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OrganizationRaennah Mitchell
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineFebruary 17, 2021
College Degree Required?Yes
Salary Range$110-125,000
Phone(434) 982-2821


Virginia Humanities (VH), headquartered at the University of Virginia, is seeking a proven fundraiser and leader to serve as the next Director of Advancement. The Director of Advancement reports to the Executive Director and, as a member of the leadership team, directs the organization’s fundraising and public engagement efforts. With a primary focus on donor strategy, the Director of Advancement leads the advancement team in development, communication, and brand management efforts. The advancement team serves to engage current and new supporters, increase financial investment in VH, and build an increasingly strong and diverse network of stakeholders across the Commonwealth. As the chief fundraiser for VH, the Director of Advancement spends considerable time visiting with and stewarding donors, partners, and prospects across the state and representing VH publicly as an extension of VH’s executive office in order to secure major and transformational gifts for our work. When strategically necessary, the Director of Advancement works with the Executive Director to cultivate and request major contributions and support from individuals.

The Director of Advancement collaborates with the Board of Directors, works closely with Virginia Humanities’ leadership team (Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Operations Officer), and leads an advancement team to set and achieve annual and long-range fundraising goals, measuring progress throughout the year to ensure success. The Director of Advancement collaborates with program staff to support funding needs and priorities, and manages VH’s Director of Communications to ensure consistent branding, clear and targeted messaging, and strengthened relationships with supporters.

Job Duties

Development, Stewardship, and Communications 

  • Develops and oversees implementation of Development Plan in consultation with leadership and advancement teams.
  • Manages a portfolio of donors and prospective major donors across Virginia by leading in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship; maintains current documentation of activity.
  • Develops and strengthens relationships with individuals, corporations, government agencies, and foundations.
  • Spends a large amount of time traveling to develop relationships and cultivate donors in all regions of the Commonwealth.
  • Delegates and oversees creation of donor-related materials including print and electronic appeals, stewardship communication, and meeting packets.
  • Collaborates with VH leadership team to coordinate baseline annual fundraising targets with organizational strategic objectives and budget.
  • Provide timely notice to business office of impending gift requests to ensure clear path of accounting and procedures.
  • Conducts and records outcome of measurable number of face-to-face visits with donor prospects to solicit major and planned gifts.
  • Prepares or delegates preparation of written and verbal proposals, concept and informational materials, endowment and planned giving agreements, and other materials needed to secure major gifts in collaboration with colleagues, as appropriate.
  • Solicits a measurable number of major gifts annually—in collaboration with Executive Director when necessary—while growing a pipeline of new opportunities to support future major gift solicitations.
  • Works collaboratively with University Advancement, UVA’s central advancement office.
  • Represents organization publicly when Executive Director cannot to strategically grow community of humanities stakeholders, working with other staff to coordinate strategic meetings and small-scale events as needed.
  • In coordination with Executive Director, creates opportunities to increase the visibility of VH across the state through strategic partnerships, events, and special initiatives as schedule and budget permit.


  • Coaches, supervises, and evaluates advancement team of 4 and ensures staff members have the tools needed to accomplish their jobs.
  • Provides guidance to reports and tracks performance against development plan.
  • Communicates regularly with advancement team to strategize about status of stewardship, prospecting, proposals, and appeals; evaluates areas needing focus and growth.
  • Contributes approximately 10% of time to collaborative opportunities across the organization.
  • Explores new ideas through professional growth opportunities.

Leadership Team and Board

  • Participates actively in leadership team meetings to strategize and position the organization for the future.
  • Meets regularly with Board members to cultivate and solicit for major gifts for organization work and to grow our network of new investors.
  • Coordinates meetings every other month with Advancement Committee Chair(s) and prepares Board Advancement Committee activities, reports, and meeting agendas.

Skills Required


  • At least 5 years of relevant experience.
  • Personal track record of success in reaching and exceeding fundraising goals.
  • Proven ability to establish objectives, set performance standards, and organize and motivate a team to achieve goals.
  • Experience hiring, mentoring, and retaining staff.
  • Demonstrated project management, organization, delegation, and prioritization skills.
  • Experience motivating and collaborating successfully with volunteers.
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written.

Interpersonal Characteristics

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to develop relationships of trust and respect with development staff, colleagues, volunteers, and donors.
  • Commitment to building a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable community where all people can thrive.

Additional Info

Virginia Humanities is a unit of the University of Virginia, an equal opportunity employer.  At Virginia Humanities, we are invested in hiring, cultivating, and retaining a staff that embodies our commitment to inclusion and equity, which is increasingly reflected in our cultural programming statewide. We value diverse voices and strongly encourage applicants who represent the diverse and intersecting identities that contribute to the fabric of Virginia.

Applications should include a resume, letter of interest, diversity statement, and contact information for at least 3 references. The search will be carried out with full confidentiality.

This position is a restricted position and is dependent upon project need, availability of funding, and performance.

UVA’s Executive Search Group (ESG), an internal search firm in the President’s Office, is assisting in the recruitment of the next Director of Advancement for Virginia Humanities. To apply visit Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to AJ Davidson, Senior Search Consultant, at