Executive Director of Development, Principal Gifts – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is. 

University Advancement is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which all advancement staff and our stakeholders have the opportunity to connect, belong, and grow while supporting the University of Southern California’s mission, values, and goals.

University Advancement seeks to recruit three talented and experienced advancement professionals for the position of Executive Director of Development, Principal Gifts. This position reports to Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, University Advancement and will work closely with the key stakeholders of one of the following schools: USC Marshall School of Business, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Viterbi School of Engineering to lead campaign fundraising between University Advancement and the designated academic unit. This role will drive multi-disciplinary fundraising between the school and serves as a key partner, increasing giving to presidential priorities including scholarships and student support, research, sustainability and frontiers of computing among others. Opportunity to grow a team over time.  

Domestic travel, evening and weekend events will be required from time to time. Candidates must reside within commuting distance to the Downtown Los Angeles office.

The incumbent will be responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive fundraising strategies for securing financial support from a portfolio of approximately 75 prospects with an emphasis on gifts of $1,000,000 and above, including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of gifts. 

This is a role that requires a professional with excellent verbal and written communication, an entrepreneurial thinker and a problem solver. The ideal candidate possesses strong relationship building and management skills. Familiarity working with faculty, top executives and community leaders is desired. The candidate should be accustomed to and comfortable with receiving and applying feedback to continually improve. The ideal candidate should be able to demonstrate a history of success in their prior field/position, with special focus on success in designing, implementing, and administering innovative fundraising programs that require creative solutions and energized problem-solving approaches.

Responsibilities:

  • Raise principal gifts towards the University’s most important priorities, developing, managing, and soliciting a portfolio of high-net-worth prospects.

  • Partner with university faculty and advancement leaders to align and organize multi-disciplinary stakeholders to tackle key priorities and/or university strategic initiatives.

  • Serve as a key advancement partner to the USC Marshall School of Business External Relations Team, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, or Viterbi School of Engineering and also as a member of the University Advancement team.

  • Develop and manage a portfolio of approximately 75 principal gift prospects (1M+).

  • Work independently and also collaboratively with the University Advancement team, the USC Marshall School of Business External Relations team, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, or Viterbi School of Engineering and other USC schools and units, in creating and implementing strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and financial support.

  • Assume and achieve fundraising financial and activity goals set annually.

  • Ensure compliance with all University fundraising policies, goals and procedures, including responsible for following all protocols for prospect and donor management established and implemented by USC Advancement.

  • Represent USC Advancement at professional and university meetings, seminars and conferences for professional development. 

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested.  The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Required Education: Bachelor’s degree.

Preferred Education: Master’s degree and/or relevant professional certifications.

Preferred Skills & Experience:

  • 7 or more years of major campaign, fundraising, and senior volunteer group management experience, preferably at a complex research university as part of the required minimum experience of 8 years.

  • Experienced senior fundraising professional with a demonstrated track record of personally closing gifts of $1,000,000-$5M+.

  • Expertise, knowledge, and experience working within one or more areas designated as

  • priorities and/or university strategic initiatives, including, among others, sustainability, scholarship and student access, artificial intelligence and computing, and diversity and equity.

  • Notable examples of success fundraising for research priorities.

Minimum Skills & Experience:

  • Minimum experience of 8 years.

  • 5 or more years of major campaign, fundraising, and senior volunteer group management experience, preferably at a complex research university as part of the required minimum experience of 8 years.

  • Experienced senior fundraising professional with a demonstrated track record of personally closing gifts of $500,000-$3M+.

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • A valid driver’s license is required.

  • Ability to follow established USC and department policies, procedures, objectives, performance improvement, attendance, safety, environmental, and infection control guidelines, including adherence to the workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan. Practices a high level of integrity and honesty in maintaining confidentiality.

Required Documents and Additional Information

Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.

The budgeted salary range for this position is $181,909 – $270,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations. 

USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff & their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions once you meet Program’s eligibility; tuition benefits for staff & their family; free professional development online courses; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses & free tram pick up services; discounts to football, basketball & other campus events.

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Minimum Education:
Bachelor’s degree

Minimum Experience:
8 years

Minimum Skills:
Major campaign, fundraising, and/or senior volunteer group management experience.

Preferred Education:
Master’s degree

Preferred Experience:
10 years

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