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Assistant Director of Leadership Gifts

Company: Emporia State University
Date Posted: May 24, 2017


The Foundation Assistant Director of Leadership Gifts develops strong relationships with individual donors, alumni, and friends of the University for the purpose of securing leadership gifts.  He/she is a leader, talented fund-raiser, mission-oriented, and philanthropic-minded.

The Emporia State University Foundation supports the University in its private fundraising and charitable efforts for the purpose of supplementing and enhancing University programs, activities, and educational opportunities.


The Assistant Director of Leadership Gifts is a colleague and peer of the development staff, reporting to the Foundation Vice President for Development.


The Assistant Director of Leadership Gifts manages donors and prospects with particular emphasis on building the foundation's donor pipeline, and promoting annual giving through personal calls and in-person visits. Focus on cultivating relationships and upgrading annual donors to and within President's Club gift levels.

Duties include but are not limited to:

Qualify, cultivate and manage a portfolio of prospects and donors with capacity and affinity to give. Special focus on retention, upgrades to and within President's Club gift levels, as well as submitting gift proposals up to $25,000.

Achieve annual goals for face-to-face visits, phone calls, proposals and retention/upgrade strategies.

Closely partner with the annual giving, development and prospect management teams to produce leads and accomplish pipeline objectives.

In collaboration with development staff, key university advancement members and campus partners, initiate, develop, propose and implement strategies for solicitation of annual and major gifts, including: prospect identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

Travel locally and nationally to visit prospective donors. Work outside typical business hours as necessary to fulfill job responsibilities.

Update and maintain donor and prospect information in the Raiser's Edge database system.

Contribute to team efforts by accomplishing related tasks and special projects as requested.


Experience in fundraising large value gifts and relationship building with individuals, preferably in a university setting.  Prior experience in identifying and cultivating donors to create a prospect pipeline

Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, and ability to navigate through computer database systems and software

Experience in building relationships internally and externally with donors and strategic partners

Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Strong organizational skills with high attention to detail

Project management experience:  Plan, design, and carry out projects and tasks meeting objectives and deadlines

Proven experience in providing new ideas or approaches

Ability to travel and work outside normal business hours

Embody the values of the ESU Foundation: visionary, inspirational, adaptive, trustworthy, grateful and relational

The successful candidate will be a go-getter – meaning, a talented and driven individual who believes in the mission of Emporia State University, is results- and people-oriented, possesses a strong work ethic and superb attention to detail, and is committed to seeing the University accomplish its goals.


Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution of higher education.


Knowledge of fundraising strategy and tactics gained through a minimum of one (1) year in directly related fundraising experience in a higher education environment and/or two (2) years related experience or sales.

Minimum of two (2) years of experience in a university foundation or university advancement environment.

Demonstrated proficiency with Blackbaud Raiser's Edge software.

COMPENSATION:   Competitive based upon prior experience, plus comprehensive benefits.


Applicants must submit a cover letter addressing their interest and qualifications for the position, resume, and contact information for three professional references including names, addresses and phone numbers to Search Committee, 1500 Highland St, Emporia, KS 66801, or email Carol Cooper at Background check and official transcripts will be required prior to hire.  Review of application materials will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Emporia State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other factors which cannot be considered by law.


About the Foundation:  Founded in 1952 as a 501(c)(3) corporation, the Emporia State University Foundation exists solely to support Emporia State University. The Foundation raises, receives, manages, invests, distributes and stewards private resources in support of the University's mission in the areas of teaching, research, public service and scholarship. The Foundation works closely with individuals, corporations and foundations who support and advocate for the University's goals and initiatives through charitable gifts that improve, enhance and expand the vitality of Emporia State University.

About the University:

"Emporia State University is a dynamic and progressive student-centered learning community that fosters student success through engagement in academic excellence, community and global involvement, and the pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment."

Founded in 1863 as the Kansas State Normal School, the University offered an educational beacon to those courageous individuals who were settling in what was then the vast Midwestern prairie. The school's first graduating class was comprised of two women in 1867. At that time, like many similar institutions, the primary offering was teacher education. Today, that emphasis has broadened to include four distinct colleges and schools including the School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Library and Information Management, and the Teachers College. More than 150,000 students have studied at ESU and moved into careers that have touched all corners of the world.

About the Community of Emporia, Kansas: Located at the doorstep of the beautiful Flint Hills between Kansas City and Wichita on Interstate 35, Emporia is a family-oriented and vibrant community of 25,000 residents. With the University as its anchor offering cultural and educational pursuits, the city provides a wide range of recreational, artistic and civic options.  National Geographic Magazine highlighted the beautiful Flint Hills – the nation's last great expanse of tall grass prairie – in its April, 2007, edition


The parks of Emporia are the flagship of recreation due to their variety and size. In all, Emporia's 18 parks mass a little over 250 acres. The Jones Aquatic Center, the many city parks and the David Traylor Zoo all provide opportunities for fun and entertainment.  Emporia's Recreational Center offers a gymnasium that hosts basketball and volleyball games as well as many other athletic and recreational options. The municipal golf course is host to many regional tournaments.  The new Emporia Arts Center has been established as a center for the city's fine arts and artistic education.  The historic Granada Theatre, constructed in 1929, offers a 1,400-seat capacity.  In April, 1985, the theatre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1994 a group of citizens formed the Emporia Granada Theatre Alliance to ensure the ongoing preservation of the Theatre.

Emporia is located conveniently between Kansas City (90 minutes to the northeast) and Wichita (90 minutes to the southwest). This location affords access to many of the activities offered by these communities as well as providing accessibility to a number of Fortune 500 companies.