Work in Ames

Director of Development (Director/Senior Director) - Gift Planning

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:
November 14, 2023
Deadline Date:
December 15, 2023
Job Categories:
Banking & Finance, Nonprofit
Home Base Iowa Company:
Job Description:

As a development officer on the gift planning 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 university.

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

Core Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with collegiate development offices as a resource for donors considering estate and other planned gifts. Partner to develop strategies to achieve goals for fundraising priorities.
  • Plan and complete prospect engagement opportunities and present gift proposals.
  • Build and manage a portfolio of 100 to 125 assigned prospects. You will develop new prospect relationships while engaging 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 or greater.
  • 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 independently and collaboratively with all levels of college administration, faculty, 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 proposals and/or 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 professional certification preferred.
  • 4+ years of professional experience in any of the following areas: major gift fundraising, non-profit work, higher education, financial or estate planning, 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.
  • Ability to communicate complex gifting arrangements in a simple, but thorough manner.
  • Collaborative style, ability, and desire to work in a team-based environment, a dedicated work ethic, and a positive and professional attitude.
  • Ability to multi-task, manage and organize 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

For additional information, visit the following pages:

4 years
Travel Required:
Resume Required:
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