Sr. Director of Development – Arts & Sciences

Job title: Sr. Director of Development – Arts & Sciences
Organization: Northern Kentucky University

Job Description

Established in 1970, the NKU Foundation was created to manage privately donated gifts for Northern Kentucky University. The Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization governed by an elected Board of Directors. Since its inception, the Foundation has helped transform NKU into a thriving, metropolitan university that has spent the last 50 years dedicated to living our mission of engaging, empowering and elevating the people and region we serve.

NKU is a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by approximately 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving campus near Cincinnati. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students’ names. Dr. Ashish Vaidya has served as Northern Kentucky University’s sixth president since July 1, 2018.

NKU is committed to reducing barriers and improving affordability of education. A central goal is to increase the number of first-generation, post-traditional, international, and underrepresented students. In pursuit of these goals, NKU launched Further, Faster: The Campaign for NKU in May 2019 with a goal of raising $75 million. Already 65% to completion, this position will be a key member of the fundraising team that will complete the campaign.

The College of Arts and Sciences is hiring a Senior Director of Development to lead its advancement initiatives. Join the Dean, Dr. Diana McGill, and the central advancement team to positively impact the students and programs of this exceptional college.

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to the enduring values and skills of the liberal arts—a commitment to scientific research and mathematical reasoning; the embrace of creativity and imagination; the focus on communication, history, and culture—that best prepare students to succeed in a dynamic and constantly changing economic future while engaging in the ancient human quest to build a life of meaning and purpose.

The Senior Director of Development reports to the AVP of Development and works closely with the Dean, internal colleagues and external stakeholders across the university to engage, acquire, cultivate, solicit and steward major and principal gift donors.

Duties include:

  • Responsible for identifying, executing and providing strategic direction to fulfill the fundraising priorities of the College of Arts and Sciences. Activities will include conducting high-level cultivation events, strategic and operational planning for the fundraising program, stewardship, volunteer engagement, and corresponding meetings and communications.
  • Identify, manage and personally solicit a portfolio of 75-100 donor prospects for gifts of $25k and above; conduct 15 personal visits with current donors and prospects monthly; collaborate with prospect researchers and appropriate faculty/staff to identify prospects
  • Write and deliver compelling major gift proposals and analyze major gift program progress and performance
  • Advise the Dean on external and development activities and important events and programs to attend; be a highly informed advocate for the college inside and outside of campus. Assist and advise the Dean on personal cultivation and solicitation of donors.
  • Document and maintain quality records in the donor database (Raiser’s Edge NXT)
  • Develop an ongoing comprehensive strategy to raise a minimum of $1,000,000 individually and $2,000,000 as a team for assigned unit annually while adhering to agreed performance metrics
  • Coordinate appointments and materials used by senior staff faculty, board members, and volunteers for meetings, visits, events, or phone calls. Work with shared administrative staff to ensure effective daily operations.
  • Other duties as assigned

Management Responsibilities:

  • Expected to drive team results and may supervise front line development and support staff at the Associate Director level and below within assigned unit; including responsibility for setting goals, supporting career and professional development, evaluating performance and providing constructive feedback.
  • Provides peer leadership, mentorship and coaching within the team. As needed, provides training to staff within or outside of immediate department or division in regard to function


  • Bachelor Degree
  • Minimum 5 years of proven professional experience in development including demonstrated success qualifying, soliciting and closing major gifts of $25k and above
  • Supervisory and higher education development experience preferred
  • Some travel and weekend/evening work required


  • Solid knowledge of fundraising techniques and ability to cultivate and solicit donations from individuals at a major gift level of $25k and above; principal ($500k+), planned, and corporate giving experience is a plus
  • Organizational perspective, ability to work in a fast paced environment, comfortable with change and associated ambiguity are valued competencies
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills to prepare, edit and present effective correspondence, proposals, and persuasive solicitation materials for individuals and groups
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships to deliver measurable results
  • High attention to detail, experience managing multi-phase projects from inception to completion while building consensus
  • Ability to problem solve and generate creative solutions in order to maintain and strengthen high quality relationships with donors
  • Exceptional ethics and integrity, ability to be discrete and maintain confidentiality
  • Must have passion for philanthropy, higher education, NKU, and the community that it serves


Send cover letter and resume to Laurie Woodhouse at

This position will be open for applications until September 30, 2019