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Principal Gifts Officer

Position Information

Position Information

Working Title: Principal Gifts Officer
Faculty Rank: Lecturer
Role Title: Professional Faculty
Posting Number: AP0170204
About Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world.

Position Summary:

Reporting to the associate vice president for principal gifts, the Principal Gifts Officer is a senior development officer assigned to the highest-level development prospects for Virginia Tech. The individual will serve as a visible frontline fundraiser and manage a portfolio of 15 to 35 principal gifts prospects. This position is concerned with strategy development as well as staff support, planning, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of initiatives for individuals assigned to the prospect pool. The Principal Gifts Officer’s primary focus is identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding high-level prospects who have the capacity to make transformative gifts to Virginia Tech. The Principal Gifts Officer will work closely with the vice president for advancement, the associate vice president for principal gifts, the president, deans, and with other key academic leaders to set short and long-term donor-centric strategies and develop initiatives to advance each prospect’s meaningful connection to the university to set the stage for solicitation in accordance with university priorities. Given the nascent profile of Virginia Tech’s principal giving program, the Principal Gifts Officer must embrace the role of teacher and mentor of corresponding best practices. S/he must also champion the strategic engagement, creativity, and poise required to inspire and mobilize the aspirations of internal partners and prospective donors alike, and exemplify the high-level stewardship essential to maintaining and expanding donor relationships.

Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor’s degree is required

Significant progressively responsible experience in development positions with progressive levels of responsibility, preferably within an institution of higher education, nonprofit organization, or other environment of similar complexity with multiple stakeholders.

Experience with both individual and institutional principal gifts.

Particular strength in developing the case for support and strategic and complex fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives. Must have the ability to effectively strategize and engage various groups and constituents. Experience working directly with the most senior levels of an organization and its transformational donors is critical, as is a sophisticated, nuanced understanding of the confluence of relationships that facilitate principal gifts discussions and propel them forward.

Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to shape messaging in order to move individuals and institutions across the spectrum of prospect development, culminating in significant and potentially game-changing solicitations appropriate to organizational priorities and donors interests. A track record of personally closing gifts at seven-figures or greater, and of staffing organizational leadership in soliciting seven and eight-figure gifts.

Steeped in national and international philanthropic networks as they relate to education, arts and culture, science and technology, and other charitable endeavors, with particular sensitivity and responsiveness to the culture and trends of those networks. The ability to penetrate the most elite philanthropic networks seamlessly and with aplomb is a must.

Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers, and an appreciation for their role in building an effective fundraising network.

Ability to understand and distill complex academic and scientific topics and projects for development audiences. Experience identifying and coaching project spokespeople.

Demonstrated familiarity with financial planning, tax and charitable gift laws, and planned giving vehicles and methods.

The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. A working knowledge of modern data management practices and techniques, including database information systems, data modeling, and analysis.

Willingness to travel nationally and sometimes internationally for the purpose of conducting field research, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects.

Preferred Qualifications:

An advanced degree and strong academic credentials that will be credible to donors and alumni is preferred.

Previous work experience in a hybrid centralized-decentralized fundraising model or similar structure involving many units, departments, and/or teams is preferred.

Participation in a major capital campaign is strongly preferred.

Employment Conditions: Other (Describe Below), Must have an acceptable and safe driving record, Must have a driver's license check
Must have a conviction check: Yes
Describe Other:

Must have a criminal background check to include a driver’s check.

Regional and national travel required for the purposes of conducting field research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, which may include overnights and weekends. Must have the ability and willingness to travel utilizing standard, commercial, and/or personal modes of transportation.

Reports to the Associate Vice President for Principal Gifts.

Employment Comments:
How to Apply for this Job:

To apply for this position, candidates must submit a Virginia Tech faculty application online at, search for posting AP0170204 and send resume, cover letter and five references to:

Diversified Search
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
The Chrysler Building
405 Lexington Ave, 49th Floor
New York, NY 10174
T: 212-542-2575

Employee Category: Administrative and Professional Faculty
Appointment Type: Regular
If restricted or temporary, enter end date:
FLSA Status: Exempt: Not eligible for overtime
Tenure Status: Non-Tenure Track
Academic Year or Calendar Year: Calendar Year
Percent Employment: Full-time
If part time, enter Percent Time:
Pay Range: Commensurate with Experience
Location: Blacksburg
Department: University Development
Location, if not Blacksburg:
Location Zip Code: 24060
Work Schedule: M-F 8 am - 5 pm + As Needed
Job Posting Date: 07/20/2017
Review Begin Date: 08/18/2017
Job Close Date:
Restricted to university employees only? No
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement:

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law.

For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the executive director for Equity and Access at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Reasonable Accommodation Statement:

If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation please contact the hiring department.

Quick Link:

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Will you have a bachelor's degree and experience or a master's degree by the anticipated start date?
    • No response
    • yes
    • no
  2. * How did you first learn about this job opening?
    • Chronicle of Higher Education - online
    • Chronicle of Higher Education - print
    • Higher Ed Jobs (
    • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium - HERC (
    • Diverse Jobs (
    • Insight Into Diversity (
    • Indeed (
    • Roanoke Times Online (
    • Commonwealth of Virginia Jobs (
    • Virginia Tech job site (
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Job Fair (please describe below)
    • Journal (please describe below)
    • Listserv (please describe below)
    • Newspaper - print (please describe below)
    • Professional Conference (please describe below)
    • From a friend/acquaintance not associated with Virginia Tech (please name below)
    • From a Virginia Tech employee/representative/recruiter (please name below)
    • Veteran related event/site (please describe below)
    • Virginia Employment Commission - VEC
    • Other Virginia Tech affiliated website (please describe below)
    • Other job board such as Simply Hired, Career Builder, etc. (please describe below)
    • Other - Not listed (please describe below)
  3. Please describe recruiting source identified in previous question (if applicable):

    (Open Ended Question)

Required Documents

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