Hiring a Director of Development

In preparation for the public launch of the $5B Honor the Future campaign, the University of Virginia seeks to hire an experienced fundraising professional to fill the role of Director of Development for the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, the Commonwealth’s flagship public service organization since 1931.

Well-known throughout Virginia, the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service strengthens and preserves effective governance by linking the research and resources of the University of Virginia to contemporary challenges for public leaders, especially those found in local, state, and national policy. The Cooper Center builds capacity in organizations and individual leaders in both the public and private sectors while informing policy and programs through the expertise of more than forty faculty and staff working in Economic and Policy Studies, Survey Research, Demographics, the Senior Executive Institute, the LEAD Program, the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, the Constitutional Officer Education Program, and the Virginia Institute of Government. Led by a dynamic new executive director committed to innovation, outcomes, and partnerships, the Weldon Cooper Center serves a unique and important role in policy, governance, and communities.

The Opportunity

The Director of Development, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, is a frontline fundraiser who will generate philanthropic support for the Center’s highest priorities, and by promoting its individual departments. Given the recent arrival of the new Executive Director of the Cooper Center, the incumbent will be joining the organization at a pivotal time with the opportunity to advance the mission and strategic direction of the Center, and communicate that mission to those dedicated to good policy, effective governance, and strengthening communities. Within the Cooper Center organization, the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership is unique in having an established alumni and donor base and an external board of directors, and operates under the imperative to raise sufficient funds to operate their five programs for political leaders, from high school leaders to elected officials. Initial work will require attention to maintaining and advancing Sorensen’s performance in fundraising.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Build and manage a portfolio of current and prospective major-gift level donors ($100K+) and move them towards giving levels that achieve annual and long-range fundraising goals of the Center.
  • Create personalized strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward individuals within his/her portfolio for the Center’s top initiatives.
  • Work with the Center’s and University leadership, faculty, staff, and volunteers to engage prospects and implement solicitation plans for the Center
  • Staff, advise and brief the Center’s Executive Director and University’s Assistant Vice President for Development as necessary on development visits and major solicitations
  • Oversee the strategy and execution of development-focused events and meetings that further the fundraising goals for the Center

Professional Experience

The ideal candidate will have at least seven years of demonstrated success in fundraising, sales or managing relationships with high net worth individuals including identifying and cultivating new relationships, moving relationships forward, and managing and tracking relationship activity. Preference will be given to candidates who have previous experience in political and/or higher education fundraising and staffing senior leaders and volunteers. He/She will collaborate with other fundraisers across the University in overall relationship building of alumni, parents and friends to ensure a coordinated approach for prospects and donors and to develop and implement cultivation and solicitation plans. He/she will possess a high degree of initiative, flexibility and will have the skills to shape and be shaped by an evolving fundraising initiative. The Director of Development will also be responsible for creating and implementing a campaign plan for the Cooper Center. The successful candidate will possess exceptional communication skills, a high degree of personal integrity and have the ability to keep the big picture in focus while attending to the small details. Experience using data to evaluate and plan is essential. This position requires the ability to frequently travel domestically with some evening and weekend work.


A Bachelor’s Degree is required and Master’s Degree is preferred


Advancement at the University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s advancement community is comprised of over 450 individuals who work in University Advancement, twelve schools, and more than a dozen university-related foundations that provide philanthropic support for their affiliated schools and programs. Together they make up a decentralized, but highly effective, community of advancement professionals. The Director of Development, Weldon Cooper Center will be an important player in the success of the $5B Honor the Future campaign, reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Advancement as well as the Executive Director to execute a coordinated, comprehensive campaign effort.

About the University

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 to advance human knowledge, educate leaders and cultivate an informed citizenry. Today, News & World Report consistently ranks UVA in the top three public universities. In the 28 years since U.S. News began ranking public universities as a separate category, UVA has always ranked among the top three. The University of Virginia continues to place among the top 30 of the nation’s public and private universities combined.

We are a thriving and diverse global community of nearly 54,000 students, faculty and staff. University students hail from virtually every state in the nation, and 111 countries, and our 220,000 alumni around the world actively support our mission to serve the greater good. To learn more about UVA, please visit http://www.virginia.edu/

To Apply

Please visit: Job Posting on UVA HR site

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply.