Director of Volunteer Engagement and Philanthropy

Posted on 02/15/2024

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

This position supports the University in identifying and implementing strategies for success in securing significant philanthropic support from and engagement of the Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors, and other high-level volunteer councils including President’s Innovation Advisory Council (PIAC), National Leadership Council (NLC) and other leadership volunteer groups to be determined as the comprehensive campaign develops and publicly launches. This position is responsible for cultivating meaningful relationships with past, current, and potential BOT/BOV members while increasing engagement and giving. The Director of Volunteer Engagement and Philanthropy will manage a portfolio of Board members and be responsible for facilitating all phases of the gift cycle, stewarding, and engaging members. This position works collaboratively with key volunteers, school leadership and faculty, Advancement staff, and other school representatives to cultivate, solicit, engage, and steward the Board members.

This position is expected to travel independently and to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends.


Maintains Personal Portfolio and Support Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign:

  • Carries a portfolio comprised of current, former, and prospective Board of Visitors and Board of Trustees members, as well as a selection of individuals from other high-level volunteer councils;
  • Actively engages each prospect in their portfolio to ensure prospect movement and portfolio penetration annually;
  • Is accountable for meeting or exceeding established fundraising goals and metrics, as determined and set by Central Advancement;
  • Solicits and secures 6 and 7-figure major gifts from the assigned portfolio;
  • Supports successful execution of a comprehensive fundraising program that appropriately partners with and leverages resources from the central advancement team to accomplish objectives;
  • Works closely with the University President’s Office, cultivates, engages, and stewards as appropriate members of the University’s Board of Visitors;
  • Under the direction of the GMUF President, cultivates, engages, and stewards Board of Trustees members;
  • Implements strategies for communicating fundraising goals and objectives to Board members;
  • Prepares agendas and meeting materials, the orientation of highly qualified new Board of Trustee members, provides oversight of committee membership and ensures that Board members are engaged in and knowledgeable about GMU;
  • Initiates and builds ongoing relationships with current and prospective Board Members to ensure engagement from members;
  • Develops and executes leadership engagement plans for each Board member assigned to this portfolio;
  • Serves as the point of contact for all Board member inquiries and facilitate engagement with appropriate university leadership;
  • Develops, manages, and implements a high-level strategy for the National Leadership Council;
  • Solicits assigned donor portfolio through face-to-face visits, including preparation of personalized materials;
  • Proactively identifies, develops, and delivers engagement opportunities to Board members to ensure the maximization of their financial and non-financial support;
  • Researches, develops, and writes funding proposals, appeal letters, and reports as required;
  • Works with prospects to educate them on university priorities and soliciting and closing outright and planned gifts;
  • Effectively manages prospects through personal visits, correspondence, and electronic and telephone communication;
  • Is accountable for cultivating relationships of individual and organizational fundraising with a focus on retention, recapture, and growth;
  • Travels as necessary for donor outreach and cultivation;
  • 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, Gifts and Records, etc.; and
  • Performs other related duties as required or assigned, which are reasonably within the scope of the duties in this job classification.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a related field and demonstrated successful professional advancement and/or fundraising-related experience or any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skill and abilities have been achieved;
  • A demonstrated record of successful major gift solicitations and experience designing and executing donor identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies;
  • Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously and meeting continuous deadlines.
  • Excellent research, writing and interpersonal communication skills;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and experience with documenting appropriate information in a donor management database system; and
  • A creative approach to involve and solicit major donor prospects and possess the ability to motivate.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Significant experience in major gifts fundraising, preferably in higher education (generally seven or more years);
  • Familiarity with CRM fundraising software;
  • Demonstrate sound judgment necessary for interacting with donors, prospects, trustees, faculty and staff;
  • Possess understanding and the ability to articulate, the accomplishments and goals of a complex organization; and
  • Experience with the management, engagement, and development of philanthropic strategies for Board members or other high-level volunteers.

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