In preparation for the most ambitious philanthropic campaign in
the University’s history, the University of Denver is building an
advancement enterprise that mirrors the excellence of our great
institution. Advancement efforts at DU have a tremendous impact
through our relationships with DU’s remarkable students, dedicated
donors, inspiring alumni, engaged families, and wonderful friends.
DU is committed to building and fostering a culture of deep
engagement and philanthropy in support of our institution as we
implement the DU IMPACT 2025 vision and prepare for a fundraising
campaign with a bold and courageous goal.
The University of Denver and DU Advancement deeply value
inclusive excellence, recognizing that its success is dependent on
how well it values, engages, and includes the rich diversity of
constituents. You can learn more about inclusive excellence at the
University of Denver by visiting the Office of Diversity, Equity
& Inclusion. As a part of that effort, we are continuing to
grow a team of inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive, innovative,
ethical, and transparent advancement professionals who possess deep
mutual respect for one another and for our shared profession.
The University of Denver is seeking an experienced, driven, and
passionate Foundation Relations fundraiser to join our Advancement
team as the Senior Director of Development, Foundation Relations.
Reporting directly to the Executive Director of Foundation
Relations, the Senior Director of Development will partner with
administrative, academic, and advancement colleagues to secure
funding from private grant making organizations in support of the
University's highest priorities with a strong focus on STEM aligned
schools, colleges, and institutes. The Senior Director serves as a
subject matter expert in the area of institutional giving
(predominately private foundations) and will actively pursue
funding opportunities for the university's top priorities. The
Senior Director will manage a large and diverse portfolio of
foundation prospects that are aligned with DU’s STEM areas of
strength. They will develop and mature their assigned portfolio of
foundation donors including the management of foundation prospects
in pursuit of individual and unit goals set annually in
collaboration with the Executive Director and the Assistant Vice
Chancellor for University Development. Additionally, the Senior
Director will establish and maintain relationships with program
officers and foundation leadership to assist in advocacy of
university programs for funding opportunities. They will serve as a
close partner and key resource for the Deans of the Ritchie School
of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Natural
Sciences and Mathematics to strategically partner with funders
aligned to DU’s STEM priorities with the goal of securing
philanthropic (gifts and grants) support. The campus-wide
Advancement team is highly collaborative in its work and the Senior
Director will be expected to build and foster extensive value-added
relationships with their campus partners.
The successful candidate will possess a strong capacity for
developing relationships with foundation leadership, as well as
foundation program officers, to actively cultivate, solicit, and
close complex gifts and philanthropic grants from institutional
funders. The candidate will conceive and implement customized
strategic cultivation and solicitation plans for each foundation
prospect. They must possess excellent communication (written and
oral) and relationship-building skills, as well as have a deep
commitment to elevate STEM-related education and have keen
awareness and appreciation for emerging issues and opportunities in
engineering, computer science, natural sciences, mathematics, and
- Secure philanthropic support for the University of Denver,
working primarily with foundation donors assigned to their
portfolio and/or unqualified foundations that are aligned with the
university's top priorities, as well as unit priorities.
- Leverage qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and
stewardship strategies and techniques in the area of private
- Proactively identify new sources of institutional support from
- Develop meaningful and productive relationships with a
portfolio of foundation donors and prospects that are both local
and nationally based.
- At a steady state, achieve an annual fundraising goal of $1-4M
from assigned portfolio in collaboration with academic leadership
and other development professionals.
- Utilizing a thorough understanding of the university's highest
priorities, build productive relationships with select faculty,
leadership, and other staff at DU to successfully identify
compelling and fundable programs, research, and priorities.
- Collaborate with other academic leadership and colleagues
across advancement to effectively design and execute compelling and
successful gift strategies.
- Travel (alone and with DU leadership) to meet foundation
prospects and donors with the purpose of effective, coordinated and
efficient cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
- Partner with stewardship colleagues around acknowledgments for
received foundation gifts, as well as partner with marketing and
communication colleagues regarding press releases and media
announcements for select grant awards and programs.
Grant Proposal Management
- Appropriately coordinate applicable aspects of awards with
advancement and/or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
- Strategically serve as a partner for grant development,
assisting with pre-proposal and proposal design, writing, editing,
budget preparation, and generation of proposal collateral for the
university's top priorities.
- Effectively monitor and manage the status of solicitations and
corresponding reporting requirements from multiple units and
divisions across campus for projects that are aligned to
- Educate colleagues and peers across campus on foundation
relation techniques, and lead partnerships with colleagues to
structure and successfully close gifts involving foundation gifts
at the 6-figure+ level.
- Provide mentorship to others in Foundation Relations.
- Engage in the advancement goal-setting process for Foundation
- Effectively and responsibly steward budgetary and other
resources to advance the University of Denver.
Partnerships & University Citizenship
- Serve as an active and collaborative partner to all academic
departments and functions, central and unit-based advancement
functions, and other campus colleagues, to foster strategic,
effective, and collaborative fundraising practices for
- Model One DU leadership.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Advanced knowledge of Foundation Relations techniques and best
practices and familiarity with the long-term and complex nature of
- Demonstrated ability to close major gifts ($50,000+) through
principal gifts ($5 million+) in a relationship-based culture.
- Demonstrated ability to form and fully leverage
cross-functional teams of colleagues, staff, and
academic/administrative leaders toward closure of transformational
- Demonstrated technical knowledge of proposal concept
development and proposal writing.
- Proven ability for strong and compelling written and oral
- Experience independently strategizing with academic leadership
or equivalent leadership to successful conclusions.
- Demonstrated ability to work with various stakeholders at all
- Proven ability to work with a high level of confidence and
independence, to maintain confidentiality, to prioritize
assignments, and to manage time effectively.
- Strong project management experience, with the ability to
successfully engage in multiple initiatives simultaneously.
- Demonstrated interpersonal skills that help foster and maintain
effective relationships with colleagues, foundations, and
- Ability to interact effectively with diverse groups having
competing interests and priorities within the University and
- Cultural competency and ability to understand and appreciate
cultural differences and to communicate effectively across
- Ability to serve as a strong coach and mentor to other
advancement professionals and to foster an inclusive,
collaborative, inquisitive, innovative, ethical, and transparent
office culture founded on deep mutual respect.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and
work experience (Veterans with equivalent combination of military
certification/education and experience may substitute for the
- 5 years of paid fundraising experience, working within the full
spectrum of development, including qualification, cultivation, gift
solicitations, stewardship, and donor recognition
- Demonstrated experience soliciting, securing, and stewarding
gifts from foundations (major gift + levels)
- Graduate degree
- Experience working in a University setting or similarly complex
- Experience working in a STEM related academic setting