Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts - Athletics

Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts - Athletics

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

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Posted Job Title
Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts - Athletics

Job Profile Title
Major Gifts Officer

Job Description Summary
The Penn Champions Club serves as the Development and Alumni Relations arm of the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Champions Club aims to advance the Division's mission of providing world-class experiences for Penn student-athletes. Our goal is to develop and maintain relationships with alumni, family and friends to secure resources for Penn Athletics' top priorities. At the core of our daily efforts is the commitment to the holistic development of every student-athlete across each of Penn's 33 varsity sports, sport club and recreational participants, and through the Penn Athletics' Centers for Excellence.

In two of the past three fiscal years, the team has raised over $60 million in commitments, the two largest fundraising years in the history of Penn Athletics. With the conclusion of the Game Onward Campaign in June 2021, in which Athletics raised $241 million in commitments, planning has begun surrounding new opportunities and our next major fundraising initiative. We strive to have a positive impact on the experience of current and future student-athletes while creating environments where they can become champions in the classroom, in the community and in competition.

Job Description

Position Overview:

Reporting to the Director of Development, Assistant AD, the Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts will manage their own portfolio of major gift donors and prospects with specific responsibilities for assigned sports. Working under limited supervision, the Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors to support Athletic and University priorities. The Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts will also work in collaboration with other Athletic Department staff, including the Athletic Director, coaches, sports boards and central University colleagues to set priorities and devise fundraising strategies, programs, and events. Indirect supervision and coordination with team of Assistant Directors, Annual Giving of their related work activities based on sport assignments.

Specific Responsibilities:

Major Gifts Fundraising

Cultivate and solicit alumni and other prospects with emphasis on gifts of $25,000 or more. Responsibilities include:

  • Manage a major gift prospect pipeline of at least 150 names

  • Provide individualized and strategic stewardship contact for existing major gift donors

  • Design and implement cultivation/stewardship special events for individuals and assigned Sports Boards

  • Identify and rate new prospects capable of making gifts of $25,000 or more

  • Write gift proposals and other materials as needed

  • Represent the Department at regional, virtual, and on‑campus events

  • Promote involvement of volunteers and board members in the Program's fundraising efforts

  • Manage the annual fund activities for assigned Sports Boards which includes oversight of marketing communications for these sports

    Staff Management

    Indirect supervision and coordination with team of Assistant Directors, Annual Giving of their related work activities based on sport assignments. Responsibilities include:

  • Provide leadership and guidance to Assistant Directors, Annual Giving in terms of tasks, fundraising strategies, and event preparation and execution for the sports they work in tandem with

  • Work in collaboration with all Assistant Directors, Annual Giving in event management, newsletters, correspondence, and other communications with boards and volunteers, prospective donors, and existing donors and all related duties as assigned

    Volunteer Management

    Identify, recruit, train and support volunteers. Cultivate volunteers for future leadership roles on Department advisory boards and other alumni leadership activities. Responsibilities include:

  • Work closely with volunteers as door openers and special event hosts

  • Engage volunteers in prospect identification and evaluation process

  • Oversee select prospect assignments to volunteers, including, the provision of pre-and post-contact support and, as appropriate, accompany volunteer members on cultivation/solicitation visits

  • Keep volunteers informed about the Department and its fundraising priorities

  • Work closely with sports boards on goal setting, formulating board strategies and tactics

  • Jointly develop events calendar for assigned sports

    Collaboration with University Development Staff

    Work closely and in collaboration with Senior Associate AD, Development and Alumni Relations, Directors of Development, the Director of Athletics, and other Athletics gift officers on individual prospects, special events and development of overall strategic plan for the department. Collaborate with on-campus fundraising staff, including colleagues in central development office (Principal Gifts, Leadership Gifts, Major Gifts (Regional), Planned Giving, and Annual Giving/Reunion Program as well as School/Center development directors and Alumni Relations staff). Responsibilities include:

  • Conduct cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship visits at the request of and/or in combination with colleagues in central development and Schools/Centers

  • Staff fundraising visits by Athletic and University leaders, e.g. President, Athletic Director, coaches and senior development officers

  • Work closely with Directors of Development and other Associate Directors of Development, Major Gifts and on-campus Alumni Relations colleagues in the development of on-campus events and programs that will lead to increased high-level involvement of prospects and donors

  • Collaborate with central fund-raising staff, including Principal Gifts, Leadership Gifts, Major Gifts, Penn Fund Reunion, Planned Giving and School/Center Development Directors


    The hiring range for this position is $80,000- $90,000 annually.

  • BA/BS Degree and three to five years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience required, preferably in sales, business development or related field.

  • Familiarity with Penn and/or solid understanding of a major research university environment

  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written

  • Supervisory experience and solid administrative skills with ability to establish objectives, set performance standards, and organize and motivate a team of professionals to achieve fundraising goals and non-financial alumni relations goals

  • Ability to work independently, but collaboratively, in goal-oriented team environment

  • Travel, extensive evening/weekend work and valid driver's license are required.

    Organizational Values:

    The University of Pennsylvania's and the Penn Champions Club's success depends on great minds that represent a wide array of perspectives and backgrounds, and our pursuit of equity and inclusion is infused in every aspect of its work-from teaching and learning to campus life, from research to practice, from patient care in our health system to welcoming patrons through our arts and culture centers. Penn is dedicated to making a meaningful impact locally, nationally, and globally, to benefit society and the world and to improve lives. Our work in Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) upholds this University-wide effort through our every interaction with alumni, parents, friends, and donors; through the connections we foster with our colleagues; and through the initiatives and programs that our work supports. The work of DAR is rooted in relationship building, in cultivating trust through respectful, honest exchanges, and inspiring engagement and philanthropy through sharing bold ambitions to shape a better world in which all people may thrive. We believe that authenticity, transparency, and empathy are critical to create an inclusive environment in which our staff as well as Penn's alumni, parents, donors, and other friends can feel they belong. As a team, we draw our strength from our diversity, and we achieve outstanding results through our collective dedication to Penn's mission to create a more just and equitable world.

    Please provide a resume and cover letter in order to be considered for this role. Please upload all documents in the "Resume/CV" section of the application prior to submitting.

    Job Location - City, State
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Department / School
    Division of Recreation & Intercollegiate Athletics

    Pay Range
    $50,684.00 - $77,716.00

    Affirmative Action Statement
    Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

    Special Requirements
    Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

    University Benefits
    • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
    • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
    • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
    • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
    • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
    • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
    • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
    • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
    • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
    • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
    • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
    • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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