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Associate Director of Advancement

Institute for Shipboard Education | Semester at Sea
Colorado, United States
$70,000.00 - $82,000.00
Closing date
May 22, 2024

Reports to: Director of Philanthropy

Location: Hybrid (office in Fort Collins, CO) OR remote (within the U.S.)

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 $70,000 to $82,000/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 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

Ensuring a strong pipeline of support, the Associate Director of Advancement (ADA) at ISE is responsible for managing a portfolio of 100 to 125 major gift level donors and prospects, continuously moving each through the giving cycle, aligning each donor’s philanthropic interests with ISE priorities, developing and implementing strategies that include long and short-term goals for ongoing qualification, cultivation, solicitation, closing, and stewarding of gifts.

The ADA will work closely with colleagues, board members, and other natural partners to develop and execute strategies that move donors from annual and midlevel fund levels to major gift levels. The ADA is responsible for leading efforts to discover and qualify new major gift prospects as well. Success in this position requires the ability to cultivate generous, engaged, loyal, long-term donors.

The ADA will serve as an advocate and spokesperson for ISE, effectively communicating the organization's top priorities, programs, and planned giving opportunities. Proficiency in using donor databases, developing proposals, and coordinating donor-cultivation events is required.

Ethical compliance, as defined by the organization and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, is of utmost importance. The ADA will ensure adherence to ISE's gift-related policies and procedures, maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.

Overall, the ADA plays a critical role in securing the financial support necessary for ISE to fulfill its mission. Their expertise, strategic thinking, and strong relationship-building skills are key to driving the organization's fundraising efforts and ensuring its continued growth and impact.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

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

    Manage a healthy portfolio of 100 - 125 donors and prospects who have the capacity and likelihood of giving at the five to six-figure plus level; ensuring necessary tracking and regular communication with donors and prospects. Develop a comprehensive strategy for each donor in the portfolio, considering individual preferences, interests, needs, and how they best align with ISE priorities and opportunities.  Build and complete high-impact out-the-door, face-to-face donor and prospect meeting trips by securing anchor visits and filling in gaps with additional stakeholders; booking travel to, from, and within key market areas; and preparing donor meeting briefs and debriefs.  Ability and willingness to travel across the U.S., and occasionally internationally, approximately 40%-50% of the time.  Secure new and renewed gifts through direct solicitations for outright, pledged, and/or deferred gifts.  Diligent, timely tracking of all donor and prospect communications, Strategies, Goals, Opportunities, and Actions within ISE’s CRM (RE/NXT).  Utilize RE/NXT to track and manage donor/prospect portfolio and record projections and monitor individual results toward fundraising goal; adhere to timely reporting of results to ensure accuracy of the fundraising pipeline and year-end projection forecasts as well as creation of fiscal year fundraising goals.   Collaborate with the Director of Philanthropy to set and achieve annual personal fundraising goals and meet/or exceed monthly outreach, personal visits, and solicitation metrics.  Research, develop, and write funding proposals, appeal letters, and reports as required.  Prepare meeting materials and stewardship/impact reports.  Thorough understanding of ISE and ISE priorities.   Work collaboratively and build trusting relationships with Advancement Team, other colleagues, leadership, Board, Alumni Councils, and faculty to create the best donor experience.  Cultivate and expand planned giving opportunities with new and existing donors and integrate planned gift objectives into donor solicitations.  Proactive identification and completion of initial discovery research on potential major donors.  Assume primary development responsibility for specific geographic regions, including select events and programs for major gift prospects.  Assist with special organizational events, as needed, including but not limited to regional alumni events, reunion voyages, parent trips, small donor events, and alumni association board meetings.


Additional Duties and Responsibilities

    Assist with alumni events as well as marketing needs especially if the need is within your region. Solicit annual fund gifts, especially at $2,500 and above, from donors and prospects to help reach annual goal for unrestricted support.  Work with Annual Giving Coordinator to present a coordinated fundraising effort to all donors.  Other duties as assigned to support the organization and changing needs of the Advancement Department.  Maintain professional affiliations and expand skills by keeping abreast of the latest information and trends in major gift fundraising, including deferred giving techniques, estate planning and tax laws. 


Minimum Qualifications and Skills

    Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to build rapport and cultivate relationships with high-net worth individuals.  Ability to effectively engage and solicit prospective major donors, including presenting compelling cases for support and making effective asks. Support the mission of ISE; reflecting ISE values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Semester at Sea® commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Preferred Qualifications and Skills

    Bachelor’s degree and/or CFRE preferred with proven fundraising track record, ideally with 3-6 years’ experience and demonstrated success securing gifts $25K+; consideration may be given for related experience and commitment to professional development toward growing major gift fundraising expertise. Familiarity and experience with higher education fundraising opportunities including but not limited to financial aid/scholarships.    Strong knowledge of comprehensive fundraising principles, techniques, ethics, and best practices. Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic fundraising plans and initiatives. Strong organizational and project management skills, with the ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks and deadlines.   Knowledge of donor database management systems (RE7/NXT) and proficiency in using fundraising software.  Ability to work independently and as part of a team, collaborating with colleagues and stakeholders to achieve fundraising goals.  Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to build rapport, identify donor interests, and write customized giving proposals and provide pertinent materials to donors and prospective donors.  Ability to thrive in an environment where fundraising metrics play an essential role in annual performance evaluations.   Ability and willingness to work outside of normal business hours frequently, participating regularly in fundraising dinners, community events, conferences, and after-hours or weekend meetings with high-net-worth individuals. 


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


Application Deadline: Please submit your application on or prior to May 16, 2024, 11:59 p.m. MDT


Application Advice 

    Applications will be exclusively accepted by the ISE’s ADP workforce platform 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 document with the file name that leads with your last name and upload to the “Resume” option. No additional documents are requested at the time of application; any additionally submitted documents will not be reviewed.


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

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