Director of Development, Physical Sciences Division

Job description

Job location: Hyde Park Campus

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2018-10-30
Req: JR03291
Department60630 Development-VP For

About the UnitThe University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact launched in 2014 with a fundraising goal of $4.5 billion. In March 2017, that goal was expanded to $5 billion. The campaign is the most ambitious and comprehensive in the University’s history. Campaign priorities cover every division, school, department, and institute across the University. Along with its fundraising goal, the campaign has an equally ambitious goal of engaging 125,000 alumni through intellectual, professional, and social activities on campus, around the world, and online. To date, $4.5 billion has been raised and more than 124,000 alumni have connected with the University through volunteering, giving, events, and online interactions. The Physical Sciences Division (PSD) is home to visionary scholars who constantly redefine the frontiers of the physical and mathematical sciences. Many of the accomplishments of the division’s faculty, staff, and alumni have been recognized by awards such as the Nobel Prize, the Fields Medal, and the National Medal of Science, and by membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The division includes the academic departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geophysical Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. In addition, PSD includes a number of interdisciplinary research institutes and centers, including the Enrico Fermi Institute, the James Franck Institute, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics. Many of our scientists also have appointments at Fermi National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and other Chicago-based research institutions. We are at the forefront of discovery, innovation, and impact and we invite you to join us as we seek to understand nature and improve lives.

Job Information

Job Summary:

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Development, Sciences, the Director of Development is responsible for leading all activity related to seeking philanthropic support for PSD.  The Director will staff and serve as lead advisor to the Dean in developing fundraising plans and cases for support for division priorities, and in effectively working with faculty and institutional leaders to advance priorities, execute advancement plans, and meet fundraising goals. The Director leads a team that raises $25M-$35M annually from individuals and organizations. Build and manage a personal portfolio of 80-100 major and principal individual and organizational gift prospects, and manage and assist in 20-24 $100K+ solicitations per year. A successful candidate for this role will have demonstrated success in major gift frontline fundraising and experience closing gifts at the $500K+ level. The ideal candidate will be entrepreneurial, curious, enthusiastic, and will build a broad understanding of PSD to represent the Division and University to donors and prospective donors.  


  • Build and manage a comprehensive prospect portfolio of individuals, families, and organizations, with an individual goal of raising $3M-$10M annually.
  • Develop cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans tailored to specific donors and prospects, and manage or assist in 20-24 major gift solicitations annually.
  • Conceptualize, prepare, and present funding proposals and other materials necessary to solicit and close gifts, including those that require careful negotiations and complex strategies.
  • Staff and provide a high level of leadership and partnership to the Dean, including strategically prioritizing the Dean's donor and prospective donor portfolio.
  • Staff and meet regularly with faculty and program directors to develop a sophisticated, up-to-date understanding of divisional research, programs, and resource needs, and to advise and involve academic leaders in fundraising strategies and development of fundraising opportunities consistent with PSD and University priorities.
  • Develop case statements, talking points, proposals, and briefing materials for these activities; ensure fundraising dollar goals and deadlines are met; monitor, analyze and report on overall results to internal and external constituencies.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with gift officers University-wide (principal gifts, regional major gifts, gift planning, annual fund, foundation and corporate relations) to monitor and facilitate growth of the PSD prospect pool, and to contribute to strategy and solicitation plans for multiple-interest prospects that incorporate PSD priorities.
  • Work collaboratively with PSD staff and serve as a key spokesperson for the division.
  • Assist gift officers University-wide in understanding PSD priorities and opportunities.
  • Investigate new fundraising ideas and build consensus among stakeholders to advance those ideas with the most potential.
  • Serve as the chief staff liaison to the Division of the Physical Sciences Council; represent the PSD in development and execution of a University of Chicago engineering, data and applied sciences, and innovation fundraising strategy.
  • Work closely with development communications, donor relations and special events to conceive, direct, monitor, and evaluate a comprehensive PSD fundraising communications and outreach plan for donor cultivation and recognition.
  • Supervise a team of up to three employees to reach fundraising goals; hire, manage, develop, and evaluate staff; actively encourage staff members' professional growth and participation in the life of the University.
  • Manage an annual budget;
  • Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Demonstrated effective decision-making, while working autonomously and exercising good judgement
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a matrixed organization and identify and utilize resources efficiently and effectively
  • Executive presence and confidence to represent PSD in various forums
  • Superior communications skills—oral, written, and listening
  • Comfort and experience in working both as a team player and independently
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks so that goals are met in a timely, efficient manner
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the demonstrated ability to relate well to individuals at every level of an organization both internally and externally
  • Tactful exercise of judgment and discretion with sensitive and highly confidential information
  • An exceptional work ethic and track record of personal initiative
  • Flexibility and adaptability to new programs in an emerging and changing environment

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience or Certifications:


  • Bachelor's degree or higher required.
  • Advanced degree preferred.


  • A minimum five years of professional work experience in fundraising, development, alumni relations, donor relations, nonprofit management, research, marketing, communications, sales or similar professional work experience required.
  • A minimum of three years of experience leading a project team or managing staff required.
  • A minimum of two years of experience working closely and collaboratively with senior leadership, trustees and board members required.
  • A minimum of one year of experience developing and monitoring budgets required.
  • Proven record of accomplishment in solicitations and cultivation of prospective donors, or sales and client development required.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:

  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the University as well as the technology tools available to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, including Griffin (the University's Donor Relationship Management System), Microsoft Windows computer environment, Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

  • Willingness and ability to travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for University business.
  • Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends.

Required Documents:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

(NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.)

Benefit EligibilityYes

Pay FrequencyMonthly

Pay RangeDepends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours37.5


Job is Exempt?Yes

Drug Test Required?No

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?No

Health Screen Required?No

Posting Date2018-10-30-07:00

Remove from Posting On or Before2019-04-30-07:00

Posting Statement:The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at:  Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.




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Job No:
Posted: 3/1/2019
Application Due: 3/30/2019
Work Type: