Director of Development and Donor Engagement

Website Otterbein University

SUMMARY:   The Director of Development and Donor Engagement (Director) is responsible for designing, implementing and coordinating a development plan for an assigned pool of donors and potential donors. The Director will help to identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit support from individuals, alumni, parents, friends, faculty/staff, and others to fund immediate and long-term goals of the university.

The Director will be the lead donor relations manager for the Division, working closely with the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement to create and implement strategic stewardship and cultivations strategies, special projects, and events to generate financial support.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Development, the Director is responsible for understanding the needs and interests of major donors and potential donors in order to develop relationships between them and the university, resulting in support for the institution. The Director is required to travel throughout Ohio and may travel more broadly as needs arise.


  • Actively manage a portfolio of 200 to 250 assigned prospects and donors for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Proactively seek opportunities to generate new proposals based on donor interests and institutional priorities.
  • Solicit major gifts of $25,000 or more with an emphasis on gifts at the six- and seven-figure range designated for endowment, capital or program needs.
  • Write proposals for solicitation of own prospects and aid in the preparation of other proposals.
  • Participate in all aspects of the gift cycle:
  1. initiate contacts with potential donors;
  2. develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with volunteers;
  3. move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure.
  • Sustain positive and mutually-rewarding relations between the University and its donors.
  • Partner with members of the University community to determine the best strategies for effective solicitation and stewardship of donors.
  • Maintain ongoing and active networking with internal and external constituencies – some of which may include: Westerville Otterbein Women’s Club, Friends organizations, and key initiatives on campus.
  • Manage special projects as it relates to donor cultivation and carry out fundraising priorities.
  • Accountable for developing and achieving fundraising goals, annual and long-term objectives for assigned portfolio.  Work within budgets to support those goals.
  • Work with University leadership, faculty/staff to create an understanding of the University’s programs and resources that can be leveraged for donor development and constituent engagement.
  • Collaborate with Alumni Relations and Family Engagement to identify prospects and implement engagement strategies to strengthen the major gift pipeline.
  • Manage and engage prospects in permanent stewardship.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director, develop and manage planned giving initiatives.
  • Collaborate with Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives, create and implement university-wide stewardship and cultivation strategy that includes, but is not limited to, high level cultivation events and special initiatives that further develop major giving pipeline.
  • Participate in special projects and other duties as assigned.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: The Director of Development and Donor Engagement may have supervisory responsibilities as needed for the Development Associate, in cooperation with the Executive Director, and possibly for student workers.

QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

MISSION CRITICAL COMPETENCIES: Extremely important are the knowledge and ability to create, execute and/or support, and oversee a comprehensive campus-wide donor acknowledgement and recognition plan, including advising on complex and carefully orchestrated cultivation events and programs for the University’s major donors. Excellent organizational, interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are essential.

The candidate must be able to generate creative solutions for stewarding donors.  This requires an ability think strategically about donor engagement. Excellent social skills, with large groups as well as with individuals, is required.

Proven skills and ability to manage multi-phase projects from inception to completion, including the ability to build consensus among team members and balance multiple concurrent priorities. It is necessary for the candidate to possess the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Being detail oriented, well organized, focused and goal-oriented, with a high level of initiative and energy, is essential, as well as adept at problem solving and using judgment in situations requiring independent initiative and tact.

Director of Development and Donor Engagement interacts on behalf of the University with all of the University’s various constituencies. Must display a high level of maturity and personal integrity and ability to understand, develop, and sustain resilient and dynamic relationships with donors, colleagues, and senior management.

Broad knowledge of the principles of fundraising; ability to see and understand the objectives of development and individual giving, as well as, the Institutional Advancement division, and to integrate goals with those objectives; ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and alter strategic advancement plans; ability to articulate the case for support so that individuals accept the institution’s goals.

EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE: Qualified candidates will minimally hold a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have at least 2 years of non-profit experience. Candidate must have documented success at securing gifts $25,000 or larger.

CERTIFICATES, LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS: Must have a valid driver’s license.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: The ability to interact comfortably, tactfully, and effectively with varied internal and external constituencies is essential. Must demonstrate excellent verbal and writing skills including an exceptional command of grammatical rules and AP Style Guidelines. Must be able to project voice and do public speaking in both small and large group settings.

MATHEMATICAL SKILLS: Must be competent in general math.

TECHNICAL SKILLS: Knowledge of general office procedures.  Must be able to use general office equipment, work in a complex customer relations management database, and willing to learn and employ new technologies.

REASONING ABILITY: Ability to exercise initiative and independent judgment in unusual or new situations.  Must be able to work independently. Must retain confidential information, thus confidentiality and discretion are mandatory.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This position does not require unusual physical ability. Little physical exertion is involved, although considerable pressures exist; ability to handle tension and stress in a positive manner is required. No risks or discomforts are imposed upon this position by the physical surroundings or job situation.

Must have the ability to travel both on and off campus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.   Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Duties are performed in an environmentally controlled office setting. Must be able to meet regular and predictable attendance standards. Occasional travel, evening and weekend work is expected.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions that will be given this title and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct and control the work of employees under supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of similar kind of level of difficulty.

Otterbein University is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer.

Otterbein University is committed to providing a welcoming environment free from unlawful discrimination. To this end, the University prohibits any form of discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, pregnancy, religion, creed, marital status, partnership status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, disability, military status, or any other legally protected status in its programs and activities. However, the University’s commitment to a nondiscriminatory environment is not intended to abridge unduly its commitment to academic freedom, free speech, or its educational mission. Inquiries or complaints regarding any form of discrimination or harassment may be directed to:

Scott Fitzgerald Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Title IX Coordinator


[email protected]

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