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Director of Advancement for Institutional and Regional Initiatives (Search Extended)

Northern Illinois University
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Oct 16, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Other Fundraising, Administrative, Other Administrative
Employment Type
Full Time
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Department, University, and Community description

The Division of University Advancement houses the Northern Illinois University Foundation, which is also an independent 501c3 fundraising organization. We have a dynamic, deeply engaged, thoughtful and fun team who are devoted to ensuring successful fundraising to benefit Northern Illinois University, and to create sustainable revenue streams ensuring the continued success of the Foundation.

At Northern Illinois University Foundation, our vision is to develop, support and encourage a culture of giving throughout the NIU community that will allow it to flourish and accomplish NIU’s goal of becoming the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest.

The Gift Planning team strives to be a high ROI team that provides the most fulfilling donor experience possible.

The ideal candidate is self-motivated, metrics driven, and has a demonstrated track record of high performance. The Director of Advancement will live our value of helping donors discover the joy in making a difference through their philanthropy while making an everlasting impact at Northern Illinois University.

NIU is a university that has diversity, equity, and inclusion as one its primary core values. We seek and are strengthened by the diverse perspectives and experiences of our university community members, and we appreciate and respect every member of our community. Being a part of the NIU Huskie family means being an advocate for diversity and embracing inclusive principles.

Primary Function

The role of the Director of Advancement for Institutional and Regional Initiatives, is to develop and advance an institutional strategy to significantly increase the level of philanthropic, corporate and foundation revenue for initiatives that span the institution and impact the region. Working with the NIU Foundation and the Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development (OERD), the Director plays a key role in executing a comprehensive corporate and foundation fundraising strategy designed to develop mutually beneficial relationships between the university and a wide range of businesses, industries and corporations in the NIU region. This includes building internal relationships and consulting with university colleagues to create innovative fundraising opportunities. The position contributes to the development and execution of a foundation relations, corporate giving and corporate sponsorship program designed to create and strengthen partnerships and build support for overall advancement of the university mission, outreach and engagement activities. As a member of the Foundation giving team, this individual is charged with developing strategies and implementing plans to ensure the success of the corporate and foundation fundraising program.  This position reports to the Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations with a dotted line to the OERD Chief Engagement Officer.

Duties and Responsibilities (generally)

Responsibilities include working with NIU Foundation and OERD leaders to create and implement strategy; working with Foundation and OERD leaders to identify and develop corporate and foundation giving initiatives and opportunities; identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts to the NIU Foundation from corporations and foundations. This position will work closely with OERD, NIU’s Alumni Association, and key members of the foundation including, Major Gift Officers for the colleges and program, and the Stewardship team. To be successful the Director of Advancement, Institutional and Regional Initiatives, will need to collaborate with administrators, faculty and staff across NIU.  The fundraising goal for this position will begin at $1M annually and grow to $2.5M+ annually.

Education and Experience Required:

  1. Bachelor’s degree.
  2. Four (4) years of experience working within a matrixed organizational structure where performance responsibilities are evaluated in different divisions.
  3. Five (5) to Seven (7) years of corporate and foundation fundraising/sponsorship experience.
  4. Five (5) years of experience in development and alumni relations fields.

Preferred Education and Experience

  1. Advanced degree.
  2. CFRE
  3. Capital campaign experience in higher education is highly desirable. 
  4. Existing network of relevant corporations and foundation leaders.

List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to the performance of this position

  1. Demonstrable commitment to the highest standard of ethical and professional conduct in accordance with the CASE Statement of Ethics, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, and The Donor Bill of Rights. (Membership not required.)
  2. Deep, personal commitment to diversity in all forms, the recognition of all individuals to mutual respect, and the acceptance of others without biases. Demonstrable commitment to leading by example, modeling diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the university.
  3. Excellent interpersonal skills to relate to donors, volunteers, colleagues and university leadership.
  4. Self-motivated (a “self-starter”); innovative and ability to work with considerable independence within the context of a team environment and a network of relationships.
  5. Superior written and oral communication, negotiating, organizational, analytical and fundraising skills, including the ability to interpret financial information and manage data.
  6. Familiarity with financial planning, tax and charitable gift laws and planned giving vehicles and methods.
  7. Ability and desire to engage in face-to-face relationship activities, primarily through the scheduling of one-on-one appointments with corporate and foundation prospects who have never been engaged with NIU. Knowledge of not-for-profit higher education as well as university governance, academic administrative and financial policies and guidelines.
  8. Must be able to travel frequently; some international travel may be required.
  9. This position requires the handling of highly sensitive and confidential information and requires an exemplary track record of professionalism, maturity and discretion.
  10. Willingness to commit to and articulate the mission and goals of Northern Illinois University and the NIU
  11. Familiarity with donor databases and gift planning tools (e.g. Millennium, The Raiser’s Edge, PG Calc), Microsoft Office software and computerized systems of donor record keeping, data tracking of prospects, and donors.
  12. The ability to think critically and strategically; capable of taking responsibility for specific goals within designated time frames. Capable of coordinating multi-task initiatives to successful conclusion.
  13. A flexible attitude and ability to modify and adapt as situations and conditions change, as well as a resilience with regard to the rigors of public higher education and the increasing pressure of resource constraints.
  14. The ability to effectively work in a group/team environment and assist in intra-divisional initiatives.
  15. A proven ability to build strong relationships anchored in trust and integrity.

 Salary range: $100,000/year); Actual hiring rate is commensurate with experience, education, and internal equity; position includes a robust benefits package to eligible applicants.

Application Materials and Process:

  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover Letter that speaks to the following aspects of experience, as listed in the education and experience requirements:
    1. Years of experience with successful corporate and foundation fundraising/sponsorship.
    2. Years of experience in development and alumni relations fields.
    3. Developing diverse engagement strategies, populations and philanthropic planning.
    4. Years of professional experience in a collegiate environment.
    5. Working within a matrixed organizational structure.
    6. Management experience.
  • List of three references
  • Transcripts (unofficial with official required at hire)

For full consideration, please upload and submit application materials at by August 31, 2021. Interviews may occur before the priority review date, however all applications received by the priority review date will receive full consideration. Applications received after the priority review date will be considered as needed. For questions, please contact Melissa Nigro,

Northern Illinois University is an AA/EEO institution. Pre-employment background check and verification of eligibility to work in the United States is required.

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