Job Listings

Director of Engagement, Thunderbird

ASU Foundation
Job Location:
Development and Fundraising

Director of Engagement, Thunderbird

The ASU Foundation has retained Lindauer, an executive search firm, to assist in this search. Consideration of candidates will continue until the position is filled.

Candidates should submit, in confidence, a resume and cover letter. Communications, nominations, applications, and inquiries concerning this search should be directed to Raegan Harvey, Consultant,

The ASU Foundation (ASUF) fosters partnerships between ASU and like-minded individuals, corporations and foundations who believe in ASU's mission and provide resources for ASU to manifest its charter into meaningful impact.

The Director of Engagement, Thunderbird will have oversight and line management of Thunderbird's Annual Giving program, ensuring that regular and leadership donors with potential to support at a higher level are identified and cultivated appropriately. This role will work extensively across the organization, developing close relationships with the academic leadership of the unit, and with specific responsibility for representing Thunderbird through liaison with Sun Devil Giving, Gift Planning and Corporate Philanthropy.

The principal function of this role is to manage a global pipeline of major gift donors and prospects to realize significant philanthropic contributions in support of Thunderbird's strategic goals.

This new role is one of two Directors of Engagement for Thunderbird and is a key frontline major gift fundraising position which serves as part of Thunderbird's Engagement Leadership team.

This individual must be an experienced development leader with a proven track-record in working with donors in a large and complex environment, preferably in higher education. The director reports to the Executive Director of Engagement.

What you'll do:

  • Build and manage a portfolio of major and leadership gift prospects and secure philanthropic investments in support of the school priorities, with a primary focus on securing gifts above the $100,000 level and a personal fundraising goal of at least $2M in accordance with performance metrics.
  • Contribute to creation and leadership of coordinated program of fundraising and engagement activities designed to increase the number and level of annual, major and/or principal gift donors for Thunderbird.
  • Develop a strategic program focused on the integration of annual giving, pipeline development, major and planned gifts as part of the comprehensive engagement strategy for Thunderbird.
  • Design and execute strategies to involve campus leaders, alumni, friends, and volunteers to identify and cultivate new individual, corporate, institutional and/or foundation prospects on behalf of assigned area of responsibility
  • Guided by the direction and scope of each prospect's interest, proactively collaborate across the university enterprise to leverage the maximum philanthropic potential of each donor. Effectively build partnerships with ASU Foundation leadership and staff.
  • Participate in strategic planning for academic programs as it relates to fundraising, working closely with the Dean and academic leaders to identify fundraising needs and opportunities. Act as the lead contact for specific academic areas.
  • Develop and submit written proposals, case statements, budgets and other collateral materials needed to secure philanthropic investments.
  • Prepare the Dean and other senior colleagues with appropriate prospect and donor information as needed.
  • Hire, supervise, mentor and evaluate assigned development staff
  • Work within the ASU Foundation prospect management and tracking system, following all protocols for visits and solicitations.
  • Participate as a member of the ASUF development management team and serve as a resource to development colleagues.
  • Actively contribute to the department's strategy, reporting and performance management. Serve as a member of the Thunderbird Engagement Management Team and support the Executive Director in driving the agenda for these and other key departmental meetings. Deputize for the ED as appropriate.
  • Other development related duties as assigned

What you'll need:

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to interact effectively with academic leadership, faculty, prospects, donors, and/or volunteers in a wide range of roles
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, results-oriented environment with complex and evolving relationships and priorities.
  • Collaborative style, combined with the ability and desire to work in a team-based environment
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically (US) and overseas.
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality and responsibility regarding information related to Foundation and University business and confidential prospect information
  • Strong and collegial interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate effectively in person, writing, and by phone
  • Knowledge of principles and techniques of development/fundraising, preferably in higher education
  • Able to secure personal appointments and qualify new prospects
  • Demonstrated achievement in securing philanthropic investments
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Problem solver who can take initiative and set priorities while being flexible
  • Team-oriented strategist able to effectively manage complex situations involving numerous and sometimes competing constituencies
  • Ability to represent the institution well
  • An advocate's belief in the vision of ASU as the New American University
  • Ability to prepare complex and detailed proposals and related materials
  • Attention to detail and thoroughness in completing assigned duties
  • Highly organized and able to handle multiple projects
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and comfortable working in donor/prospect computer data base systems
  • Documented success in personally implementing sophisticated, multi-year cultivation strategies that use a relationship-building and moves management approach leading to successful gift closure
  • Adept at navigating complex environments with evolving priorities and communication plans
  • Demonstrable experience in stewardship plans leading to additional investments

Relevant qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree and five years' successful professional development and/or fundraising related experience, preferably in higher education.
  • Documented success in personally implementing sophisticated, multi-year cultivation strategies that use a relationship-building and moves management approach leading to successful gift closure
  • Demonstrated ability in securing major grants and gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other private funding sources
  • 2+ years experience managing a team
  • Previous experience working with international donors
  • Experience working in annual giving or planned/ estate gifts

At ASU Enterprise Partners: 

We serve. 

We serve the faculty and staff of ASU to bring them resources so they can do all the great things that they do. 

We innovate. 

We're always looking for new ideas, new solutions, new approaches and new ways to address the challenges facing ASU. 

We engage. 

We engage our donors, philanthropists, investors and partners, connecting them to ASU and helping them share their time, talent and treasure. 

We care. 

When we serve, innovate and engage, it shows that we care - about faculty, staff, donors, fellow employees and other partners as we bring resources to ASU. 

ASU Enterprise Partners and its subsidiaries is an equal opportunity employer that is firmly committed to promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within our organization and throughout our sphere of influence. Because we embrace a spirit of innovation and achievement, we will endeavor to maximize the talent and potential of all employees, directors, and volunteers through bold and strategic action aimed at building success and a sense of belonging. All employees are expected to act in good faith to support these actions and to not impede the efforts of others to build a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization.

ASU Enterprise Partners is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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