Assistant Director/Associate Director of Advancement

University of Illinois
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 1, 2022

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time

Assistant Director/Associate Director of Advancement

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

 The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs invites applications and nominations for a full-time Assistant Director/Associate Director of Advancement. This position will secure private support for funding priorities within Student Affairs as determined by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and will play a critical role in efforts to implement an integrated approach for impact and mission-driven priorities across the unit.

 Student Affairs at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is comprised of 30 departments and is one of the most comprehensive Student Affairs organizations in the country. The Student Affairs advancement program was established 25 years ago and has the infrastructure for success in attracting annual and major gifts and corporate partnerships. Opportunities exist to grow private support for a variety of areas, including student support, success, and persistence initiatives; health, wellness, and wellbeing programs; multiple cultural centers; and emergency support for students.

In October of 2017, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign publicly launched With Illinois, an ambitious $2.25 billion philanthropic campaign – the largest in the school’s history. As of February 2022, the campaign has recorded $2.55 billion in gifts and commitments. Fundraising efforts will continue and, in addition to the respective priorities within each of the college and units, the University remains resolute in its commitment to secure additional private resources towards student support and scholarships, faculty and staff support, capital projects, and other life-changing programmatic initiatives. Student Affairs is 87% of the way to its $10 million campaign goal.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit

Organizational Relationship

Reporting to the Director of Advancement/Chief Advancement Officer for Student Affairs at the University of Illinois, the Assistant Director/Associate Director is responsible for growing philanthropic support for Student Affairs through the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects capable of making gifts of $25,000 or more. The position also serves as the advancement liaison to one or more units within Student Affairs, facilitating pipeline growth of constituents, leadership annual giving prospects, and corporate and foundation donor prospects.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Manage a portfolio of donor prospects, focused primarily on major gift prospects but also including leadership annual giving, corporate, and foundation prospects, to qualify, cultivate, solicit, and close gifts.
  • Develop and execute strategies for assigned units that will support unit philanthropic priorities and successfully increase major gift support.
  • Develop and maintain close collaborative partnerships with assigned units to gain a strong understanding of programs and initiatives to identify and define opportunities for private support.
  • Meet with donors and donor prospects 25-50% time via travel, on-campus visits, phone, and video conferencing, including some evenings and weekends.
  • Develop and maintain close collaborative partnerships with campus and unit colleagues, including within advancement, corporate relations, and foundation relations, to ensure a strong baseline knowledge of campus, college, and unit programs and priorities and an ability to devise and execute sound prospect strategies for student focused multi-unit philanthropic opportunities.
  • Participate in Student Affairs Advancement strategy meetings, assisting colleagues and providing support for all ongoing programs and operations as needed to help meet the fundraising goals.
  • Document all activities and interactions in the alumni/donor database.

 Constituent Engagement

  • In partnership with the Chief Advancement Officer and assigned units, develop strategies to increase constituent pipelines. Constituents include students, alumni, donors, faculty, staff, parents, corporations, and more.
  • Work with assigned units to create stewardship and donor engagement plans for all major gift donors.
  • Provide assigned units guidance and strategic insight on developing stewardship, engagement, and communication plans for all constituents and donors.
  • Collaborate with assigned units to identify and develop constituent engagement opportunities, sharing these opportunities with constituents in your pipeline as appropriate as well as with advancement colleagues across campus.
  • Serve as the point of contact for assigned units for all fund administration and management questions.
  • Ensure assigned units follow protocols for scholarship administration and that scholarship donors are appropriately stewarded.

 Impact in Your First Year

At Advancement at Illinois, we value our employees and provide resources to help you continually learn and grow. We foster a strong, collaborative community of people who are driven by their ability to make a difference.

Within 3 months, you’ll:

  • Understand the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs’ strategic vision and priorities for Student Affairs
  • Begin to build positive relationships with key internal stakeholders and external constituents as well as with leadership and peers in Advancement
  • Become familiar with the overarching structure of Advancement at Illinois and the alignment between central Advancement services, the University of Illinois Foundation, and the University of Illinois Alumni Association
  • Attend professional development and networking activities for newcomers within Advancement
  • Meet your assigned Prospect Development Analyst and begin to dig into your portfolio

Within 6 months, you’ll:

  • Begin cultivating relationships with the key prospects/donors/alumni
  • Understand, evaluate, and offer strategic insight into unit-specific advancement opportunities and initiatives
  • Be able to share the programmatic and philanthropic needs of units  

By the end of the first year, you’ll:

  • Cooperatively set annual performance goals/metrics with your supervisor, portfolio management team, and Performance Management
  • Continue portfolio growth of qualified prospects and successful solicitation strategies
  • Receive one-on-one coaching from Talent Management to help you transition to your new role
  • Build a robust network of colleagues across campus

 Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • For the title of Assistant Director, a minimum of two years of successful advancement experience or more than three years of experience in a closely related field which requires strong relationship-building and outcome driven components. For the title of Associate Director, a minimum of three years of successful advancement experience or more than six years of experience in a closely related field which requires strong relationship-building and outcome driven components.
  • Demonstrated understanding of major donor prospect qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, preferably in a higher education environment
  • Superb oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, with an emphasis on engaged, active listening
  • Experience working in a collaborative, team-oriented environment
  • Demonstrated ability to represent an organization in visits with key constituents
  • Strong relationship management skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree
  • Knowledge of the principles of advancement, fundraising, and administration in a university environment.
  • Experience managing alumni and/or student programs and devising innovative programs to engage alumni and/or donors to support academic priorities
  • Previous experience working with academic leaders
  • Knowledge and/or experience working in the major components of advancement including development, communications and public relations, alumni engagement, and special events. Knowledge of planned giving fundraising vehicles.


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications, while also considering internal equity.

To Apply

To ensure full consideration, application materials must be received by May 25, 2022.  Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a letter of application, resume and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three professional references.  For further information regarding application procedures, contact Katie Walker at  The proposed starting date is as soon as possible after the closing date. 

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.

The Illinois Advancement Community is committed to an ongoing, proactive process to foster and achieve diversity and inclusion in its development, alumni relations and communications activities. We will respect and encourage different voices, perspectives and ideas as we strive to represent individuals of all backgrounds and cultures which include but are not limited to the following: nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, spirituality, age and ability who represent our alumni, donors and friends of the University of Illinois.


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