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Executive Director of Development, STEM

University of Denver
USA, Denver, Colorado
$135000 - $150000 per year

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

Job Details

About the University of Denver

The University of Denver is a private institution dedicated to the public good. Here, we create a better future for all.

Through the 4D Experience, our community members build skills, knowledge and perspective at our campuses nestled in the vibrant city of Denver and the Rocky Mountains. As globally-minded citizens, we strive to make a difference in the world and create real, lasting change through collaborations and cutting-edge research designed to solve real-world challenges. For over 150 years, DU has offered a multitude of disciplines, majors and degrees designed to prepare students for lives and careers of purpose.

About DU Advancement

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 and innovation of our great institution. Inclusive of alumni relations, development, and student and alumni career services, DU Advancement is building and fostering a culture of deep engagement and philanthropy in support of our bold vision.

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. 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 an experienced, driven, and passionate fundraiser to lead fundraising efforts for the Universitys STEM-related schools, colleges, and institutes. The Executive Director of Development will expand and deepen the base of philanthropic support from prospects interested in investing in education, focusing efforts on building a sustainable pipeline of major gift prospects for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science (RSECS), and the Knoebel Institute of Healthy Aging (KIHA). Reporting directly to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Development, Schools & Colleges, the Executive Director of Development works closely and collaboratively with the deans, academic leaders, faculty, and peers in the assigned academic units.

The Executive Director of Development will have a heavy focus on qualification and solicitation of individual major gift prospects using a donor-centered approach. Key performance indicators for this position include: major gift qualifications, visits, major gift solicitations, and dollars raised. While the focus of this role is working with individual prospects and donors, the Executive Director will also partner with central advancement functions in Foundation Relations, Annual Giving, and Gift Planning, among others.

The successful candidate will be highly collaborative, motivated, and skilled at building relationships. Alumni and prospective donors identify with the academic units, as well as specific academic programs within, and the Executive Director will be expected to be knowledgeable about the unique programs and creative in their approach to prospect strategies.

Essential Functions

Expand & deepen the base of philanthropy

  • Identify and qualify major gift prospects for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the Knoebel Institute of Healthy Aging as measured by the number of qualification activities.
  • Cultivate and solicit gifts at the principal, major, and leadership annual giving levels, with a focus on major gifts of $50,000+. Metrics include number of solicitations and dollars raised.
  • Manage a portfolio of prospects and donors who have the capacity to give at major and principal giving levels through strategic cultivation and solicitation, as measured by efficient and fast-paced moves management techniques.
  • Develop a working knowledge of the STEM-related academic units in general and funding priorities specifically to articulate a compelling case for support to all stakeholders.
  • Solicit managed prospects for annual gifts as appropriate.

Campaign readiness

  • Partner closely with the deans and academic leaders to articulate a compelling vision for philanthropic investment including a framework for philanthropic initiatives that will inspire philanthropy over the course of a comprehensive campaign.
  • Craft multi-year donor strategies to achieve the philanthropic goals of the campaign.
  • Partner with stakeholders across campus on fundraising strategies for interdisciplinary campaign initiatives that involve the STEM-related academic units.
  • When appropriate, leverage volunteers to facilitate strategic development activities.


  • Lead development activity within the assigned units, including staffing the deans and other academic leadership on donor visits.
  • Lead campus-wide strategies for RSECS, NSM, and KIHA prospects, when serving as prospect Team Lead. Actively contribute to campus-wide strategies for RSECS, MSM, and KIHA prospects as a Team Member.
  • Participate in group strategy discussions, provide project leadership, and share information with colleagues and contributing to the achievement of the overall goals of the academic units.
  • Engage in Advancement goal-setting processes for fundraising, engagement, and stewardship.
  • Effectively and responsibly steward budgetary and other resources.

Partnerships & University Citizenship

  • Serve as an active and collaborative partner to all 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 track record of securing multi-year commitments from individual donors by strategically managing a portfolio and fostering meaningful relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to close major gifts ($50,000) through principal gifts ($1M+), including multi-year pledges, in a relationship-based culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, qualify, solicit, and steward gifts from individual donors.
  • Expertise in forming and executing cross-functional teams of colleagues, volunteers, and academic/administrative leaders to represent STEM interests of donors.
  • Strong writing, editing and verbal communication skills. Ability to represent the University of Denver in a variety of capacities, including its major initiatives and units.
  • Proven ability to work with a high level of independence, maintain confidentiality, prioritize assignments, and manage time effectively.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills to 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.
  • Fluency in data management and analysis.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • 7 years of paid fundraising experience, working within the full spectrum of development, including cultivation, gift solicitations, stewardship, and donor recognition.
  • Experience directly staffing a dean (or equivalent unit-specific leader) in a complex organization.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in a University setting or similarly complex non-profit environment.
  • Experience working with the Dean of an academic unit.
  • Management of philanthropic volunteers, including volunteer boards/committees.

Working Environment

  • Standard office environment.
  • Noise level is quiet to moderate.
  • Some nights and weekend event attendance.
  • Travel responsibilities to meet with donors.
  • Eligible for hybrid work.

Physical Activities

  • Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period.
  • 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 consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) March 4, 2024.

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 15.

Salary Range

The salary range for this position is $135,000 - $150,000.

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, ancestry, age, religion, creed, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, military enlistment, or veteran 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; the Americans with Disabilities Act; 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; Equal Pay Act; Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act; the Colorado Protecting Opportunities and Workers' Rights ("POWR") Act; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For more information, please see the University of Denver's 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.

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2199 S. University Blvd.

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