Assistant Vice President for Advancement

District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Nov 24, 2020
Dec 23, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

The American Council on Education (ACE) is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is working toward a vision of a vibrant democratic society that relies on postsecondary education to expand knowledge, equity, and social progress. ACE demonstrates its core values of inclusion, excellence, innovation, collaboration, and impact in the work we do and how we serve our members. Our work is driven by three strategic priorities:

  • Affirm & Strengthen Public Trust in Postsecondary Education
  • Champion Equity, Access & Completion
  • Enrich the Capacity of Institutions & Leaders to Innovate and Adapt

ACE is seeking an Assistant Vice President for Advancement. The ideal candidate will be a proven advancement professional with both foundation and corporate fundraising expertise and knowledge of higher education. Experience in seeking and stewarding government grants is valuable.

Working closely with ACE’s President, Senior Vice President for Learning & Engagement, Chief Learning & Innovation Officer, Director of Advancement, and many other organizational leaders, the AVP is responsible for strategy development and implementation of ACE’s external fundraising efforts in support of programs, products, services, and advocacy. The AVP will work in close collaboration with other ACE leaders in the President’s Office, Division of Government & Public Affairs, and the Learning & Engagement Division. Additionally, the AVP will lead and manage an advancement team consisting of a Director of Advancement, Associate Director, two Specialists, and other staff.

The individual will lead the collaborative effort to deepen and expand partnerships and strategic relationships with current and prospective donors, which will include a focus on large and mid-sized national foundations, corporations, other philanthropies, and government agencies involved in postsecondary education. Reporting to the SVP for Learning & Engagement, the AVP will advance ACE’s mission and strategic priorities as he or she develops and executes ACE’s fundraising strategy.


Essential Job Duties or Tasks:

General Leadership/Management

  • Work closely with the President, SVP for Learning & Engagement, Chief Learning & Innovation Officer, Director of Advancement, and other senior leaders, as well as the Advancement team, to expand foundation and corporate support for ACE’s programs, products and services to meet fundraising targets;
  • Play a lead role in developing and implementing strategies to expand ACE’s corporate relations program and increase corporate contributions, in collaboration with the Director of Advancement;
  • Build on ACE’s relationships with foundations and government supporters and cultivate new ones;
  • Provide oversight and strategy development for ACE’s individual giving programs (Fellows Funds, Women’s Leadership Legacy Fund, Fund for Leaders of Color and President’s Fund);
  • Manage and serve as a resource to program staff by collaborating on strategy/conceptualizing of new programs and cultivation and stewardship of prospects and donors, including reporting, etc.;
  • Collaborate with ACE’s subject matter experts to develop concept papers, letters of intent and grant and sponsorship proposals;
  • Develop a staff training program to expand capacity in proposal writing;
  • Represent ACE at external meetings with philanthropic partners;
  • Develop materials as needed for external funder communications.
  • Develop/manage stewardship strategy for foundation, individual and corporate donors.
  • Provide oversight of the ACE Affiliate Membership, Thought Leaders Circle (TLC), and Executive Search Roundtable (ESR) programs. Work with Advancement Director to:
    • Design and implement an effective multi-year year strategic plan to expand ACE Affiliate Membership, TLC, and ESR and broaden affiliate membership;
    • Design and execute campaign strategy for ACE Affiliate Membership, TLC and ESR; enhance member benefits;
    • Develop and implement tactics to strengthen stewardship of ACE Affiliate, TLC and ESR members.

Annual Meeting

  • Oversee Advancement team in collaboration with the Director of Advancement to:
  • Design and execute new strategies to expand sponsorships for the ACE Annual Meeting;
  • Determine sponsorship revenue target and work with advancement staff to achieve target;
  • Oversee all Advancement operations for the ACE Annual Meeting.

Team Management & Advancement Operations

  • Provide oversight for ACE’s Advancement operations, ensuring required documentation is current and secure at all times;
  • Oversee prospect research on foundation, government and corporate giving;
  • Oversee grants management;
  • Monitor foundation/corporate giving trends/data and inform ACE senior staff as needed;
  • Oversee the preparation of Advancement briefing materials for ACE’s senior leadership;
  • Oversee preparation of Board reports, grant activity report, and other reports as needed;
  • Play a key role in annual determination of the Department’s goals;
  • Supervise a team of 5 advancement staff members;
  • Provide guidance and oversight to ensure that the enterprise CRM database is meeting the fundraising needs of the department
  • Develop/coordinate proposal-writing pool as needed.


Education/Experience/Specialized Knowledge and Competency Requirements:


  • A minimum of ten years in foundation and corporate fundraising OR a Bachelor’s degree, some executive level experience, and 7 years in foundation and corporate fundraising;
  • Demonstrated success in corporate and foundation fundraising;
  • Superior communication skills.


Strongly Preferred:

  • Extensive experience with proposal writing;
  • Ability to work well in corporate, foundation and government communities;
  • Strategic thinker with experience in design and execution of strategic development plans;
  • Knowledge about the higher education community and key issues;
  • High energy, multi-tasker, entrepreneurial, and innovative thinker;
  • Extensive experience managing and developing small teams;
  • Experience working with diverse audiences and constituencies;
  • Collaborative style; team-builder.



  • Advanced degree;
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential preferred.


Resume and cover letter are required for consideration. 


**Please note the American Council on Education is currently in a remote status, and the interview process will be conducted remotely.  Our status is subject to change based on guidance surrounding COVID-19**

 Due to the current pandemic, our office is currently remote and you may experience a slower response time to your inquiry for a job opportunity. We appreciate your patience as we adjust to the dynamic circumstances.

The American Council on Education is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, disability, matriculation, genetic information, credit information or protected veteran status.

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