Job Posting Title Director of Development, Program for Leadership and Character (R0005588)

Wake Forest University
North Carolina, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Apr 5, 2023

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Fundraising Administration
Employment Type
Full Time

Summary: In University Advancement, we believe in equity, not just equality. We understand that in order to develop a fully engaged constituency; individuals must receive equitable treatment instead of equal treatment. Establishing equality means treating everyone the same. Equity necessitates transforming our community to meet the needs, interests and cultural norms of our University Advancement staff.

The Director of Development, Program for Leadership and Character is responsible for leading the fundraising efforts for the renowned Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University. In addition to providing strategic guidance and collaborating with other key development officers, this person is responsible for managing a portfolio of 100+ prospects and identifying and securing major gifts of $50,000 to $1,000,000+ for the program from alumni, parents and friends of Wake Forest University. The Director is responsible for establishing and reaching determined goals and strengthening relationships campus-wide to increase philanthropic support for the program. The program is highly interdisciplinary in nature, and the Director will be uniquely called upon to understand and represent the Program accordingly, both internally and externally. Key areas of focus include support for faculty and staff positions, program funds, and scholarships. Securing endowed funds for these priorities is of particular importance.

About the Program for Leadership and Character:

The Program for Leadership and Character inspires, educates, and empowers leaders of character to serve humanity. Through innovative teaching, creative programming, and cutting-edge research, the Program aims to transform the lives of students, foster an inclusive culture of leadership and character at Wake Forest, and catalyze a broader public conversation that places character at the center of leadership. Over the last decade, Wake Forest faculty have become leading experts in the study of character. The Program for Leadership and Character is now using this groundbreaking research to develop creative, liberal arts-based programming to transform the lives of our students. The Program is also the hub of a national higher education network devoted to educating character, established in 2023 through a $30 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. For more information, see

This is a new 5-year, grant-funded position with the possibility of continuation based on funding sources. Our preferred candidate will be located within North Carolina; however, candidates desiring a remote appointment may be considered.


This Job Is For You If You Are Able To….

  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 120-150 prospects and donors to Wake Forest University.
  • Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors that have the capacity to make endowed, current and deferred major gifts in the $50,000 - $1M+ range.
  • Develop and execute long- and short-term prospect management plans and solicitation strategies, prepare written prospect management plans, identify specific purpose and gift level for each assigned prospect. Draft proposals and engage in ongoing cultivation of, and correspondence with, potential donors to Wake Forest University in order to solicit gifts.
  • Complete in a timely fashion follow-up reports documenting all activity associated with cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors.
  • Work closely with the Assistant Dean, College Development, Executive Director of the Program for Leadership and Character, and Director of Leadership and Character in the Professional Schools to create a base of potential donor prospects for the Program.
  • Identify, recruit, support and reimagine the Program’s external Leadership and Character Council.
  • Coordinate with Territory teams and all front-line fundraisers to qualify, solicit, and steward major gift prospects and donors for the Program.
  • Collaborate with the Donor Experience team to creatively and strategically engage and steward existing Leadership & Character donors in order to secure new commitments. These strategies include the use of annual reports and meetings between donors and supported Leadership and Character scholars, faculty, or staff.
  • In partnership with the Assistant Dean, College Development, prepare an annual development plan for program and scholarships.
  • Contribute to a transparent and equitable organizational culture where ethical policies and practices are understood and lived out by all staff.
  • Have a passion for leadership, character, and workplace diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Have high standards for your work and are proud to contribute to a mission-driven organization.
  • Get excited about the prospect of joining a team that is making a difference in people’s lives every day.


What Skills Do You Need?

  • Bachelor’s degree with five to seven years of fundraising experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Knowledge and proven history of gaining philanthropic support and financial commitments from others, including the ability to articulate the importance of endowment gifts.
  • Ability to identify and secure gifts of non-traditional assets and/or charitable gifts from alternative funding/revenue sources.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents in a diverse community.
  • Commitment to the mission and values of University Advancement and the Program for Leadership and Character and a commitment to equity, particularly racial equity, with a willingness to proactively learn about it and integrate it into all aspects of the work.
  • Respect for the dignity and abilities of all people.
  • Ability to foster teamwork and cooperation in a work environment.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills in prioritizing workflow and managing resources.
  • Ability to manage and maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Ability to multi-task and demonstrate sound judgment and discretion.
  • Knowledge of the University policies and procedures, or ability to acquire knowledge in a short period.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google apps, and other relevant software.
  • Ability to research, collect, and analyze data, compile information, and prepare reports.
  • Experience in database management and maintenance
  • Detail-orientation in coordinating activities.
  • Ability to supervise and train staff, volunteers, and student workers, including organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments for these individuals/groups.
  • Skill in fiscal management.
  • Knowledge of charitable giving techniques, instruments, and relevant laws.
  • Ability to travel locally and nationally as necessary.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as necessary.
  • Should be able to meet requirements of the University's automobile insurance policy.
Desired Skills and Abilities: As the incoming Director of Development, Program for Leadership and Character you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • Experience in direct fundraising or direct sales.
  • Experience working in higher education or not-for-profit environments.
  • Possesses an understanding of the donor cycle and prospect management.
  • Knowledge and clear understanding of Wake Forest University.
  • Familiarity with ideas of leadership and/or character.
  • Previous experience with frequent travel.

  • Responsible for own work; meets goals for monthly visits, solicitations and commitments.
  • Responsible for monitoring travel and entertainment budget.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet all requirements listed in the job description. In University Advancement at Wake Forest University, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace. If this role appeals to you, but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification on the job description, we encourage you to apply. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.



This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by the employee’s supervisor.

 To help provide a safe learning and living community, Wake Forest University conducts background investigations and drug screens for all final candidates being considered for employment. Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply. Wake Forest University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in employment for individuals with disabilities.


Additional Job Description   In an effort to protect the health and safety of the campus community, all faculty and staff positions, excluding staff who perform duties exclusively at Graylyn Conference Center, are required to be fully vaccinated with an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to their hire date. Once hired, faculty and staff must maintain full COVID-19 vaccination status throughout their employment at Wake Forest University. Faculty and staff with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that preclude vaccination should contact Human Resources to request a reasonable accommodation.

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