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OrganizationThe College Foundation of the University of Virginia
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineMarch 1, 2019
College Degree Required?Yes
Salary RangeThe annual salary will be commensurate with experience.
Phone(434) 924-6523


The College Foundation of the University of Virginia, which exists to support the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (the “College”), is conducting a search for a Director of Development, Principal Gifts.


The Director of Development, Principal Gifts is charged with identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts, with an emphasis on 7-and 8-figure gifts, from a portfolio of current and prospective donors.


The incumbent reports directly to the President of the College Foundation and collaborates closely with colleagues within the Arts & Sciences Development Office and with colleagues in other schools and units of the University, as appropriate. In addition, he or she will often involve the dean of Arts & Sciences, other senior officials of the University, faculty, and College Foundation trustees, as appropriate, during advanced stages of cultivation and when soliciting gifts. The incumbent may seek advice and guidance from supervisors on personalized solicitations to donors, but will often make cultivation, solicitation and stewardship decisions independently.



Job Duties

Key Duties and Responsibilities:


Prospect Relationship Development


  1. Develop relationships and actively solicit gifts from a portfolio of prospects, particularly principal-level prospects. Dynamically manage a portfolio of 100-125 principal prospects and collaborate with colleagues in planning for top prospect events.
  2. Actively seek leadership level unrestricted gifts and pledges to the College’s unrestricted annual fund.
  3. Motivate and support volunteers for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship calls. This may involve managing a regional board of volunteers.
  4. Work cooperatively with development staff, administration, deans, directors, College Foundation Board members and volunteers to identify and develop new donor relationships, as appropriate.
  5. Conduct at least 144 visits annually that involve approximately 100-125 unique prospects/donors in a portfolio of relationships.
  6. Extensive travel is required to develop and advance relationships with principal prospects. The Director must manage his/her travel expenses in line with an approved travel budget.


Prospect Pipeline Development and Solicitation


  1. Develop a promising pipeline of principal prospects through his/her own research, and through referrals from Development Services, colleagues, and trustees of the College Foundation.
  2. Focus on cultivating gifts for the dean’s strategic priorities at the 7-and 8-figure level, especially gifts for which matching funds may be available.
  3. Develop strategies for cultivating and soliciting designated prospects in consultation with the President of the Foundation and the dean of Arts & Sciences.
  4. Work with colleagues in Development Services and in Marketing & Communications to develop materials that help advance the work of the Director


Prospect Analysis, Reporting, Monitoring and Stewardship

  1. Participate in periodic meetings and review reports to monitor prospect stages and movement.
  2. Develop and monitor relationship-tracking mechanisms for monitoring the involvement of designated prospects at the University.
  3. Work with a Development Associate and with the Donor Relations team to provide tailor-made cultivation, solicitation and stewardship for designated prospects.

Skills Required

Work Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree is required. Advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
  • No less than four years of successful experience in position(s) with similar responsibilities is required.
  • A distinguished professional and team player with a strong track record of securing significant gifts and philanthropic commitments at increasing levels, and success managing complex relationships, preferably in a higher education setting.
  • High personal standards are required, including excellent organizational, written and oral skills.  An ability to work cooperatively with various groups of people also is required.
  • The successful candidate should enjoy working with people, especially high-profile donors, and work well under pressure. S/he should also have demonstrated the ability to manage multiple and complex projects, meet deadlines, and adapt to changing priorities and needs.
  • Strategic and goal-oriented, knowledgeable about capital campaigns, and experienced in structuring and documenting major and principal gifts.
  • This position requires knowledge of basic computer skills and programs, including Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Working knowledge of additional software utilized by the development office, such as AdvanceWeb, EverTrue, and Tableau, is preferred.

Additional Info

To Apply


Applicants should apply online using the College Foundation portal, Review of applications will begin immediately. The position will remain open until filled. The College Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


The annual salary will be commensurate with experience. The College Foundation offers generous benefits, including full health insurance coverage for employees and a 403(b) retirement plan. In 2017, The Nonprofit Times recognized The College Foundation as one of the top 50 nonprofit employers in the country.


The College Foundation of the University of Virginia is a 501(c)(3), University-Related Foundation whose mission is to raise and invest private funds for the benefit of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Governed by a 40-member volunteer Board of Trustees, and organizationally aligned with the Dean of Arts & Sciences, it employs a team of approximately three dozen advancement professionals who focus on development, donor relations, and marketing, and their related support functions.