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Director of Development & External Relations

University of Florida/George A. Smathers Libraries
Florida, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Dec 15, 2022
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POSITION TITLE:                 Director of Development & External Relations                                      

CLASSIFICATION:               Director, Advancement

REPORTS TO:                        Judith C. Russell, Dean of University Libraries and

                                           Joakim C. Nyoni, Assistant Vice President for Development

SALARY:                                 Salary commensurate with experience and credentials

Requisition #:                  523832

DEADLINE DATE:                REPOSTED – December 9, 2022 - applications will be reviewed as received



The Director of Development & External Relations leads the planning and execution of a comprehensive philanthropic program for the George A. Smathers Libraries in coordination with the Dean of University Libraries. This position reports dually to the Dean of University Libraries and the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Development.


The Director of Development & External Relations leads a team of development professionals that work collaboratively with Library deans, chairs, and librarians, as well as colleagues outside of the Libraries to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift prospects for the Smathers Libraries initiatives and strategic priorities. The incumbent is responsible for overseeing and providing direction to the work of the advancement team in securing all private support, executing donor stewardship, development of public support groups, fundraising event coordination, and relations between the Libraries, its Library Leadership Board, and Smathers Friends of the Libraries donors, the University of Florida and the UF Advancement. Additionally, the Director of Development & External Relations will attend strategic engagement events in support of Smathers Libraries fundraising goals.



At UF Advancement we are committed to “The Gold Standard Culture” and live it through:

Our Vision: To be ranked among the best, as measured by Voluntary Support of Education

Our Mission: To be a catalyst in securing and managing private support for university priorities

Our Values:

  • Excellence – Strive for greatness as an institution that brings out the best in each individual.
  • Discovery & Innovation – Collaborate on the uncharted frontiers of knowledge to seek truth and make the world a better place.
  • Inclusion – Celebrate differences in identities, thoughts, and abilities, and seek to provide equitable access to opportunity.
  • Freedom & Civility – Embrace the freedom to inquire and express ideas without condemnation, and to show respect for the right of others to do the same.
  • Community – Create a safe, welcoming community and a shared purpose that builds a sense of belonging and togetherness.
  • Stewardship – Show respect for those who came before us, responsibility for those now with us, and the commitment to leave a just and habitable world for those who come after us.



Strategic Development

  • Work closely with the Dean of University Libraries (Dean) and the Assistant Vice President of Development (AVP) to define and prioritize funding needs.
  • Build and manage a major gift prospect portfolio of approximately 65 major gift donors as well as managing a qualification pipeline.
  • Serve as the primary fundraising strategist for the Libraries, identifying, qualifying, and stewarding donor prospects up to the major gift level.
  • Strategically manage relationships through face-to-face visits with donors, prospects, and friends, with an emphasis on ,Special Collections.
  • Actively identify and research alumni and friends in targeted areas; work with the AVP to develop and implement strategy for securing gifts in these areas, including advancement plans to inform constituents in identified markets about the funding needs and gift opportunities.
  • Actively build donor pipeline through in-person visits, volunteer engagement, and other strategies.
  • Work closely with the Dean, AVP and the Office of Estate & Gift Planning in identifying and qualifying prospects who have the potential of making a planned gift to Libraries.
  • Actively qualify and manage major gift prospects in accordance with their interests, capacity, and propensity, consulting with the AVP on philanthropic engagement strategy and key campus partnerships for collaboration.
  • Provide ongoing leadership and direction to the Assistant Director of Development and other team members in building the Libraries’ donor pipeline through the qualification and solicitation of leadership annual giving donors to the Libraries
  • Work with University Initiatives to u increase parent and family giving to Libraries.
  • In collaboration with the Dean of University Libraries, develop solicitation strategies on case-by-case basis, being cognizant of development office and Library needs and procedures.
  • Oversee all stewardship efforts for the Libraries, ensuring the advancement team is recognizing donors appropriately and meaningfully. Coordinate stewardship efforts with other Libraries and external colleagues within UF Advancement and University of Florida, as appropriate.
  • Acknowledge and recognize gifts in ways that are meaningful to donors and appropriate to the vision, mission, and values of the Smathers Libraries and UF Advancement.
  • Provide leadership, counsel on matters relating to fundraising, and accountability including establishing goals in alignment with library objectives, developing metrics and strategic planning.


External Relations

  • Implement a series of strategic events designed to promote Special Collections and other library priorities, to engage a larger audience and build major gift pipeline.
  • Oversee the design and execution of fundraising plans that would include special events, VIP and donor lunches and dinners, campus visits with the dean, catered events, Library tours with the dean, team retreats, and meetings and initiatives that promote the engagement of donors and friends.
  • Develop support for the program by effectively involving stakeholders, such as volunteers, staff, and members of the libraries leadership board, in efforts supporting the fundraising program.
  • Understand and articulate the unique contributions of Smathers Libraries to education, research, and service on local, national, and international levels.
  • Oversee and manage activities and public support programs and events for the Smathers Libraries. Coordinate development activities with Libraries’ public relations staff; assist with Libraries public relations and promotional activities. 
  • Attend and strategically engage and cultivate donors and prospects at events, providing effective follow-up.


Friends of the Libraries

  • Provide leadership and direction to the Assistant Director of Development in the management of a successful Friends of the Library program, designed to generate unrestricted support for the library, to steward and cultivate those closest to the library, and to build a pipeline of new potential donors.
  • Lead the advancement team in executing Smathers Friends of the Libraries fundraising initiatives to generate gifts between $1,000 and $25,000 and effectively build a pipeline of prospects to ensure future success of the fundraising program.
  • Facilitate the Assistant Director of Development’s work in proactively engaging with the UFA Annual Giving Office to ensure successful Friends of the Libraries prospect and pipeline management.
  • Provide leadership and support strategic planning efforts as they relate to Smathers Friends of the Libraries.


Library Leadership Board

  • Cultivate the Library Leadership Board (LLB), engaging a small group of individuals who can support at a high level or make significant connections on behalf of the library.
  • With the Dean, plan, manage, and successfully execute all LLB meetings, events, and activities;  prepare meeting materials and logistics.
  • Engage with LLB members and individual prospects identified by LLB members.
  • Coordinate stewardship reports and activities for individual prospects including LLB members with appropriate members of the administration.
  • Develop support for the Smathers Libraries by effectively involving staff and stakeholders, including LLB members in efforts supporting the fundraising program.
  • Create a structured process for the identification, recruitment, evaluation, recognition, and replacement of volunteers to strengthen fundraising effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with the Dean and the AVP regarding overall gift strategies for LLB Omembers as appropriate.



  • Responsible for effective prospect tracking, record keeping, reporting and administration aligned with the metrics and reporting from UF Advancement.
  • Plan and monitor the budget, using resources for best results in fundraising and planning activities involving volunteers, prospects, faculty and administration.
  • Ensure best practices in office systems, practices, files and record keeping; ensure effective use of strategic tools and resources such as contact reports, prospect management, research, and analysis, and the Advance database.
  • Assist in evaluating and analyzing programs using established attributes and metrics to produce accurate reports, to guide effective decision making.
  • Supervise the Libraries’ Assistant Director of Development and Development Coordinator.


Additional Responsibilities

  • Research industry standards, trends, breakthroughs and best practices.
  • Implement changes accordingly to maintain the Smathers Libraries’ competitiveness among its peers and other organizations.
  • Participate in professional programs at the state and national level as appropriate (CASE, DORAL, ALADN).
  • Perform related duties as required or deemed appropriate to the accomplishment of the responsibilities and functions related to this position.



We value a range of experience and perspectives. Applicants are encouraged to communicate in their application materials and subsequent interview conversations how their work and other experiences satisfy the following qualifications in ways that may not be obvious.



Master’s degree in appropriate area of specialization and three years of appropriate experience in Development or a related field; or a bachelor’s degree in appropriate areas of specialization and five years of experience in Development or a related field.  One year of supervisory experience.



  • Five+ years of external affairs experience with success in cultivating relationships with individuals and corporate prospects.
  • Prior experience in a college or university setting, enthusiasm for fundraising in a comprehensive research university, and the desire to work collegially within a goal-oriented fundraising organization.
  • Knowledge of fundraising principles, methods, and standards.
  • Expertise in developing solicitation strategies.
  • The ability to work strategically, develop and implement constituency programs and activities, along with a talent for motivating volunteers.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and a team player
  • Competency in problem solving.
  • Must be an outstanding communicator and possess excellent written and verbal communication skills; interpersonal skills; and the ability to work collegially and interact effectively with a diverse constituency.
  • An appreciation for and support of diversity in the workplace in all its forms; proven success working with stakeholders; excellent strategic planning and project management skills; experience in a data-driven environment; organizational skills; and the ability to lead, influence and motivate others.
  • Working knowledge in these areas: Windows, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, internet browsers, preferably Internet Explorer, E-mail.  Working knowledge of a donor database, contact management and tracking system.
  • Commitment to contributing to a respectful and caring community for all, including individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, and perspectives
  • The ability and willingness to travel. A valid driver license and good driving record are essential.* 


*Business expenses are reimbursed through a standard accounting system.  The ability to pay for expenses using your own personal credit card or funds and have them reimbursed is essential. 


UF Advancement has defined the following critical competencies for organizational and position specific success:

  • Relationship Mastery - Identifies, targets and strategically builds relationships with colleagues, prospects, donors and volunteers
    • Establishes and maintains effective relationships; demonstrating genuine interest in the well-being and opinions of others and recognizing common ground with individuals from varying backgrounds
    • Anticipates conversational direction with ability to swiftly adapt and diffuse high-tension situations
    • Successfully identifies the proper timing, medium and consistency to engage stakeholders
    • Exhibits a high level of emotional intelligence in all interactions


  • Donor Focus - Ability to establish, cultivate and steward prospects/ donors to build and maintain lifelong partnerships and trust on behalf of the institution
    • Consistently searches for ways to improve the donor experience centralizing all efforts and tasks around meeting their needs
    • Matches donor/prospect passions with university priorities, involving the right people and resources at the right time
    • Places prospect/ donor needs ahead of personal success
    • Utilizes resources, remains flexible and creatively suggests individualized engagement activities


  • Tenacity - Ability to demonstrate the discipline and resilience necessary to successfully achieve goals and strategies
    • Identifies and seizes opportunities, setting “stretch” goals and exceeding them (always looking for the next rung on the ladder)
    • Ability to re-direct prospects from distractions and non-productive requests (in control but not seemingly in control)
    • Strong commitment to close gifts (every day is a domino)
    • Does not give up in the face of obstacles (master of “No”)


  • Credibility - Displays responsible, reliable and trustworthy actions
    • Acts in an ethical and authentic manner to support the mission of the university, demonstrating a “can do” spirit, sense of ownership, urgency and commitment
    • Stay current on functional and technical aspects of one’s job seeking opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills
    • Promotes and establishes trust, respect and rapport utilizing diplomacy and tact
    • Fulfills commitments made to donors, colleagues and university partners


  • Entrepreneurial Spirit - Ability to generate creative solutions and take risks
    • Understands current environment and possesses the ability to adapt to new opportunities and challenges
    • Generates innovative ideas, solutions and opportunities to positively impact results (doesn’t order from the menu)
    • Learns from success and failure with a drive to succeed (hates to lose)
    • Accepts, embraces and leads change


  • Engaging Communication - Ability to attentively listen and express oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others in all forms of communication
    • Possesses the ability to engage and inspire
    • Successfully reads verbal and non-verbal cues adapting communication style and strategy as needed
    • Demonstrates active listening and understands the art of asking questions to skillfully obtain more complete information
    • Commands attention when speaking and presenting to individuals or groups


  • Strategic Thinking - Ability to develop strategies and plans that integrate into the organization’s mission, priorities and goals
    • Ability to effectively synthesize information and data to evaluate and prioritize prospects/donors in a larger context (knows their prospects)
    • Ability to document and illustrate a comprehensive engagement strategy with realistic timelines
    • Collaboratively engages colleagues and academic partners and integrates their knowledge into strategy
    • Ability to think big, and create bold and inspiring tactics


  • Mission Driven - Fundamentally identifies with the core mission to create awareness, build relationships, generate support and recognize donors for the purpose of advancing the university
    • Considers national trends and best practices of advancement within higher education
    • Possesses a solid appreciation of UF history, culture and tradition
    • Understands the power of philanthropy and how to engage donors toward achieving their goals
    • Creates advocates for the university through the ability to “visualize dreams”, “ask”, and “close”



The libraries at the University of Florida form the largest academic information resource system in the state of Florida with seven libraries and two off-campus facilities. The George A. Smathers Libraries are comprised of six of the campus libraries, and the off-site facilities. In addition to this system, the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center is part of the Levin College of Law. The Libraries hold over 6.27 million print volumes, 1.5 million e-books, 145,000 full-text electronic journals, over 1000 electronic databases, 1.3 million documents, over 15 million digitized pages from the Libraries’ collections and 1.4 million maps and images. Distinctive holdings include the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, Latin American and Caribbean Collection, Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature and the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History. The Libraries maintain partnerships and engages in a variety of collaborative, international projects while engaging with the UF community. We are a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and other regional library consortia.


The library staff consists of more than 300 FTE librarians, technical/clerical staff and student assistants. The George A. Smathers Libraries are strong advocates for inclusion and intellectual freedom. The Libraries’ commitment to both is articulated in the Inclusion and Intellectual Freedom Statements. The Smathers Libraries will foster and maintain a culture that supports DEI, as values are foundational and permeates all aspects of our organization per Strategic Directions 4: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Support for professional development is central to the Smathers Libraries.  Supports include a formal mentoring program, a robust training program, release time for research and professional service, a comprehensive grants program, and funding for professional development travel.


Land Acknowledgment Statement

The Smathers Libraries acknowledge that the main (Gainesville) campus of the University of Florida is located in the ancestral territory of the Potano and Seminole peoples. The Smathers Libraries acknowledge its obligation to honor the past, present, and future Native residents and cultures of Florida.


The University of Florida

The University of Florida (UF) is the state of Florida’s preeminent university. The state's oldest and most comprehensive university, UF is among the nation's most academically diverse public universities and won the 2018 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. UF is currently fifth among “Top Public Universities” in the U.S. News and World Report and second among Forbes “Best Value Public Colleges (2016). UF has a long history of established programs in international education, research, and service. It is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belong to the Association of American Universities. At UF we have some of the top faculty in the country. In addition to attracting over $900 million in research each year, they foster the uniquely collaborative environment that transforms potential into actual results. UF traces its beginnings to a small seminary in 1853 and is now one of the largest universities in the nation, with more than 50,000 students. The University of Florida seeks to address key challenges of our time, from COVID-19 to racism. In 2020 President Fuchs announced a UF-Anti-Racism Initiative. You can read about various efforts across campus on the University’s dedicated anti-racism website



University benefits for this position include retirement plan options, insurance benefits, paid family leave (parental and medical), tuition fee waiver program, and employee assistance program, as well as paid time off and holidays. Gainesville, Florida, has no state or local income tax. The University of Florida provides ongoing guidelines and resources related to COVID-19.



The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information, and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training. We are dedicated to the goal of building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff within a culturally diverse and pluralistic environment; we invite all qualified applicants including women, members of underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirement under the Florida Sunshine and Public Records laws.


If an accommodation due to a hearing or speech disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 University of Florida Human Resources or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD).



Gainesville and the surrounding community are home to approximately 257,000 people and both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College. The city is surrounded by more than 40 nature parks, including many spring-fed lakes and rivers, with many paved and unpaved trails for recreation. The city is just over an hour from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Gainesville is an award winning and innovative city, friendly to both professionals and families. The Guide to Greater Gainesville combines award winning photography and compelling articles that capture all the reasons for calling Gainesville your next home. The City of Gainesville is a progressive municipality that seeks to promote racial equity. The area has numerous cultural institutions and is a haven for sports fans. Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, and St. Augustine are all within a two-hour drive.


Application Process

To apply, submit

  • a cover letter detailing your interest in, and qualifications for this position
  • your current resume or CV
  • a list of three references including their contact information (telephone number and email address)


Apply by 11:55 pm (EST) on December 9, 2022 (applications will be reviewed as received). Submit all application materials through the Jobs at UF online application system at Job Number 523832. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact Tina Marie Litchfield, George A. Smathers Libraries Human Resources Office, at



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