Director of Development

Director of Development
George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, invites applications for a Director of Development.  George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and it strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.

About the Position:
This position will work closely with the Dean and the Senior Associate Dean to develop and implement a strategic plan for soliciting Principal ($1M) and Major ($25K) gifts. The position will build productive relationships with current and new donors, including with individuals not already in the school’s pipeline. The incumbent will be responsible for soliciting gifts individually and/or in conjunction with school leaders and for preparing/training others to solicit gifts. The Director of Development will need to be able to write compelling development plans and proposals and to track and present data in such a way as to help school leaders to achieve their goals. 

To achieve the above objectives, the Director of Development will need to build productive working relationships with colleagues in the Schar School, across the Mason campuses, and across the country. The position will have access to the school’s senior leadership, as well as to campus leaders, alumni, faculty, and staff. We seek someone who is excited and passionate about creating a transformative development operation over the next 5 years. The position will be based on the Arlington campus, approximately 20 minutes from the Capitol. This location helps us to attract top-tier faculty who want to impact policy discussions and provides faculty and staff with unusual access to decision-makers. 

Travel and occasional weekend and evening hours are required.

This position reports to the Senior Associate Dean of Administration of the Schar School, with a dotted line to the Associate Vice President of Development for Schools and Colleges in the Mason Office of Advancement.


The Schar School and George Mason University

The Schar School is a dynamic, fast-growing institution. Strengths include daily media hits by faculty in the nation’s top newspapers, $9 million in annual grant expenditures, and over $1 million in annual funding for PhD students. Enrollment of incoming master’s students increased by 60% in Fall 20; enrollment of incoming undergraduates increased by 22% in Fall 21. Our 62 tenure-line faculty currently serve over 2,000 students on the Arlington and Fairfax campuses. Much of the work of the school is interdisciplinary, and area strengths include immigration policy, illicit trafficking and trade, healthcare within the criminal justice system, AI equity and policy, and national intelligence and security. 

Advancement’s mission is to build strong, lifelong relationships with George Mason University’s alumni and constituents, while matching their philanthropic interests with the university’s aspirations and priorities. The division is committed to serving the needs of the university, our alumni, and the greater community by providing access to quality education and lifelong learning. Respect, service, integrity, collaboration, diversity, transparency, and creativity are the values that guide our work and culture.

George Mason University was named the top young university in the United States in the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings. Mason is Virginia’s largest public research university, the largest producer of tech talent in the State, and the 25th most diverse public university in the U.S.

Required Qualifications:

  • Possess a Master’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree and equivalent work experience;
  • Demonstrated record of successful major gift solicitations and experience designing and executing donor identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies;
  • Ability to determine, execute, and measure the effectiveness of fundraising strategies;
  • Understanding of best practices in the advancement field;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and to inspire others, particularly those who are not direct reports;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; 
  • Ability to write fundraising plans and proposals and to track and clearly present data;
  • Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously and meeting deadlines;
  • Have a creative approach to engaging and soliciting major donor prospects;  
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and experience with documenting appropriate information in a donor management database system.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Minimum of six years’ experience in major gifts fundraising, preferably in higher education.  

For full consideration, applicants must apply at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information. Job applications will be accepted and reviewed immediately, with hiring to be completed as soon as possible. For full consideration, apply by December 1, 2021.

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.