The Director of Principal Gifts Operations plays a critical role
in providing the University of Massachusetts Amherst's most
generous supporters with the service and attention to ensure an
exceptionally positive and fulfilling philanthropic experience.
Reporting to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Principal Gifts and
Campaign Director, and working closely with the Chancellor, and the
Vice Chancellor for Advancement, and the Chancellor’s Deputy Chief
of Staff, the Director is responsible for strategic project
management, event strategy and management, and high-level
operational support for the Principal Gifts program. The Principal
Gifts program oversees relationship development for prospects
capable of giving $1,000,000+ to the University, which includes
members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation
Board. With a high level of visibility to key internal and external
stakeholders, the Director develops program strategy and works to
keep the program functioning optimally, while also helping to build
a cross-campus culture of thought-partnership and collaboration.
The Director promotes UMass Amherst priorities and a positive image
to constituents and advances the university’s and
advancement’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This position may have the opportunity to work remotely from the
New England region.
- Lead strategic planning and project management for Advancement
Principal Gifts, a complex program requiring coordination with
multiple executive-level stakeholders including extensive and
frequent collaboration with the Chancellor’s office.
- Serve as the primary project manager for the Principal Gifts
Program, working in close partnership with the Assistant Vice
Chancellor for Principal Gifts and Campaign Director, the Vice
Chancellor for Advancement, and the Chancellor's office. Facilitate
regular donor strategy meetings, and guide cross-campus development
officers in the prioritization and execution of those strategic
- Partner closely with the Chancellor’s Deputy Chief of Staff on
the Chancellor’s VIP donor travel and communications. This
includes: ensuring that VIPs are informed of campus news;
that all communications with principal gift prospects and VIPs are
personalized; working with the Assistant Vice Chancellor for
Principal Gifts and Campaign Director and the Chancellor’s Deputy
Chief of Staff to develop strategy, destinations, and timelines for
all Chancellor Advancement-related travel; and ensuring that all
donor meeting and event briefing materials submitted to the
Chancellor’s office are timely, of the highest quality, and align
with strategy developed by multiple executive academic and
administrative leaders across campus.
- Lead VIP event strategy development and execution, and ensure
that all event management tasks and vendor relationships are well
managed and executed by the Principal Gifts Coordinator. Leverage
internal stakeholders to support event strategy, and closely
collaborate with colleagues in Alumni Relations to ensure alignment
between VIP events and overall alumni engagement strategies.
- In partnership with the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Principal
Gifts and Campaign Director and in close collaboration with the
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Constituent Programs and gift
officers across 13 schools, colleges and units, develop and manage
outreach strategy for all principal gifts prospects and donors,
including prospect relationship development, moves management,
event invitations, and communications. These cross-campus
relationships are based on a customer-service orientation and a
focus on improving processes through efficiencies, innovative
software solutions, strong collaborations, and adopting industry
- Analyze processes and procedures, report findings, and develop
solutions to complex cross-campus issues involving Principal Gift
donors, and other stakeholders. This includes developing: a
principal gifts team budget in partnership with Advancement
Director of Financial Planning; a principal gifts pipeline and
forecasting report focused on maximizing campaign results; a set of
principal gift program metrics including benchmarking individual
gift officer performance, and overall program effectiveness; and
developing policies and procedures that align the program with
advancement and university priorities.
- Partner closely with the Vice Chancellor for Advancement, the
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Principal Gifts and Campaign
Director, and the Prospect Management team on campaign strategy and
reporting as it relates to Principal Gift prospects and
- Represent the Principal Gifts program at the university level
and to external and internal stakeholders and constituencies,
including at VIP events and through multiple communications
- Prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously
utilizing industry best practices and innovative software
solutions, and ensure that all follow-up steps are accomplished at
the highest level of professionalism and consistently on time.
- Stay informed about current university initiatives and
- Bachelor's degree, and a minimum of 8 years of relevant project
- Demonstrated leadership skills and ability to influence
constituencies across organizational boundaries.
- Outstanding project management and organizational skills, with
the ability to independently manage several projects
- Comfort when interacting with high-net-worth individuals, and
an ability to maintain discretion and a high level of
confidentiality when dealing with university supporters.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including
- Excellent interpersonal skills, patience, persistence,
enthusiasm, and the ability to build relationships with
stakeholders, including staff at all levels of authority, board
members, external partners and donors.
- Detail- and results-oriented with strong anticipatory
instincts; a self-starter who takes initiative, demonstrates
unfailing follow-through and approaches project management with a
patient persistence mindset.
- Ability and willingness to work evenings and/or weekends, and
to travel throughout the country as required.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, complex environment.
- Adept with technology, including databases, spreadsheet,
and presentation software.
- Knowledge of advancement strategies including best practices
related to development at institutions of higher education.
- Experience with advancement databases, and experience using
business analytics to help drive decision making.
Salary commensurate with qualifications and
To be considered for this position: please
submit a resume and letter of interest
The University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation is an
Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women,
underrepresented groups, protected veterans, and individuals with
disabilities, and encourages applications from these and other
protected group members.
We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided
reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or
interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to
receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org to request an accommodation.