Executive Director of Advancement, Principal Gifts

New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 26, 2020
Nov 24, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

University Overview

UB is a premier, research-intensive public university dedicated to academic excellence and making a positive impact on the world.  Home to more than 31,000 students, the university is consistently recognized as one of the world’s most exceptional and most affordable universities, making it a top choice for students and faculty around the globe. We seek knowledge that leads to new cures, improved processes, stronger materials, faster computers, smarter software, smaller machines and thousands of other improvements. Building strong connections with our alumni and donors worldwide is critical to that vision. In the Division of University Advancement, we are leading the charge by helping foster a new UB environment that broadens opportunities for alumni engagement, capitalizes on positive student experiences and builds philanthropic support.

Position Overview

The Executive Director of Advancement, Principal Gifts (Executive Director) will be part of a team that is focused on building a high-performing group of fund-development professionals committed to engaging and soliciting prospects in a strategic and collaborative manner.

Under the general leadership of UB’s Senior Associate Vice President for University Advancement, the Executive Director is charged with raising private gifts for the university as part of the university's overall fundraising program.  The Executive Director’s primary responsibility is to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors capable of making gifts in the $1 million+ range from a portfolio of current and prospective donors from across the university.

Job Responsibilities:

70% of Activity

  • Works closely with the Associate Vice President for Advancement, Principal Gifts (“Associate Vice President”), Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement, university administration, faculty, and key volunteers to pursue a coordinated and strategic program of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of principal and major gift prospects and donors on behalf of the university’s schools and units.
  • Develops and manages a donor/prospect portfolio of approximately 75 individuals capable of making gifts of $1 million+ including primarily those top prospects requiring attention from the President, the Vice President for University Advancement, deans and department chairs.
  • Executes approximately 133 face-to-face visits per year. The incumbent must be able to travel up to 50% of the time, including overnight and occasional weekends.
  • Leads university fund-development efforts for select, cross-disciplinary priorities, including assigned institutes and Bold Idea initiatives.
  • Documents contacts and strategies through the use of the prospect tracking module of the Advance Web system, the in-house database for gift recording/reporting and all donor/prospect information. Adheres to the policies and procedures for accepting, recording and acknowledging gifts.
  • Produces, implements and manages strategic and comprehensive operating plans in areas of responsibility as assigned by the Associate Vice President; establishes coordinated goals and implements programs to meet goals in concert with university and advancement policies and priorities.

30% of Activity

  • Mentors gift officers across the university, as appropriate, with respect to their major and principal gift fundraising efforts.
  • Participates as a full member of the University Advancement staff, attending full staff meetings, gift officer meetings, professional development activities, and other staff meetings as appropriate.
  • Assumes responsibilities for special projects as assigned by the Associate Vice President. Such projects might include: creating a hands-on training program for gift officers focused on skill development/enhancement; gift officer recruitment at regional and national conferences; and representing University Advancement at professional conferences.
  • Pursues professional growth activities with the approval and support of the Associate Vice President.



  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • A minimum of 10 years of large (7-8 figures) gift fundraising experience, including program planning and personal solicitation; proven success in goal achievement for operating, capital, and endowment fund development;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; negotiation skills; and the ability to deal with complex concepts and ambiguity;
  • Demonstrated commitment to collaboration. The ability to work well both independently and collectively with other team members and in managing multiple projects and priorities;
  • High level of personal and professional integrity and ethics;
  • Excellent and mature judgment;
  • Technical/digital competence;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen and interact effectively with donors and high-level volunteers;
  • Ability to travel up to 50% of the time, including local and regional visits, and work evenings and occasional weekends.


  • Master’s degree;
  • Fundraising experience at a large, complex higher education institution;
  • Campaign experience;
  • Demonstrated experience in engaging volunteer partners, such as academic leaders, faculty, and alumni, in the development of meaningful and productive relationships with prospects and donors.


The University at Buffalo is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and, in keeping with our commitment, welcomes all to apply including veterans and individuals with disabilities. The University is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic University community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment.

UB offers highly competitive salary and benefit packages for its advancement staff.


For more job information and directions on how to apply, please visit our website at:

https://www.ubjobs.buffalo.edu. Only applications received through UB Jobs will be considered.


Posting # U2000038

Quick link to apply: http://www.ubjobs.buffalo.edu/postings/26717