Work in Ames

Director of Development - Athletics

Company Name:
Iowa State University Foundation
Company Description:

The Iowa State University Foundation is charged with the rewarding task of fundraising for the university. Together, we work as a team to expertly match our donors’ passions with Iowa State’s needs.

The first gift to Iowa State was made in 1899 by alumnus and former professor Edgar Stanton, who donated the original 10 bells of the Campanile. Without this first gift, and all the generous gifts since then, Iowa State’s campus would be completely different. The foundation honors this tradition today by finding new ways to move Iowa State University forward – whether through scholarship support, funding leading-edge facilities, creating new opportunities, or recruiting the best faculty.

Job Type:
Full Time
Posted Date:
July 27, 2023
Deadline Date:
October 18, 2023
Job Category:
Home Base Iowa Company:
Job Description:

As a development officer on the athletics development team, you will meet frequently with current and potential donors face-to-face in their home, office, at events, or hosting at a restaurant or coffee shop. Working each day to connect donors’ philanthropic interests with campus priorities, you will blend your professional knowledge, relationship management skills, and talent with philanthropic strategies. Development officers play a key role on the development team to help identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts to the athletics program.

Based on qualifications and experience, a selected candidate may hold one of these job titles: Associate Director of Development or Director of Development

Core Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Build and manage a portfolio of 75 to 125 assigned prospects. You will develop new prospect relationships while engaging with previous and current donors. Working with campus and foundation teams, you will partner with our research team and identify prospects capable of making major gifts of $100,000 and greater.
  • Plan and manage a deliberate sequence of interactions with each prospect, intended to build engagement and ultimately to present gift proposals.
  • Travel extensively (up to 50%) to establish and nurture long-lasting, strong donor relationships with the end goal of proposing and closing major gift donations.
  • Work as an active team member to develop strategies to achieve short and long-term goals for fundraising priorities.
  • Work independently and collaboratively with all levels of ISU Athletics administration, staff, donors, and foundation development teams on a variety of donor-centered tasks and activities including foundation and college special events.
  • Communicate in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes. You will write donor correspondence, contact reports and proposals, and provide briefings on program status. You will also communicate the foundation’s role and donor’s wishes to key campus and foundation staff.


Education & Work Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree or certification preferred.
  • 3+ years of professional experience in any of the following areas: major gift fundraising, non-profit work, higher education, sales, communications, or another related field.

 Desired Skills & Experience

  • Ability to achieve ambitious goals. You should have a remarkable track record for leading successful initiatives with measurable results.  
  • Savvy relationship-building and leadership skills and be an excellent communicator. You should be articulate and persuasive with diplomacy and tact to represent the foundation to multiple constituents, donors, and campus leadership. You must also have demonstrable skills in persuasive speaking and influencing others. 
  • Problem-solving skills and resourcefulness. You can champion donor-centeredness by understanding the desires of the donors and creating simple solutions.
  • Strong team orientation, a dedicated work ethic, and a positive and professional attitude.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage multiple initiatives.
  • Ability to use a variety of software applications.
  • Creativity, patience, a sense of humor and a belief in our organizational mission of: Aligning donor passion and generosity to advance Iowa State University’s land grant ideals.


Travel: Travel required

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: Ames, IA; potentially hybrid

To APPLY please include the following items:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter with salary requirements

For additional information, visit the following pages:

3 years
Travel Required:
Resume Required:
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:
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