Director of Philanthropy (Field of International Education)

Institute for Shipboard Education | Semester at Sea
Colorado, United States
$84,000.00 - $89,000.00
Closing date
Oct 6, 2023

Job Title: Director of Philanthropy

Reports to: Vice President for Advancement


    Remote from the Northeastern U.S. or the Chicago, IL metropolitan area (preferred); or Northern Colorado/Fort Collins, CO (hybrid); or  Remote (from other locations within the U.S.) may be available depending on the candidate

FLSA Status: Exempt, regular, full-time
Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Salary Range: Typical starting range for a new employee in this role is $84,000 - $89,000/annually


Organization Description

Established in 1963, the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) is a 501(c) non-profit organization. In collaboration with academic partner Colorado State University, ISE delivers the Semester at Sea® (SAS) program, one of the longest-operating higher education study abroad programs. Semester at Sea® provides its students with a global comparative education through classroom and experiential learning in the field. The Semester at Sea® floating campus, the MV World Odyssey, carries around 550 students plus faculty, staff, and others. The duration of the semester voyage is typically 105 days, including visits to 8- 10 countries. ISE conducts two-semester voyages annually. See for more information. 


Organization Mission

Journeys of discovery that spark bold solutions to global challenges. 


Position Description

The Director of Philanthropy (DoP) is a new position within our organization, providing a powerful platform for the successful candidate to build a comprehensive and innovative major gifts program and team based on experience and best practices. With an emphasis on face-to-face relationship-driven fundraising, the DoP will lead and develop strategies for our major gifts team to secure significant philanthropic resources from individuals, foundations, and corporations to support fundraising goals and create sustainable revenue for SAS. 

Reporting to the VP of Advancement, the DoP will oversee other major gift functions including helping to build out our planned giving program, helping create and manage future campaigns, overseeing strategic communications, and helping strengthen our stewardship efforts. The DoP will work with the Senior Leadership Team, the Board of Trustees, and organization-wide staff to develop, communicate, and deliver a philanthropy vision and multi-year fundraising goals while furthering the culture of philanthropy at SAS. The DoP will supervise a small team initially (1 staff and hiring 1 staff), with the potential to expand and manage a team of 2 to 4 staff members. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The individual in this position must be able to perform the essential duties and responsibilities with or without reasonable accommodation: 

    Lead the development of a comprehensive fundraising strategy to secure financial support for SAS's organizational priorities. Develop and manage the annual fundraising goal setting, budget, and revenue projections. Build and lead a team to support alumni and donor relations efforts. Provide guidance and mentorship to team members, fostering a collaborative and high-performing work environment. Prioritize donor-centered approaches while also maintaining a focus on organizational priorities to ensure a balanced and effective fundraising strategy.  Use data management systems to monitor and analyze fundraising progress. Track Key metrics for major gift fundraising activities to ensure we are moving toward goals. Provide insights based on analysis to aid strategic decision-making.  Provide analytical reports to VP, Senior Leadership Team, President, and the Board. Partner with and support the President, Board, and Senior Leadership in advancing fundraising goals.  Build and manage relationships with major donors, ensuring effective cultivation, stewardship, and recognition. Lead and participate in solicitation efforts, maintaining a personal fundraising portfolio. Collaborate with the marketing and communications team to raise SAS's profile and strengthen its brand awareness. Work closely with program staff to align fundraising requests with program needs. Monitor key fundraising trends and issues. Communicate implications to the VP with suggested action. Collaborate with the organization's leadership and board members to identify new funding opportunities and potential donors. Work closely with the Board, to inspire greater participation in advancement efforts while capitalizing on board member’s resources, talents, and networks.


  • Assist with the SAS BOT Advancement Committee.


    Commitment to teamwork and eagerness to work collaboratively with colleagues from across the organization in a hybrid office environment. Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and ethical standards in fundraising. Significant travel is required. 


Additional Duties and Responsibilities

    The ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously is essential for success in this role. The ideal candidate will possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, strong project management abilities, and a passion for building and maintaining relationships.  Adapt to the dynamic needs of a small team environment, demonstrating flexibility and a willingness to take on additional responsibilities as necessary to support the team and achieve organizational priorities. 


Preferred Qualifications and Skills

    Bachelor’s degree preferred (or relevant professional experience; one year of experience may be substituted for each year of education).  5-7 years of related experience. Proven track record in asking and receiving charitable contributions and the ability to secure financial support from diverse sources. Ability to represent SAS energetically and accurately to a variety of constituents including board, staff, alumni, major donors, parents, and other friends of the organization.  SAS graduate and/or familiarity with SAS programming is valued.  Strong written, verbal, interpersonal, and organizational skills.  Experience in developing and sustaining strong relationships. Ability to interact professionally with board and staff members who have diverse professional skills and perspectives. Demonstrated a deep understanding of organization and cultural philanthropy, using a proactive, innovative, and entrepreneurial approach to fundraising. Knowledge of advanced gift planning concepts.  Flexibility and the demonstrated ability to think creatively and thrive in a fast-paced, complex environment, juggling numerous projects and satisfying varied constituencies simultaneously. Skills to manage and implement change, as well as motivate and mentor staff while increasing performance. Proficiency with word processing, spreadsheets, and database management software—i.e. Raiser’s Edge, Sales Force, etc. Proficiency in budget development and management.  The ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive data.  Strong work ethic and integrity.  Flexibility to travel and work evenings or weekends for events and donor meetings as needed. 


Working Conditions

    This is a full-time (40 hours/week) position. Days of work and hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand This position requires work performed in an office environment Travel domestically and internationally may be required. Travel may include time spent on a moving ship in the ocean, with little to no internet access at times


Physical Requirements of the Job

    Requires sitting, bending at neck, waist, legs, and arms; twisting body; and changing positions at will. Occasional standing, walking, stooping, bending, kneeling, and reaching  Requires repetitive motions with hands and fingers such as keyboarding, use of telephones, cell phones, etc.  Requires close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to focus  Work requires close attention to detail and accuracy and varies in nature with periodic interruptions  Computer and phone work at a desk for majority of the day 


Compensation & Benefits

    starting range for a new employee in this role is $84,000 - $89,000/annually medical, dental, and vision insurance life insurance retirement contributions paid time off/leave paid holidays wellness program tech stipend LinkedIn Learning


Application Deadline: For full consideration, please submit your application on or prior to Monday, October 9, 2023. Applications may, however, continue to be accepted until the position is filled.


Application Advice 

    Use Google Chrome as your web browser. It interfaces with ADP better than other web browsers Please complete and save your prepared documents in advance of beginning the online ADP application Allow plenty of time to complete the application, upload materials, and submit the application Work cannot be saved; applicants cannot return to in-progress applications at a later time Once an application has been submitted, it cannot be altered or changed


Application Instructions

To receive full consideration, please submit your application materials as follows:

    Submit both a cover letter and resume; your cover letter should address your interest in the position and your qualifications as aligned with the requirements of the position. Submit your cover letter and resume as a single PDF file. Save your PDF file with the file name that leads with your last name and upload to the “Resume” option.


Failure to submit your application according to any or all of the above criteria may limit consideration for the position.


Please direct your position-specific questions to Human Resources at Please, no phone calls. 


The Institute for Shipboard Education|Semester at Sea® is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage anyone, regardless of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, or any other classification protected by law, to apply.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert