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Executive Director of Development College of Medicine (COM) at Chicago, University of Illinois

University of Illinois Chicago Office for the Vice Chancellor for Advancement
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Apr 29, 2023

The University of Illinois College of Medicine seeks a strategic, collaborative, and entrepreneurial fundraising candidate for an Executive Director of Development who will help lead and elevate a high-performing advancement operation.

Reporting to the College of Medicine’s Chief Advancement Officer (CAO), the Executive Director will be a hands-on strategic partner for the College of Medicine, bringing entrepreneurial drive and ambition to help establish a best-in-class fundraising operation that supports the clinical, educational, and research ambitions of the College of Medicine, UI Health, and UIC more broadly. They will be responsible for planning, directing, and implementing activities and programs to identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major and planned gifts from individual donors and prospects at the five-figure level and above. They will serve as primary liaison with department heads and other key faculty to identify fundraising priorities and initiatives and to develop a strategy for soliciting funds.

The Executive Director is part of the CAO’s senior leadership team and will oversee a team of approximately three to six fundraisers as well as administrative support. In addition to the CAO, the position will work with the Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Health Affairs, and faculty leadership.

The UI College of Medicine is part of the $2.5 billion UI Health system comprised of seven colleges, a major teaching hospital, a substantial community-based healthcare network, a wide variety of top-ranked primary and specialty clinics, and a cancer center. UI Health has an unswerving commitment to ensuring access to both education and health care in Chicago and beyond, serving as an incubator for life-saving research, a major healthcare provider to underserved communities, and educator of more physicians, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists for Illinois than any other school.

UI College of Medicine Advancement is at a pivotal moment in its trajectory, with tremendous potential for exponential growth. The University of Illinois has committed to a substantial investment in the expansion of Advancement, with the goal of adding approximately 30 new Advancement positions in UI Health over the next two years. UI Health is truly singular in its breadth of activity and innovation—from groundbreaking research and medical education led by world-class faculty, to cutting-edge surgical training, to innovative healthcare design and delivery, to renowned drug discovery, and more—and in its dedication to health equity across these areas. The College of Medicine is among the top-ranked colleges for African-American and Hispanic physicians, and the hospital and clinics serve among the most diverse populations in the nation.

The successful candidate will bring at least 10 years of experience, preferably in an academic medical Advancement setting, with a clear track record of elevating fundraising programs and teams as well as personal fundraising success. This individual must be collaborative by nature, keen to engage individuals across a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and committed to the mission and goals of the College of Medicine. Bachelor’s degree required.


Led by Executive Dean Mark Rosenblatt, the University of Illinois College of Medicine is one of the largest medical schools in the country, with a mission to advance health for everyone through outstanding education, research, clinical care and social responsibility. Our diverse student body of over 1,300 students hails from a wide variety of cultural and economic backgrounds. This diversity adds to the rich educational experience that is the College of Medicine.

The College’s campuses—located in ChicagoPeoria, and Rockford— take advantage of the state’s urban and rural environments and offer numerous opportunities for clinical training and research. Our distinguished faculty contribute to the college’s reputation as one of the best schools for both undergraduate and graduate medical education. The College’s 75 residency programs are highly sought after.



  • Manage a portfolio of 75-100 donors and prospects by qualifying, researching, cultivating, and soliciting gifts of six figures or more from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Complete a minimum of 75 face to face visits annually.
  • Help devise and implement an annual advancement plan that includes solicitation of principal gifts ($1 million+) and major gifts.
  • Leverage existing leadership, donors, and opportunities to rapidly build new donor bases in support of institutional priorities. Use creative, strategic approaches to acquire new donors and engage prospects beyond those in current portfolios.
  • Prepare professional presentations and funding proposals for donors as required.
  • Serve as advancement subject matter expert for Department Heads, Dean, and faculty in developing and implementing strategies to solicit gifts.
  • Coordinate high-level donor meetings with Dean of College of Medicine, CAO, and with faculty/senior leadership as needed for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of priority donors.
  • Work with the Dean, Senior Director of Alumni Relations, and the Director of Communications to cultivate and identify alumni for college, university, and community awards and recognition.
  • Work with Chicago COM data and operations teams to track fundraising to date and keep the CAO updated on progress. Develop and present in-depth research, metrics, and reports on prospect pool, benchmarks, success, and growth.
  • Work with the Stewardship team to oversee the delivery of timely acknowledgment letters, endowment impact reports, and other stewardship activities for high-level donors.
  • Collaborate with Chicago COM Alumni Relations and Special Events teams to enhance interactions with prospects and donors and increase potential gifts.
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with academic, clinical, and administrative leadership across the organization; ensure that the College of Medicine Advancement team is seen as a collaborative, proactive, and trustworthy partner capable of professionally addressing opportunities and concerns.


Strategic Planning

  • Help craft and implement a comprehensive, multi-year College of Medicine advancement strategy that will drive philanthropic support for institutional priorities to substantially and sustainably higher levels; inspire and challenge the College of Medicine and UI Health community to meet significant annual fundraising increases.
  • Develop and execute creative strategies to acquire new bases of support. Leverage existing donors and opportunities to find new revenue sources and quickly expand the prospect pool for institutional priorities.
  • Partner with the CAO to develop a strategy to maintain alliances with current donors as well as launch a systematic initiative to identify and cultivate an expanded major- and principal-donor pipeline.
  • Build collaborative partnerships and work with leadership throughout UI Health and UIC; catalyze academic and healthcare leaders, faculty, clinicians, and staff to develop multi-disciplinary funding initiatives that position the College of Medicine for transformational gifts.
  • Perform other related duties and participate in special projects as assigned.


  • Train and mentor a committed and productive staff that is well prepared and has the skills to meet the ongoing challenges and ambitious development goals of the College of Medicine; set clear direction and priorities for professional staff members and administrative support personnel; promote excellence through well-defined and measurable goals.
  • Ensure staff effectively prioritize high-impact projects and focus efforts on revenue-generating activities; ensure staff execute effective strategies that result in meaningful engagement and successful solicitation of donors who provide support at all levels.
  • Implement and educate team members on best practices, motivating a culture of high-performance. Maintain accountability among team members and ensure compliance with Central Advancement standards.
  • Help establish annual performance objectives, metrics, and standards in an environment of best practices; utilize contemporary analytics to project, measure, and report on progress against goals.
  • Foster a work environment that inspires, recognizes, and rewards high-performance, supports new ideas and risk- taking, builds confidence, encourages interaction and teamwork, and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Build a work culture where staff feel fulfilled, excited, and motivated to achieve, learn, and grow in their careers within College of Medicine Advancement. Embody and uphold our values of excellence, integrity, collaboration, accountability, and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.



This position requires strong leadership, superb communication skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with many internal and external constituencies.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible fundraising experience; an expert in major gifts with experience contributing at the strategic level.
  • A track record of success personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding gifts of at least seven and eight figures.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, with the intellectual depth necessary to understand and translate medical, technical, and research information for all internal and external audiences.

Preferred Qualifications

In addition, the ideal candidate will bring many of the following professional qualities and experiences:

  • A deep appreciation for the history, achievements, and aspirations of the College of Medicine and the ability to effectively articulate its mission, relevance, and uniqueness to a diverse audience.
  • Experience elevating an existing development program, using metrics and best practices, resulting in a transformative increase in philanthropic revenue for an institution; significant strategic planning and program execution experience.
  • Entrepreneurial and strategic thinker; naturally curious and able to recognize connections and opportunities.
  • Ability to envision fundable opportunities within a project and articulate them in a compelling way to distinct audiences; experience identifying value propositions and tailoring them to new audiences to expand our donor and prospect base.
  • Demonstrated success in identifying new prospects and leveraging leadership, donors, and opportunities to build new donor bases in support of institutional priorities.
  • Ability to use quantitative and qualitative data to make effective decisions about strategy and process and to identify opportunities for growth.
  • Experience developing and working with high-level boards, inspiring giving and leveraging board members to achieve philanthropic goals.
  • Success in building trust with and gaining confidence from leadership and faculty by thoughtfully and nimbly managing up. Ability to anticipate questions and needs of leadership and proactively problem solve.
  • The political savvy to navigate a complex academic medical community within an even larger, more complex academic enterprise, including leveraging the time of senior leadership.
  • A transparent, collaborative, inspiring, and accessible leadership style; proven success leading and managing staff and volunteers; history of developing top talent resulting in measurable performance improvement.
  • Sharp eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of time and resources. Impeccable attention to detail with superb follow-through.
  • Decisive, with a proven ability to translate ideas into action, take thoughtful risks, and achieve results; ability to adapt to and lead through ambiguity with a high degree of autonomy and responsibility.
  • Exceptional diplomacy, discretion, and judgment.
  • Track record of flexibility, resourcefulness, tenacity, and creativity; proven effectiveness in a dynamic, ambiguous environment.
  • A keen understanding of the role that diversity and intercultural understanding play in achieving excellence.
  • Knowledge of HIPAA and its requirements for development activities; discretion with donor and prospect information.
  • A strong commitment to personal and professional development, and the ability to foster a diverse, robust, autonomous, and collaborative team.
  • High degree of integrity, character, and emotional maturity, demonstrating respect for individuals at every level of an organization; humility, a sense of humor and life balance; strong executive presence; commitment to the highest standards of professionalism.

To apply for this position, please include a cover letter and resume.

Job Application Link:

Close Date: April 19, 2023

As an EOE/AA employer, the University of Illinois encourages applications from individuals regardless of an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, and Veteran or disability status.

The University of Illinois may conduct background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

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