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Executive Director of Major Gifts (Hybrid Eligible)

University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Jan 31, 2023

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Executive Director of Major Gifts (Hybrid Eligible)

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Executive Director of Major Gifts (Hybrid Eligible)

Job Profile Title
Executive Director A

Job Description Summary
The Executive Director of Major Gifts at the University of Pennsylvania is a crucial leadership position, responsible for leading a team of 10-15 and building a sustainable and growth-oriented pipeline for major gift support at Penn. The Office of Major Gifts supports all schools, centers and units across the University, employing a donor-centric approach and proactively fundraising for the greatest priorities of Penn. The Executive Director will develop and set the direction for the team which includes both an on-campus office, as well as a regional office in New York City, establishing a strong team culture of collaboration, collegiality and creative vision. The Executive Director will mobilize the team, direct strategic data analysis of the program and position the office for increased prospect engagement, volunteer development and substantial fundraising growth well into the future.

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Development, Undergraduate and Individual Giving, the Executive Director must be a strategic and visionary leader, able to translate University needs into exciting giving opportunities. This individual must have the ability to authentically inspire and motivate a team, building enthusiasm and a sense of pride in the collective accomplishments of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR). They must have experience managing multiple major gift officers, at various levels, and understand the importance of data to inform fundraising decisions and program evolution. The Executive Director must have the ability to communicate exceptionally well, cultivating relationships with colleagues across Penn, from fellow DAR colleagues to the most senior University leaders.

Job Description

Targeted Pay Range: $220,000- $270,000

This Targeted Pay Range is only applicable to this job posting. All salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and job profile.

  • Lead by example, demonstrating full integrity, authenticity, inclusivity and maintaining a strong culture of trust. Fostering a team culture, consistent with that of the larger UIG team, is crucial.
  • Supervise 10-15 staff members including 8 major gift officers, ensuring they are well trained to do their work, have the resources they need to be successful and have annual opportunities to participate in professional development. Manage performance of direct reports, upholding and expecting the highest levels of professionalism.
  • Manage a portfolio of 75-100 prospects with the ability to make 6-7 figure gifts to Penn. Personally identify, cultivate, solicit and steward a select portfolio of prospects, engaging them across all schools and centers at Penn.
  • Establish oneself as a university leader in major gifts, developing a cohort of Penn major gift officers who can learn from one another, engage and support each other. Host monthly meetings of the group, bringing relevant and timely topics to the table and encouraging active participation. Have a clear understanding of the landscape and both historical and current trends that could impact major gift fundraising, and communicate these to all major gift colleagues and teams at Penn.
  • Implement and support ongoing training of all major gifts staff to ensure they are always knowledgeable about the university and have the language they need to enthusiastically engage prospects and convert them to donors.
  • In collaboration with the team, devise a multi-year strategic plan to guide the team's efforts. Be aspirational in creating vision and goals and thoughtfully guide the team through implementation.
  • Consistently utilize data to analyze team performance, program growth and employ the use of forecasting to anticipate how the program will continue to grow. Make and encourage data-driven decision making across the team.
  • Work closely with the Office of Advancement Prospect Analytics (APA) to create reporting that will track progress to goal, performance metrics, growth trajectory and other metrics needed to assess health of the program.
  • Oversee a dual-ask approach for all major gifts to Penn, with a focus on soliciting all prospects for The Penn Fund and including this ask in their gift agreements. Focus on growth of both scholarship and unrestricted, current-use dollars for The Penn Fund. Incorporate a triple-ask for planned giving, as appropriate.
  • Research and create a plan for volunteer involvement at the major gifts level. Understand what peer institutions are doing, understand what is currently being done and bolster a volunteer plan that will continue to best serve the needs of Penn and the donor.
  • Work with the Office of Gift Planning to explore partnerships with the team and to assist in the growth of the Harrison Society.
  • Assist in managing donor visits with the Provost, offices affiliated with the Office of the Provost and other senior leaders at Penn.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with all school and center directors of development, engaging in strategic dialogue around their priorities and communicating such information back to the team.

**Please provide a resume and cover letter in order to be considered for this role. Please upload all documents in the “Resume/CV” section of the application prior to submitting.**

  • Bachelor's degree required and a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible development and leadership experience including successful engagement and gift closure with major gift donors ($250,000 to $5 million +) or equivalent combination of education and experience required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Experience working on comprehensive and large-scale campaigns in a higher education setting.
  • A high level of comfort and effectiveness working with high-net-worth individuals, domestically and internationally.
  • Proven experience as a manager and leader of fundraising teams with multiple levels of expertise.
  • Ability to set objectives and performance standards, provide constructive feedback, and achieve established program goals.
  • Experience working effectively in a complex institutional setting, developing and sustaining productive and effective relationships with donors, faculty, colleagues, and senior leadership.
  • Commitment to the organizational values of DAR and the Undergraduate and Individual Giving Program.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to function independently yet relate comfortably in a multifaceted and complex fundraising environment, participating in and contributing to a total team effort.
  • Must be willing to travel and work evenings as needed, valid driver's license required.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hybrid Eligible - This position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule with a work week divided between working onsite and working remotely.

Department / School
Development and Alumni Relations

Pay Range
$90,860.00 - $142,844.66
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit:

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