Senior Associate Athletic Director of Development

Posted on 09/22/2023

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

George Mason University will be assisted with this search by Renaissance Search & Consulting. Nominations, applications, and inquiries are being accepted for this position. Consideration of candidates will continue until the position is filled. Applicants must electronically submit a resume and a list of three professional references. All candidate information will be held in strict confidence. Confidential electronic inquiries concerning this search should be directed to Renaissance Search & Consulting.

Primary Purpose of the Position:

The Director of Development is the lead fundraising officer for Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) and is responsible for all development-focused programs, initiatives, and strategies designed to increase philanthropic support aligned with ICA and University goals and objectives. The position serves as a member of the ICA senior leadership team and partners with central Advancement and Alumni Relations, advancement colleagues, and ICA colleagues to advance philanthropic giving to key priorities through ongoing annual fundraising, alumni engagement, corporate and foundation relations, and major, principle, and planned giving.

The Director of Development will manage all development activity for ICA by undertaking the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospects with the potential of making major gifts, those of at least $25,000, and principal gifts, those of $1 million or more to the priorities of the department. This position will also oversee all annual funds (i.e., Patriot Club) fundraising efforts and corresponding staff members.

The Director of Development will oversee the school’s capital campaign activities and ensure the alignment of the department and University capital campaign with any future comprehensive campaign on the part of the University. This is a position heavily focused on networking and building relationships and committed to the tracking of measures and metrics to build a pipeline of donors to support the aspirations of the Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics, head coaches, administrative support staff, student-athletes, and the University as a whole.

Essential Functions:

Maintain personal portfolio and support comprehensive fundraising program:

  • Responsible for identifying, qualifying, stewarding, and soliciting a portfolio of 75-90 major gift prospects and donors, emphasizing new gifts and pledges of $25,000 and above totaling upwards of $1-$2 million annually;
  • Actively engage each prospect in their portfolio to ensure prospect movement and portfolio penetration annually;
  • Meet or exceed all metrics and expectations set by Central Advancement;
  • Support successful execution of a comprehensive fundraising program that appropriately partners with and leverages resources from the central advancement team to accomplish objectives;
  • Gather data, assess prospects, and develop strategies designed to realize individual prospects’ current and lifetime giving potential;
  • Develop strategies and implementation of major and principal gifts for corporate prospects for ICA, in concert with the Central Advancement Corporate & Foundations team;
  • As appropriate, is personally responsible for the direct solicitation of gifts and for preparing the Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics, head coaches, and other members of the ICA fundraising team and/or University to make solicitations;
  • Coordinate the efforts of those who can assist in fundraising; track contacts, asks, and funds raised; draft proposals and pledge agreements for potential donors; and propose and coordinate appropriate cultivation and stewardship activities;
  • Maintain consistent and appropriate contact with prospects, facilitate or make solicitations, and ensure effective stewardship;
  • Complete contact reports for both the ICA database and the central development contact reporting system;
  • Assist in overseeing ICA’s portfolio of donors and potential donors individually and through the team’s management to maximize unit revenue from philanthropic giving; and
  • Attend meetings on campus surrounding major gifts and central development functions.
  • Oversight of all annual fundraising efforts, including the Patriot Club, sport-specific giving, and other related booster organizations focused on raising funds, growing membership, executing events, engagement, and stewardship:
  • Administer a comprehensive annual plan focused on generating $1.5 to $3 million in annual revenue for the department;
  • Responsible for the direct solicitation of gifts and for preparing the Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics, head coaches, and other members of the ICA fundraising team and/or University to make solicitations for annual fund and sports-specific giving opportunities;
  • Build and maintain volunteer leadership through engagement with the Patriot Club Advisory Board and other alumni or external constituencies key to the department’s fundraising success;
  • Identify and/or develop creative engagement opportunities with donors, alumni, and the local community to broaden the base of support for the Athletics department and amplify its mission, vision, and overall brand;
  • Display sound judgment and confidentiality; and
  • Travel as necessary for donor outreach and cultivation.

Supervision of staff:

  • Responsible for setting goals for performance and deadlines in ways that comply with the University’s plans and vision and communicate them to subordinates;
  • Organize workflow and ensure that employees understand their duties or delegated tasks;
  • Monitor employee productivity and provide constructive feedback and coaching;
  • Receive complaints and resolve problems;
  • Maintain timekeeping and personnel records;
  • Pass on information from upper management to employees and vice versa;
  • Prepare and submit performance evaluations;
  • Decide on rewards and promotions based on performance;
  • Hire and train new employees; and
  • Ensure adherence to legal and University policies and procedures and undertaking disciplinary actions if the need arises.

Other duties as assigned by the Assistant Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.



  • Master’s degree in a related field and demonstrated successful professional advancement and/or fundraising-related experience, preferably in higher education; or any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skill, and abilities have been achieved;
  • Demonstrated record of successful major gift solicitations and experience designing and executing donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies;
  • Successful experience in planning, coordinating, and conducting major capital or comprehensive campaign efforts; and
  • Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously and meeting continuous deadlines.


  • Significant experience in major gift fundraising, preferably in higher education; and
  • Prior fundraising experience in intercollegiate athletics or higher education development for capital projects, athletic development, and comprehensive campaigns.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Attributes:


  • Demonstrated ability to identify, qualify, solicit, and steward major and principal gift donors;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including demonstrated writing and editing skills in preparing proposals and drafting related correspondence;
  • Stellar relationship-building skills and ability to build rapport with internal and external stakeholders around innovative ideas and programs;
  • Creative approach to involve and solicit major donor prospects and possess the ability to motivate;
  • Demonstrated experience with personnel management;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and experience with documenting appropriate information in a donor management database system;
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and have the ability to travel independently; and
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends, with regional and domestic travel.


  • Familiarity with CRM fundraising software;
  • Demonstrated sound judgment necessary for interacting with donors, prospects, trustees, faculty, and staff; and
  • Possess understanding and the ability to articulate the accomplishments and goals of a complex organization.

Special Instructions to Applicants  

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number FA67KZ at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.

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