Associate Director, Major Gifts - Physical Sciences Division

University of Chicago
Illinois, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Dec 7, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Direct Marketing, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising, Programs, Grant Making, Managing Volunteers, Other Programs, Administrative, Office Administration, Sales and Marketing
Academic Centers, Education, Philanthropic Advisors
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world. We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) engages alumni (~190k), current students, parents and friends of the University through intellectual, professional and social activities on campus, around the world and online. ARD raises $550 Million annually to support faculty and researchers, practitioners and patients, and students and programs across the University. Our work supports priorities in every division, school, department, and institute. The ARD team of the Physical Science Division (PSD) serves as part of the Sciences and Organizations fundraising team at the University of Chicago. Tasked with raising money for the Dean’s priorities in the PSD, as well as supporting departmental needs for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geophysical Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. The team engages in alumni relations activities; manages a portfolio of donors and prospects to the Division; and works with colleagues across ARD to broaden the exposure of the PSD to the alumni and friends of the University of Chicago. This position has a hybrid work schedule which includes weekly in office presence located in Hyde Park at 5235 South Harper Court.

Job Summary

The job manages programs designed to meet University fundraising goals for contributed income. Serves as strategist of efforts to secure gifts and build relationships with alumni, faculty, administrators and organizations with potential to make gifts. Develops communication strategies for projects.


  • Drives and supports PSD activity for Major Gifts. Reports to and coordinates this activity with the PSD director of development.
  • Works with Prospect Management and Prospect Research to identify portfolio gaps.
  • Identifies suspects, prospects, and cross-unit or multi-unit solicitation opportunities.
  • Organizes and executes donor visit preparation, follow up, and trip planning for self and others, which includes partnering with other ARD staff to generate briefings, proposals, solicitation plans, gift documentation, and gift recognition plans.
  • Connects ARD generalist gift officers with PSD leadership. Creates opportunities for officers to learn about the research and fundraising priorities of the Division and to include the Division in multi-unit solicitations.
  • Earns shared solicitation credit as a key partner for ARD generalists and fundraisers in other units as opportunities for collaborative solicitations arise.
  • Prepares confidential briefings for events and individual meetings for the PSD director of development, Dean, and other University leaders as needed.
  • Develops PSD materials such as funding priorities talking points, department updates, proposal language, toolkits, pitches, gift opportunities, etc. for gift officers.
  • Serves as lead communications strategist for PSD Council.
  • Works with Assistant Director to identify and refine useful reporting from CRM (Griffin or Phoenix).
  • Prepares to pitch in on other tasks as necessary, since this is a small team.
  • Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance including attending webinars, seminars, building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions.
  • Establishes fundraising goals and priorities based on department objectives, designs strategies to meet those goals, and monitors progress against goals.
  • Identifies, analyzes, and qualifies donor interest to maximize giving. Help with overall planning for the University’s most important prospects. Works independently to develop communication strategies for projects, including publications and public presentations.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Advanced degree.


  • Minimum five years of professional work experience in fundraising, development, alumni relations, donor relations, nonprofit management, research, marketing, communications, sales or similar professional work experience.
  • Proven record of accomplishment in solicitations and cultivation of prospective donors or sales and client development.
  • Experience leading a project team or managing staff.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the University as well as the technology tools available to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, including the University's donor relationship management system and the Microsoft Office Suite.

Preferred Competencies

  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills characterized by the ability to listen, speak, and write effectively.
  • Manage confidential information with discretion and tact.
  • Act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality.
  • Work collegially and collaboratively in a team setting.
  • Self-motivation and able to take initiative.
  • Prioritize multiple projects and independently follow through with detail.

Working Conditions

  • This position has a hybrid work schedule which includes weekly in office presence.
  • Standard office environment.
  • Travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for University business.
  • Work evenings and weekends as needed.
  • This position is located in Hyde Park at 5235 South Harper Court.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter, addressed to Hiring Committee (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

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