Lead Development Officer

Virginia, United States
Salary Not specified
Mar 12, 2021
Apr 10, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Lead Development Officer

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts


The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) seeks a dynamic and deeply experienced Lead Development Officer who will create and execute the planning and implementation of all VCUarts’ development and alumni activities. The high caliber Lead Development Officer will be charged with the creation and execution of a strategic advancement plan that will position the School to leverage its national reputation and rankings to address funding priorities and achieve short- and long-term fundraising goals. This is a pivotal time in the School’s history as it welcomes a new Dean with an ambitious agenda who will guide VCUarts on a forward-thinking path to academic and student excellence and sustainable success. The university recently concluded the Make It Real Campaign and is planning for the launch of the next capital campaign. The Lead Development Officer will steer planning and operational preparations for the next campaign, the most aggressive in the school’s history. In addition, the Lead Development Officer will position the school in support of a new state-funded innovation building, all while maintaining our reputation and ranking as the nation’s #2 public art school.




The new Lead Development Officer will have the opportunity to join a highly energetic, engaged and talented faculty, staff and student population. The school, with a graduate arts program that has the highest U.S. News & World Report ranking ever achieved by a public university arts and design school, has established itself as a creative force, locally, nationally and internationally. The school encompasses a wide spectrum of disciplines whose distinctiveness fosters opportunities for premier collaborations and synergies within the school, across the university and around the globe. The faculty, students, staff and community set high aspirations for themselves, individually and as a school, and will expect the same from the new Lead Development Officer.


The School of the Arts educates approximately 3,000 undergraduates and more than 100 graduate students through programs both in Richmond and in Doha, Qatar. In Richmond, students are taught by over 175 full-time teaching and research faculty members and more than 175 others who bring direct artistic experience into the classroom on a part-time basis, as well as over 50 staff members that assist in daily processes. The school is organized into groups, offering 18 bachelor’s degrees, six master’s degrees and one doctoral degree. The School of the Arts has an annual budget of $38 million and an endowment of more than $13.5 million.


The School of the Arts is a catalyst for innovative collaborations across campus and the community. VCU is one of only 54 universities and only 19 public universities nationwide to achieve both “Community Engaged” and “Highest Research Activity” designations by the Carnegie Foundation. It is the recipient of the prestigious Peter McGrath Award for University Community Partnerships from the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities. Within this dynamic university, the School of the Arts adds significantly to, and is supported by, the vitality of Richmond — a thriving capital city marked by innovative expression in art, theatre, design, dance, film, architecture and more. Ultimately, the work of the School of the Arts extends globally and across the humanities, health care and business.


VCU Development and Alumni Relations:


In 2020, Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) completed the largest fundraising campaign in VCU’s history, with donors contributing $841.6 million. The Make It Real Campaign for VCU funded the critical initiatives that will become points of distinction for VCU long into the future.


DAR Vice President Jay E. Davenport, CFRE, leads the development and alumni relations teams across the institution. Now topping 240 staff, the development enterprise is a hybrid operation, with a strong central team dedicated to marketing and engagement, alumni relations, advancement services and centralized philanthropy services that include regional, planned and corporate and foundation giving. Each dean also has a development team that co-reports to DAR. Davenport is highly regarded as a national leader of university campaigns and recently co-chaired the national CASE conference on campaigns. He and his leadership team are dedicated to creating a sophisticated and diversified advancement operation that recruits, retains and grows its talent through targeted investments.


The successful candidate will have at least five years of senior development and fundraising experience with demonstrated success securing six- and seven-figure major individual and legacy gifts. As an experienced and successful fundraiser, the Lead Development Officer will have a proven ability to achieve revenue goals while being cognizant of best practices, trends, and innovations in the development arena. Candidates will also have depth and breadth of knowledge in strategic advancement, membership programs, annual fund giving, and prospect research. Leading candidates will be technologically savvy and possess knowledge of and interest in emerging trends in securing philanthropic support. The Lead Development Officer will demonstrate evidence of significant, substantial, and increasing responsibility in a senior development role within a higher education, cultural non-profit and/or social action organization is required. Candidates must also demonstrate strong written, verbal, and presentation skills.


To read the full position announcement and to learn more about VCUarts, visit:



Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by April 5, 2021. Applications will only be accepted via VCU jobs at www.vcujobs.com/postings/103757.


Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.

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