Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Dunwoody College of Technology
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commensurate with Experience
Aug 11, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Ballinger | Leafblad is proud to present the following information on behalf of our client, Dunwoody College of Technology, in its search for a Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

Dunwoody College of Technology is the only not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest, and one of only a handful of private not-for-profit technical colleges nationwide. Founded in 1914 by William H. and Kate L. Dunwoody, the College is a private, endowed institution with an international reputation for outstanding educational programs, and is the oldest institution of its kind in the region. Located on 15 acres on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis in the historic tree-lined Lowry Hill neighborhood, Dunwoody has earned a reputation as a leader in applied education and has educated more than 250,000 men and women in its more than 100-year history.

Dunwoody offers a wide array of certificates, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s completion degrees and bachelor’s degrees. Areas of study include more than 35 different degree programs, including applied management, automotive, computer technology, construction sciences, engineering, design and graphics technology, health sciences, and robotics and manufacturing.

Instructors provide students with the skills they need to secure meaningful employment while at the same time helping them build the foundation for a rewarding, lifelong career.

Dunwoody partners with industry leaders to ensure all programs reflect current industry demands to keep all programs up-to-date. All coursework reflects the current needs of Minnesota’s top employers while at the same time building in curricula to respond to upcoming needs. Dunwoody’s approach to applied education teaches students the theory that lies beneath concepts and provides them with hands-on experience needed to understand real world application. For this, Dunwoody uses the College’s labs and other facilities, which have been designed to simulate the workplace. That means Dunwoody students come away with the technical expertise, work ethic and problem-solving abilities required to compete in today’s ever-changing world.

Dunwoody’s faculty come from industry and have real-world experience. Many of them hold the highest level certifications available in their field. Each takes a student-focused approach to teaching and brings passion to the classroom. Dunwoody staff members describe the institution as welcoming, open and respectful. Faculty and staff work closely together and share a commitment to the mission of student learning and student success.

Dunwoody’s 1200 students represent a cross section of the nation’s young adults. Approximately one-third of students receive federally funded Pell Grants. Almost 20% of the student body are people of color, with a growing number of enrollments going to women (currently at 14%). With a student to faculty ratio of 10:1, Dunwoody’s students receive the personal attention they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Strong growth, clear direction and strategic investments in programs, people and infrastructure have been the hallmark of President Wagner’s leadership during the past eight years. Under Dr. Wagner’s leadership, Dunwoody has embraced a transformative strategic plan and built the positive momentum now carrying the College forward into its second century of education.

Guided by this strategic plan, Dunwoody is investing in several key initiatives that impact the industries, communities and students it serves:

  • A School of Engineering that offers four-year degrees in mechanical, software and electrical engineering, while still utilizing Dunwoody’s trademark hands-on, project-based approach to learning.
  • Continued and sustained enrollment growth through the focused expansion of Dunwoody’s geographical reach, as well as initiatives and scholarship programs aimed at increasing the number of women and students of color in technical and STEM-related program areas.
  • A more comprehensive and robust student affairs program to better meet the needs of the changing student body.

To support the strategic plan, Dunwoody launched a $50 million comprehensive campaign, and has already received overwhelming support.

The planned retirement of the current Vice President of Institutional Advancement provides an exciting opportunity for a motivated and experienced professional to join this robust and growing private, not-for-profit college that is uniquely positioned to serve the Twin Cities and the region.

Dunwoody changes lives by building opportunities for graduates to have successful careers, to develop into leaders and entrepreneurs, and to engage in “the better performance of life’s duties.”

Dunwoody College of Technology seeks to emerge as a first-choice, nationally-recognized leader in technical education, providing a full college experience rooted in innovative education.


  • Inclusion: Dunwoody values an inclusive and collaborative learning and working environment.
  • Innovation: Dunwoody values innovation in our processes, problem solving, teaching, and learning.
  • Integrity: Dunwoody values personal and institutional integrity based on mutual respect, trust, and accountability.
  • Excellence: Dunwoody values excellence in teaching and learning by upholding the principles of continuous quality improvement.
  • Tradition: Dunwoody values the founding traditions of Dunwoody and seek to build on those traditions for a stronger future

The institution’s strategic plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2014. The Strategic Plan drives the College’s initiatives and has three main themes: Growing the College, Developing the Dunwoody Student and Raising the Profile. The Strategic Plan provides the foundation for advancement initiatives, including the capital campaign.

Cabinet members describe the institutional culture as welcoming, open, collaborative, mission and strategy-driven, nimble, working to bring in best practices, good working relationships, respectful, speak with common voice, with a strong work ethic.

The Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Dunwoody College of Technology serves as a member of the president’s cabinet and leads the Department of Institutional Advancement, supervising eight professionals. Included in this role is responsibility for fundraising, alumni relations and coordinating the communications for the department. The Vice President provides overall direction for, and evaluation of, capital campaigns and major gifts fundraising. Additionally, the Vice President leads all alumni relations work, including overseeing the various events and awards directed at key alumni.

Strategy and Development

  • Prepare strategic plan, setting short and long-range goals to meet institutional funding objectives
  • Prepare and administer the department budget
  • Develop and submit grant proposals for funds from private foundations, corporations, and government agencies
  • Plan and coordinate fund drives, annual giving, scholarships, YCAP, and other special projects
  • Research public and private grant agencies and foundations to identifying potential sources of funds for research, community service, or other projects
  • Identify potential contributors to special project funds and ongoing operations by analyzing past records, reviewing individual and corporate contracts, and by using knowledge of the community
  • Organize Annual Fund Drive for pledges of ongoing support from individuals, corporations, and foundations

Communications, Outreach and External Relations

  • Conduct outreach to potential donors, informing them of the College’s special needs.
  • Encourage individuals, corporations, and foundations to establish or contribute to special funds through endowments, trusts, donations of gifts in kind, or bequests
  • Recruit high level volunteers such as CEOs of well-known companies in order to more effectively promote funding events
  • Create development materials to enhance institutional image and promote the fund- raising program
  • Confer with attorneys to establish methods of transferring funds to benefit both donors and the institution
  • Coordinate the development and production of the College’s annual report


  • Establish development policies, systems, and procedures
  • Assign responsibilities for personal solicitation to members of staff, volunteers, and the governing body according to special interests or capabilities
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of staff engaged advancement activities, including maintaining records of contributors and grants and preparing letters of appreciation to be sent to contributors
  • Carry out supervisory  responsibilities  in  accordance with Dunwoody’s policies and applicable state and federal laws, including interviewing, hiring, training, and coaching employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving conflicts

Candidates for this key position should be experienced in conducting outreach to a full range of stakeholders including CEOs, industry leaders and community officials. The successful candidate will be comfortable cultivating the relationships necessary to secure significant major gifts. Importantly, leading candidates will achieve these results in the context of their commitment to Dunwoody’s vision of emerging as a first-choice, nationally-recognized leader in technical education.

A professional degree with substantial (minimum of eight years) experience in fund- raising and donor relations is a must. Previous experience in higher education or a not-for-profit setting is also essential.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in a related field is preferred
  • Minimum eight years of demonstrated working knowledge and experience of philanthropy, fundraising and donor relations for an educational institution or non-profit
  • Previous managerial experience preferred
  • Successful track record in volunteer recruitment and training functions
  • Proven record in face-to-face  solicitation
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Good planning, organization, and implementation  skills
  • Demonstrated passion for working in a fast-paced team environment

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Adept at public speaking and able to present information in a cohesive, organized manner. Ability to respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers and the general public in a professional and appropriate manner
  • Excellent computer skills and willingness and ability to learn new computer programs and database management systems
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data and think critically
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to communicate effectively with students, faculty, staff, and other external stakeholders, especially  potential donors
  • Demonstrated skills in writing reports, business correspondence, and other executive documentation
  • Ability to work with and communicate effectively with people from all backgrounds and at all levels including the ability to communicate difficult messages in a professional manner
  • Works effectively under pressure with a demonstrated ability to meet frequently shifting deadlines as well as work within approved budgets
  • Must be goal- and team-oriented and able to build positive working relationships; always conducting business with attention to ethical considerations and consistently displaying the highest level of integrity
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Works independently with strong organizational skills. Is able to prioritize, multitask and manage competing  priorities
  • Willing to work a flexible schedule including select evenings and weekends to meet college business and fundraising needs
  • Interest and ability to stay on top of industry changes and trends, through journals and other resources, professional contacts, conferences, etc.
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of complex situations involving multiple stakeholders.

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