Senior Director of Development

The Senior Director of Development will report to the Assistant Dean for Advancement within the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The candidate will be responsible for discovering, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major gift and principal gift prospects capable of giving $500K plus.

They will manage an assigned portfolio of donors, be able to passionately articulate the priorities of the Maxwell School, and build relationships with alumni, parents and friends, and internal colleagues within the University.

The Senior Director of Development will assist with implementation and expansion of the major gift program, supervise development staff within the Maxwell School, and support the Assistant Dean and Dean’s fundraising activities with high-capacity donors and prospects.

Key metrics include number of face-to-face/virtual visits, number and dollar amount of major gift and principal gift solicitations, dollar amount of solicitations closed, and renewing leadership level annual gifts.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred.
  • Five plus years of fundraising experience, preferably in Higher Education.
  • Valid driver’s license required.

Job Specific Qualifications

  • Commitment to higher education and a strong desire to associate with Syracuse University and champion its mission. Genuine interest in the Maxwell School and ability to articulate a compelling and persuasive case for philanthropic support of the school’s priorities.
  • Demonstrated success in major gift fundraising including a record of discovery, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors and prospects.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage staff and volunteers.
  • Mature and professional attitude; exceptional organizational skills; highly developed interpersonal and relationship building skills; energetic and detail oriented.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills required.
  • Ability to formulate and execute long term fundraising strategies and manage multiple projects in a dynamic environment.
  • Exceptional personal initiative and the ability to drive results.
  • Energetic, proactive with a hands-on style.
  • Bright and creative with an executive presence to represent the organization to multiple constituents.
  • Ability to work both collaboratively as part of a team in a complex environment, while also working independently to accomplish fundraising goals and metrics.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.


  • In coordination with the Assistant Dean, strategize, develop and execute individual fundraising plans to solicit and secure major and principal gifts from alumni, parents and friends with the capacity to make gifts of $500K+.
  • Manage an assigned portfolio of high-value donors and prospects to maximize giving potential of each donor and prospect. Meaningful or attempted contact of 100% of portfolio during any six-month period.
  • Develop and manage high-value prospect visits in support of the Assistant Dean for Advancement and Dean.
  • Articulate and focus on increasing philanthropic support for the Maxwell School’s priorities and fundraising goals.
  • Build relationships with Maxwell School faculty, administrators, and volunteer leadership.
  • Discover and qualify prospects for major and principal gift solicitations as well as solicit annual gifts at the leadership annual giving level.
  • Serve as a liaison between the Maxwell School, Advancement and External Affairs and other partners.
  • Maintain updated plans and opportunities for assigned portfolio as well as all other activity relative to donors and prospects. Report results of all contact and solicitations/gifts in the CITRUS/CRM database.
  • Travel up to 50% of the time to conduct face-to-face donor meetings.
    Assist with implementation and continued expansion of Major Gift program in the Maxwell School, in consultation with Executive Director of Major Gifts, Central.
  • Supervise and manage Maxwell’s Assistant Director of Development, overseeing the School’s leadership annual giving program.
  • Collaborate with central development units and teams on principal and major gifts, gift planning, prospect management, annual giving, donor relations and philanthropic engagements.
  • Regularly review and drive Maxwell School and individual progress and goals via reports available in Dashboards.
  • Represent the Maxwell School across campus as needed.
  • Provide leadership on special projects and fundraising priorities, including developing opportunities to increase alumni and donor engagement.
  • Project management as needed.
  • Work with Assistant Dean and Dean to support volunteer board(s) as needed.
  • Attend and participate in Maxwell School and central development office meetings, training opportunities, as well as University-wide functions.
  • Perform related duties as required or deemed appropriate to the accomplishments of the responsibilities and functions related to this position.

Application Instructions
In addition to completing an online application, please attach a resume and cover letter.