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Human Resource Services

Director of Advancement (2 positions)

Posted On: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Position Type: Supportive Prof
College/Division: Division of University Advancement
Contact: Lisa Smith | lsmith1@niu.edu | 815-753-1386
Phone: 815-753-1386


College of Education
College of Health and Human Sciences

Northern Illinois University seeks applications for the position of Director of Advancement within the Gift Planning Team. A Director of Advancement position is available in both the College of Education and the College of Health and Human Sciences. Both positions hold the rank of Supportive Professional Staff and awarded the salary commensurate with experience.


Northern Illinois University is a comprehensive, public institution of higher education enrolling just under 20,000 students in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. In addition to the main campus in DeKalb, Illinois, programs are offered at four additional campus sites: Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Naperville and Rockford.

The NIU Foundation is the primary fundraising arm of the University and is part of the Division of University Advancement which also includes the NIU Alumni Association. With more than 225,000 alumni concentrated in the Midwest, there are many opportunities to involve and engage this population.

In addition, NIU’s satellite facility presence in the northern Illinois region offers advancement professionals a diverse working environment where they can utilize state-of-the-art facilities to achieve their advancement goals in proximity to prospects and donors.

General Responsibilities

The Director of Advancement works within the Gift Planning Team to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of individual major gift prospects. The primary responsibility is to obtain private major and planned gifts at the highest level. This individual will also support the priorities identified by the university. While the highest priority is to generate charitable gift revenue, this position will focus on securing major gifts of $25,000 or more.

Specific Responsibilities
1. The Director of Advancement reports to the Senior Director of College-Based Advancement with a dotted line to the Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He/she will also work with other faculty/staff of the College regarding development, alumni and donor relations responsibilities. This position will assist in the establishment of fundraising goals and will develop and promote long-range solicitation strategies. These goals and strategies will lead to participation in ongoing and programmatic relationships with alumni, parents, friends, corporations/foundations, faculty, and staff of Northern Illinois University.
2. This position will represent the College in the creation of a focused and aggressive major and planned giving plan for the College which includes developing solicitation letters/proposals, documenting pledge intentions, writing timely expendable fund and endowed agreements, and regularly completing contact reports. In addition, this position will work on special projects, distinguished donor society fundraising, capital campaigns, and partner with his or her advancement colleagues in the NIU Division of University Advancement.
3. The Director of Advancement will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of individual and corporate major gift donors and potential donors. Personal contact and engagement with prospects and donors and securing major gifts will be required on a consistent basis and will be a significant metric which is monitored and evaluated monthly and annually.
4. The Director of Advancement will involve close collaboration with the University President; Vice President for University Advancement/CEO of the NIU Foundation; Senior Director of College-Based Advancement; College Deans, NIU Foundation board members and volunteer leaders in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies of major gift donors. These relationships require a high degree of skilled communication and careful planning.
5. The Director of Advancement will assist the Senior Director of College-Based Advancement in the development and implementation of donor strategies. She or he will utilize advancement support services specific to developing a portfolio of prospects and to strategically move donors to solicitation on a regular basis. These resources include management of a database of gift and prospect records, prospect research and files, and proposals.
6. As needed, the Director of Advancement will represent the University and the NIU Foundation at University and college events, as well as community, volunteer and professional organizations. In the event of scheduling or other conflicts on the supervisor's calendar, the Director of Advancement will represent the supervisor at any function, event, meeting, conference and/or presentation, as so directed.
7. The Director of Advancement will also identify, recruit, train and direct the activities of volunteers involved in solicitation strategies.


1. Demonstrable commitment to the highest standard of ethical and professional conduct in accordance with the CASE Statement of Ethics, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, and The Donor Bill of Rights. (Membership not required.)
2. Familiarity with the “moves management” approach to major gift fundraising
3. Bachelor degree required; advanced degree and/or professional designation preferred.
4. Demonstrably strong work ethic and entrepreneurial mentality. A high-level of integrity, focus and commitment to achieve ambitious goals is essential.
5. Ability and desire to engage in face to face relationship activities, primarily through the scheduling of one-on-one appointments with donor prospects who have never been engaged with NIU.
6. Knowledge and experience in the development and alumni relations field. Demonstrated experience with successful major gift solicitation or related revenue generation. In addition, capital campaign experience in higher education is highly desirable.
7. Knowledge and understanding of the allocation of budget resources to provide and promote the highest levels of productivity in development initiatives is required.
8. High level of proficiency in written and oral communication with strong group presentation skills. Experience working within a matrixed organizational structure where performance responsibilities are evaluated in different divisions.
9. The ability to think critically and strategically; capable of taking responsibility for specific goals within designated time frames. Capable of coordinating multi-task initiatives to successful conclusion.
10. A flexible attitude and clear ability to modify and adapt as situations and conditions change, as well as a resilience with regard to the rigors of public higher education and the increasing pressure of resource constraints.
11. Ability and willingness to travel to meet donors and prospects in their homes and offices.
12. Knowledge of Microsoft Office software and familiarity with appropriate foundation fundraising tools. Knowledge of computerized systems of donor record keeping, data tracking of prospects, and donors.
13. Commitment to the ideals and culture of higher education.
14. A proven ability to build strong relationships anchored in trust and integrity.
15. The ability to effectively work in a group/team environment to assist in intra-divisional initiatives.


A letter of application, resume/vita, and names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of three references must be submitted to: Lisa Smith, Search Coordinator, Division of University Advancement, Altgeld Hall 132, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115. Electronic applications must be submitted in Word format. Review of applications will continue until the positions are filled.

Lisa Smith

In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check.

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. NIU recognizes Dual Career issues.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.