Assistant Dean of Advancement, Columbus School of Law

Posted on 01/30/2024

The Catholic University of America

Washington, D.C.

The Assistant Dean of Advancement within Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law serves as the chief advancement officer for the school, responsible for all activities related to identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of annual, major and planned gifts from alumni, friends, and institutions. The position collaborates closely with the central University Advancement team, which provides resources and strategic counsel, and uniform metrics to help drive results within the schools and across the University. The Assistant Dean also leads the collaborative effort in building alumni engagement and communicating the school’s mission, vision, and achievements to key donor, alumni, and additional external constituencies. The position reports dually to the Associate Vice President for University Advancement and the Dean of the Columbus School of Law. The Assistant Dean provides counsel to the Dean of the School and faculty on advancement matters, sets the philanthropic strategy annually, and helps to organize and set the school’s philanthropic priorities in order to maximize external support. The Assistant Dean will provide active supervision, training, and guidance to the Director/Senior Associate Director of Advancement, Director of Alumni Relations, Associate Director of Annual Giving and the Advancement Coordinator.


  • Build, grow, and manage a portfolio of major gift prospects based on new and past donors at the $100,000+ level. Portfolio management should be designed to meet the Campaign priorities of the school. The Assistant Dean will develop prospect strategies, cultivate, and solicit prospects through personal visits undertaken with the Dean and select faculty as needed, and via written communication; exceeding an annual goal of at least 125 face-to face unique donor visits.
  • Focus on securing major and principal sources of support to meet funding priorities set by the Dean and in response to supporting key initiatives or strengths of the academic program within the school. The Assistant Dean is expected to qualify at least ten (10) new prospects capable of making a 6 – 7 figure gifts, per year. S/he will manage a portfolio of relationships with major gift suspects, prospects, and donors. The Assistant Dean will be expected to conduct at least 125 prospect visits annually, soliciting and closing 15-25 major gifts. While yearly gift revenue goals will vary, the Assistant Dean must build upon a program that currently generates low 7-figure revenue annually, to achieve the aspiration of an eight-figure program by the end of the campaign.
  • Development (in conjunction with the Vice President of University Advancement) of an annual work plan for the school’s advancement efforts with goals for fundraising totals, number of major gift prospects identified, number of major gift solicitations undertaken, and number of prospect visits sufficient to meet established fundraising targets and fulfill the school’s Campaign, Initiative, and Academic priorities.
  • Train and successfully guide academic partners through the major gift prospect development process, supporting them in building lasting and productive donor relationships. Prepare proposals, solicitation letters and other development materials for prospects and donors. Materials will be consistent with both central UA and the Campaign design and messaging standards.
  • Coordinate with Central annual fund colleagues to develop direct mail fundraising solicitations for the school’s alumni and friends. Partner with central colleagues in planned giving, stewardship and donor relations, corporate and foundation relations, and constituent engagement to build and support the development program for the school.
  • Build and maintain volunteer leadership through engagement with the School’s Board of Visitors and other alumni or external constituencies key to the school’s fundraising success. Help recruit new members to grow the board (at least 4 new members per year) build a pool of flexible revenue the dean can use to pursue opportunities and create new programs.
  • Serve as coordinating point of contact for Columbus School of Law School Alumni. Coordinate closely with the Office of Constituent Engagement in managing Alumni engagement strategies.
  • Actively manage a team of professional and support staff; including a Director of Advancement, a Director of Alumni Relations, an Associate Director of Leadership and Annual Giving, and an Advancement Coordinator.
  • Support the Division of University Advancement in achieving its strategic and fundraising goals, as well as Campaign goals, through positive and productive interaction and collaboration with all departmental staff, University liaisons, and external constituents.


Bachelor’s Degree required, with a minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible development/advancement experience within a large, highly complex non-profit business environment. Higher Education experience is strongly preferred. Master’s degree is preferred. Should have a demonstrated track record of developing and soliciting 7 and 8 figure gifts. Experience managing volunteer leadership groups for philanthropic purposes (board management). Must have experience with capital campaigns, especially soliciting and closing lead gifts, developing solicitation materials, case statements, etc. Must have managed administrative and/or fundraising professionals for a minimum of three (3) years.

The Assistant Dean must be a highly energetic professional with a track record of building relationships and closing gifts above $50,000. The successful candidate will possess the ability to work in an environment that puts a strong emphasis on metrics and success as well as the capability to work independently and as part of a team. He/she will have a demonstrated ability to take initiative and be a self-starter; manage projects; determine priorities and maintain a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality. Excellent interpersonal and oral skills and demonstrated effective writing skills will be required as will strong organizational and analytical skills and the ability to manage multiple projects. Candidates meeting the above requirements who also have the ability and willingness to travel; work occasional evenings and weekend hours are encouraged to apply.

Complete proficiency in the Google Suite of products: Google Mail, Google Docs, also with Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge (alumni and donor database software) or similar systems preferred but not necessary. Excellent proofreading and editing skills; strong interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills are essential; ability to prioritize work and follow general office procedures.

Ability to work independently, under deadlines, without close supervision; exercise self-direction in the initiation, coordination and completion of tasks; with acute attention to detail. Excellent relationship-building and volunteer engagement skills; ability to work effectively with internal and external constituencies, including individuals of significant influence and affluence.

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