Director of Development, Penn Libraries

Pennsylvania, United States
08 Dec 2020
End of advertisement period
06 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs

Job Description Summary

Penn has a proud tradition of translating knowledge into social-minded action that dates back to its founder, Benjamin Franklin. This tradition of active pragmatism, articulated in Franklin’s maxim “well-done is better than well-said,” lives today through the inclusive policies, innovative work, and impactful engagement of our faculty, students, and staff. Today, the University is guided by the President’s vision to focus on inclusion, impact, and innovation.

The Penn Libraries' mission is to provide high-quality information resources – both print and digital – in a manner that is reliable, timely, responsive to the needs of our constituents, and delivered with expertise, while stewarding and preserving the knowledge contained in our holdings. We strive to implement novel programs and services around these resources to create bridges between the Penn Libraries and schools and centers around the University. The Penn Libraries is dedicated to pushing the frontiers of innovation and enterprise to impact teaching, learning and research and to provide a unique environment – one that includes a network of learning spaces that reflect the latest advances in pedagogy – toward the advancement of academics at the University. In response to the increasing diversity and internationalization of the Penn community, we reflect that diversity in our work to attract a cadre of top talent who introduce new skills and fields to the Penn Libraries and to Penn as a whole.

The Penn Libraries lives and breathes the future through a new media ecology, featuring immersive learning and collaborative classrooms that engage the hearts and minds of new generations who will tackle society’s most complex and challenging problems in unprecedented ways. Big data, augmented reality, machine learning, and much more will continue to transform everyday life with increasing velocity. In today's information ecology, the Penn Libraries' transformative influence has already made its mark – and will continue growing and evolving in answer to the world's need to know.

Job Description

The ideal candidate will have the capabilities and experience to seize the moment for the Penn Libraries in fostering deep and sustained connections with the Penn philanthropic community and beyond. This moment for the Penn Libraries is framed by the renewed vision and mission accompanied by an ambitious strategic plan as a catalyst for civic engagement, education, teaching and research commitment to Knowledge for Good. The Director will be a widely visible ambassador for the Penn Libraries and an advocate for the role of libraries in our society and will passionately convey the case for supporting the Penn Libraries and will build a fundraising strategy and program.

Working directly with the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, the Director of Development is responsible for the design, management and implementation of a comprehensive development program to raise private and public funds. In addition, the Director is responsible for developing and fostering a comprehensive, technology-rich strategic marketing and communications plan to promote the services, collections and programs of the Penn Libraries to a diverse, external audience, including but not limited to current members of the Penn community (faculty, staff, students, administrators); Penn Alumni; Penn parents; private, public and governmental agencies; other research libraries and so on.  The Director of Development collaborates with the University’s central development organization (DAR), drawing upon its support services while integrating Libraries-specific initiatives within the University’s overall fundraising design. This position is responsible to directly supervise four staff members and a dual reporting development communications officer demonstrating the ability to establish objectives for the team, set performance standards, and organize a successful approach to achieving fund-raising goals.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Developing a long-term relationship-building and fundraising strategy for the Penn Libraries
  • Serving as a thought partner to the Vice Provost and Director of the Penn Libraries, in nurturing key relationships for the Penn Libraries and in framing the role of philanthropy in supporting the Penn Libraries strategic directions
  • Developing and supporting the role and effectiveness all Penn Libraries volunteer leadership groups such as the Penn Libraries Board of Overseers, the Orrery Society as other voluntary leadership advisory boards with strategic guidance for the nominating process, outlining oversight roles and responsibilities and framing expectations of Board members.
  • Building and leading a fundraising team to develop deep and lasting relationships with a wide range of individuals and institutions.
  • Fostering new relationships for the Penn Libraries by serving as its face with new constituencies and deepening relationships with those who already support Penn and the Penn Libraries
  • Supporting new philanthropic partnerships with the Penn Libraries with institutional partners including Penn Schools and Centers, foundations and corporations, demonstrating the effectiveness and impact of these investments.
  • Develops and coordinates development and communication plans with the Libraries’ Director of Strategic Communicationsthat support the goals and objectives of the Penn Libraries.
  • Explores funding opportunities for the Penn Libraries that coincide with the goals of the strategic plan, i.e. facilities that support the work of students, faculty and researchers; technological advancement; academic department and program support; global and local engagement and the development of strong research collections.  
  • Designs and carries out an extensive and comprehensive development plan which includes direct solicitation and planned gifts, volunteer engagement, Board of Overseers and the other voluntary leadership boards supporting the Penn Libraries management and stewardship. Plans, coordinates and implements assigned fundraising activities for the Penn Libraries to include identifying, cultivating, soliciting and tracking gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations. Oversees development cultivation and stewardship events. 
  • Establishes and maintains contact with prospects to develop their interest and participation in major Library fundraising projects and to provide information concerning the utilization of gifts.
  • Oversees the acceptance, recording and stewardship of gifts-in-kind.
  • Acts as principal Library liaison and support officer with the Board of Overseers and connects central development efforts with both the Board of Overseers and other voluntary leadership boards supporting the Penn Libraries.
  • Coordinates and assists in developing agendas for semi-annual Board meetings with the Vice Provost's and Secretary's offices, identifies potential candidates for the Board, oversees the Board nomination and appointment process, plans orientation of new members, manages the committees of the Board.
  • Directly supervises four fulltime employees and a dual reporting development communications officer, driving strategy and inspiring the team to achieve and exceed the Development Department's overall fundraising goals
  • identifies and designs strategies, while demonstrating the ability to establish objectives, set performance standards, and organize a successful approach to achieving fund-raising goals.  
  • Manages a portfolio of major gifts prospects and develops a strategy for cultivation and solicitation of major gifts
  • Builds a pipeline of major gift support and creates opportunities for high-level donor engagement (e.g. private campaign dinners, receptions, following public programs) to advance the Libraries fundraising goals
  • Recruits, trains and supervises Library development staff, and works with the Library Personnel Office to foster their continuing education and development.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Please provide a resume and cover letter for consideration. Please upload all documents in the “Resume/CV” section of the application prior to submitting.


Required:  BA/BS

Preferred: Graduate degree.
Training and Experience

Required:  Seven to ten years of progressively responsible development experience in a higher education/research institution; ability to organize, establish objectives and priorities and achieve goals in an aggressive organizational environment; experience managing staff to achieve multiple strategic objectives; broad understanding and experience in multifaceted capital campaign execution and follow-up; demonstrated ability to close major gift solicitations; quantifiable management, motivational and pragmatic consensus building skills; strong interpersonal skills and the temperament to work effectively with a wide variety of constituencies, both inside and outside the organization; expertise in new technologies used in marketing and communications and social media; ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple projects simultaneously; exceptional writing and editorial skills (press releases, magazine articles, correspondence) and effective verbal communication ; knowledge of project management techniques and a demonstrated ability to estimate scope of a project and bring it to completion on time and budget; demonstrated commitment to providing outstanding user services; ability to work comfortably in a decentralized organizational environment; ability to organize and work effectively with volunteers; computer literacy; ability and willingness to travel and work some weekends. Ability to supervise staff. Ability to establish objectives, set performance standards and organize a successful approach to fund-raising goals.

Preferred:  Prior experience working in an academic research library.

Job Knowledge and Personal Skills

  • Qualified candidates will have a both an entrepreneurial spirit and a depth of professional experience with philanthropy and fundraising; public and civic entities; and nonprofit and civic governance.
  • Candidates should demonstrate effectiveness in organizational strategy and management; developing governing boards; making the case for support; building new entities; and forging effective partnerships.
  • A high tolerance for risk and comfort with ambiguity are essential.
  • Candidates should be familiar with a full spectrum of fundraising strategies and practices and have expertise in planning and executing fundraising initiatives.
  • Ideal candidates will have experience with nonprofit organizations, an appreciation for the unique role of large research libraries, and an ability to speak to their tangible and intangible benefits to the academy.
  • Solid administrative skills and ability to establish objectives, set performance standards and organize and motivate staff and volunteers to achieve fundraising goals.
  • Ability to function independently, yet relate comfortably to a centralized framework for development, contributing to an integrated team effort.
  • Accountability and Professionalism Customer Service Collaboration and Teamwork Job-Specific Knowledge and Skills Leadership and Management Performance Management and Development
  • Proven track record of meeting and exceeding challenging fundraising goals
  • Experience in cultivating, soliciting and stewarding six- and seven-figure gifts
  • Strategic thinking skills, including the ability to develop and implement annual development goals and initiatives
  • Experience working successfully with Board members and managing fundraising staff
  • Ability to establish productive partnerships with colleagues across departments to achieve organizational goals

Driver’s License required.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Development and Alumni Relations

Pay Range
$72,837.00 - $138,391.00

Affirmative Action Statement

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

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