Director of Development - Major Gifts

Job description

About Mills College:
Located in Oakland, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College is a liberal arts college for women and gender non-binary students, with graduate programs for all genders. Consistently ranked one of the top master's universities and one of the best value colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, Mills also has been named one of the Best Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. The Mills experience is distinguished by small, interactive classes, one-on-one attention from exceptional faculty, a culture of creative experimentation, and cutting-edge interdisciplinary learning opportunities which empower students to make a statement in their careers and communities. As one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, we have a strong record of academic success with first-generation students, students of color, Latinx students, LGBTQ students, and other underrepresented students. Mills College has recently become a Hispanic Serving Institution. Applicants with expertise and experience in supporting and promoting success for Latina/o students are encouraged to apply.

Mills College encourages diversity in hiring and particularly welcomes applications and nominations from women, gender non-binary individuals, and minorities. Mills College seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice and our desire to maintain the excellence of our faculty. In so doing, we offer our students not only the opportunity to learn about varied disciplines but to engage with diverse perspectives and ways of knowing and learning. For more information, please visit

Job Description:

The Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors that support the strategic initiatives of Mills College. Current strategic priorities include student scholarships, maintaining preeminence in the arts, encouraging leadership for women in the professions, as well as advancing women in science, technology and research. OIA consists of individual giving programs such as annual, major, and planned gifts as well as foundation and corporate relations. Advancement Services and Alumnae Relations are also parts of OIA.

The College is recruiting for a Director Development who will focus on raising major gifts. Reporting directly to the Vice President for Advancement, this position is one of two Directors of Development charged with securing major gifts. Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospective donors in the Bay Area and in the Los Angeles/Orange County regions, focusing on large gifts of $25,000 or more. Provide proper linkage between donor interests and College giving opportunities.
  • Manage solicitation of assigned individual donors. Develop plans for cultivation of potential donors; develop and manage volunteers; personally solicit gifts from donors; create and maintain contact between prospects and the College; create opportunities for donor and College interaction.
  • Travel regularly to donors in assigned regions, building and maintaining a robust Mills presence in Southern California. Coordinate fundraising activities in the region with OIAs relevant regional Alumnae Relations activities.
  • Working with the Development Assistant, ensure that donor contacts are recorded in the database.
  • Assess and develop major gift giving potential in support of the College; meet with other staff regarding research and strategy development.
  • Meet or exceed specific targets for donor visits/interactions, portfolio moves management, and secured gifts.
  • Perform other responsibilities as necessary.



  • Bachelors degree and demonstrated success in fundraising or comparable skills.
  • Minimum of five (5) years experience in development/advancement with a preference for at least two years of experience in major gift fundraising, preferably at an institution of higher education.
  • Direct or comparable experience in personal solicitation and making initial contacts with new prospects preferred and/or proven ability to build an effective and donor-relevant case on behalf of an institution.
  • Ability to strategize large gift solicitations, analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
  • Ability to utilize volunteers effectively.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with others and maintain an effective donor-centric approach towards all persons contacted during the course of job performance.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective and productive working relationships within a proudly diverse institution.

    Additional Information:

    This is a full-time, exempt position with an FTE of 1.0. Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent benefits package including medical/dental/vision/life/LTD insurance, 403(b) retirement plan with college-matching after 6 month qualifying period, 22 days of vacation per year, 12 sick days and 17 paid holidays (subject to annual review). Staff members also receive free admission to campus events, use of the pool, fitness center, and tennis courts. Tuition remission is also available after an introductory period. Voluntary benefits include: pet insurance, long-term care insurance, legal-assistance insurance, cellular provider discounts and computer hardware discounts.

    Mills College does not permit discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. For more information on Mills non-discrimination policy, please go to

    All positions are subject to a background check. Prior to the first date of employment, an applicants background check must be cleared.

    Application Instructions:

    To apply, submit the following documents at

  • Employee Application
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter specifying job title and
  • Contact Information for 3 References

    Please note that you can only upload 6 "Other" documents. You can consolidate multiple pages/documents into one file upload. The file size limit for each upload is 10Mb.

    Review of applicants will begin immediately; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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    Job No:
    Posted: 3/5/2019
    Application Due: 5/8/2019
    Work Type: