Development Officer, Office of Strategic Gifts

The Office of Strategic Gifts is responsible for developing and managing programs leading to private gifts which will support and advance the faculty, students and programs in alignment with the overarching mission and vision of James Madison University. The staff identifies potential donors, educates alumni, friends, corporations and foundations about financial needs of the university and conducts solicitations to meet these needs. The Office of Strategic Gifts positions Development Officers as facilitators that strategically match the donor’s philanthropic passions with James Madison University’s most pressing needs.

Duties & Responsibilities:

The Development Officer is primarily responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and the stewardship of major gifts from alumni, parents and friends of James Madison University. Development Officers are university generalists with liaison responsibilities to a college or university program. Duties and responsibilities include:

Gift Cultivation and Solicitation (80%)

  1. Design and implement annually a fund raising plan based on university objectives, working in conjunction with academic leaders and the Director of Strategic Gifts and the Associate Vice President for Development.
  2. Identify, cultivate and solicit individuals, corporations and foundations, as cleared through prospect management, believed to have potential to make major gifts to university interests as appropriate.
  3. Develop and manage a portfolio of 100 active major gift prospects. The successful candidate will also be given a geographic region in addition to a college/university program liaison responsibility.
  4. Sustain a level of major gifts activity commensurate with performance expectations of major gifts staff. Development performance will be measured by mutually agreed upon metrics.
  5. Collaborate with the Offices of Annual Gifts, Planned Gifts, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Principal Relationship Development and Athletics to seek gifts for the university.

Alumni Activities, Public Relations, and Stewardship (20%)

  1. Work with other Advancement offices as appropriate, to design and implement recognition, stewardship activities and special events for donors and prospects affiliated with the university.
  2. Assist other offices within University Advancement as necessary to advance the goals of the division.
  3. Assume other responsibilities as assigned by the Director of Strategic Gifts and the Associate Vice President for Development.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 3-­5 years of experience in fundraising (preferably in higher education) or in related fields if that experience transfers effectively to the requirements of the position.
  • Proven ability to solicit and close major gifts.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to relate to diverse constituencies.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends.
  • Willingness and ability to travel.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to utilize technological resources to maximum advantage.

The names and contact information for three references will be requested as part of the application. Each reference listed will receive an email requesting that they submit a reference through the JobLink system.

Salary is commensurate with experience. To apply, go to or visit and reference posting number F1564.

James Madison University is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. We promote access, inclusion and diversity for all students, faculty, staff, constituents and programs, believing that these qualities are foundational components of an outstanding education in keeping with our mission. The university is interested in candidates whose experience and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.