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Executive Director, Advancement

Basic Position Information

Job Code: 2840

Title: Executive Director, Advancement

Department: Advancement & University Relations

Essential Personnel: N

Job Family: External Relations

Job Sub-Family: University Advancement

FLSA Classification: E

Job Grade: 20

Grade Min: $91,458

Grade Mid: $128,842

UHD Succession Plan: Y

Criticality of Position: Significant

Career Ladder: Individualized

Campus Security Authority: Y

Screening Committee: Y

Motor Vehicle Record Check: N

Job Summary

The Executive Director, Advancement plans, organizes and directs major gifts programs for a broad portfolio of prospects, including individuals, foundations, and corporations. The Executive Director, Advancement works closely with university leadership in developing a comprehensive program that aligns fundraising with institutional needs.


  • Provides strategic, operational, and administrative leadership to advance the mission of the University through the attainment of development goals and metrics.
  • Works with university leadership to identify, prioritize, and coordinate funding opportunities.
  • Cultivates relationships with business, philanthropic and social leaders to identify and acquire support for initiatives and programs.
  • Oversees and participates in the preparation of proposals, stewardship reports, and other advancement communications as needed.
  • Provides oversight and direction for advancement special events.
  • Provides support for the President's Leadership Council, and other volunteer boards as needed.
  • Works to position the President, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and other senior administrators, and faculty as appropriate, to build relationships with C-suite level executives at key local, regional, and national corporations and foundations that will result in significant financial support of the university.
  • Manages personal portfolio of major gift prospects of at least $25,000 (minimal gift potential).
  • Builds relationships with individuals, alums, corporations, foundations, and other key constituents to achieve the university's philanthropic priorities aligned with our mission and vision.
  • Collaborates internally to drive the formation of cases for support, proposals, and stewardship materials.
  • Serves on the Advancement leadership team, influencing overall strategy, planning, and execution in accomplishing short and long-term goals.
  • Manages a group of two to three team members focused on advancing philanthropy to UHD (Annual Fund, Prospect Research, and Stewardship).

Marginal Duties

  • Utilizes donor database to track contacts and proposal activity
  • Develops internal relationships that will support and lead to external funding
  • Supports colleagues whole responsibilities are focused on annual giving and alumni relations
  • Performs all other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities

Direct Reports:

  • Full-time Employees

Delegation of Work:

  • Regularly assigns work to subordinate(s)

Supervision Given:

  • Has primary responsibility for conducting performance evaluations and making recommendations for hiring and dismissing employees.


Required Education:

  • Bachelor's degree

Required Experience:

  • Five to seven years of experience in a professional field (fundraising, sales, community/economic development, non-profit, project management) with progressive management responsibilities or an equivalent combination of education and experience are required.
  • Commitment to a collegial and collaborative team approach to fundraising.


  • None required

Preferred Qualifications

  • Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credentials, or extensive professional development in fundraising is preferred.
  • Experience in higher education fundraising.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Knowledge of the trends, issues, and practices related to fundraising and advancement.


  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills required to liaise with a wide range of internal and external constituencies.
  • Strong organizational skills with a high attention to detail; ability to manage multiple and competing priorities.
  • Excellent listening, oral and written communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • High attention to detail; excellent oral & written skills


  • Ability to prioritize projects and work with internal and external partners to ensure the timely completion of projects
  • Ability to use strategic judgment
  • Ability to take institutional priorities and translate them into development opportunities.
  • Ability to establish and build effective working relationships with key stakeholders and partners across an organization.

Work Location and Physical Demands

Primary Work Location:

  • Works in an office environment.

Physical Demands:

  • Work is performed in a typical, comfortable interior work environment which does not subject the employee to any unpleasant elements;
  • Individual has discretion in relation to walking, standing etc., and has minimal exposure to physical risks

Position Specific Competencies

Commitment to Excellence - UHD

  • Demonstrates a commitment to competently perform his/her job duties and responsibilities within established time frames.
  • Continuously strives to improve work performance.
  • Accepts responsibility for his/her commitments to the university.
  • Contributes to the success of the university by consistently providing quality results in the performance of his/her job duties and responsibilities.


  • Demonstrates high ethical standards of conduct in the performance of his/her job duties and responsibilities.
  • Accepts responsibility for his/her actions.
  • Respects and complies with department and university policies, procedures, and work rules.

Respect and Cooperation

  • Treats others with courtesy, respect, and dignity in the workplace.
  • Promotes cooperation through open and honest communications and consideration of others ideas, thoughts, and opinions.


  • Accountable for oversight of organizational unit's projects and initiatives; monitors utilization of allocated resources and status of projected time frames.
  • Ensures organizational unit's operation are in compliance with university and department policies and procedures; responsible for development and revision of policies and procedures for assigned area(s).
  • Resolves complex issues after careful consideration of all relevant information.
  • Collaborates with other university administrators to keep the university apprised of significant developments and issues.


  • Leads the organizational unit's endeavors to achieve its goals and objectives in support of the university's vision and mission.
  • Oversees the organizational unit's operations in accordance with the university's shared values of excellence, student success, inclusiveness, respect, and integrity.
  • Fosters a dynamic work environment that encourages teamwork and cooperation.

Change Management

  • Manages the development and implementation of change initiatives to advance the university's goals and objectives.
  • Assesses the availability of resources and ascertains additional resources required to effect change within projected timelines.
  • Promotes the benefits of new methods, technology, and/or work environments resulting from changes.
  • Addresses concerns to minimize impact of potential consequences of changes.
  • Provides encouragement and support to employees through the change process.
  • Supports changes in the university's organizational structure.

Financial Administration

  • Assesses and modifies organizational unit's budget annually to provide sufficient resources for organizational unit's operations aligned with goals and objectives, in consideration of the university's budget constraints.
  • Directs administration of the organizational unit's budget to ensure effective utilization of financial resources and compliance with federal, State, and university policies and procedures.
  • Approves disbursement of funds consistent with the organizational unit's budget.
  • Monitors status of organizational unit's budget, and directs the resolution of deficiencies and/or discrepancies.

Talent Management

  • Communicates the organizational unit's priorities and initiatives to employees and the importance of their contributions to the organizational unit's goals and objectives.
  • Motivates employees by encouraging a commitment to excellence and recognizing employee accomplishments.
  • Clearly defines employee responsibilities and expectations; provides guidance and constructive feedback.
  • Encourages employee participation in professional development and training, and supports mentoring and on-the-job training to provide the tools for employees to be successful.
  • Promotes teamwork and a work environment that fosters cooperation.
  • Manages the resolution of performance issues expeditiously and with discretion.

Strategic Planning

  • Develops organizational unit's short- and long-term goals and objectives that align with the university's strategic plan.
  • Establishes assessment measures to evaluate the organizational unit's progress toward accomplishing its goals and objectives.
  • Determines priorities and allocates resources to achieve the organizational unit's goals and objectives.
  • Anticipates potential difficulties and concerns, and develops feasible contingency plans.
  • Collaborates with other university administrators to coordinate efforts across organizational units.

Organizational Engagement

  • Positively represents organizational unit to internal and external constituents in support of the organizational unit's efforts and in recognition of its accomplishments.
  • Coordinates with other university administrators to collaborate endeavors across organizational units.
  • Builds rapport with external constituents to advance the organizational unit's goals and objectives and engage the community with the university's efforts to address the needs and advance the development of the region.
  • Competently responds to audits and requests from governmental entities and UH-System on behalf of the organizational unit.

Student Success Indirect Support

  • Contributes to student success by assisting students with anything that supports their student experience, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Helps students navigate their way through the different offices, programs, and services at the university and/or connects students with the appropriate party(ies).
  • Connects students with services or resources that can help them with career exploration, goal selection, and ongoing academic assistance.
  • Helps students build peer support networks.
  • Encourages student participation in out-of-class activities.
  • Provides encouragement and guidance to foster student success.
  • Treats students with respect
  • Maintains the learning environment to ensure quality and/or sound pedagogy.

This job description may not encompass all duties and responsibilities associated with the position.