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Director of Development (Principal Gifts)

Camperdown, Australia
Closing date
29 May 2024

Job Details

About the Role

We are looking for the next Director, Principal Gifts to build relationships with the University's most generous and transformative donors. These supporters have the capacity and interest to make gifts of $10M or more, whose philanthropy inspires significant and powerful societal change through the University. The primary focus of the role will be the development of engagement strategies for a portfolio of the University's principal gift donors and prospective donors. To do this, the incumbent will work collaboratively across the University to build philanthropic opportunities that respond to both the University's strategic priorities and the impact our donors are seeking.

This role builds on the Advancement Portfolio's Principal Gifts Roadmap developed in 2021, and represents an opportunity to join an established principal gifts function that has seen demonstrated success since its inception. This role will be able to build and influence its growth as the University of Sydney builds towards its second comprehensive campaign.

This role is well suited to someone with major gifts fundraising experience, who would like to focus on long-term relationships and building strategies. It is essential that you are comfortable working collaboratively with the wider major gifts team to identify and cultivate principal gift prospects, including sometimes playing a strategic and advisory role rather than a donor-facing one. To be successful in this role, you will need to take a long-term view of relationships and gifts, but have the discipline and self-motivation to execute against a plan in the short term to see progress to a goal.

Reporting to the one of our Executive Directors for Development and forming part of the Senior Leadership Group of the Advancement Portfolio, this role will also be an influential voice in the portfolio's future strategy.

This role is available as an 18 month fixed-term role, or a continuing position.

About you

The University values trust, accountability and excellence. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Director of Development (Principal Gifts), who:

  • has an extensive background in fundraising, with a demonstrated ability to identify and negotiate major gifts in the context of your organisation, including 7-figure gift opportunities
  • has a strong track record of achievement and meeting stretch financial targets through ambitious and complex gift proposals
  • is creative, with the ability to bring together the disparate interests of a donor and match them with an opportunity that brings together disaffiliated aspects of the university requires
  • is detail-oriented in relationships: given the complex nature of managing a relationship with a prospect with diverse interests and competition priorities, the need to see to the details is critical.
  • has demonstrated sophisticated relationship building and management skills with the ability to engage internal and external stakeholders
  • has highly developed organisational and time-management skills, including the ability to prioritise own workload, to work consistently within busy schedules and to meet deadlines, whilst maintaining a focus on a longer horizon.
  • possesses excellent professional demeanour, discretion and ability to confidently engage with sophisticated philanthropists.

About us

The Advancement Portfolio team at the University of Sydney is one the most successful fundraising program in Australian higher education. Having closed the nation's first $1BN fundraising campaign we are embarking on the next, the team is not only the finest performing, its success facilitates the largest real-world impact that philanthropic giving makes possible.

Since its inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to philanthropy and underpin our long-term strategy for excellence and growth. We're Australia's first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 8000 academic and non-academic staff who support over 80,000 students.

How to apply

Intending applicants are welcome to seek further information about the position and for recruitment-related enquiries, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Sarah Scott, Recruitment Partner (Advancement Portfolio), at

Job Pack

To view a job pack for this role, please email Sarah at

Closing Date

Wednesday, 29th May - 11:59pm

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Click to view the Position Description for this role.


The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is consistently recognised, both locally and internationally, for its outstanding teaching and research excellence. Sydney alumni include Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Nobel Prize winners and leaders in every field of endeavour.

The University offers a comprehensive range of courses, including a number of disciplines unique in Australia. Teaching is spread across nine different state-of-the art campuses, located across New South Wales.

The University of Sydney’s commitment to excellence in research has resulted in an outstanding record in national competitive funding and underpins an approach to teaching which has won nominations for excellence and resulted in high student satisfaction ratings. The University has 78 research centres and institutes and is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence.

The teaching, research and cultural life of the University is supported by extensive facilities, including the largest library collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the world-class Nicholson Museum of archaeological antiquities, the Macleay Museum of natural history and ethnographic collections and the University Art Gallery. Its outstanding sporting and recreation facilities provide a training centre for students and Olympic athletes.

The University of Sydney is a key member of the Group of Eight Australian major research-intensive universities, and the Worldwide Universities Network.


The University of Sydney has nine official campuses.

1.         Camperdown/Darlington Campus.

2.         Cumberland Campus. Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences (based in Lidcombe).

3.         Mallett Street Campus. Home of the Sydney Nursing School.

4.         Sydney Conservatorium of Music Campus. In Macquarie Street, central Sydney.

5.         Rozelle Campus. Home to Sydney College of the Arts.

6.         Surry Hills Campus. Home to the Faculty of Dentistry.

7.         Camden Campus. Contains facilities connected to the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

8.         Burren Street Campus. Facilties are currently under development.

9.         Sydney Medical School campuses. These include the School of Rural Health (in Dubbo and Orange), the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Nepean Hospital, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.


The University of Sydney has 16 faculties.

1. Agriculture and Environment

2. Architecture, Design and Planning

3. Arts and Social Sciences

4. Business (Business School)

5. Dentistry

6. Education and Social Work

7. Engineering and Information Technologies

8. Health Sciences

9. Law (Sydney Law School)

10. Medicine (Sydney Medical School)

11. Nursing and Midwifery

12. Pharmacy

13. Science

14. Sydney College of the Arts

15. Sydney Conservatorium of Music

16. Veterinary Science

Number of Employees

Full-time employees: 7616

For more information, please visit:

Company info
+(61) 2 9351 2222

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