Associate Director of Leadership Gifts

Website Denison University

Administrative Staff Position / Major and Planned Giving Department

Denison Job Posting

Work Schedule:  Typical M-F work schedule, occasional evening and weekends. Considerable overnight travel is required.

Basic Function:  Qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership prospects and donors at the $50,000-$100,000 level. Identify and encourage increased philanthropic support for the College with a specific focus on growing the major gift pipeline, growing membership in the Leadership Giving Societies levels, and supporting specific fundraising projects and/or campaigns. Cultivate relationships with Denison alumni, parents, and friends to increase the number of donors who give annually to the Denison Annual Fund at the $1,000+ level.

Qualification and Solicitation of Leadership Gifts: 85%

  • Develop and implement solicitation strategies for donors and prospective donors of $50,000-$100,000; secure leadership level support for the Denison Annual Fund. Manage portfolio of prospects, including qualifying prospects from a lead pool generated by Prospect Development; and cultivate, solicit and steward current prospects. Solicit outright and planned gifts. Build a pipeline of future major donors by identifying and soliciting alumni, parents, families, and other donors who have major gift potential.
  • Assist in solicitation of gifts for project-based initiatives or campaigns, including capital projects, recognition societies, Day of Giving and other special, limited campaigns, matching opportunities, etc.
  • Document all personal visits and appropriate phone and email contacts in the database. Ensure all next steps, pledges and recommended actions are recorded and followed-up on appropriately.

Leadership Giving Pool Management and Divisional Collaboration: 15%

  • Identify, with the assistance of the Director of Prospect Management, Denison alumni, parents and friends who have the capacity to become future major gift prospects and leadership donors to the Denison Annual Fund.
  • Identify and solicit $1,000+ Annual Fund prospects.
  • Partner with Institutional Advancement colleagues on growing support for Parent & Family Philanthropy, Reunion Giving, and other programs.
  • Participate in periodic donor strategy reviews, divisional planning meetings and briefing sessions in order to raise substantial funds to support the Denison Annual Fund.
  • Assist with the expansion of volunteer programs by identifying and recruiting new volunteers to meet division needs and priorities.

Other duties & expectations include:

  • Participate in professional development activities to stay current with trends in the field.
  • Attend and staff events including Big Red Weekend, Commencement, Reunion Weekend, Volunteer Summit Weekend, Parent and Family Weekend and other events as deemed appropriate by Advancement leadership.
  • Collaborate with other campus offices to meet Denison’s fundraising objectives.
  • Participate as an active member of the University community by attending regular campus meetings and events and perform other duties as assigned.
  • Bachelor’s Degree with 2+ year of experience in fundraising/alumni relations or equivalent, transferable experiences.
  • Outstanding initiative, excellent organizational, interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills.
  • Proficiency in applications including MS Word and Excel.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful candidate must demonstrate enthusiasm for a collaborative work environment.
  • Ability to handle confidential material with the utmost discretion.
  • Extensive travel. Willingness to work evenings and weekends; travel up-to 75% of the time.
  • Strong Excel skills including filtering, formulas, pivot tables are required.
  • Demonstrated experience in personally soliciting gifts. Appreciation for the transformative educational experience offered within the private liberal arts.
  • Fundraising experience in a university setting.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of development and fundraising with an understanding of individual giving programs, such as direct mail, phone-a-thon and personal solicitation programs is preferred.
  • Experience in initiating and securing a high volume of development visits preferred.
  • Knowledge of modern data management practices and techniques, including models of analysis that lead to effective decision making.

Physical Demands:

  • Traditional office work, ability to lift a maximum of 25 lbs.

Contact:  Amy Milbourne

Contact Email:  [email protected]

Denison University Background Check Statement:

  • The final candidate will undergo a background check as a conditional offer of employment.

Denison University EEO Statement:

Denison University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. To achieve our mission as a liberal arts college, we continually strive to attract and hire candidates with diverse backgrounds, experiences and identities. Denison fosters a campus community that recognizes the value of all persons regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender expression and identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic background. For additional information and resources about diversity at Denison, please see our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and antiracism (IDEA) at Denison Forward.

ADA Statement:

If you require a reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please contact the Office of Human Resources at (740)587-6299 or by email at [email protected].

Required Applicant Documents:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter/Letter of Application
  3. List of 3 Professional References and Contact Information

About Denison:

Denison University is a private, coeducational, and residential liberal arts four-year college. Founded in 1831, Denison is Ohio’s second-oldest liberal arts college. The university is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges with a vibrant, residential community of 2,400 undergraduate students and a student to faculty ratio of 9:1, ensuring that students are more than a number, and that they become active participants in their own educational experience.


Denison is located in Granville, Ohio, US, about 30 mi (48 km) east of Columbus, the state capital and 14th largest city in the United States. While some faculty and staff live in Granville and surrounding neighborhoods, many staff choose to commute from Columbus.

About the Division:

The core focus of Institutional Advancement is to inspire philanthropic support and life-long engagement. The work of Institutional Advancement is guided by the following core values: Respect, Integrity, Adaptability, Collaboration, Gratitude, and Commitment to Excellence


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