Senior Associate Director, Principal Gifts

Stanford University Stanford , CA 94305

Posted 2 months ago

Stanford University's Office of Development seeks an experienced and collaborative senior fundraiser to join the University Principal Gifts team. The Senior Associate Director will play a key roleindividually and collectivelyin cultivating long-term relationships with donors who have the capacity to make transformative gifts, while leveraging the relationships and vision of university leaders to secure support for strategic university priorities and initiatives.


Identifying, cultivating, and soliciting, or arranging for the solicitation, of individuals who fit the program criteria. Engages with a multitude of individuals to include senior academic leaders, faculty, university officers and staff, volunteers, alumni, friends and foundation representatives, and others outside Stanford during the course of their fundraising work.


The Senior Associate Director, University Principal Gifts, will convene campus partners and advise on the development of coordinated strategies aimed to maximize the life-time engagement and support of a portfolio of high net worth households. This role has three defining dimensions:

  • The disciplined management of approximately 50 relationships with consistent focus and high- touch engagement, cultivation and stewardship that leads to successful solicitation strategies;
  • The ability to work closely with academic leaders, faculty, and volunteers to shape compelling ideas that will attract transformational gifts based on institutional initiatives and presidential priorities. And,
  • The ability to work in tandem with colleagues in the University Principal Gifts program and with officers of other schools to coordinate cultivation and solicitation of prospects where there are multiple interests.

Principal gift work requires understanding the university's overarching strategic priorities, as well as the programs and aspirations of all seven of Stanford's schools and the other large units where Principal Gifts are needed. Consultation, coordination and collaboration with school or unit based colleagues is essential.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Work with members of the University Principal Gifts team and colleagues across the university in implementing the Principal Gifts program of the university, including carrying out all aspects of fundraising, with particular emphasis on university priorities and initiatives, including those at the convergence of the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering.

  • Personally manage a portfolio of high potential individual prospects through the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship cycles. Forge long-term relationships with these individuals to cultivate their interest in Stanford that will lead to eight and nine-figure solicitations.

  • Staff academic leaders and other key institutional representatives in their contact with Principal Gifts donors/prospects, and build his/her own personal relationship with them.

  • Provide support for university leaders, faculty, and volunteers, and accompany them on calls where appropriate.

  • Work with alumni, parents, and friends of Stanford and their advisors, sometimes behind the scenes through high-level volunteers, both external and internal to the university.

  • Collaborate with other staff, academic leaders, and faculty to develop gift ideas and strategies and to foster relationships that will be productive for Stanford.

  • Visit prospects often in tandem with the President and faculty leaders; work proactively to bring prospects to campus for substantive visits and engagements.

  • Provide stewardship for certain Principal Gifts donors managed centrally, in coordination with other stewardship units and field fundraisers.

Other specific responsibilities may Include:

  • Oversee the preparation of funding proposals, talking points and scripts, assessments of potential support, briefings, and stewardship reports for assigned prospects. Ensures that all interested parties are involved in key efforts focused on specific prospects.

  • Drives principal gift activity for targeted fundraising efforts around institutional initiatives and presidential priorities.

  • Promotes deferred giving and has an understanding and expertise in deferred vehicles and the role they can play in supporting visionary gifts.

  • Other duties may also be assigned.

To be successful in this position, you will bring:

  • Bachelor's degree and eight years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.

  • Ability to develop long-term relationships with principal level donors and prospects, as well as a proven track record of success in personally cultivating, soliciting and stewarding eight-figure gifts.

  • A creative problem-solver with strong critical thinking and analytical skills.

  • A high level of comfort and effectiveness working with high net worth individuals, business executives and community leaders.

  • The credibility, sound judgement and capacity to engage, inspire and persuade faculty, university administrators, donors, volunteers and colleagues.

  • Demonstrated understanding of science and engineering disciplines, and the ability to translate complex scientific information into terms for lay as well as sophisticated scientific audiences.

  • Proven skills in managing a number of competing priorities and complex issues creatively and effectively. This may include long-range strategic fundraising, donor development, and volunteer engagement with the day-to-day operations.

  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and engage through highly effective presentations and communication. A clear and confident communication style which demonstrates institutional knowledge and integrity. The ability to distill complex information and shape compelling gift opportunities.

  • Superior interpersonal and listening skills and the proven ability to collaborate as well as build strong working relationships with a diverse portfolio of donors as well as colleagues across the campus.

  • Exceptional negotiation skills and the political savvy to navigate a complex academic environment.

  • Ability to meet deadlines and function effectively in an environment demanding a high energy level, discretion, flexibility, and superior work.

  • Proven ability to make independent decisions.

  • Experience working in an academic environment and staffing senior academic leaders on donor calls as well as at volunteer meetings and events is desirable.

  • Previous experience in a campaign is also highly desirable.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

Why Stanford is for You:

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Enjoy a film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.

  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.

  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.

  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.

  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more!

How to Apply

We invite you to apply for this position by clicking on the "Apply for Job" button. To be considered, please submit your rsum and a one-page cover letter along with your online application.

Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time

  • Job Code: 4294

  • Employee Status: Regular

  • Grade: M

  • Department URL:

  • Requisition ID: 85861

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Senior Associate Director, Principal Gifts

Stanford University