Director of Development

Job description

The Virginia institute of Marine Science (VIMS) invites energetic, highly qualified applicants to apply for the Director of VIMS Development position to be based out of Richmond, Virginia.

The Director of Development is a member of the senior Advancement team at the VIMS, contributing to overall departmental and campaign strategy. This position requires work as a major gift specialist – with responsibility for identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a portfolio of VIMS leadership and major gift-level donors and prospective donors – within a larger departmental context that demands creativity, engagement, and leadership in outreach, annual giving, events, communications, and other public relations efforts.

VIMS is in the midst of a $35,000,000 effort as part of W&M’s $1B For the Bold campaign. The Director is an important revenue generator for VIMS’ institutional priorities: positioning Virginia for #1 in sustainable shellfish aquaculture, marine innovation and entrepreneurship, funding the Dean & Director’s Scholars, moving toward sea-level rise resiliency, and creating opportunities to leverage the wealth of Chesapeake Bay data at VIMS.

The Director has responsibility for creating and executing territory development strategies, coordinating effectively with and leveraging W&M staff in the territories, and effectively partnering with and leveraging the talents of VIMS’ leadership volunteers to advance supporters through the solicitation cycle. This includes significant exposure to and support, preparation, management, and efficient deployment of the VIMS academic leadership and the VIMS Foundation Board of Directors, including the staffing of key committees.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Advancement, the Director is a primary thought and outreach partner to the Dean and Director on his supporter engagement and solicitations. The position also coordinates, collaborates, and, when appropriate, mentors effectively with peers and junior staff in VIMS Advancement that have responsibility for outreach, annual giving, events, marketing, communications, and departmental operations in order to achieve overall departmental goals in a matrixed accountability environment.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a portfolio of major gift prospects.
  • Coordinates strategy and program development for donors and prospects. Partners with volunteer leaders to engage their networks at VIMS. Pursues qualification visits in target geographies. Convenes donor and prospect groups around shared interests and themes. Identify strategic event, engagement, and stewardship opportunities and work to fulfill them.
  • Provides staffing and supportive leadership to committee(s) of the board. Effectively prepares committee(s) for meetings and volunteer service and VIMS leadership for influence. Partners with, support, and guide the Dean & Director on outreach to supporters.

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree and or equivalent with progressively responsible experience directly related to the position.


  • Strong working knowledge of fundraising principles with the ability to identify, qualify and cultivate prospective donors.
  • Demonstrated ability to reach ambitious goals with the ability to solicit and secure major gifts and maintain an aggressive schedule of visits.
  • Demonstrates excellent interpersonal, listening and communication skills with the ability to effectively articulate the opportunities at VIMS to potential donors.
  • Demonstrates strong problem solving skills with the ability to effectively resolve issues, while exercising sound judgment and diplomacy in all interactions.
  • Strong administrative skills with the ability to work in support of executive teams including staffing board committees and preparation of VIMS leadership for meetings and events.
  • Proficiency in a variety of software applications to include MS office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) and web-based applications and databases.
  • Demonstrates strong organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple and competing priorities with fluidity.


  • Substantive experience in a fundraising position in a non-profit or higher education.
  • Demonstrated experience soliciting and securing major gifts.

Preferred Qualifications:
Knowledge of donor databases.


  • Significant experience in a fundraising position with the proven record of soliciting, securing, and maintaining a portfolio of major gift prospects.
  • Previous experience with providing senior level support to a foundation board is desirable.

EEO Statement:
William & Mary values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching and service missions of the university. The university is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.




Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No: Position # FP021V
Posted: 8/22/2018
Application Due: 10/21/2018
Work Type:
Salary: Commensurate with experience.