Senior Director of Principal Gifts

University of Montana Foundation
Montana, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
May 25, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Donor Relations, Major Gifts
Academic Centers, Education
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Montana Foundation has an outstanding opportunity for a Senior Director of Principal Gifts.  

The Senior Director of Principal Gifts will drive transformational fundraising strategies, build new donor relationships, and engage and solicit donors on behalf of the University of Montana.

The UM Foundation connects donors’ passions with needs and opportunities at the University of Montana. Serving the University as an independent nonprofit, the UM Foundation manages the University’s private fundraising efforts, donations, and investment of endowed gifts.

We are celebrating the recent completion of the most successful higher education fundraising campaign in state history, inspiring donors to give over $450 million to elevate every student, school, and college at the University of Montana. We are now intentionally growing our development team to prepare for the next campaign.

We are committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace that reflects the people and culture of the University we serve. We enjoy a collaborative culture and an inspiring mission to support student success.

We also enjoy competitive salaries and benefits including:

  • Competitive salary
  • UM Foundation contributes an amount equal to 11% of an employee’s annual compensation into their 403(b) retirement account; no employee contribution is required to receive this benefit
  • Generous time off – Team members accrue 4 weeks of vacation and 12 days of sick leave per year, with an additional 12 days of holiday leave
  • Paid parental leave of 4 weeks per year for new parents
  • Short-term and long-term disability pay protection benefits
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, wellness program and more
  • Opportunities for a remote work arrangement
  • Professional development opportunities, including a year-long training with Plus Delta Partners for our development team

Basic Functions and Responsibilities of the Senior Director of Principal Gifts

The Senior Director works in collaboration with the school and college development teams, university partners, and Foundation leadership to develop and articulate fundraising initiatives and to execute on relationship-building and fundraising activities that grow transformational private support for the University of Montana.

The Senior Director reports to the Vice President of Development and is supported by and works in collaboration with several UM Foundation teams, including Corporation and Foundation Relations, Prospect Research and Management, Marketing and Communications, Stewardship, Gift Planning, Annual Giving, and Gift and Fund Administration.

What You Would Do

  • Develop an understanding and ability to articulate the mission, values, and top fundraising priorities of UM
  • Build relationships with prospective donors in your pipeline, with a focus on donors who have the capacity to make gifts of $1,000,000 or more
  • Meet the UM Foundation’s established performance metrics and expectations that move giving conversations forward, including a set number of face-to-face donor meetings, team assists, strategic contacts, and solicitations
  • Develop, implement, and document identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for donors
  • Write and present principal gift proposals that reflect UM’s values and top fundraising priorities
  • Inspire and coordinate the participation of campus leadership, develop colleagues, and volunteers in fundraising activities
  • Work collaboratively with Foundation colleagues to provide exceptional customer service to donors and campus partners
  • Demonstrate leadership within the Foundation with your action and words

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Share a commitment to the mission and values of the UM Foundation and the University of Montana
  • Excel in relationship building, possess a high level of self-motivation, and remain team-oriented
  • Proven success in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and closing philanthropic gifts with individuals for $1,000,000 or more
  • Strong interpersonal skills and customer service skills employed to build trust with colleagues, donors, and volunteers
  • 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
  • Proven skills with Microsoft Office and database software, with a willingness to learn new technology
  • Proven record of meeting performance expectations
  • Exceptional attention to quality and detail
  • Ability to accommodate a full-time flexible work schedule and required travel, as needed, and in consultation with the Foundation’s safety protocols through the Covid-19 pandemic

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Eight or more years of development experience with a working knowledge of the principles and practices of major and principal gift fundraising, with a preference for fundraising experience in a higher education setting, nonprofit, or similarly complex organization
  • Experience developing and managing long-term relationships
  • Proficient use of Microsoft Suite of applications and database software applications

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