Director of Development

Posted on 01/17/2024

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

The Director of Development is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive development program for the University Libraries. The program incorporates both capital and annual fundraising, with an emphasis on major individual and planned gifts. This position engages in corporate and foundation fundraising, directs grant submissions/solicitations, and provides budgetary administration of funds received through grants. As a constituent development officer in the university, the Director of Development coordinates all library development activities and major library donor events with the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, the Office of University Advancement and, as required, with the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. The Director participates in committees and/or workgroups as required to share knowledge, develop best practices, and advance the work of the Libraries.


  • Works closely with the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian as an advisor on all aspects of fundraising for the George Mason University Libraries, including maintaining a personal portfolio and supporting the University’s Comprehensive Fundraising Program;
  • Plans, organizes, and directs programs to secure major monetary gifts to the Libraries by pursuing the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, recognition, and stewardship of private financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations;
  • Serves as the point person for Libraries fundraising and, as such, actively manages prospects capable of making major gift commitments over multiple years. Solicitations ranging from five- to eight-figure requests will be a significant component of the position;
  • Executes solicitation plans in close collaboration with the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian and in coordination with Central Advancement;
  • Develops detailed strategies and a pipeline for major gift prospects and pursues goals on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis, in concert with Central Advancement and Alumni Relations;
  • Maintains an active schedule of face-to-face meetings and other forms of communication with active prospects;
  • Coordinates the efforts of those who can assist in fundraising and works with offices across campus to coordinate related activities that further the University’s mission and achieve fundraising goals. Finds new and creative ways to engage donors that will enrich the donor experience and add value to the academic life of the University. Meets or exceeds all metrics and expectations set by Central Advancement;
  • Travels as necessary for donor outreach and cultivation;
  • Displays good judgment and confidentiality;
  • Assists with recruitment of a group of key fundraising volunteers through the Library Advisory Board;
  • Stewards donors through ongoing communications, endowment reporting, recognition activities, and invitations to major events;
  • Supports the Libraries’ development publications and communications materials for donors and other external audiences;
  • Responsible for planning and coordinating major library events related to fundraising;
  • Coordinates fundraising with Central Advancement and utilizes services as appropriate;
  • Ensures consistent and adequate communication between the Libraries and Central Advancement;
  • Works closely with Central Advancement services including, but not limited to, Planned Giving, Annual Giving, Parents and Family Philanthropy, University Priorities, Alumni Relations, Communications, Systems, Operations, Donor Relations, and Gifts and Records;
  • Supports Libraries’ efforts to secure grants from government agencies and other organizations in collaboration with library staff and in coordination with University Advancement and Office of Sponsored Programs;
  • Maintains awareness of academic research library grant opportunities as they become available;
  • Supports the budgetary administration of grants received both through the George Mason University Foundation as well as those received by the Office of Sponsored Programs; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field;
  • Demonstrated success in major gifts fundraising, with a proven track record of cultivating and closing gifts of $100,000+;
  • Experience handling multiple, complex fundraising activities and coordinate solicitation strategies in a decentralized environment;
  • Experience with fundraising software and donor databases;
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising strategies and principles;
  • Excellent written, verbal, interpersonal, and administrative skills;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team; ability to work collaboratively with colleagues, Board members, and volunteers;
  • Ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with stakeholders, supporters, and others;
  • Ability to secure new sponsorships and build successful long-term relationships with current supporters; and
  • Ability to exercise discretion when dealing with confidential and donor information.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in related field;
  • Experience fundraising in an academic research library and/or higher education setting;
  • Experience working with and on capital campaign(s);
  • Experience working with senior level executives; and
  • Knowledge of online fundraising techniques.

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