This job has expired

Executive Director of Development, Athletics

University of Denver
Denver, Colorado, USA
$135000 - $175000 per year

View more

Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Athletics
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

In preparation for the most ambitious philanthropic campaign in the Universitys history, the University of Denver is building an advancement enterprise that mirrors the excellence of our great institution. Advancement efforts at DU have a tremendous impact through our relationships with DUs remarkable students, dedicated donors, inspiring alumni, engaged families, and wonderful friends. DU is committed to building and fostering a culture of deep engagement and philanthropy in support of our institution as we implement the DU IMPACT 2025 vision and prepare for a fundraising campaign with a bold and courageous goal.

Val Otten, Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement, leads development, advancement, and engagement efforts at the University of Denver. Val joined DU in March 2020, after serving in senior executive roles at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The University of Denver welcomed Josh Berlo as Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Ritchie Center Operations on July 15, 2022. Berlo came to Denver with more than 20 years of experience in collegiate athletics, including as the athletic director at the University of Minnesota Duluth from 2013-2022 following decade long tenure as a senior administrator at the University of Notre Dame.

The University of Denver is annually one of the top NCAA Division I-AAA athletic departments in the country, boasting 35 team NCAA Championships in Mens Ice Hockey, Skiing, and Mens Lacrosse while sustaining elite-level academic success. The Pioneers have tremendous philanthropic opportunities for annual fund, capital, and endowment fundraising. This position will play a key role in shaping the future of DU Athletics.

The University of Denver and DU Advancement deeply value inclusive excellence, recognizing that its success is dependent on how well it values, engages, and includes the rich diversity of constituents. You can learn more about inclusive excellence at the University of Denver by visiting the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. As a part of that effort, we are continuing to grow a team of inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive, innovative, ethical, and transparent advancement professionals who possess deep mutual respect for one another and for our shared profession.

Position Summary

The University of Denver is seeking nominations and applications for an experienced, driven, and passionate fundraising professional to join our advancement team as the Executive Director of Development for Athletics. Reporting directly to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Development and partnering closely with the Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Advancement leadership, the Executive Director of Development is a key fundraising professional for the University of Denver. They will manage a portfolio of principal and major gift donors and prospects while also partnering with a campus-wide network of academic leaders, fundraising professionals, and other key partners to advance the Universitys top priorities, as expressed in DU IMPACT 2025. The Executive Director will also manage a team of two professional fundraising team members, a Senior Director of Development and a Director of Development.

The Executive Director of Development will lead annual fundraising efforts for Athletics, which is expected to be $5-7M range in the short term and grow to $7-10M in coming years. The Executive Director will be personally responsible for raising $5M annually through a portfolio of principal and major gift donors after the portfolio is developed and matured. This will include managing top University prospects in pursuit of team and individual fundraising goals set annually in collaboration with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Development. Additionally, the Executive Director of Development will collaborate with Advancement leadership, the Vice Chancellor for Athletics, and other senior university administrators to determine and implement campaign fundraising priorities, establish viable donor strategies, and monitor progress toward goals. The campus-wide Advancement team is highly collaborative in its work and the Executive Director of Development for Athletics will be expected to build and foster extensive relationships with campus partners.

The successful candidate for this role will have a demonstrated ability to galvanize support for athletics fundraising, both within the known database of prospects and within the greater Denver and Colorado communities.

Essential Functions


  • Develop meaningful and productive relationships with a portfolio of major, principal, and planned giving prospects and donors, in support of Athletics priorities.
  • Partner closely with other development professionals across campus to identify and qualify new prospective donors; cultivate relationships, and effectively design and execute gift strategies.
  • Cultivate, solicit, and close numerous gifts of $50K to $1M+; personally raise $5M annually; ensure the attainment of overall goals for Athletics.
  • Partner with colleagues within Athletics to ensure accurate goal setting at all levels and to support their efforts in achieving and exceeding their goals.


  • Lead all development efforts for University of Denvers Division of Athletics.
  • Maintain close, productive relationships with leadership, coaches and colleagues within the Division of Athletics to align and coordinate Division goals and priorities with Advancement work.
  • In partnership with the Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Advancement leadership, establish and articulate fundraising priorities based on the strategic vision for DU Athletics.
  • Lead the annual Advancement goal-setting process for the Division of Athletics.
  • In consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Advancement leadership, support the management of a Volunteer Leadership Council to support philanthropic activities for an ambitious upcoming campaign.
  • As a leader in DU Advancement, provide strategy, guidance, and direction in support of the mission, vision, values, and goals of the University of Denver.
  • Effectively and responsibly steward budgetary and other resources to advance Athletics and the University of Denver.

Partnerships & University Citizenship

  • Form and maintain deeply meaningful and productive partnerships with coaches and staff within Athletics.
  • Serve as an active and collaborative partner to all academic departments and functions, central and unit-based advancement functions, and other campus colleagues, to foster strategic, effective, and collaborative fundraising practices.
  • Model One DU leadership.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to close major gifts ($50,000+) through principal gifts ($5 million+) in a relationship-based culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide fundraising strategy and support to academic/organizational leaders.
  • Demonstrated ability to form and fully leverage cross-functional teams of colleagues, volunteers, and academic/administrative leaders toward closure of transformational gifts.
  • Demonstrated ability to creatively prospect outside of known databases, growing the base of support.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience strategizing with leadership to successful conclusions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with various stakeholders at all levels.
  • Proven ability to work with a high level of confidence and independence, to maintain confidentiality, to prioritize assignments, and to manage time effectively.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills that help foster and maintain effective relationships with colleagues, donors, volunteers, and University Officials.
  • Ability to interact effectively with diverse groups having competing interests and priorities within the University and community.
  • Ability to serve as a strong coach and mentor to other advancement professionals and to foster an inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive, innovative, ethical, and transparent office culture founded on deep mutual respect.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience (Veterans with equivalent combination of military certification/education and experience may substitute for the degree qualification).
  • 7 years of paid fundraising experience, working within the full spectrum of development, including cultivation, gift solicitations, stewardship, and donor recognition.
  • 3 years managing professional fundraising staff.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Background, experience, and demonstrated success fundraising for a Division of Athletics.
  • Experience directly staffing a Vice Chancellor for Athletics (or equivalent unit-specific leader) in a complex organization.

Working Environment

  • Standard office environment.
  • Noise level is quiet to moderate.
  • Eligible for hybrid work.

Physical Activities

  • Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period.
  • Ability to travel extensively.
  • Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs. with assistance.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., some nights and weekends as required; Eligible for hybrid work.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) May 8, 2023.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 16.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $135,000-$175,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidates sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university's complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non‑discrimination‑statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.


Founded in 1864—just a few years after the city of Denver itself was founded—the University of Denver is one of the country's premier private universities.

The University's 125-acre campus, a few miles south of downtown Denver, is home to more than 11,500 students hailing from all regions of the United States and 83 other countries.

The University offers:

Regardless of what they study, University of Denver students embark on a personal educational journey that helps them find and follow their individual purpose.

Collaborative, Experiential Learning

Our students work closely with faculty, peers and members of the community on projects, research and fieldwork. They cross disciplines to discover new perspectives and approaches to problem solving.

In and out of the classroom, our students learn by doing, whether they're collecting data in the field or putting theory into practice in a clinical setting.

The University of Denver Culture

Across the University of Denver’s many divisions, departments, and offices, supervisors are searching for new employees who strive to excel and innovate, prize integrity, and who value the opportunity to engage with the community.  The University is always looking for creative problem solvers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners who want to know more and do more.

At the University of Denver, our culture is steeped in ethics and social responsibility. As a result, our faculty and students represent a wide array of perspectives and enjoy the healthy dialogue that grows out of diversity. University of Maryland, Baltimore

For all their differences, the members of our community are united by a common purpose: They're determined to confront society's most pressing challenges—everything from world health and the global economy to access to education.

Company info
2199 S. University Blvd.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert