Director, Principal Giving

Are you shining right now? As a seasoned fundraiser, are your skills and talent rewarded ? Perhaps making a change is on your mind. If so, we should talk. As an experienced fundraiser in the role of Principal Giving, you will be working with the heart of our great university donor and prospect community. Your ability to create strong, profitable relationships with high-capacity donors will be the most rewarding work of your career. Our robust development team celebrates hard work, intelligent strategy and we welcome your expertise. Get in touch and let’s talk about why the University of Arizona could be the right, next move for your successful fundraising career.

The Principal Giving program serves our University of Arizona donors and prospects that have the capacity and affinity to make transformational and/or legacy gifts to any area of the UA, with an emphasis on the power of ongoing, thoughtful relationships with these donors and prospects.

The Director of Principal Giving will work with the Vice President for Principal Giving and Campaign, University Development Program (UDP) leadership team, university leadership, academic leaders, UA and UDP staff, and key donors. This includes the charge to identify, steward, cultivate and solicit individuals or families who typically have rated capacity of at least $1M and will benefit from a genuine, life-long relationship. This work is done collaboratively with many units across UA, and the Director will play the role of chief strategist and driver of various projects campus wide.  The role requires an intense focus on the development of meaningful relationships that lead to transformational giving.

  • Manage a portfolio of principal gift prospects (PGP).
  • Create for each PGP an individualized cultivation and solicitation plan, in consultation with the University President, Foundation CEO, and Vice President for Principal Giving and Campaign, UDP colleagues from schools, colleges and programs, Deans, Faculty and/or key volunteers.
  • Facilitate, support and participate in donor visits with University representatives as necessary to build life-long relationships that culminate in the solicitation of transformative gifts.
  • Work closely with colleagues across UA campus to prepare briefings, talking points, written proposals, informational materials, endowment agreements, gift illustrations and other materials needed to secure gifts.
  • Ensure transparent communication to all colleagues across UA concerning developments and aspirations the institution may have for any given prospect.
  • Participate cooperatively in the University’s prospect management and tracking system, following all stated processes and procedures.
  • Working in partnership with the Vice President for Principal Giving and Campaign, take a lead role in managing the development travel schedule and calendar coordination for the University President and the President and CEO of the UA Foundation.
  • After an appropriate onboarding time period, the Director will be expected to conduct a minimum of 100 donor visits and secure $5M in gifts annually.

Strategy Development 

  • Drive the creation and implementation of informed, long-range strategies for principal gift prospects – strategies that honor their passions & respect their multiple interests, strategies designed to bridge external interests with institutional priorities, & strategies that allow our donors to stretch their philanthropic partnership with UA.
  • Provide strategic leadership to UADP colleagues, deans, faculty and administrators in designing and implementing steps needed to sustain these relationships and the gifts that may be made.
  • Regularly coordinate with front-line fundraisers across campus to ensure that the strategies we have in place are implemented or adjusted, as appropriate, and to convey information.
  • Convene strategy sessions and similar meetings as needed.

Program Development and Management

  • Participate in the development of policies and procedures relating to the Principal Giving program and prepare any materials needed or assist in implementation.
  • In consultation with the VP, establish goals, objectives and strategies to guide activity.
  • Participate in assessing progress toward goals.
  • Develop and manage a budget for appropriate activities.
  • Submit monthly activity reports to the VP.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Specific Job Skills:

  • Proficient skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint; advanced skills preferred.
  • Ability to deal with and use discretion with confidential information.
  • Ability to take initiative, be self-directed, and prioritize multiple tasks.
  • Strong time management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work well with others in a dynamic & interdependent team environment.
  • Working knowledge of Raiser's Edge or similar database.
  • Effective communications skills and the ability to express oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others in all forms of communication, i.e., verbal and written, one-on-one and group, etc.
  • Builds and maintains positive relationships and actively contributes as a member of working teams to achieve results.
  • Takes responsibility for meeting goals, objectives, obligations, and solving problems while representing the mission, vision and values of the organization.
  • Obtains, analyzes and evaluates information effectively in the face of ambiguity.  Makes appropriate decisions based on relevant information and experience.
  • Models and upholds the values of candor, openness, inclusiveness and honesty despite internal and external pressures.
  • Respects, values and contributes to the UA’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
  • Works to resolve conflicts and differences through dialog and open communication in a timely manner. Sees every difference as an opportunity for growth and change.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher and a minimum of five (5) years of professional work experience in a non-profit setting.
  • Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education approved by Human Resources.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in a related field (Business Administration, Law, Nonprofit Management, etc.) desirable.
  • Three (3) or more years of experience using a development or fundraising database (for example, CRM, Raiser’s Edge, or Advance).
  • General knowledge of corporate and foundation fundraising and gift planning vehicles are desirable.
  • Knowledge of alumni relations/development/advancement principles.
Job Benefits

The University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Foundation offer employees a robust array of enticing benefits. From premium healthcare coverage to tuition reduction to 40+ days off annually (22 vacation, 12 sick, 10 holidays, etc.), employees are well cared for.

Diversity Statement

The University Alumni & Development Program is an office comprised of both University of Arizona and University of Arizona Foundation employees, and as such, shares the intuition’s approach to diversity and inclusiveness:

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information.


University of Arizona Foundation

Employment Type

Tucson, AZ

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Position: Director, Principal Giving

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