Advancement Officer

The University of the South
Tennessee, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Oct 11, 2023

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Position Overview


Primary Function:

The Advancement Officer cultivates relationships with alumni, parents, and friends of the University in order to solicit financial support from a pool of prospective donors with the capacity to make gifts in the $50K to $1M+ range.

This position works with considerable independence and self-direction. Only the general direction and scope of the work are discussed with the supervisor.


Career Band: 2E


Position Description


Typical Duties & Responsibilities:

  •  Maintains oversight of and regular, robust activity with a pool of approximately 180 leadership-level prospective donors, including the qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of gifts (including estate gifts) at the $50K and above level.

  • Builds and advances strong professional relationships with alumni, parents, and friends of the University that result in philanthropic contributions. 

  •  Organizes and plans travel to strategically and efficiently visit at least 150 donors/prospective donors annually in order to meet individual fundraising goals.

  •  Develops and maintains comprehensive knowledge of Sewanee’s fundraising priorities and serves as a resource, advocate, and spokesperson for advancement programs at the University.

  • Works independently and creatively to match donor interests with institutional priorities and develop funding proposals and negotiate and structure complex gifts.

  • Prepares briefings, stewardship plans/letters and other correspondence for prospective donors, collaborating with other Advancement colleagues and University staff as appropriate.

  • Ensures the timely capture and recording of data relating to the assigned prospect pool.

  • Maintains in-depth knowledge of the University’s academic and extra-curricular programs and key faculty and administrators; may serve as an Advancement liaison to a specific institutional program area.

  • Collaborates with other Advancement colleagues on special fundraising projects and/or events.

  • Supports the Sewanee Fund staff by personally encouraging each of their assigned donors/prospective donors to make a gift to the Sewanee Fund each year and to make special gifts during reunion years.

  • Utilizes appropriate technology to consistently accomplish follow-up tasks (including call reports and correspondence) in a timely manner.

  • Works cooperatively and collaboratively with others and accepts direction from supervisors. 

Machines & Equipment Used: 

  • Personal computer, 
  • Vehicle, 
  • Cell phone, 
  • Printer, 
  • Internet and, 
  • Various software packages.

Judgment Required: 

The performance of the essential duties of this position is dependent upon being relational, highly motivated, inquisitive, and extremely organized with attention to detail, goals, and deadlines.

Budgetary Responsibility: None

Personal Interaction/Communication:

  • Student Contact: Minimal
  • Internal: Faculty, Staff, Executive Office
  • External: Potential & Existing Donors, Parents, Alumni, Friends, Visitors


Attributes of a Successful Candidate



  • Bachelor’s degree required, 
  • Knowledge of institutional advancement and advanced fund-raising techniques, including planned giving, 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and, 
  • relational databases; such as Banner.


5+ years of progressive experience and training in development, fundraising, sales, or other related work.

Job-Related Skills:

  • Excellent organization, 
  • Verbal and written communication skills, 
  • Interpersonal, analytical, reasoning, problem-solving, and time management skills and, 
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively.

Licenses & Certifications: Driver's license


Supplemental Information


Confidential Information:

  • Giving histories, 
  • Contact reports and, 
  • Wealth screening information

Working Environment:

  • General office 
  • Extensive travel

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to stand for extended periods of time, 
  • Must be able to walk for extended periods of time, 
  • Must be able to use hands for repetitive tasks, 
  • Must be able to push and/or pull objects, 
  • Must be able to lift between 21-50 pounds (Medium work), 
  • Must be able to carry between 21-50 pounds (Medium work)

Any additional requirements specific to this position:

  • Significant travel is required, 
  • Nights and weekend,
  • Work required for events.



DEI Institutional Statement:

At the University of the South, our commitment to inclusion and belonging is grounded in our core values of community, courage, flourishing, and inquiry. We seek to build a community enriched by our diversity and centered on equity, justice, mutual respect, and shared responsibility.



Equal Employment Opportunity:

The University of the South is an equal-opportunity educational institution that is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment.


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