The Senior Advancement Officer (“SAO”) for the School of Public Affairs (“SPA”) is a major gift and advancement officer of American University (AU), charged with major gift prospect qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship responsibilities with a primary focus on achieving SPA’s major gift fundraising goals. In this capacity, the SAO is directly responsible for personally meeting aggressive major gift, leadership annual giving, and documented pledge and visit goals, which are set annually by the Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations.
This position manages a prospect portfolio of approximately 100-125 active, rated major gift prospects, with giving capacities up to $100,000. The SAO is expected to personally manage these relationships to cultivate, solicit, close gifts from, and steward donors, as well as identify and qualify new prospects for SPA and the university at large. Regular domestic travel is required in this position to personally engage alumni and raise funds. The SAO aids SPA development, and upon occasion other units, in achieving goals that meet AU’s overall development and alumni relations objectives and larger outcomes outlined by the governing strategic vision for AU.
Under the direction of the Senior Director of Regional Advancement, the SAO works closely with the SPA director of development, director of development for university-wide initiatives, directors of regional advancement, and university alumni relations officers. He/she serves as a key ambassador of SPA; and like all advancement officers of the university, the SAO is responsible for connecting donors and prospects with the areas of the university to which they have greatest interest, to serve as an ambassador of AU, and to focus on the funding priorities of the current Strategic Plan and general priorities of the Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations.
A Bachelor's degree is required. A Master's degree is preferred.
- Minimum of 5 years of experience in a front-line fundraising role in which developing personal relationships, communicating persuasive messages and soliciting investments were central. Ideal candidates will be able to show a progression of responsibilities and demonstrated success in closing major gifts of $25,000 and above from individuals
- Demonstrated success meeting established and aggressive constituent visit goals
- Experience working with volunteers – either on boards, committees, or other leadership bodies to successfully complete other assigned duties
- Experience working with mid- to high-level organization administrators
- Excellent oral and written communication skills demonstrated by clear, concise, and persuasive writing, public speaking, and private discourse
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills and a demonstrated experience successfully working with persons from diverse backgrounds
- Excellent analytical, research and time management skills
- Familiarity with fundraising systems and strong command of MS Office Suite of products
- Maturity, sound judgment, and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a deadline-oriented environment
- Experience in higher education advancement
- Experience with Datatel
This position will require regular domestic travel and extensive travel within the National Capital Area: approximately 40% domestic travel and 60% travel and ancillary responsibilities within the National Capital Area. Work may be required evenings, weekends, and during established University events such as the President’s Circle Dinner, Commencement, and All-American Weekend (AU’s Alumni and Family Weekend).