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Vice President for Advancement

Western New England University
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Jun 3, 2023

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Position Type
Academic Centers, Education
Employment Type
Full Time

Vice President for Advancement
Western New England University
Springfield, Massachusetts

Western New England University (WNE) was established in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1919. The goal of the University’s founders was and remains to provide outstanding academic programs with a professional focus that prepares graduates to become leaders in their fields and in their communities. WNE is now ranked among national universities by U.S. News & World Report in its “Best National Universities 2022-2023” and among the Top 100 Undergraduate Engineering programs. The University is also recognized as a Doctoral/Professional University from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

The University educates leaders and innovators to face the challenges of an increasingly complex world. With the program breadth and depth of a comprehensive university, supported by individualized attention, WNE readies students to adapt, compete, and thrive in careers yet to be imagined.

WNE offers a wide range of undergraduate programs, as well as 46 master’s, doctoral, certificate, and dual degrees, across its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Business, and Engineering, and School of Law. The University has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1972.

WNE educates 3,647 students from 38 states and the District of Columbia and 22 countries. More than 45,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, and 57 foreign countries.

WNE has been ranked in the top 3% of colleges and universities among the top 1,275 public and private institutions reviewed in the United States by The Economist magazine. The rankings analyzed which institutions offered the “best value” for the education received.

In a rapidly changing world, WNE is ready to be a model for the new traditional university that educates leaders, problem solvers, and lifelong learners to adapt, compete, and thrive in careers yet to be imagined. The University’s student outcomes demonstrate not only the preparedness of graduates to launch successful careers, but also their determination to be industry leaders on the cutting edge of their fields. In its most recent survey of the Class of 2021, 98% of seniors reported post-graduation employment or were pursuing graduate school. The WNE PharmD Class of 2021 earned a high first-time pass rate (91.5%) on the NAPLEX Exam, greater than the national average (83.6%). This marks WNE’s fourth consecutive year of having a pass rate greater than 90%, making the University one of only three programs in the northeast to achieve these results.

Under the visionary leadership of President Robert E. Johnson and through implementation of its bold strategic plan, The Future Is Now: Vision 2025, WNE strives to be a pacesetter among national universities with the advantage of being comprehensive yet personal, private, and nimble. By respecting traditions, capitalizing on strengths, and with a willingness and drive to be entrepreneurial, the University is differentiating itself in the marketplace. WNE characterizes itself as a 'New Traditional University,' defined by its agility and motivation to create value while seeking an intentional and enriching approach in all aspects of the academic and co-curricular student experience.

WNE is poised to respond adeptly to the challenges and opportunities of the future, and it is now undertaking a campus master planning process in anticipation of the University’s next major fundraising campaign. Amid this environment brimming with forward-looking energy and investment, WNE invites candidates for the position of Vice President for Advancement. The Vice President will be central to WNE’s plan to build and optimize its Advancement Division on par with the overall distinction of the University and commensurate to achieving its ambitious vision. Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President serves as the chief development officer of the University and provides leadership for all fundraising and friend-raising activities. The Vice President is responsible for creating and implementing strategies and overseeing the management of plans and activities designed to capture philanthropic support through targeted efforts toward alumni and other individuals, corporations, and foundations to meet the fundraising goals of the University, including a comprehensive campaign initiative. This leader supervises an Advancement staff comprising 17 positions in total, including the following direct reports: Director of Development, Director of Alumni Engagement & Annual Giving, Director of Stewardship and Advancement Operations, and the Executive Assistant to the Vice President/Special Projects Manager. The Vice President serves on the President’s staff and works with members of this staff to ensure collaboration for fundraising efforts for all areas of the institution.

A core charge of the Vice President for Advancement is to markedly increase alumni and other prospect engagement and to advance a University-wide culture of philanthropy. The Vice President must build the operational capacity and strategic integration of the Advancement Division to maximize current and evolving donor interest and meet the ongoing vision for WNE’s growth, including preparation for a major, future fundraising campaign.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in implementing, growing, and managing a high-performing advancement program, as well as a proven ability to partner with institutional leadership. They will be a forward-thinking leader who is an agile learner, creative, possesses a flexible mindset, and is able to lead adaptively and nimbly.

While the University will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:

  • Knowledge of and passion for higher education and its goals. Alignment with the mission of WNE and its core values.
  • Ten or more years of experience in nonprofit fundraising with increasingly responsible experience in the creation and execution of advancement strategy and programs, with an established track record of growing a donor base, increasing philanthropic revenue, and fundraising campaign leadership. Broad knowledge of the following: individual, institutional, major, planned, digital, and annual giving; alumni or prospect engagement; special events; advancement communications; stewardship; operations.
  • Strong grasp of and commitment to best practices in institutional advancement, as well as working knowledge of income, estate, and charitable gift tax rules.
  • Experience in developing the case for support and strategic fundraising plans and executing plans to achieve goals and objectives. Demonstrated experience cultivating, training, and working collaboratively with senior-level colleagues, board members, and other high-level volunteer leaders on successful advancement-related activities.
  • Successful track record of personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six to seven-figures or greater. Strength in prospect discovery and in building effective strategies to compel new major donor investment. Experience integrating giving programs at various levels to cultivate greater donor commitments.
  • Strong record of providing strategic and operational leadership, including creating and managing a budget, while ensuring efficient processes and resource allocation. Demonstrated ability to recruit, manage, coach/mentor, motivate, and ensure ongoing professional development of staff; foster a transparent and collegial work environment; and increase effectiveness and accountability for direct reports through established objectives, performance standards, and guidance.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic marketing and communications in support of development and alumni relations goals. Experience identifying and coaching project spokespeople. A functional understanding of how to effectively leverage various communication mediums and distribution channels for optimal exposure and impact.
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically and creatively in planning and decision making, and to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.
  • Working knowledge of modern data management practices and innovations that can streamline institutional advancement processes and contribute to the integration of related functions.
  • A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of constituent engagement and connectivity.

Download the full position description via the following link:

Western New England is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The University welcomes candidates whose background may contribute to the further diversification of its community.

Western New England University has retained the DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice of the Diversified Search Group to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) may be submitted at or directed to:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Managing Director and DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice Leader
Diversified Search Group
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, New York 10174 | 212.542.2587

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