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Associate Director/Director of Advancement - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 29, 2022

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time

Associate Director/Director of Advancement

  Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Based in Chicago, IL or remote

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement (OVCIA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign seeks two full-time major gift officers to join a collaborative and successful team of fundraising professionals to secure private funding for the University. The Associate Director/Director of Advancement’s primary role is to build and sustain long-lasting relationships with alumni and friends that foster philanthropic engagement for the Urbana campus within the United States.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a global, preeminent university, and since its founding in 1867, has earned a reputation as a world-class leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. The University is on the cusp of successfully completing its most ambitious philanthropic campaign, “With Illinois”, raising over $2.6B. But we will not stop there as we continue to demonstrate the tremendous impact of support for Illinois students, faculty, research, and infrastructure; and to continue to elevate the values that make Illinois distinctive: a sense of boundless aspiration, collaborative research, and global perspective while recognizing our generous philanthropic community of donors.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

Organization Relationship

The Associate Director/Director of Advancement will develop and build a portfolio of individuals with the inclination, affinity, and capacity to philanthropically invest in the Urbana campus in a defined territory within the United States. This includes the qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift prospects and donors. Reporting to the Senior Director of Advancement and working closely with college-based chief advancement officers, major gift officers, department heads, and faculty, this position will assist the colleges and their departments in designing strategies to broaden and strengthen the university’s philanthropic support in an assigned region. The Associate Director/Director of Advancement will be expected to represent the message and vision of the University of Illinois and its colleges and departments to alumni and friends. This position will require substantial travel of varying durations, up to 30-50%, including some evening and weekend obligations.

The Associate Director/Director of Advancement can be based at the Illini Center in Chicago or remote, and joins a successful, dynamic team that enjoys a hybrid work schedule.    

Duties & Responsibilities:

  1. Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward individual major gift prospects to engage philanthropically in an assigned geographic territory. Develop and maintain a portfolio of major gift prospects to personally cultivate, solicit and steward. Document all activities and interactions in the alumni/donor database.
    Develop and maintain close collaborative partnerships with campus and unit colleagues to ensure a strong baseline knowledge of campus, college, and unit programs and fundraising priorities and an ability to devise and execute sound prospect strategies. Refer other prospects to college/department advancement colleagues on a case by case basis, when warranted by synergistic relationships and focused interests.
    Identify, support, and participate in special regional events and programs as appropriate.
    Prepare university leadership, faculty and volunteers to participate in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts as needed.

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:

  • Become familiar with the strategic vision and priorities of the institution and various colleges/units/departments across campus
  • Meet your assigned Prospect Development Analyst and begin to dig into your portfolio
  • Attend professional development and networking activities for newcomers within Advancement
  • Be introduced to fundraising fundamentals terminology adopted from Plus Delta Partners

Within 6 months, you’ll:

  • Begin cultivating relationships with key prospects/donors/alumni in an effort to create and implement solicitation strategies
  • Partner with planned giving, stewardship and donor relations, events, and communications colleagues on department and college-wide initiatives
  • Effectively articulate multiple meaningful impact stories of transformative gifts, including those involving deferred/planned gifts.

By the end of the first year, you’ll:

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

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • For the title of Associate Director, a minimum of three years of successful advancement and portfolio management experience or more than six years of experience in a closely related field which requires strong relationship-building and outcome driven components. For the title of Director, a minimum of five years of successful advancement and portfolio management experience or ten years of experience in a closely related field which requires strong relationship-building and outcome driven components.
  • Well-versed in advancement strategies including best practices related to development at institutions of higher education
  • A high degree of initiative and an ability to work independently
  • Experience working in a collaborative, team-oriented environment
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, with an emphasis on engaged, active listening
  • Superb time management and organizational skills
  • Data driven and a flawless attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to represent an organization in one-on-one visits with key constituents

Preferred Qualifications

  • Documented success as an individual major gift or principal gift fundraiser in higher education
  • Direct experience working with faculty leaders
  • Basic knowledge of gift planning
  • Completion of Plus Delta Discipline of Frontline Fundraising program or similar training in academic advancement best practices


Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience, while also considering internal equity. Salary range starts at $70,000.

To Apply

To ensure full consideration, application materials must be received by June 22, 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 conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. 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.

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.

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