Vanderbilt University Associate Director of Development, Owen Graduate School of Management in Nashville, Tennessee

Associate Director of Development, Owen Graduate School of Management (Job Number: 1800846)


About this role

The Associate Director of Development will be responsible for soliciting gifts of $100,000 and larger for Vanderbilt University, develop solicitation strategies for potential major gift donors; make direct solicitations; staff dean, faculty, and volunteers as needed.

About the Work Unit

The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals. The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

Duties andResponsibilities

  • Identify, cultivate and solicitalumni, parents and friends for gifts of $100,000 and above; developsolicitation strategies for potential major gift donors; make directsolicitations; staff dean, faculty, and volunteers as needed.

  • Manage a portfolio of approximately75 major gift prospects and donors.

  • Make a minimum of 100 face-to-faceprospect visits each fiscal year.

  • Support the Associate Dean andDirector of Major Gifts in strengthening the major gift pipeline.

  • Represent the Associate Dean and/orDirector of Major Gifts as needed

  • Establish oneself as a knowledgeablestaff member by:

  • Learning the Vanderbilt mission andbeing knowledgeable about Vanderbilt and the assigned school/college’sresponsibilities to the mission

  • Attaining an in-depth understandingof the development programs and their goals in the assigned school and/ordepartment.

  • Cultivate relationships withDevelopment and Alumni Relations (DAR) staff, Deans and administrators withinthe assigned school/college, and Vanderbilt University as a whole. Inaddition, cultivate relationships with external constituencies such as alumni,parents, and friends of the University by:

  • Collaborating with DAR staff tobuild and maintain best practices in soliciting major gifts

  • Establishinga sound working relationship with DAR staff to enhancecollaboration. This includes working with other major giftsofficers, operations/advancement services, school leadership, reunion teams,and the DAR leadership team

  • Performingas a team player

  • Maintaininga level of reliability that generates stability in the department

  • Meetingor exceeding department performance standards

  • Fosteringa spirit of cooperation

  • Understandingand effectively communicating departmental policy and procedures

  • Clearlycommunicating concerns and questions to supervisor and staff

  • Solicitingguidance from supervisor and co-workers when uncertainty arises

  • Conveyingthoughts to supervisor on improving departmental performance

  • Performingother duties as assigned

  • Exercisinggood judgment in discussing issues and results

  • Maintainingcomposure and a calm demeanor during challenging situations

  • Respectingthe need for confidentiality of donors and colleagues


This position does not have supervisory responsibility; this position reports administratively and functionally to the Associate Dean of Development for the particular program they support.

About VanderbiltUniversity

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 and located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s students, faculty, and frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”

About Vanderbilt Benefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at .

Requirementsof an Ideal Candidate

  • Bachelor’s degree andone year of development or relevant experience required, however, three to fiveyears of experience in development preferred, with direct donor solicitationexperience with at least three years at a major research university includingdirect solicitation of five and six figure gifts from individuals

  • Willingness and abilityto personally solicit gifts of $100,000 and larger

  • Excellent oral andwritten communication skills

  • Interpersonal skills andjudgment suitable for exercising appropriate discretion and demeanor whendealing with alumni, parents, friends, and employees

  • Ability to exercise goodjudgment in the handling of confidential information

  • Ability to use currentcomputer technology, such as Windows, Excel, Word, and Vanderbilt’s donormanagement system

  • Experience with tripplanning, domestic travel, and scheduling “discovery” appointments withindividuals (i.e., donors, prospects, clients, customers that applicant mayhave never met before)

  • Familiarity withVanderbilt and/or solid understanding of a major research universityenvironment is preferred.

  • The capacity to performin an intellectually rigorous and complex academic environment

  • Ability to apply soundjudgment in all situations is required, as are excellent organizational skillswith a meticulous attention to detail

  • Ability to workindependently, take initiative, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meetdeadlines, and adapt to ever changing priorities are essential

  • Excellent organizationalskills, oral and written communications skills and the ability to articulatethe needs, interests and accomplishments of Vanderbilt University to a widerange of audiences

  • Exhibit personalcharacteristics enabling effective interaction with important constituenciesand possess a genuine commitment to the advancement of education, research, andto the principles governing Development and Alumni Relations

  • Routine overnight travelis required

  • Some evening and weekendwork, as needed

Five Success Factors

Holdsoneself accountable. Takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.

Sharesinformation. Communicates proactively. Transmits knowledge. Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.

Genuinelyvalues teamwork and co-workers.

Expectsand delivers excellence. Is a creative problem solver. Is proactive. Welcomes input on making things better. Places a high value on learning and getting better.

Self-managing;self-motivated. Manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track. Can juggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.


This position requires a Bachelors degree and one year of direct experience.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 42312 - Development Teams

Job: External Affairs & Communications Professionals