Chief Development Officer -University of Minnesota


The Chief Development Officer serves as the primary development leader for the College of Education and Human Development, one of the five largest units at the University, encompassing over 70,000 alumni and raising $10-12 million+ per year.

This position reports directly to the Dean, and has principal responsibility for the leadership, planning, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive fundraising program working in close partnership with the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF). The Dean shares accountability with UMF to provide guidance, support and direction, including goal setting and assessment, to this development team leader who sets the strategic and long-term vision and planning for all college philanthropy.

This position is responsible for securing significant philanthropic support through the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts from various sources including individuals, foundations, corporations, and business. As leader of the CEHD’s comprehensive development program, the chief development officer will enhance and grow the function as s/he manages a team of major gift fundraisers.


Program Management

+ Provide leadership in planning and implementing a comprehensive capital campaign for CEHD (current campaign goal is $100 million, scheduled to conclude in 2021). Activities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide motivation, accountability and structure for staff to engage in ambitious major gift fundraising campaign
  • Work with the dean and other CEHD leadership to develop vision and priorities
  • Oversee the recruitment and training of campaign volunteers
  • Assure campaign readiness, including staffing, budget, prospect pool,
  • Oversee campaign feasibility study preparation
  • Develop and monitor a comprehensive campaign
  • Provide the dean and college leadership with strategic advice on prospect cultivation and next

+ Oversee ongoing development program including major gifts, annual giving, and planned giving for operational, capital and endowment support, raising an average of $10-12 million per year.

+ Provide leadership and strategic planning direction for major gift and alumni relations efforts to ensure that prospect qualification, identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities are managed seamlessly.

+ Direct the implementation of innovative alumni programs that strengthen relationships with CEHD alumni.

+ Collaborate with other functions such as communications, finance, student services and scholarship administration to ensure a coordinated approach.

Development Activities

+ Provide leadership in the planning and implementation of a successful capital campaign. Lead a development team specifically tasked with guiding strategy and execution in support of the campaign.

+ Partner with the dean, and other academic and administrative leaders in identifying and defining the full range of fundraising priorities within the College.

+ Provide leadership and strategic planning direction for donor development to ensure that prospect qualification, identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities are seamlessly integrated. Provide leadership and participate in strategic prospect coordination, where appropriate, to advance unit and multiunit cultivation strategies.

+ Support the dean in the management of her portfolio of key relationships to focus her time on the top prospects on behalf of the college.

+ Maintain responsibility for a leadership and principal gifts ($100K and $1M and above) portfolio. Utilize various giving methods such as current, deferred giving, and non-cash gifts. Work with UMF staff,

and other key University staff to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

+ Meet established metrics and complete and file timely and accurate reports of donor/prospect contacts by utilizing database, employing discretion while recording information of relevance to appropriate individuals.

+ Oversee the recruitment, training and management of volunteers as needed to support fundraising activities, including capital campaign.

+ Leverage the loyalty and commitment of the graduate and undergraduate alumni population as well as other key supporters in order to identify and cultivate individuals who can become participants in the life of the college and provide financial support at leadership levels; build a compelling case for philanthropy.

+ Clear and coordinate prospective donors through appropriate UMF procedures to ensure effective solicitation of the donor that maximizes the gift to the University.

+ Collaborate with other advancement functions including marketing, communications, alumni engagement and public engagement to ensure a coordinated, unified approach to relationships with all constituents.

Staff Management

+ Set clear direction and priorities for the development team. Promote excellence through well-defined and measureable goals.

+ Lead staff, promoting a culture of excellence, collaboration and professional growth. Foster a work environment that recognizes and rewards team-based efforts. Celebrate current achievements. Provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture.

+ Manage the team, including recruitment, retention, performance management, development and coaching of staff. Actively mentor and train staff, providing professional learning to build capacity and expertise.


+ Bachelor’s degree and seven years of demonstrated ability to successfully solicit major gifts; or experience in marketing, sales, public relations, financial advisement or related field with emphasis on relationship cultivation and solicitation of individuals/business.

+ Minimum four years of experience managing staff, including selection, performance management, coaching and budget oversight. Evidence of strong organizational and leadership skills.

+ Demonstrated strategic, leadership and management capabilities in a comprehensive development environment.

+ Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to effectively communicate University priorities to donors and prospects, and to positively represent CEHD.

+ Ability to lead, develop and manage development teams and programs to drive great results.

+ Demonstrated commitment to diversity through engagement and building relationships with diverse communities and individuals.



+ Master’s Degree in a related field.

+ Familiarity with development programs in higher education, community non-profit, or in marketing or sales-related positions.

+ Technical knowledge and expertise in the areas of financial, estate, and tax planning strategies, and marketing/demographic trends as they relate to gift giving.



The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:



Applications must be submitted online at To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your “My Activities” page and uploading documents there.

Questions on applying for this position? Please contact Ken Bartlett, To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call 612-624-UOHR (8647).


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