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Executive Director

Denison University
Granville, OH

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Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Position Type:

Administrative Staff

Classification Title:

Administrative Staff

Position Title:

Executive Director

Position Number:


Pay Grade Level:

AD 01


Office of Major Gifts

Posting Number:

S 121301180

Full or Part Time:

Full Time

Work Schedule:

Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm; travel required as necessary

Basic Function:

The Executive Director of Major and Planned Gifts is charged with leading and directing a team of major and planned gift officers and serves as the principal architect of the major gift program at Denison. The major gift program is a key philanthropic priority for the college and the Executive Director of Major and Planned Gifts will be responsible for the overall management of the major gifts program, supervision of the planned giving team, and managing their own targeted major gift portfolio. Each major and planned gift officer is charged with raising between $1 and $3 million in gifts annually and managing a dynamic portfolio of approximately 75-90 prospects. The major and planned gift teams will provide the financial resources to carry-out the college’s mission of providing a high quality private liberal arts experience to the college’s 2,100 students and sustaining Denison’s reputation as a premier liberal arts college.

Click here to learn more about Denison University!

Essential Job Functions:

  • Develop and sustain a major gifts program which will yield optimum philanthropic giving from the college’s closest friends. Hire, train, coach, monitor and evaluate the major gift team on a regular basis. Provide focus and strategies for the team to cultivate, secure, and steward gifts of $100,000+ as well as gifts to the Annual Fund.
  • Supervise the planned giving team, including hiring, training, coaching, monitoring and evaluating the planned giving team regularly. Work with the planned giving team to grow the gift complexity of the overall major and planned gift program by promoting blended gifts where appropriate.
  • Manage a portfolio of prospects, including short-term and long-term strategies for securing gifts of $100,000+ in support of the college’s mission.
  • Drive annual goal setting for individual gift officers and manage an overall annual goal for the major and planned gifts team with an emphasis on developing plans and ongoing support for gift closure in the current fiscal year and pipeline cultivation and qualification for future fiscal years.
  • Collaborate with the senior team of Institutional Advancement to ensure that all prospects are appropriately assigned, have written strategies and are moving effectively and efficiently through the pipeline of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship in a timely manner. Assist the senior team of Institutional Advancement in creating a robust principal gifts program which will employ targeted strategies to secure transformative gifts.
  • Partner with Institutional Advancement colleagues in support of the major and planned gift teams, including stewardship, prospect development and management, marketing, IT, events, annual fund, and alumni engagement and programs.
  • Participate in professional activities to stay current with trends in the field. Participate as an active member of the University community by attending regular campus meetings and events. Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree. Seven years of fundraising and progressive management or related experience. Excellent relationship-building, interpersonal, and communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

Leadership gift fundraising experience at the 100k+ level.

Physical Demands:

General office work


Kurt Foriska

Contact Email:

Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Full consideration for applicants who apply by June 23, 2023

Denison University Background Check Statement:

The final candidate will undergo a background check as a conditional offer of employment.

Denison University EEO Statement :

To achieve our mission as a liberal arts college, we continually strive to attract and hire candidates with diverse backgrounds, experiences and identities. Denison fosters a campus community that recognizes the value of all persons regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender expression and identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic background. For additional information and resources about diversity at Denison, please see our Diversity Guide ( Denison University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges, Denison offers an authentic education in the fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Founded in 1831, Denison is one of the earliest colleges to be established in the old “Northwest Territory,” west of the Allegheny Mountains and north of the Ohio River. Denison is located in Granville, Ohio; 27 miles east of Columbus, the state capital.<img alt="denison_university1.jpg" src="" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px; float: right;" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p> <p>Innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in the pursuit of knowledge and the cultivation of independent thinking. And because Denison is a residential college, students are deeply engaged as citizens of the campus community. They learn from one another in a rigorous academic setting, but also in rich social, cultural and political environments.</p> <p>As a residential undergraduate liberal arts college, Denison is among those places that have been called “distinctively American” in their contribution to higher education worldwide. In fact, it is one of a select number of institutions that today defines the type.</p> <p>Confident in the distinction of its graduates and advantaged by unusual resources, Denison has pointedly resisted the tendency in higher education to add layers of graduate degrees, professional schools, and service functions beyond the scope of baccalaureate education of the highest order. Entering its 177th year, Denison has maintained a fully residential campus based upon the well-tested premise that learning flourishes in community.</p> <p>Denison selectively admits successful, confident, and motivated students who seek to take advantage of highly participatory learning within classroom, laboratory, and studio and who expect to learn and grow through their investment in the challenges and opportunities of college life.<br /> The college attracts matriculants from across the country and more than three dozen nations. Denison engages students with outstanding professors in small classes that encourage men and women to take a high degree of personal responsibility for learning. Students pursue a major field of study selected from 39 areas offered by 28 disciplinary departments and interdisciplinary programs in the divisions of Natural Science, Humanities, Social Science, and Fine Arts as well as complete a sequence of General Education and a personalized curriculum of electives from across the college.</p> <p><img alt="denison_university2.jpg" src="" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px; float: left;" typeof="foaf:Image" />A Denison education is not just for a living but for a life. Denison graduates are educated to be curious, resourceful, and reflective. They are expected to begin a life of learning at Denison, not complete it. They are well prepared for the rapidly changing world of the 21st century.</p> <p>Nothing defines a Denison education more than the mutually enriching relationships that develop between students and faculty. The heart of the college is a full-time faculty of almost 200. These men and women, who hold the most advanced degrees in their fields, are selected on the basis of pedagogical and scholarly ability and are encouraged to be innovative teachers whose continuing growth in their discipline through active scholarship allows them to be among the best at their craft. They look forward to the challenge and stimulation of their students even as they seek to draw the best efforts from them. Many Denison students come to regard professors as mentors, who frequently oversee students' independent scholarly projects.</p> <p>Denison’s faculty is committed to undergraduate education. As teacher-scholar-advisers, their principal responsibility is effective teaching informed by the best scholarship. Faculty members place a priority on working closely with students, interactive learning, and partnerships with students in original research. Denison’s low student/faculty ratio allows for close supervision of independent research and collaborative work in small groups and classes.</p> <p><img alt="denison_university3.jpg" src="" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px; float: right;" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p> <p>At Denison, men and women learn and grow in community, and the residential character of the campus is more than a convenience but a way of engaging the full student body in a shared enterprise. The college actively seeks academically superior students who bring diverse talents, interests, backgrounds, and experiences, believing that out of the classroom as well as within learning takes place by sharing, questioning, and growing together. Denison students have unusual opportunities to participate in the arts, in athletics and recreation, in service to others beyond the campus, in student organizational life, and in campus governance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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