Chief Advancement Officer, College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

The Ohio State University

Position Overview

The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) serves as the chief fundraiser and leader of the advancement team for the College of Veterinary Medicine. The CAO understands the mission, needs and value proposition of the college to strategically create awareness, engagement and support from a variety of constituent groups including donors, alumni, grateful clients, and friends. This position will also focus on building relationships with corporations, commodity groups, community organizations, associations, and foundations that help advance the initiatives of the college.

The CAO reports to both the Assistant Vice President of Health Sciences Development in the Office of Advancement and the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and leads a full complement of Advancement professionals comprised of development, strategic marketing and communications, alumni and donor relations, and event staff. This leader is charged with building and implementing strategy to grow the college’s annual fundraising goal ($30M+) and exceed the college’s current university Time and Change Campaign goal ($175M).

A highly engaged dean strongly committed to advancement and fundraising, coupled with an extremely passionate and motivated alumni base and devoted veterinary medical center clients, make supporting the College of Veterinary Medicine special. Experience in health sciences, animal sciences, or an animal-related field along with a personal passion for animals will help the person in this role fall in love with the work of the college and connect with our constituents. The college is one of 32 fundraising units at Ohio State and one of seven health science colleges located on the main campus of the university. The CAO will inherit a number of vacancies with the ability to add to a strong team. Central resources such as a robust donor database, reporting and analytics tools and partners in support areas such as estate and gift planning and corporate and foundation relations exist to help the role collaboratively achieve goals.

The college’s CAO needs to be a strong leader, poised to step into a robust, dynamic college and operate with a high degree of independence to make decisions, solve problems, and adapt to shifting priorities. This role is based in Columbus, Ohio and requires significant travel and occasional evening and weekend work.

All members of Advancement are part of creating an inclusive culture that inspires an exceptionally diverse and talented team and are measured on their adherence to the following core competencies:  leadership, continuous improvement, teamwork and collaboration, and communication/interpersonal effectiveness.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education/experience
  • At least ten (10) years of professional fundraising experience or professional transferable experience (i.e., managing relationships with required measurable output, making calls, conducting face-to-face appointments, creating and presenting proposals, and other fundamental elements of client relationship or sales-related activities)
  • Three (3) years of management experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least ten (10) years of professional fundraising experience raising the highest level of philanthropic gifts at an organization (preferably five or six figures and above)
  • At least ten (10) years of professional fundraising experience in higher education or an animal-related organization
  • Experience working in other advancement departments such as donor relations and stewardship, donor communications and/or alumni relations
  • Advanced degree (e.g., DVM, Ph.D., MBA)

College Overview

The College of Veterinary Medicine aims to be the model comprehensive college of veterinary medicine in the world, impacting animal and human health through innovation, collaboration and excellence. Over the next five years, our already high-performing college will shift toward a new educational paradigm that bolsters innovative learning, sets a new standard of clinical care, ignites research that crosses college and disciplines, and inspires outreach that makes a difference in our community and around the globe. We have the largest veterinary college in the nation with state-of- the art facilities, including a newly renovated hospital for companion animals which is part of a comprehensive veterinary health system that services over 75,000 animals each year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

40% – Development Leadership and Strategy

Leads a team of development professionals to meet the college’s fundraising goals by identifying, securing, and maximizing opportunities to align prospective donor interests and passions. Provides leadership and creates the strategy to identify and develop a robust pipeline of donors; supervises and directs development professionals across multiple college areas to include the veterinary health system; encourages initiatives to grow the grateful client program; maintains a high standard of performance while inspiring the team to do the same, ensuring that all fundraisers on the team have the support, guidance and mentorship needed to successfully close major gifts for the college; advocates for area with regard to resources in order to accomplish goals; works to build cohesiveness within advancement and across units to enhance overall fundraising for Ohio State.

Hires, trains, and supervises staff; establishes and monitors goals, provides performance feedback and coaching, and supports professional development; completes annual performance management procedures; manages performance issues; is responsible for using independent, consistent, and fair judgement in exercising authority; develops procedures, assigns and prioritizes work, and ensures that the resources needed to accomplish work are provided.

25% – Fundraising

Builds effective relationships with college leadership and faculty to advance the culture of philanthropy among faculty and staff. Builds and maintains a high-capacity prospect group, serving as prospect manager for major donors at $500,000 and above. Strategizes, cultivates and solicits a portfolio of principal gift donors with a capacity for gifts of $5,000,000 and above.

15% – Marketing/Communications

Provides leadership and direction to the college’s marketing and communication efforts to ensure effective, efficient outreach to a broad base of constituents; supports partnership with University Marketing to expand the college’s branding initiatives and partners with University Communications on media relations. Provides high-level oversight of communications and content development processes to ensure clarity and consistency while enhancing strategic positioning and messaging for both internal and external audiences. Oversight includes the strategic use of traditional and new media for employee communications, executive communications, media relations and crisis communications.

10% – Alumni and Donor Relations

Helps drive the strategic engagement of alumni in efficient and effective ways while supporting collaboration with the Alumni Association to utilize new tools to segment and strategically reach the college’s alumni population. Oversees the enhancement of donor relations and stewardship strategies to allow the college to build, grow and sustain an engaged donor network. Cultivates strong bonds with alumni, donors and volunteers and helps recruit and inspire alumni and donor leaders and volunteers. Works in collaboration with the Dean to manage the Be the Model Philanthropic Engagement Council.

10% – Miscellaneous

Serves as key member of the college’s leadership team in helping establish key strategies and priorities and serves on the core fundraising leadership team for the university. Completes special projects and performs other duties as assigned.

Performance Objectives

First 3 months

  1. Understand the Dean’s vision/strategic priorities and college campaign plan to build case for support
  2. Assess the overall structure, resources, capabilities, and bandwidth of the team
  3. Build positive relationships with the college’s key internal faculty, staff, and external stakeholders
  4. Meet with the college’s key prospects/donors/alumni
  5. Meet with Advancement’s various central services to understand existing college partnerships and successes and how partnerships can grow moving forward

First 3-6 months

  1. Assess the college’s campaign plan
  2. Begin to actively fundraise
  3. Review and build strategy for high level donors
  4. Build relationships with other campus fundraising units
  5. Actively contribute to health sciences college advancement meetings

First 12 months

  1. Positively lead/mentor the team while building a trusting and collaborative culture
  2. Strategize with the dean and senior leadership on new initiatives and opportunities for college fundraising to continue the fundraising growth of the college
  3. Actively contribute to college senior leadership discussions and strategy
  4. Assist the college senior leadership team in continuing to define fundraising priorities and match fundraising priorities with strategic goals
  5. Refine campaign plan to support achievement of financial goals

Metrics and Collaboration:

The annual performance of all fundraisers at Ohio State is measured by the number of qualifications, cultivations, solicitations, commitments, and dollars raised the individual accrues over each fiscal year. Each fundraiser may have different expectations regarding these figures based upon, but not limited to, their experience level, unit size, prospect portfolio, past performance, etc. Goal setting is done with the individual’s manager prior to each fiscal year to assure transparency, consistency, and alignment.

All fundraisers at Ohio State are encouraged and expected to collaborate with their colleagues across the institution and can be counted as ‘Secondary’ on a gift in the solicitation, commitment and dollars raised phases of the development cycle. A secondary fundraiser can be considered when a team is working on a multi-unit gift, the fundraiser is a subject matter expert in an area critical to the solicitation or a fundraiser has a pre-existing, meaningful relationship with the donor and their participation helps move the gift forward.

Why Join Ohio State Advancement Now?

The Office of Advancement is made up of professionals in the areas of alumni engagement, fundraising and strategy/administration, all contributing to the relationship-driven focus of The Ohio State University community. The Chief Advancement Officer will lead the college through the conclusion of Time and Change: The Ohio State Campaign, the most ambitious, inclusive community-building and fundraising endeavor in the university’s 150 years. Time and Change has a financial goal of $4.5 billion – also the largest in Ohio State’s history – with three core areas of focus: student success; discovery; and healthy, vibrant communities. The campaign recently crossed the $3 billion dollars raised mark.

Commitment to Inclusion

The Office of Advancement is committed to active allyship in addressing and dismantling the inequities created by systemic racism and implicit, long-held bias. We pledge to act with kindness, respect, and integrity at all times, trust ourselves and our colleagues and empower their whole identities, and hear and see our colleagues’ ideas, voices, and perspectives, acknowledging that we are better together.

You Need to Know

Aside from the unparalleled benefits of working for The Ohio State University and working in the diverse, smart, enjoyable, and growing city of Columbus, Ohio, this opportunity provides exceptional rewards that arise from working for an institution doing worldwide life-changing research and outreach. Learn more here:

Closing Statement

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.

How to Apply

Please visit to find out more about Ohio State’s Office of Advancement and apply online for job opening number R43835. Questions may be directed to Steph Mizer, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition at [email protected]

View more and apply here:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

To apply for this job please visit