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Development Director

Topeka, KS
Company: Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation
Job Title: Development Director
Job Classification: Exempt, Full-time
Work Schedule: Mutually determined
Reporting Relationship: Executive Director of Development
Work Location: Onsite, Alumni Association

Primary Accountability:
The Development Director is responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major gift donors from an active prospect list of individuals and Washburn University (“University”) prospects. This position is a key contributor to Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation’s (“Foundation”) fundraising efforts and will work collaboratively with the Executive Director of Development to secure support for University priorities.

The individual will work closely with both the Major Gift and Annual Giving teams to support the overall communication plan of the Foundation and maintain consistency with the Foundation’s messaging.

The Development Director will establish and nurture effective, collegial working relationships with co-workers and University partners while representing the Foundation in a positive and professional manner. Internal relations will involve regular contact with the Foundation staff including senior leadership, and contact with campus leadership as appropriate and necessary.

Major Duties Include:
  • Develop a portfolio of active major gifts prospects, and set and carry out strategies for solicitation of alumni and friends of Washburn University;
  • Assume and achieve annual fundraising and activity goals;
  • Participate in all aspects of the gift cycle: (1) initiate contacts with potential major gift donors; (2) develop appropriate engagement and cultivation strategies, including working with volunteers and senior University administrators; (3) move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; (4) make solicitations when appropriate; and (5) maintain stewardship contacts with donors;
  • Adhere to the highest ethical standards; demonstrate empathetic disposition and perseverance; reflect optimistic and positive attitude and convey sensitivity to needs of the donors;
  • Work independently and be self-motivated in initiating contacts with potential donors;
  • Work in a collegial and strategic manner with the development and advancement team in creating and implementing strategies for engagement, cultivation, solicitation and closure of gifts;
  • Determine whether an individual is capable of making a major gift and devise appropriate strategies to bring potential donors to solicitation and closure;
  • Make numerous decisions regarding cultivation time committed vs. expected gift response; determine and recommend who needs to be involved in the relationship with the prospective donor; and decide and recommend the most effective and productive use of time and travel;
  • Assist in the long-range planning for the Major Gift and Planned Giving group; and
  • Perform other activities as assigned by the Executive Director of Development.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred from an accredited college/university; significant work experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience can be substituted;
  • 3-5 years of experience in fundraising or related field required;
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical and organizational skills required;
  • Must be willing to travel and work evenings and weekends as required and necessary;
  • Must be able to build strong relationships with donors, academic partners, Foundation staff and volunteers;
  • Successful experience in making cold calls as well as developing cultivation and solicitation strategies preferred;
  • Knowledge of and interest in all aspects of Washburn University and dedication to promoting the fundraising priorities to others on campus, in the community and with alumni and friends;
  • Ability to handle multi-functional tasks and have a demonstrated record of completing assignments and meeting deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Professional attitude and the ability to maintain confidentiality; and
  • Reliable and predictable attendance.
Physical Demands:
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time;
  • Ability to use computers and telephones effectively;
  • Ability to travel regionally and nationally with air travel and overnight travel expected;
  • Ability to unpack and move supplies up to 30 lbs.;
  • Ability to work some evenings, weekends, and attend special events; and
  • Ability to drive.
Work Environment:
  • Professional environment in an office setting; and
  • Public interaction with staff and clients/donors.
Additional Duties:
Additional duties and responsibilities may be added to this job description at any time. The job description does not state or imply that these are the only activities to be performed by the employee(s) holding this position. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related responsibilities as requested by their supervisor.

Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation is committed to building a community of support to continuously strengthen Washburn University and enhance the educational opportunities and experiences of our students. We build life-long partnerships with alumni and friends, and secure, invest, and steward private financial support.
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