Senior Director of Development, Advancement

Posted on 01/25/2021

Northern Arizona University

Phoenix, AZ

Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Central Advancement and working closely with advancement colleagues and other senior leaders of the university, deans, faculty members, research initiatives, this position will manage the cultivation and solicitation efforts involving a portfolio of major and principal gift donors and prospects with a focus on the NAU Honors College, the College of Health and Human Services, and the Cline Library. The Senior Director will be adept at relationship building, assessing prospect philanthropic intent and capacity, closing gifts of $100,000 to $1,000,000+, and creating related donor stewardship plans. This position requires significant knowledge of NAU, its academic programs, research and outreach mission, and strategic plan goals that align with the Advancement I Foundation Strategic Plan for philanthropic support, donor engagement, and impact on the university. The high-performance expectations are metrics-driven in the number of donor assessment and solicitation visits, creating and executing prospect cultivation strategies, formulating and expressing compelling proposals to inspire and close gifts, and achieving fundraising revenue targets. The successful candidate will have experience setting and achieving strategic goals, embracing a culture of accountability, and collaboration. The Senior Director will be familiar with strategies and vehicles for outright, planned and blended gifts including gifts of cash, securities, real estate, IRA’s, charitable trusts, bequests, and the tax advantages to the donor. The position is located at NAU’s North Valley campus in Phoenix, Arizona.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and five years’ experience in fundraising or a related area, preferably in higher education, including comprehensive campaign experience, and at least two years involving the solicitation of major gifts; or an equivalent combination of experience and education.
  • Experience working with sensitive information and ability to maintain strict confidentiality.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Knowledge of Northern Arizona University and Arizona philanthropic community.
  • Master’s degree or PhD in communications, marketing or related field.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

  • Excellent interpersonal skills to relate to donors, volunteers, colleagues and high-level university administrators.
  • Established record of closing significant major gifts ($100,000+)
  • Self-motivated (a “self-starter”); innovative and able to work with considerable independence within the context of a team environment and a network of relationships.
  • Superior written and oral communication, negotiating, organizational, analytical and fundraising skills, including the ability to interpret financial information and manage data.
  • Understanding of the unique and strategic value proposition of NAU’s Honor’s College and the College of Health and Human Services to NAU and the region.
  • Familiarity with financial planning, tax and charitable gift laws and planned giving vehicles and methods.
  • Knowledge of university governance and academic administrative and financial policies and guidelines, as well as institutional foundation operations.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, taking initiative and actively seeking to deepen current donor relationships and forge new ones.
  • Project leadership, especially in planning, leading and managing development projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking and reporting on progress to senior managers.
  • Must be able to travel frequently.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Skilled in preparing reports and summaries and analyzing data.
  • Skilled in use of advancement databases.
  • Balances competing priorities.
  • Analyzes complex situations and anticipates issues.
  • Demonstrates strong problem solving, organizational, and analytical capabilities.
  • Communicates effectively.
  • Promotes a diverse, inclusive environment.

Annual Salary:


NAU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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