Executive Director, Principal Prospects and Donor Strategy

Chartered in 1804, Ohio University is the state’s first institution of higher education and one of America’s oldest public universities. Ohio University is known for its nationally ranked academic programs, its strong commitment to the liberal arts, and the quality of its faculty and their effectiveness in helping students of all backgrounds to achieve their promise. Ohio University is committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for every member of the Bobcat community. OHIO’s, 5 C values – community, character, civility, citizenship, and commitment – exhibit how diversity in all of its forms enriches the distinct educational experience of OHIO students. The university’s success in developing student potential owes to the richness of student-faculty engagement and the synergistic relationships between the exceptional undergraduate and graduate degree programs on its main campus in Athens, Ohio, five regional campuses, and three extension campuses. Collectively, the full-time, part-time, and continuing education enrollment for Ohio University is nearly 40,000. The city of Athens has a population of 25,000 and is located in southeastern Ohio along the Hocking River with abundant outdoor recreation opportunities nearby and a culturally rich college town atmosphere.

At Ohio University, the Division of University Advancement is made up of roughly 100 staff in seven departmental units: Advancement Administration, Advancement Communication and Marketing, Advancement Services, Alumni Association, Central Programs, Development, and The Ohio University Foundation Accounting Office. Together, these units build and strengthen the University’s relationship with all of those important in the life of the institution by connecting students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff, and the community. They also serve as the active support system for both the Ohio University Alumni Association and The Ohio University Foundation. Ohio University has more than 250,000 alumni living throughout the world. Graduates of Ohio University have a national presence through a network of 31 regional alumni chapters and 23 alumni societies affiliated with colleges, schools and other special interests. University Advancement works diligently to secure the private support that makes excellence possible by telling the University’s stories and communicating its mission across the state, the nation, and the world.

The Executive Director of Principal Prospects and Donor Strategy will serve as chief strategist and pipeline manager for principal giving and will develop and implement a sophisticated and programmatic approach to principal giving at OHIO. The Executive Director will initiate and implement planning and cultivation strategies for constituents and stakeholders for the purpose of securing philanthropic gifts of $1 million or more. This individual will create connections and support the development of new and established relationships with top-tier prospects/donors. The incumbent will synthesize research and information to present persuasive rationale for cultivation/solicitation strategies; provide management by monitoring and reporting on the principal gift pipeline; and oversee proposal preparation, projects, and programs for securing principal gifts throughout the Advancement enterprise. This position will work closely with University leadership, faculty and staff, Advancement staff, board members, and key volunteers. He/she will build on gift officers’ work and provide leadership in the development of a collaborative team approach for engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of principal gift level prospects/donors—acting as a coach, mentor, and strategist in advancing philanthropic success. Reports to the AVP of Communication and Chief of Staff for University Advancement, with a dotted line to the Senior AVP of Development.

Primary Accountabilities:
1. Strategist: Works to expand and diversify the base of principal ($1 million and above) prospects and donors by researching and developing donor strategies—in collaboration with University leadership and gift officers. Designs and implements specialized engagement through cultivation, solicitation, gift negotiation, and stewardship of prospects/donors in the principal gift portfolio—collaborating with Advancement staff regularly including Development, Central Programs, Advancement Services, Alumni Relations, Advancement Communications and Marketing, and the Foundation, as well as University leadership and Legal Affairs. Serves as the point of contact to manage all reports, special events, marketing and donor engagement. Develops and maintains an extensive knowledge of Ohio University’s areas of excellence and strategic pathways for aligning donor interests with University initiatives and priorities. Generates strategic ideas and supports/coordinates comprehensive supporting materials including briefings, presentations, proposals, and stewardship reports. Works closely with gift officers to plan, create, and implement communications that support fundraising goals and initiatives. The successful candidate must be self-motivated with an ability to work independently while building cross-functional teams.
50 % of Time
2. Advisor: Acts as fundraising advisor to Ohio University leadership as defined by the supervisor. Works with team to maintain complex calendars, which includes donor visits, internal and external meetings and events involving principal gift prospects, board members, University/community leadership, staff, and volunteers. Coordinates all efforts through the Deputy Chief of Staff, Leadership Travel and Engagement team, and supervisor using existing processes. Convenes internal principal gift strategy sessions with senior leadership, academic leadership, and gift officers to create alignment and consensus among key stakeholders regarding solicitation strategies. Facilitates collaborative strategy teams/discussions, mentors development staff, and proactively recommends the appropriate use of leadership’s time.
25 % of Time
3. Pipeline Manager: Coordinates work flow for principal prospects through effective pipeline management while managing multiple priorities simultaneously. Disseminates action items, tracks progress for proposals, and secures necessary data and information from academic and area experts. Record activities, contacts, proposals, and strategy plans for leadership prospects in the donor database. Responsible for development and implementation of all principal-gift-related projects to ensure excellent coordination of all principal gift related activities. Provides regular reporting on principal gift pipeline, including standard and custom reports regarding identification, assignment, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Assists with prospect-research data analysis and briefings for principal gifts by monitoring and performing periodical reviews, basic research and other prospect management support. Promote and exercise teamwork and donor-centricity when developing strategies for principal giving prospects and donors.
25 % of Time

Successful candidate must possess superior interpersonal, written and oral communication skills. Candidate will also be required to be available to work evenings and weekends as organizational needs may require.