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Director of Development for Major Gifts

The Opportunity | UNC Wilmington Cameron School of Business

The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. A public institution with nearly 16,500 students, the university is known for its superb faculty and staff and powerful academic experience. With an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and doctoral programs in marine biology, educational leadership, psychology and nursing practice. UNCW is consistently recognized at a national level for academic excellence and affordability by publications like U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and The Business Journals. UNCW also recently earned the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, bestowed to higher education institutions dedicated to community involvement.

The division of University Advancement responds to the needs of a variety of external and internal constituents in achieving its primary goals to: 1) Increase private financial support for prioritized university programs and activities, and 2) Improve external relations for the university through effective board management and donor stewardship. The division strives to raise funds, as outlined by the Chancellor’s vision statement and strategic plan, from the private sector to further the university mission of pursuing the resources that will enable our faculty and students to excel, and becoming intensely regionally engaged. In doing so, the division plans strategically to facilitate the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of all constituencies, and seeks to positively promote the university. The division’s fundraising efforts are enhanced by effective partnerships with components of the campus community as well as external audiences including alumni, parents, corporations, foundations, legislators, volunteer board members and friends. Development areas include major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, UNCW constituent liaison and alumni relations. Prospect management and research, advancement services, and external and donor relations are support services for the fundraising activities of the division.

The Position | Director of Development for Major Gifts

UNCW’s Division for University Advancement is actively recruiting for a strategic leader who can build upon our successes and elevate our operations concurrent with the university’s nationally rising reputation. In recent years, the university has realized unprecedented fundraising growth along with increases in the number of alumni donors. The recipients of a 2018 CASE Educational Fundraising Award, among other industry accolades, our team prides itself on being innovative and donor centric while holding firm to our values of accountability, collaboration and creating efficiencies within the organization.  With fundraising as a pillar in the university’s 2016-21 strategic plan, we are actively preparing for a historic comprehensive campaign and are enthusiastic about enriching our team.

The position will function as a member of a team of development and advancement professionals and a member of the University Advancement staff.

  • Plans, designs, implements, and evaluates strategies to obtain outright and deferred, general operating, endowment, and capital funds for the university
  • Works with senior administration and volunteers to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospective major donors
  • Manages UNCW’s development efforts as they relate to prospect identification, major donor relationship nurturing, solicitation and stewardship in order to reach the strategic and foremost fundraising objectives of the university
  • Works closely with the Cameron School of Business to build and manage a robust portfolio of prospects in partnership with the respective deans

Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree required, with a minimum of a 5-year demonstrated track record of public or private development efforts including mastery of the fundamental principles and techniques of successful fundraising as they pertain to identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual prospects, preferably in the non-profit or higher educational sector.

Preferred qualifications include master’s degree.

Highly desirable skills include: demonstrated proficiency and experience in managing relationships with high-level prospects in an effort to secure major gifts; experience with the concepts of moves management as well as a mastery of the fundamentals of major gifts fundraising; a basic understanding of planned giving concepts, and an ability to navigate internal processes and structures to the advancement of relationships with donors. Superior written and verbal communication, interpersonal, relationship building, creative problem solving skills and the ability to initiate and collaborate with others, at all levels. Demonstrated ability to work interdependently and independently in a collaborative environment is vital. Computer literacy, using Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, is fundamental for word processing and data entry associated with the writing, reporting and communication functions of this position. Competency in navigation and use of the university’s database information systems and other development related software is essential. The incumbent must possess a passion for service excellence, integrity, a positive outlook, a strong work ethic, be self-motivated and committed to high performance and dedication to the value of higher education.

UNC Wilmington has retained Capital Development Services to assist with professional recruitment. Candidates must include a cover letter, a resume, and a list of three references. All material will be confidential. Additional inquiries may be directed to or 336-747-0133 x 208.