Director of Development, Wildlife Biology Program

Montana, United States
Competitive Salary
Apr 19, 2021
May 18, 2021
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time

The Foundation and Wildlife Biology Program have had a successful track record raising funds to support students and faculty in wildlife biology at UM. In addition to numerous scholarships, the Foundation and Program raised sufficient funds to endow two faculty positions and one research program. This enabled UM to hire two senior-level wildlife biologists that helped raise the profile and status of the Wildlife Biology Program; UM has the highest ranked wildlife program in North America according to Academic Analytics out of Stony Brook, New York. Their ranking system is based on refereed journal and book publications, citation rates, federal grants, and honors and awards to faculty. The Program has approximately 350 undergraduate students, 65 graduate students (split between M.S. and Ph.D.), and 23 faculty members. We wish to further enhance the Program with an active, engaged Director of Development.

The Director of Development works in collaboration with the Director of the Wildlife Biology Program and the Dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, the Associate Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, and the unit leader of the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit (i.e., the Wildlife Advisory Group) to set the strategic direction for the program’s development efforts, executing on activities that ensure growing and sustainable private support.

The Director works independently but reports to the Vice President of Development, working in close collaboration with the Wildlife Biology Program, Foundation’s vice presidents and other constituent directors of development; and several Foundation teams, including Prospect Research and Management, Marketing and Communications, Stewardship, Gift Planning, and Gift and Fund Administration.

This is an exciting time to work at the UM Foundation as we continue to recognize the impact of Campaign Montana, our comprehensive seven-year fundraising campaign, which ended in 2020 as the most ambitious and successful higher education campaign in state history. Our work this year will honor the more than 34,000 supporters who contributed $450.9 million to elevate every student, college, school and program at the University of Montana. You will join colleagues at the UM Foundation committed to inspiring philanthropic support to enhance excellence and opportunity at the University of Montana.


  • The position is currently remote with the expectation that it will move to in office work at a later date. Candidates must have access to high quality internet.
  • Manages a portfolio of prospective donors with a focus on individuals and entities with a giving potential of $25,000 or more
  • Develops a pool of individual, corporate and foundation prospects associated with the program’s fundraising priorities
  • Develops and implements a cultivation and solicitation strategy for each assigned prospective donor; maintains documented strategies for prospects and meets established expectations for documentation of development activities
  • Completes strategic personal visits with prospective donors to advance relationships toward gift commitments
  • Develops and presents gift proposals
  • Prepares and presents written proposals, informational materials, gift and pledge agreements, gift illustrations and other materials needed to secure gifts
  • In collaboration with the stewardship team, develops and executes appropriate stewardship activities for each donor
  • Records and tracks strategic activity using the Foundation’s prospect management system
  • Coordinates the participation of the program director, dean, associate dean, unit leader, faculty and campus leaders in fundraising activities
  • As appropriate, identify, recruit, train, and develop leadership roles for volunteers who assist with fundraising activities

The successful candidate will be an experienced and passionate development professional who shares a commitment to the mission and values of the Foundation. We seek a candidate who excels in relationship building, possesses a high level of self-motivation and is team oriented. Other qualifications include:

  • Ability to create and implement effective fundraising strategies that align with the school's mission and priorities
  • Proven success in cultivating, soliciting and closing philanthropic gifts with individuals, foundations and/or corporations
  • Strong interpersonal skills and customer service skills employed to build trust with colleagues, volunteers, donors and others
  • Poised, professional manner with the ability to express oneself clearly in all forms of communications
  • Intrinsically motivated; recognizes and seizes opportunities
  • Ability to make decisions in ambiguous situations, exercise good judgment based on information and analysis in a fast-pace, dynamic, deadline-driven environment in an organized and professional manner
  • Ability to work independently, problem solve, take initiative, set priorities and handle multiple projects efficiently and effectively
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidences and protect confidential information
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Suite of applications is preferred, as is familiarity with other applications, programs and databases, with a willingness to learn new technologies
  • Three or more years development experience with a working knowledge of the principles and practices of major gift fundraising, preferably in higher education
  • Ability to accommodate a flexible work schedule and required travel
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
  • Demonstrated experience in wildlife biology (through education or work history)

The position at certain times may not include all of the duties listed nor do the listed examples include all tasks which may be found in the position.