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Director of Major Gifts - UMKC School of Education

Posted: 11/21/2021

Director of Major Gifts, UMKC School of Education
Purpose: The Director of Major Gifts for the UMKC School of Education leads the fundraising activities of the school in concert with the Dean. Responsibilities include donor visits, proposal development, and identification and solicitation of major gifts (more than $25,000) from individuals, corporations, and foundations. In addition, the Director develops annual fundraising plans based on the school’s priorities as identified by the Dean. Serving as the liaison between the School of Education and the UMKC Foundation, the Director of Major Gifts is an integral member of the UMKC Foundation team.

The position must sustain positive and mutually rewarding relationships between the School of Education and its donors; partner with other Major Gift/Directors of Development, and Alumni Relations Officers/Directors to determine the best strategies for effective stewardship of donors; maintain ongoing and active networking with internal and external constituencies; and oversee recognition events, marketing and communications for the school’s donor society.

Work Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Optional flex-time is available (two days per week) after 90 days of employment.

Organizational Relationships: The Director of Development reports to one of the Foundation’s Assistant Vice Presidents and has a dotted line to the Dean of the School of Education (or its successor school).

Essential Duties: The Director leads and participates in a comprehensive major and principal gifts program as well as planned gifts for the UMKC School of Education. Responsibilities include: 

  • Lead $15 million fundraising campaign for the Institute for Urban Education, manage the Urban Education Council, led by Leo Morton and Jerry Reece, and host quarterly council meetings.
  • Facilitating active relationships with assigned prospects while endeavoring to match UMKC’s funding needs with prospects’ interests.
  • Leading by example in personal work with donors; identification, cultivation and qualification of prospects; solicitation and closing of major gifts sufficient to meet or exceed individual and team goals set annually.
  • Working with prospect research staff to evaluate and prioritize donor prospects and maintain a balanced portfolio, develop written strategies, including target amounts and target dates on all actively managed prospects.
  • Collaborating with the UMKC Foundation Leadership Team to develop and implement an overall strategic plan for the solicitation of major gifts to meet the Foundation’s goals.
  • Working closely and collaboratively with UMKC Foundation, Alumni Relations and External Relations colleagues to ensure operational needs are met.
  • Meets with Dean, Department Chairs, and Center Directors to further unit fundraising performance and make suggestions and encourage partnership in meeting objectives and goals.
  • In addition to these general skills, the position requires the ability to participate in all aspects of the gift cycle:(1) to initiate contacts with potential major donors; (2) to develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them; (3) to move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; (4) to make solicitations when appropriate; (5) to maintain stewardship contacts with donors.
  • Must be able to travel.
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical and organization skills required.
Knowledge Required: The incumbent will be skilled at managing prospects from identification through stewardship. He/she will communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. Other key skills include:
  •  Major gifts moves management, planned giving, annual giving, and corporate and foundation grant development
  •  Techniques for managing and motivating a variety of individuals, in person, via Zoom, and over the telephone.
  •  Knowledge of and experience with major gift fundraising campaigns preferred.
  •  Principles and techniques of preparing effective written materials.
  •  Creative thinking,
  •  Demonstrated interpersonal relationship savvy,
  •  Articulate and persuasive speaker,
  •  Ability to meet goals and objectives,
  •  Effective organizational and marketing skills,
  •  Works independently as well as part of a team,
  •  Familiarity with database computer systems and Microsoft suite of products.
 Education and Experience: A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years of experience in fundraising or related field are required. Experience in higher education or a comparably complex organization is preferred, as is experience working with volunteer boards and committees.

Supervisory Controls: Incumbent must have a high level of independence in accomplishing the responsibilities of the position. Goals, priorities, and major projects are reviewed and discussed on an on-going basis with the AVP.

Complexity: The ability to interact comfortably, tactfully, and effectively with varied internal and external constituencies is essential. Must display a high level of maturity, personal integrity, and confidentiality. Must have ability to understand, develop, and sustain resilient and dynamic relationships with donors, colleagues, and senior management.

Scope and Effect: Responsible for building and maintaining relationships with donors, this position has a significant effect on private giving. Success in this role affects the School of Education’s ability to meet its goals and provide the best possible education and conduct life-changing research.  

Environmental Demands: This position does not require unusual physical ability. Little physical exertion is involved, although considerable pressures exist; ability to handle tension and stress in a positive manner is required. No risks or discomforts are imposed upon this position by the physical surroundings or job situation. Frequent travel, as well as evening/weekend work, are required.
Salary Range: Commensurate with experience
About the UMKC Foundation: The UMKC Foundation is a separate but affiliated enterprise devoted to raising funds for the university and for exercising fiduciary responsibility over endowments and other philanthropic investments made to UMKC.

Job Type: Full Time