Development must be a professional and polished fundraising officer who understands and is able to articulate the nature and importance of a major research university, and in particular, the significant role of A&S within this larger academic community. Leading candidates should have:
    • 3 years of relevant experience, or the equivalent is necessary.
    • 5 or more years of development experience preferred, with a background in a higher education setting
    • Experience managing a high functioning team is preferred
    • Willingness and ability to personally solicit gifts of $100,000 and larger
    • Excellent organizational skills, oral and written communications skills and the ability to articulate the needs, interests and accomplishments of Vanderbilt University to a wide range of audiences
    • Interpersonal skills and judgment suitable for exercising appropriate discretion and demeanor when dealing with alumni, parents, friends, and employees
    • Ability to exercise good judgment in the handling of confidential information
    • Ability to use current computer technology, such as Windows, Excel, Word, and Vanderbilt’s donor management system
    • A proven record of achievement in major gift fundraising from individuals
    • Good written and oral communication skills, specifically in the areas of proposal and presentation development
    • Demonstrated success in working across teams and disciplines – facilitating solutions and driving forward priorities
    • Familiarity with Vanderbilt and/or solid understanding of a major research university environment is preferred.
    • The capacity to perform in an intellectually rigorous and complex academic environment
    • Ability to work independently, take initiative, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing priorities
    • Exhibit personal characteristics enabling effective interaction with important constituencies and possess a genuine commitment to the advancement of education, research, and to the principles governing Development and Alumni Relations
    • Values the importance of equity as an organizational operating principle and is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion
    • Routine overnight travel is required
    • Some evening and weekend work, as needed


Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Job: External Affairs & Communications Professionals
Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville
Organization: 42312 - Development Teams
Unposting Date: Ongoing
*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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