Executive Director of Development
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
(VCUarts) seeks a dynamic and experienced Executive Director of
Development to lead the planning and implementation of all VCUarts’
development, alumni and fundraising activities.
The Executive Director of Development is a visible and
people-oriented development professional with a commitment to
morale building and enhancing the school’s resources. The Executive
Director of Development will develop and implement an aggressive
strategic advancement plan, lead an energetic development team to
steer the planning and operations for the next major capital
campaign, and position the school in support of a new state-funded
innovation building, all while maintaining the school’s reputation
and ranking. Within a talented academic community that holds high
achievement standards, the Executive Director of Development enters
the position to see through the school’s ambitious agenda to
generously support academic and student excellence and further
Ranked by US News & World Report as a top-five arts and
design school, VCUarts (arts.vcu.edu) includes over 3,000
undergraduate and graduate students with nationally recognized
programs in design, visual and performing arts, and has an annual
budget of $38 million and an endowment of more than $13.5 million.
Students are taught by over 175 full-time teaching and research
faculty members and the school is supported by over 50 staff
members that assist in daily processes. The School includes two
campuses; one in Richmond and one in Doha, Qatar. The Richmond
campus is located on the university’s 75-acre Monroe Park campus
situated in the city’s historic Fan District. Ultimately, the work
of the School of the Arts extends globally with partnerships
throughout the world and across fields as diverse as the
humanities, health care and business.
Skills and Qualifications
A successful Executive Director of Development will be highly
organized self-starter focused on achieving goals for individual
giving and institutional fundraising, and capable of driving all
major gift activity for the school. In addition, the Executive
Director possesses compelling leadership and interpersonal skills
that promote collaboration and inclusion.
Other notable skills include:
- Managing and inspiring the development team while creating a
positive, inclusive work environment that values experience and new
- Communicating in a clear, consistent, and transparent manner
using excellent written, verbal and digital communication
- The ability to identify, cultivate and capitalize on emerging
- Understanding and relating effectively to diverse
- The flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances with
creative approaches to problem solving
- Manage a select portfolio that includes current and previous
donors, new prospects, and high-level prospects and donors capable
of giving at major gift levels.
- Expand the donor base and increase levels of giving by
cultivating and stewarding interest and involvement in the
- Build strong collaborative relationships across the school, the
university, and with a diverse body of alumni and donors.
- Effectively lead a team of development staff who are successful
fundraisers. (The Development team includes the Senior Development
Officer, the Assistant Director of Development, and the Director of
Events & Sponsorships)
- Maintain active communication between the Development Team and
the school’s Communications Office to coordinate the writing,
editing, and printing of development materials.
- Provide stewardship to the school’s 150 member Pollak Society
that helps support faculty and student research and special
- Ensure that the school’s culture of appreciation, inclusion,
integrity and respect are consistently demonstrated.
- Willingness and ability to travel regularly, including
overnight and occasional weekends.
- Perform other job-related duties as assigned.
Required Qualifications and Experience:
- The Executive Director of Development must have:
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field, and a minimum of five
years of senior development and fundraising experience.
- Extensive experience in strategic advancement, membership
programs, annual fund giving, prospect research and successful
- Substantial responsibility in a senior development role within
a higher education, cultural non-profit and/or social action
- Proven ability to achieve revenue goals while being cognizant
of best practices, trends, and innovations in the development arena
to include philanthropic support.
- A progressive track record of successes as an effective leader
with expertise in personnel management and strategic planning.
- Experience in expanding a donor base beyond “local” geography,
initiating high-level gifts and facilitating discussions with
industry and individual donor prospects.
- Possess outstanding interpersonal skills to relate effectively
with diverse constituents.
Preferred Qualifications and Experience:
- Master’s degree in a related field.
- Demonstrated success securing six- and seven-figure major
individual and legacy gifts.
- Experience in alumni-based philanthropy.
Procedure for Candidacy:
- Review of applications begins the week of September 20, 2021
and will continue until the position is filled. For full
consideration, applications are due by October 31, 2021. Candidates
should complete the basic personal and demographic application
through the VCU job site
- at VCU eJobs: https://www.vcujobs.com/.
Candidates should provide a resume, cover letter, a diversity
statement*, and the names and contact information of three
references. References will not be contacted without prior
knowledge and approval of All nominations and applications shall be
confidential until finalists are named.
Requests for information and all written nominations and
applications should be directed to: Tanya-Lee
Celia O’Hallahan (email@example.com)
*Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational
diversity, equity and inclusion
– an environment where all can thrive in their pursuit of
excellence. Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of
Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion providing your
career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity,
equity, and inclusion. For additional guidance on writing a
Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
For more information on Virginia Commonwealth University, please
visit https://www.vcu.edu/ and
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