Director of Leadership Annual Giving

Posted on 10/19/2021

University of Missouri Advancement

Columbia, MO

The University of Missouri has an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team responsible for creating cutting-edge strategies that engage and cultivate philanthropists in support of our mission. The Director of Leadership Annual Giving is responsible for overseeing and implementing the leadership annual giving program’s strategic initiatives. Through a bold and innovative approach, they will lead a team of both traditional and digital gift officers, all of whom will be responsible for the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors with the capacity to give at the level of $1,000 – $49,999 annually.

The Director will be responsible for implementing a strategic new approach, leveraging traditional solicitation methods with fresh digital initiatives.  Bringing together the optimal combination of targeted digital advertising, social media, video, email, phone, virtual visits and texting, all driven by donor analytics. The Director will be a highly motivated professional deeply involved in building a donor pipeline to support Mizzou’s fundraising goals.

Reporting to the Director of Annual Giving, this position will serve as a leader on the annual giving team and work to support all areas of the University. The Director will be expected to develop and cultivate relationships with a portfolio of approximately 200 leadership annual giving prospects.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Actively building, managing, and coaching the Leadership Annual Giving team, planning and executing data-driven strategies for the enhancement and growth of donor participation and revenue.
  • Develops and implements roll-out of new digital innovation and engagement initiatives to acquire, retain, renew and upgrade donors.
  • Responsible for analyzing and identifying opportunities to collaborate across functions such as marketing, technology, fundraising, and programs to create engaging experiences for alumni, friends, and donors.
  • Designs measures and reports to demonstrate accomplishments, identify areas for improvement and track the overall performance of traditional and digital fundraising activities. Will report regularly on the success of traditional and digital fundraising efforts across University Advancement.
  • Identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of leadership annual giving prospects to create and grow a pipeline of major gift ($50,000 and above) donors.
  • Conduct at least 200 personal contacts with prospects and donors annually and participate in 15 solicitations per month.
  • Strategic development and management of a portfolio with approximately 200 prospects and donors capable of making gifts of $1,000 – $49,999 annually.
  • Partner with the Advancement Research team and the Annual Giving team to identify prospective donors and strategically assess their philanthropic capacity and inclination.
  • Make donor referrals to Advancement and campus-wide gift officers, as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to help align donors’ philanthropic interests with various priorities across campus.
  • Attend a variety of events throughout the year. Regular travel and occasional night and weekend work are required.
  • Perform other duties as required or assigned.

Hours – Monday thru Friday, 8-5

Minimum Education and Experience: 

Post-baccalaureate credentials and three (3) years of related professional experience; or a Bachelor’s degree and five (5) or more years of professional-level experience in direct solicitation/fundraising or a closely related field (such as sales).

Other Required Qualifications:

  • Ability to work effectively as part of a dynamic team in a large, complex research university
  • Knowledge of principles, practices, and ethics of fundraising
  • Experience in cold calling, negotiating, and closing business deals
  • Demonstrated experience in lead generation using digital outreach tools
  • Ability to work independently while maintaining consistent and transparent communication with a team and institutional leadership
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain positive relationships and actively contribute as a member of working teams to achieve results.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills, with close attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, problem-solve, take initiative, set priorities and handle multiple projects efficiently and effectively.
  • Good listener
  • Optimism, perseverance, a positive attitude, and a sense of humor

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Five or more years of successful experience in fundraising, annual giving, or closely related field
  • Understanding of the development process and donor cycle
  • Experience in higher education fundraising

Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri is the oldest public university west of the Mississippi River. MU provides all the benefits of two universities in one: It is a major land-grant institution with a statewide mission of service to citizens, as well as, Missouri’s largest public research university. Considered one of the nation’s top-tier institutions, Mizzou is one of only 34 public universities, and the only public institution in Missouri, to be selected for membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Mizzou Advancement emphasizes talent acquisition and professional development in service to our overall mission of enhancing private support of the University of Missouri. As a result, the division continues to attract top talent from around the country. Comprising 180 staff members with a presence across the United States and around the world, Mizzou Advancement announced the $1.3 billion Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign in October 2015. At its conclusion in 2020, it was the most successful philanthropic campaign in the University’s history, at over $1.4 billion.

At Mizzou Advancement, we celebrate our diverse community of donors, alumni, staff, and friends. We are committed to taking bold steps to create an inclusive culture where everyone is seen, heard, and valued. Our team is continually learning and growing on our journey to embed diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We believe that diversity of views, informed by a breadth of life experiences, help us to understand our humanity more deeply and improve our service to mankind. Our efforts to be inclusive must be intentional and thoughtful, so that we might realize the full benefit of the diversity we seek to build within Advancement.  Together we are stronger. Together we are better. Together we are Mizzou Advancement.

To apply for this job please visit