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Vice President, Institutional Advancement

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The Vice President for Institutional Advancement serves as a strategic leader, creating and implementing Institutional Advancement plans to support the mission and goals of the University in alignment with the Campus Master Plan and Strategic Plan. The Vice President will ensure the fiscal stability of the University with oversight of a comprehensive fundraising program including campaigns, annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, alumni relations and stewardship. Reporting to the President of the University, the Vice President will be a member of the President’s Cabinet and Senior Staff, instrumental in the development and achievement of organizational goals as well as the promotion of a culture of philanthropy and inclusive excellence.


  • Lead the functions of Institutional Advancement sector in totality, to include the development of plans and roadmaps to achieve annual and long-term philanthropic goals
  • Manage, mentor and coach a team of advancement professionals; ensure strong internal communication, evaluate performance, and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • Establish metrics and KPIs for sector employees as well as accountability for their attainment; continually evaluate the efficacy of the sector
  • Manage a portfolio of principal donors and prospects; serve as a frontline fundraiser in cultivating and advancing successful relationships to secure 6- and 7-figure gifts from individual donors, foundations, and corporate funders
  • Identify prospective donors, including alumni, employees, and those outside the University community; cultivate prospects for advancement purposes, community engagement, volunteerism, leadership, and other University priorities
  • Ensure efficient execution of development operations and functions to meet and exceed philanthropic goals
  • Serve as an ambassador of the University articulating its mission and vision to various audiences; represent Niagara University at public events
  • Serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet
  • Develop major policies in consultation with the President and the Institutional Advancement committee of the Board of Trustees
  • Prepare quarterly and annual reports to include analysis of progress towards attainment of defined goals and objectives
  • Liaise with the Board of Trustee's committee on Institutional Advancement
  • Advance the University’s DE&I priorities with direct and intentional implementation in the sector and support organization-wide
  • Perform other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is required; Master’s degree preferred, CFRE advantageous
  • 10-15 years of progressive, responsible management and leadership experience, preferably in higher education, philanthropy, or nonprofit management
  • Demonstrated expertise and creativity in developing Institutional Advancement strategy; ability to establish credibility and build trust for ideas
  • Knowledge and understanding of typical fund-raising aspirations, strategies, and potential donor base for an institution such as NU
  • Ability to be creative by understanding and leveraging innovative products such as Premium Life Insurance and Donor Advised Funds
  • Proven track record of fundraising success including personal solicitation of 6- and 7- figure gifts from all constituencies
  • Capital or endowment campaign leadership experience
  • Experience identifying and cultivating prospective donors with the ability to convert to first-time donors
  • Ability to analyze and present data, leveraging findings to inform Institutional Advancement strategy
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills and ability to interact with diverse audiences effectively
  • Excellent public speaking skills complemented by a demonstrated ability to interact in a social setting with ease and grace
  • A high level of professional appearance and demeanor
  • Strong sense of self-motivation and ability to lead and inspire others
  • Collaborative, collegial, and professional approach to interactions with other leaders, departments, sectors and teams
  • Commitment to DE&I and inclusive excellence and dedication to elevating and promoting such tenets across university initiatives
  • Understanding of and ability to maintain strict confidentiality
  • Technical proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite; knowledge of CRM preferred
  • A thorough understanding and commitment to Catholic and Vincentian values; and a willingness to support Niagara University’s Catholic and Vincentian mission
  • Must have a strong understanding of Niagara’s financial position and be able to confidently sell the Niagara University story of growth, transformation, and its exciting future
  • Flexibility to work long hours, weekends, and evenings, and to travel to visit potential prospects and donors


The functions of the position are usually performed sitting but may require some amount of time standing. Some amount of stooping, kneeling, bending, crouching, lifting, walking, carrying and other movements may be required. Tasks involving working on a computer keyboard, calculator, cutting, labeling, and taping involve extensive wrist and hand movement. All individuals are required to be able to perform these movements without significant risk of injury to themselves or others, or to otherwise demonstrate or explain how they can perform the essential functions listed above.

This role is considered Essential Personnel whose physical presence is required on campus and must also be prepared to address those functions remotely (from off-campus) as needed when operations are restricted, or the campus is closed.


This position has been identified as requiring a cell phone to fulfill job responsibilities and for other business purposes. Compliance with the University’s Employee Cell Phone for Business Use Policy is required.

Ability to drive a personal or university vehicle for the purpose of university business on a regular basis with a valid NYS Driver’s License is required. Must also be able to operate a motor vehicle in Canada.

Niagara University is an affirmative action employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment.

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