Executive Director of Advancement Services

University of Denver in Colorado

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted December 11, 2013
Type Administrative
Salary Competitive
Employment Type Full-time

Executive Director of Advancement Services


Posted Hiring Range: Competitive

Work Schedule: Monday Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm (some nights/weekends required)


Department Introduction:


The mission of University Advancement is to engage alumni, parents, students and friends and other members of the DU community in support of the Universitys mission and goals. The Universitys multi-year fundraising campaign, Ascend: The Campaign for the University of Denver, is impacting our students and our community through enhanced resources secured from donors for scholarships, faculty positions, pioneering programs, and innovative facilities.  Building lifelong relationships with alumni is also receiving renewed attention as a high institutional priority, understanding that consistent engagement and outreach efforts year after year will be required to build the kind of culture of engagement and philanthropy that the University seeks and that characterizes many of the Universitys peers and aspirants.


Advancement professionals at the University of Denver are relationship-focused, alumni/donor-centric, strategic, collaborative, ethical, and transparent.  We also strive to provide added value to the University by proudly serving our alumni and constituents, demonstrating clear results, consistently aspiring to higher levels of achievement, and fostering long-term sustainability.


Position Summary:


Reporting directly to the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, the Executive Director of Advancement Services manages advancement systems, including direct oversight of the offices of Gifts and Records and IT & Business Intelligence.  The primary role of the Executive Director is to create and maintain a broad suite of services designed to maximize fundraising and engagement initiatives.


The Executive Director will implement and manage key systems and initiatives supporting the University's fundraising activities.  Key to that role will be the employee's ability to foster relationships between the University's gift/advancement-focused units and the University's finance/budget-focused units and technology-focused units.  This position serves as a key liaison to many of the University's central administrative units, including but not limited to the Controller's Office; Institutional Compliance and Internal Audits; and University Technology Services.


The Executive Director supervises the Director of Gifts & Records, who is responsible for the processing of all types of charitable gifts and pledges, including but not limited to outright gifts, matching gifts, securities, gifts in kind, and real estate gifts to the University as well as the production of pledge reminders and tax-receipts. The Office of Gifts & Records further manages new information and disseminates new and historical information as appropriate to University Advancement and directs the continual maintenance of data stored on the Banner alumni database. 


This position also supervises  the Director of  IT and Business Intelligence who is responsible for helping to build, manage, and maintain a sophisticated suite of reports designed to increase access to constituent data, make data more useful and user-friendly, track and manage relationships with DU constituents, illustrate advancement activities, demonstrate results, and establish a culture of accountability.  The Office of IT and Business Intelligence is responsible for conceptualizing, designing, developing, and overseeing management reporting systems for communicating fundraising results and diagnostics to the Chancellor, trustees, deans, and a broad range of existing fundraising team members and partners. 


Finally, a critical role of the Executive Director of Advancement Services will be to oversee the Universitys migration to a new advancement data management system.  In that capacity, the Executive Director will be expected to form and lead a team which will review the range of options, assess our current and future functionality needs, make recommendations for moving forward, and ultimately oversee the system migration.  At this pivotal point as University Advancement concludes the ASCEND campaign, the Executive Director will play a crucial role in selecting and managing the information system that is best suited to carry us into the next chapter of DU advancement.


This employee's office will be located off-campus in the University Advancement building at 1165 S. Pennsylvania Street; however frequent travel to campus for meetings and events will be required.


Specific Responsibilities:


  • Project Development and Oversight

Based on the needs of the division, play an active role in imagining, designing, implementing and managing various advancement projects.  This includes, but is not limited to, analyzing options for data management sytems and overseeing the migration to a future system; proactively ascertaining the needs of end users (such as fundraisers) and creating innovative solutions; conceptualizing, designing, and developing new reporting systems; ongoing database improvement initaitives; and capitalizing on other opportunities to become increasingly creative and innovative in the field of advancement services.


  • Leadership

    Serve as a member of the Vice Chancellors senior management team, providing insight and guidance on a wide variety of division-level strategies, challenges, and opportunities.  Also, serve as a visionary leader for the department of Advancement Services, including being a strong mentor for advancement services team members and helping to maintain a cohesive, synergistic, collaborative office.


  • Gifts and Records Management

This includes facilitating the recruitment, hiring, training, mentoring, evaluation, and professional development of those employees as well as supporting the Director of Gifts and Records in managing the offices workflow, efficiency, and success.  This position will be responsible for ensuring DUs compliance with legal requirements, industry best-practices, and internal standards with regard to its gift processing functions.


  • IT & Business Intelligence Management

This includes facilitating the recruitment, hiring, training, mentoring, evaluation, and professional development of those employees as well as supporting the Director of IT and Business Intelligence in managing the offices workflow, efficiency, and success.  In this capacity, the Executive Director will oversee the division's technical infrastructure and operations, which includes oversight of the advancement database and computing resources/systems.

  • Advancement Program Support

Partner extensively with advancement departments outside of advancement services to support the valuable functions those offices perform.  This includes, but is not limited to, developing and maintaining appropriate systems to support the offices of alumni relations, annual giving, donor relations & stewardship, communications, development, and prospect management & research.


  • Other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:


  • Bachelors degree.

  • 10+ years of experience in managing operational systems and records/database systems in a large, complex environment. 

  • 5+ years of experience managing personnel, with a demonstrated ability to coach, mentor, and develop team members.

  • 5+ years of experience in and acute understanding of the fundraising/development field.

  • Understanding of basic accounting procedures, data collection, and complex relational databases.

  • Ability to deal effectively with a wide range of individuals internal and external to the University. Demonstrated ability to communicate complex, technical data to audiences with varying objectives and levels of expertise.

  • Proven track record of developing, implementing, and successfully executing strategic initiatives demonstrating advanced leadership skills.

  • Track record of making valuable contributions to institution and industry wide initiatives in a senior leadership role.

  • Must have strong organizational skills and strict attention to detail.

  • Must be able to work independently and as a part of a group.

  • Must be able to manage time well, particularly while managing competing priorities

  • Must have strong communication skills to effectively work with campus partners, vendors and University Advancement staff.


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Graduate business degree.

  • Experience in leading Advancement Services in a complex and dynamic higher education environment or similar organization.

  • Experience managing a major, complex database migration.

  • Experience with Ellucian products.


Applicants may contact Brittany.Wilhelm@du.edu with questions related to this position.  Please do not forward resumes or application materials to this email address, only applications submitted online will be considered.



The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

How To Apply