Director of Development, Divinity School

The University of Chicago
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Apr 5, 2023

Job Summary

The Director of Development (DoD) will be responsible for leading and coordinating comprehensive fundraising efforts for the Divinity School. The Director will design and implement holistic strategies and build relationships to identify, cultivate, and solicit annual, major, and principal gift donors in collaboration with Divinity School academic leadership, University leadership, and development colleagues. Working closely with the Divinity School and ARD teams, the Director will identify and define funding opportunities, support individual and foundation donor engagement opportunities and solicitations, and collaborate with the Dean and the AVP for Development - Humanities and the Arts to develop strategic approaches for fundraising growth. This Director is a senior fundraising position with management responsibilities for the Divinity School alumni relations and fundraising staff, and will work closely with and develop partnerships with other University of Chicago fundraising colleagues.

Reporting directly to the Dean of the Divinity School with a dotted line to the Assistant Vice President for Development - Humanities and the Arts in Alumni Relations and Development, the Director is a member of the Divinity School senior leadership team and a member of the ARD Humanities and the Arts Directors group.



  • Provides vision for and leads the Divinity School fundraising activities including annual giving, major gifts, institutional giving, fundraising events, and campaigns.

  • Leads and manages the creation and implementation of a strategy for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, gift closure, and stewardship of individual and foundation major donor prospects in collaboration with Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) and Divinity School staff and leadership.

  • Works closely with the Dean of the Divinity School in supporting the School’s advisory councils, including the Baptist Theological Union, the Divinity School Visiting Committee, and the Alumni Council, including managing and overseeing individual relationships and board committees, as needed.

  • Builds and manages relationships with a portfolio of 50-70 individual and foundation prospects, and partners with fundraising colleagues on multi-interest prospects to include Divinity School solicitations in their overall prospect solicitation plans, including solicitations at the six and seven figure levels.

  • Monitors progress against goals, ensuring deadlines are met.

  • Manages, supervises, and leads the Divinity School alumni relations and development staff - currently a team of one.

  • Hires, manages, develops, and evaluates development staff as needed and as assigned.

  • Actively encourages staff members' professional growth and participation in the life of the University.

  • In partnership with Divinity School leadership and the Assistant Vice President for Development - Humanities and the Arts, establishes annual fundraising performance goals, allocates resources, and tracks and assesses individual and team performance.

  • Monitors and manages the development team budget.

  • Establishes fundraising goals and priorities based on department objectives, designs strategies to meet those goals, and monitors progress against goals.

  • Works closely with senior leadership, officers, and deans to design strategic objectives and action steps that will lead to the successful realization of projects.

  • May brief senior level administrators in preparation for contact with prospects.

  • Manages a portfolio of current and potential donors. Identifies and cultivates gift prospects and potential donors through events, visits, personalized correspondences, and phone calls.

  • Manages department strategies and plans to achieve University fundraising goals.

  • Recommends and implements fundraising programs and activities.

  • Provides specialized professional oversight to fundraising operations for the Divinity School. Participates in the development of fundraising goals, policies and short and long-term strategies. Assesses, analyzes and evaluates fundraising programs, specialized projects or major events. Identifies problem areas or need for change and provides recommendations for modifications or adjustments.

  • Identifies, cultivates, and solicits prospects. Develops strategies for cultivating participation.

  • Leads the preparation of annual development reports assessing progress toward achievement of goals. Provides expertise to analyze and evaluate information to identify trends and patterns, evaluates strategies, and makes recommendations.

  • 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 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.




Preferred Qualifications



  • Advanced degree.



  • Experience soliciting and closing major gifts.

  • Demonstrated record of organizing successful fundraising, marketing, or membership programs.

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a senior leadership team characterized by trust, open communication, and shared goals.

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple projects and independently follow through with detail.

  • Passion for and knowledge of the study of religion, and experience working in higher education.


Preferred Competencies

  • Communicate effectively and with influence characterized by the ability to listen deeply, speak clearly, and effectively convey ideas in writing.

  • Demonstrated experience fostering partnership and collaboration.

  • Brand ambassador for the Divinity School and the University of Chicago.

  • Strong organizational and analytical skills.

  • Self-motivated and entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Track record of meeting and exceeding goals.


Working Conditions

  • 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 and/or at Swift Hall on the main UChicago campus.


Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

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

Job Family

Alumni Relations & Development

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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