Assistant Director, Major Gifts and Alumni

Connecticut United States
17 Sep 2018
End of advertisement period
17 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Position Focus:

Working principally with the Director of Development and Alumni Services and the Dean and faculty of School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (School), as well as collaboratively with the University’s Office of Development, the Assistant Director will develop and implement plans and strategies aimed at securing major gifts from individuals in support of School institutional priorities, as defined by the Dean. Working with the Dean and Director, develop strategies for the upcoming Yale University capital campaign. Under the Director’s supervision, translate the resulting priority needs and related initiatives into effective and compelling funding proposals ranging from $50,000 to several millions of dollars. Provide strategic direction for the School’s alumni services, including liaising with the Alumni Association Board. This position reports to the Director of Development and Alumni Services of School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is the primary supervisor for staff responsible for alumni communications and board relations.

Essential Duties

1. Serves as the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (School) major gifts officer sharing responsibility, with the Director, for individual prospect cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Manages a portfolio of prospects, developing and implementing solicitation strategies for all assigned prospects, including identification of appropriate solicitation timetable, ask amount, method of approach, and programmatic purpose of ask. Ensures that all proposals submitted are on time and of high quality.

2. Identifies, researches, qualifies, and develops approach strategies for new potential donors, making effective and appropriate use of external volunteers, faculty, alumni/ae, the School’s administrative leadership, and Yale’s professional development staff.

3. Emphasizes prospect relationship-building through personal visits and meetings, both independently and in conjunction with the Dean or School faculty, as well as via submitted proposals, letters of inquiry, phone calls, and email communications. Also emphasizes prospect stewardship that is high-impact, ongoing, and includes but is not limited to periodic progress reports to donors.

4. Works regularly and cooperatively with the central Office of Development to ensure that the School approaches and proposals are coordinated with overall University priorities, plans, and initiatives, under the Director’s supervision.

5. Participates as necessary in the coordination and execution of events including Reunion, Leadership Council, alumni and donor receptions, etc., as determined by the Director of Development and Alumni Services.

6. Provides strategic, high-level coordination and counsel to the Alumni Association Board and its initiatives. Serves as the representative of the Alumni Office at regional alumni events and at Alumni Association Board meetings.

7. Supervises staff charged with communications and alumni board relations.

Required Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of five years of direct experience in fundraising, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Required Skill/Ability 1:

Entrepreneurial approach to grant-raising, with a keen ability to position institutional needs as compelling opportunities, and to help transform promising ideas into effective, well-written and ultimately successful proposals, all under the pressure of time constraints. Demonstrated organizational and research abilities with strong attention to detail.

Required Skill/Ability 2:

Exceptional oral and written communication, editing, and analytical skills. Ability to work well in and foster a team environment. Professionalism, maturity, good judgment, and ability to work with confidential material. Ability to manage in a positive and constructive manner that supports coworkers’ development as professionals.

Required Skill/Ability 3:

Ability to prioritize and handle diverse, simultaneous tasks while attending to details and follow-through.

Required Skill/Ability 4:

Ability to interact with top level donors and Yale administrators, as well as students and alumni volunteers.

Required Skill/Ability 5:

Ability to travel throughout the year, including several multiple-day trips.

Preferred Education, Experience and Skills:

1. Master’s degree from School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. 2. Interest in the environment. 3. Experience in a university setting or with development and alumni work. 4. Familiarity with Yale.

Background Check Requirements

All candidates for employment will be subject to pre-employment background screening for this position, which may include motor vehicle, DOT certification, drug testing and credit checks based on the position description and job requirements. All offers are contingent upon the successful completion of the background check.

Please visit for additional information on the background check requirements and process.

Posting Disclaimer

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative summary of the essential functions that will be required of the position and should not be construed as a declaration of specific duties and responsibilities of the particular position. Employees will be assigned specific job-related duties through their hiring departments.

Affirmative Action Statement:

Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or Email: