Senior Development Director

Flagstaff, AZ

Posted: 6/10/21
Deadline: 6/15/21
Salary: Salary Commensurate with experience. **The starting salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected applicant balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.
Reference Number: 605420

About This Organization

NAU is a community devoted to student success and sustained by an unshakable commitment to our shared mission, vision, and values. We—faculty, staff, and administrators—thrive by combining our efforts and working side by side to further NAU’s culture of excellence.

Core Values One NAU side by side Student Centered | Integrity | Diversity | Service | Discovery | Excellence Northern Arizona University

Job Duties

Essential Responsibilities

• Leads others to gather, analyze, and model various scenarios related to university advancement
strategies to make recommendations or decisions to department management to improve the
processes of the team.
• Acts as a subject matter expert and mentor; may assign work to others and monitor its execution.
• Presents reports to key stakeholders and works to influence their decision making with regards to
university advancement changes.
• Identifies risk factors associated with university advancement processes and addresses the need
for risk mitigations to ensure effectiveness of the department.
• Understands and applies knowledge of appropriate handling of university advancement and
fundraising information.
• Exercises a high level of independent judgment, serves as an experienced professional in principal
gifts leading strategies that include highly complex gift discussions and interactions with donors
capable of making significant investments to the university.
• Creates, manages, and revises a portfolio of 60+ principal gift donors and prospective donors
with the capacity to give $1 million or more.
• Develops and drives innovative, strategic, and personalized strategies for a select group of the
university’s most generous and impactful donors.
• Promotes meaningful engagement and relationships between donors/prospective donors and
NAU’s President, Vice President of Advancement | Foundation, Associate Vice President of Central
Advancement, Deans, other academic leaders, faculty, staff, and NAU’s supporters and volunteer
• Facilitates and coordinates proactive communications with the principal gift prospects and
donors among appropriate NAU relationships. Promote successful, positive relations with all these
• Leads proactive and collaborative efforts to develop effective and well-coordinated strategies for
donors and prospective donors with individual and shared academic units; facilitates strategic
action plans and monitor implementation of designed strategies.
• Creates and executes events and activities for identification, validation, cultivation, stewardship,
and solicitations to advance principal gifts supporting NAU’s mission, vision, and identified
• Designs and leads “Principals Gifts Strategy Group Meetings” that provide a forum for joint
strategy discussion for NAU’s prospects and donors at the $1 million or more level.
• Facilitates interactions with principal prospects for NAU’s President, various Vice Presidents, as
well as Executive Leadership Team Advancement | Foundation colleagues, and university
academic and volunteer leaders.
• Travel frequently with university leadership, and, occasionally, with selected university faculty,
staff, and/or senior volunteer leaders.
• Consistently communicates with university leaders, as well as faculty, staff, Advancement |
Foundation team members, and volunteer leaders to discover university academic programs and
needs that may be suitable for principal gift investments by donors. Continually identifies high-
level philanthropists and formulate strategies to promote prospective donor/donor engagement
with the university’s highest-priority needs.
• Supports Advancement | Foundation development colleagues to identify, and mutually create
cultivation and solicitation strategies for principal gift prospective donors/donors in their
respective portfolios.
• Assists in creating draft principal gift strategies for, as well as the creation of written
communications from, NAU’s President, Vice President of Advancement | Foundation, and other
senior administrators for principal gifts’ donors and prospective donors.
• Participates (typically in concert with others) in million-dollar (or more) gift solicitations to fund
university programs and to enhance the development efforts of the colleges and departments.
• Designs and meets/exceeds pre-determined goals and objectives established annually with the
Associate Vice President of Central Advancement.
• Perform additional activities as requested by the Associate Vice President of Central

Required Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or related field AND 5-7 years of relevant
experience, OR
• A combination of related education, experience, and training.

Preferred Qualifications

• Master’s degree or PhD in communications, marketing, or related field.
• 8-12 years of relevant experience.
• CFRE and/or CSGP certification.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:


• Expert knowledge of fundraising methods, processes, and policies, including previously used
strategies at the principal gift level (seven figures and above).
• Knowledge of development trends in higher education.
• Firsthand knowledge of national best practices related to advancement, principal gifts, and
• Serves as a principal gifts consultant to identified affiliate partners and NAU academic,
Advancement | Foundation, and volunteer leaders, providing counsel for fundraising strategies and
• Success in leading complex, innovative, and creative gift strategies and negotiations in
collaboration with institutional executives and lead volunteers.
• Expert appreciation and practice of how to research, qualify, and cultivate new principal donor
• Strong understanding of estate planning and blended gifts.
• Proven success working with stakeholders; excellent strategic planning and project management
skills; experience in a data-driven environment; organizational skills; and the ability to lead,
influence and motivate others.


• Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
• Skilled in preparing reports and summaries and analyzing data.
• Skilled in use of advancement databases. Preferred understanding of Blackbaud and Advance


• Passion for principal gifts fundraising, and the desire to work collegially within a successful goal-
and results-oriented fundraising organization focused on engagement and relationship
development with highest level donors and prospective donors.
• Ability to effectively manage and guide group efforts. Takes an active role in developing
motivational strategies.
• Ability to work collaboratively, formally and informally within one’s team and across the
• Prioritize and coordinate tasks with attention to deadlines, concurrent management of projects
and ability to create and follow a set strategy for short and long-term goals and objectives.
• Expresses an underlying curiosity in people and an ability to go beyond questions that are routine
to gain an understanding of the donors/prospective donors’ passion(s), capacity, affinity, and
• Uses sound judgment to make appropriate, timely decisions in complex situations for which there
are no set procedures.
• Ability to move or persuade others to act in a desired way. Uses indirect influence.
• The ability to adapt to and work effectively with a variety of situations, and with various
individuals. Adapts tactics appropriately.
• Makes decisions and acts with limited information. Anticipates impact of change and directs self
and others in a smooth and efficient manner.
• Ability to effectively and persuasively communicate ideas, thoughts, and facts verbally and in
• Is an “active listener”. Establishes rapport with and is receptive to speaker. Picks up on underlying
messages; “hears between the lines”.
• Ability to learn and understand organizational relationships and dynamics. Uses networks,
alliances and individuals to achieve objectives.
• Balances competing priorities.
• Analyzes complex situations and anticipates issues.
• Demonstrates strong problem solving, organizational, and analytical capabilities.
• Promotes a diverse, inclusive environment.
• Extensive fundraising experience in an academic/university setting.
• Demonstrated experience in building, managing, and continually improving a successful prospect
portfolio; ability and sophistication to effectively advance gift discussions and close million-dollar
• Ability to thrive in a high-stakes, fast-paced environment while effectively executing a principal
gifts program focused on national best practices, collaborative processes, and performance
• Exceptional with relationship mastery, communications, strategic thinking, and organizational
• Ability to work strategically, implement and build constituency programs and activities, along with
a talent for motivating volunteers and donors/prospective donors.


Salary Commensurate with experience. **The starting salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected applicant balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

Other Info

Contact the Human Resources department at 928-523-2223 or

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

Required Application Materials