Associate Director/Director of Development of Athletics

Central Washington University

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Job Title: Associate Director/Director of Development of Athletics
Location: Ellensburg
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 4884
Job Summary

Would you like to be part of a growing, dynamic team of Advancement professionals who are on a mission to transform the lives of our student athletes? Can you bring enthusiasm, experience and passion for college athletics to a campus that has big ambitions? Would you like to connect with alumni and donors across the state of Washington, the pacific northwest and the west coast to help engage them in our vision for the future?

Founded in 1891, Central Washington University (CWU) is a public, four-year university located in Ellensburg, Washington. CWU provides high quality undergraduate and graduate programs to over 10,000 students and employs about 1,800 faculty and staff. The University has distinguished itself through its high-quality teaching and academic programs and student-centered orientation and approach. Central is committed to providing a range of research, outreach, and international experiences for faculty and students that includes lifelong learning opportunities.

Wildcat Athletics compete in NCAA Division II with six men’s varsity sports teams and seven women’s varsity sports teams. Tomlinson stadium, which hosts football, rugby and soccer recently underwent extensive renovation and improvement funded by philanthropic support. Construction is currently underway to renovate the Nicholson Pavilion into a state of the art health education building combining athletic and academic programs, funded by state investment and donors.

Join us as either Associate Director (ADOD) or Director of Development (DOD) for Athletics. This position is an exciting opportunity for a frontline fundraiser to serve in a unit-based leadership role at one of Washington state’s best comprehensive universities with a growing advancement program. The fundraising position is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of new and existing donors and prospects, including alumni, parents, friends, and other constituents and has a dual reporting relationship to an Assistant Vice President for Development and to the Director of Athletics. The ADOD or DOD will focus on fundraising priorities articulated by university department of athletics and university advancement leadership. The ADOD has a focus on mid-level gifts and will manage a portfolio of mid-level gift donors and prospects, with some activity with major gift donors possible as their portfolio grows. The DOD has a focus of activity on major gifts and will manage a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects.

The ideal candidate will bring the following skills and experience:

    An entrepreneurial, collaborative, and flexible leadership approach who projects intellectual and social curiosity by asking probing questions. A demonstrated understanding of the role of advancement as part of highly functioning university, and ability to work closely guiding academic leaders on planning and donor activity. Strong interpersonal and communication skills with an inspiring and persuasive ability, including superior written, verbal, research, critical thinking, and presentation skills. Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with success in working collaboratively with many constituencies. Ability to bring multicultural perspectives and issues into everyday conversations would be an advantage. Travel throughout Washington state and occasional out of state travel is required. A bachelor’s degree is required, an advanced degree would be an advantage.Candidates for DOD will bring a minimum of three to five years of direct fundraising experience including success in soliciting and closing major gifts, and a proven record of effective relationship building, in particular pipeline strategy and comfort securing major and planned gifts. Candidates for ADOD will bring a combination of education and experience in fundraising and a closely related field such as corporate sales which clearly demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the job.
Job Duties

- Manage and be directly responsible for a portfolio of mostly mid-level (ADOD) or major gift (DOD) prospects for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of mid-level or major gifts; develop and document written cultivation and solicitation strategies/proposals, purposefully guiding donors to make major investments in Central Washington University and develop relationships to maximize their giving potential over time.
- Plan and implement cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for mid-level gift prospects or major gift prospects as well as identify and qualify new and prospective donors through regular strategic contacts.
- Regularly identify and qualify new and prospective donors through regular strategic contacts.
- Work closely with colleagues to hand-off mid-level prospects and donors as appropriate.
- Meet explicit annual performance objectives as part of an annual work plan determined in partnership with the position’s supervisor(s).
- Develop strong working relationships with Advancement and School/College/University colleagues. Meet / interact regularly with colleagues in order strategize, develop plans, and solve problems.
- Work with Prospect Research and Management to identify new donor prospects and maintain database records of all fundraising and engagement activity as required by Advancement policies and procedures.
- Develop detailed knowledge of university and college programs and activities necessary to engage donors and prospective donors.

Planning, Strategy, and Integration:
- Work collaboratively with Annual Giving and Gift Planning in order to enhance coordinated fundraising efforts.
- Coordinate cultivation activities and solicitations with other Central Washington University representatives, including Deans, key faculty, and volunteers as appropriate. Ensure appropriate stewardship plans are prepared, and activities conducted, for assigned donors.
- Ensure that donors are thanked and recognized by working closely with Advancement stewardship staff and university/college staff as appropriate.
- Set fundraising goals with university, college, and advancement leadership.
- Coordinate closely with Alumni Association and Alumni Engagement Coordinators as part of donor cultivation and stewardship efforts.
- Participate in relevant college or university meetings with deans and department chairs and faculty on all development/fundraising based activities.

- Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

ADOD Athletics:

  • Bachelor’s degree AND 2 years of experience in external relations, constituent relations, corporate sales, marketing, event management
  • Demonstrated willingness and/or experience working with students and/or co-workers from a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and experiences
  • Or other closely related fields which clearly demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the job

DOD Athletics:

  • Bachelor’s degree AND 3 years of direct fundraising experience including success in soliciting and closing major gifts in a non-profit organization
  • Demonstrated willingness and/or experience working with students and/or co-workers from a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and experiences
  • Or other closely related fields which clearly demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the job

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree
  • Experience working in Higher Education, external relations, constituent engagement or fundraising
  • A record of promoting inclusivity in the work environment
  • Demonstrated participation in programs designed to promote inclusion
  • Ability to incorporate multicultural perspectives and issues into everyday conversations


  • Professional Competencies -
    • Working with donors and prospects: Confidently builds relationships towards solicitation, occasional personalized stewardship. Comfortable closing major and planned gifts. Displays intellectual and social curiosity by asking probing questions and develops links between seemingly disparate ideas. Excellent communication skills and able to make persuasive verbal and written case for support.
    • Portfolio Management and Systems: Ability to prioritize portfolio and plan for donor pipeline and able to succeed in a metrics driven environment
    • Institutional Knowledge and Navigation: Understands role of Advancement as part of highly functioning university and has industry network to keep knowledge updated
    • Pipeline Strategy and Development: Understands and is able to draw on resources across the university and advancement to develop prospect pipeline
    • Volunteer Management: Works strategically with volunteers to enhance engagement, cultivation, and solicitation efforts
    • Strategic Planning: Able to plan out fundraising goals and activities over multiple years as part of a wider Advancement effort
    • Academic Leadership: Able to work closely with academic leaders on planning and donor activity and leverage their skills towards fundraising success
  • Institutional Competencies -
    • Accountability/Dependability: Accepts responsibility for quality of own work; acknowledges and corrects mistakes. Shows up on time, meets standards, deadlines, and work schedules.
    • Judgement: Makes timely, informed decisions. Analyzes options and determines appropriate course of action.
    • Teamwork: Promotes cooperation and mutual support to achieve goals. Encourages participation and mutual support.
    • Adaptability/Flexibility: Responds positively to changing business needs and responsibilities. Adapts approach and methods to achieve results; recovers quickly from setbacks and finds alternatives.
    • Commitment to Diversity: Recognizes the value of diversity and helps create environment that supports and embraces diversity.
    • Discretion and Confidentiality: Works with high level donors with discretion and tact.
Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule

Salary: ADOD: $60,000 - $75,000 annually / DOD: $80,000 - $100,000 annually

Schedule/Appointment: Monday - Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm (1 hour lunch) with some weekends and evenings

Working Conditions: Work is performed in an indoor office setting with frequent in-person interactions. It is essential to be able to remain at a desk/computer workstation for prolonged periods of time, perform extensive data entry and other computer-related tasks and create/maintain filing systems for departmental records.

Attendance at University and College events and functions which may occur in the evening and/or weekends. Extensive travel away from the office is required.

Benefits: CWU offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical and dental insurance, retirement and optional savings plans, life and disability insurance, along with vacation and sick leave plans depending on employment classification. For additional information please visit:

An employee of CWU may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program if the employee has student loans. To learn more, visit:

How To Apply To apply for this position, you must complete the on-line application and attach:

  • A detailed cover letter clearly demonstrating how your education and experience: (a) meet the required (and, as applicable, preferred) qualifications, and (b) demonstrate the ability to perform the responsibilities as described by the posting;
  • Resume including work history, education, training; and

  • Contact information for three professional references.
  • Screening Begins: Open until filled

    **Priority will be given to applications received by the screening date. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    Contact Information Name: Estelle Patten
    Title: Executive Assistant
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: (509) 963-2848

    Please contact Human Resources at [email protected] or 509-963-1202 if you require technical assistance with the on-line application process.

    Conditions of Employment Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21.14.1, CWU employees are to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of October 2021. Your vaccination status will be verified if/when a job offer is made. Information about how to apply for medical and religious accommodations are available here: Failure to meet the vaccination policy (or approval of a medical or religious accommodation) will result in revocation of the offer.

    Prior to employment, final candidate(s) will be required to sign a Sexual Misconduct disclosure in pursuant to RCW 28B.112.080 and submit to a background check. All information obtained through background investigations will be strictly confidential and revealed only to those required to have access.

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