Chief Advancement Officer – Arts & Sciences

Website The Ohio State University

What You’ll be Doing and Why it Matters

The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) for the College of Arts and Sciences serves as the head fundraiser for the university’s largest academic unit, leading all development, alumni relations and donor experience activities. The CAO creates and leads the strategy to identify, develop and maintain a robust pipeline of donors to the college through strategic direction of a large team of experienced professionals.

The CAO will be charged with managing their own portfolio of major and principal level prospects and growing the college’s annual fund-raising goal ($67M in FY24) to help fulfill strategic needs and goals of the college. The college has a passionate alumni community and the alumni relations work spans a population of over 200,000 living alumni.

The CAO will create partnerships with college leadership to advance the culture of philanthropy among college chairs and directors, faculty and staff. Additionally, they will build effective relationships with central Advancement leadership to facilitate the fundraising agenda. Utilizing these relationships, they will provide counsel and guidance to align college strategies and priorities to compelling fundraising opportunities with high-impact prospects. The CAO will play a pivotal role in bringing the college across the finish line for the current Time and Change campaign.

While collaborating with the Dean for the Arts and Sciences and College academic leadership, they will exhibit the behaviors associated with Advancement’s core competencies: Leadership, Continuous Improvement, Teamwork and Collaboration, and Communication/Interpersonal Effectiveness.

This position is based in Columbus, Ohio and does require flexible hours and frequent travel.

Department Overview

The College of Arts and Sciences is Ohio State’s laboratory for discovery and creativity. By bringing together ideas and disciplines to create bold, new connections, we empower people and their potential, envision the unimagined, advance innovations and solve unrelenting problems at a scale few others can match. We have 38 academic departments and schools, 80+ majors, 17,453 undergraduate and 2,285 graduate students and 260,000 living alumni.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education/experience
  • At least ten years of professional fundraising experience; alumni relations experience strongly preferred
  • At least five years of management experience

Desired Qualifications (We are dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive workplace and encourage you to apply even if your experience does not align perfectly)

  • At least ten years of professional fundraising experience raising the highest level of philanthropic gifts at an organization (Preferably six and seven figures and above)
  • At least ten years of professional fundraising experience in a complex higher education environment
  • Experience overseeing fundraising, alumni relations, donor relations, and stewardship

The Office of Advancement is committed to providing tools and resources for you to learn our business, proprietary databases, university-specific processes, and advancement practices.

What You’ll Get

On top of a competitive salary, The Ohio State University has a wide range of comprehensive benefit programs that make our total rewards package one of the best you’ll find!

Some highlights:

  • Comprehensive health, vision, and dental coverage starting your first day
  • A 14% match for retirement
  • Sick and vacation leave accruals plus 11 paid holidays
  • Parental leave opportunities starting day one
  • Tuition reimbursement for any level of degree you choose to get at Ohio State
  • Short-term and long-term disability benefits
  • Reduced prices for businesses around Columbus, including OSU’s award-winning gym facilities
  • $500 per year to spend on your own health and wellness

For more information, check our benefits website here:

Duties Breakdown

50% – Fundraising and Engagement Leadership

Provides leadership and creates the strategy to identify and develop a robust pipeline of donors; supervises and directs development professionals across multiple academic areas; conducts prospect strategy sessions; 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. Cultivates strong bonds with alumni, donors and volunteers; oversees the development and management of all alumni events and activities; recruits, trains and inspires alumni leaders and volunteers; engages students to establish a foundation of support and loyalty to the College of Arts and Sciences for future development opportunities beyond graduation.

Recruits, trains, evaluates, motivates, and coaches employees of various backgrounds and identities; 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; builds a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging amongst team members.

20% – Fundraising and Engagement Strategy

Builds effective relationships with college and advancement leadership; provides counsel and guidance to align college strategies and priorities to compelling fundraising opportunities with high-impact prospects. Communicates the college’s vision, goals and accomplishments to alumni and donors; develops a strategy that allows the College of Arts and Sciences to build, grow and sustain an engaged alumni network that can be leveraged in order to increase the alumni giving rate; serves as a catalyst for the College of Arts and Sciences volunteer engagement.

20% – Portfolio Management

Builds/maintains a robust prospect group, serving as prospect manager for major donors at $500,000 and above; responsible for strategy, cultivation and solicitation of principal gift donors with a capacity for gifts of $1,000,000 and above.

10% – Other Duties

Serves as a key member of fundraising leadership in advancement and the college and completes other duties as assigned.

Our 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:

In accordance with the Disaster Preparedness and University State of Emergency Policy 6.17 this position has been designated as a standby position

To learn more and apply, please visit:

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, protected veteran status, or any other basis under the law.

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