Associate Vice President of Strategic Engagement

Posted on 08/15/2022

Oklahoma State University Foundation

Stillwater, OK

The Associate Vice President of Strategic Engagement is responsible for planning and implementing comprehensive, integrated marketing/communication, donor relations, and annual giving programs.  As a member of the Development Leadership Team, the AVP of Strategic Engagement works closely with Central Development, Consistency Development, Principal Gifts and Information Strategy to plan, implement and execute strategic and operational services in support of university wide fundraising priorities.

OSUF True North

We raise, invest and distribute philanthropic support for OSU.

OSUF Product Scope

We provide private support to enhance the University’s ability to fulfill its land-grant mission.

Department Purpose

Raise philanthropic support at the major gift level for the various colleges and campus at Oklahoma State University.

Primary Purpose

To provide strategic direction and oversight of the constituency fundraising efforts at the OSU Foundation.

Key Areas of Focus

Provide strategic direction and oversight of the five departments reporting to the position:

  • Oversee and lead initiatives related to marketing/communication, donor relations, and annual giving for the purpose of maximizing support from alumni, friends, foundations and corporations. Work with assistant VPs to:
    • Develop annual goals and objectives, budgets, and strategic programs and track ongoing progress.
    • Ensuring operational efficiency and building a service culture within the development services operation.
    • Overseeing a customer and donor-centered development service operation that positions the central and constituency development teams for success.
    • Providing strategic planning, management and direction to support and promote development best practices related to development services.
    • Pursing progressive strategies that strengthen the reputation of the OSU Foundation through a variety of marketing and communication & donor relation initiatives.
    • Leading the recruitment, training and retention of high performing members of the development services team.
  • Benchmark the Foundation’s annual giving, donor relations, and communication programs and performance against best-in-class examples among peer institutions. Collaborate with Development Leadership to evaluate and implement best in class programs.
  • Develop a cohesive, high caliber team that works in partnership with the University President, Campus Presidents, Vice Presidents, Deans, faculty, volunteers, and donors.
  • Develop and organize the staff to maximize their effectiveness and clearly define their roles, relationships, and expectations

Serve as a member of the OSU Foundation Development Leadership Team:

  • Build and maintain a strong partnership and consistent approach with the counterparts in Development leadership, finding ways to reach consensus on fundraising philosophy, structure, direction and ongoing management.
  • In collaboration with other members of the Leadership Team, develop and execute strategies to scale up a comprehensive, best-practice development program for the Foundation to increase philanthropic support, grow endowment and expand OSU’s visibility and importance among key influencers, alumni and donors at all levels
  • Provide leadership to continue building a culture of philanthropy, allowing OSU to reach confidently for its full philanthropic potential
  • In partnership with the Development Leadership, direct the Foundation’s progress to donor-centric strategies, emphasizing the bold ideas that define the University’s educational agenda and inspire transformational gifts
  • Partner with Foundation Vice President and executive leadership team to foster an environment that rewards new ideas and risk-taking, builds confidence, encourages teamwork, celebrates current achievements and establishes clear expectations for future success
  • In collaboration with the University and Foundation leadership, create a bold, compelling, fundraising plan with measurable, aggressive, and attainable programmatic and fundraising goals

Create and maintain key relationships with external partners at Oklahoma State University & High-level volunteer groups:

  • Cultivate strong relationships with University Leadership, Board of Trustees, OSU Alumni, the Department of Athletics and key volunteers, using their talents, resources and ideas to enhance fundraising activities
  • Cultivate strong relationships and communication with administrators, Deans, faculty and staff throughout the University. Ensure that development has a service orientation with respect to internal and external constituencies
  • Foster relationships with campus administrators in order to evaluate, mentor, coach and develop the fundraiser’s full potential
  • Work with officers and campus administrators to identify priorities and develop fundraising plans to achieve the goals
  • Serve as a strategic director of building projects on campus; bringing campus administration, facilities and others together to develop funding models and fundraising plans
  • Provide input on fundraising progress, across constituency programs, and advise Foundation Vice President, Board of Trustees and University Leadership on the planning and execution of fundraising efforts while balancing expectations and resources required to achieve the agreed-upon goals
  • Work closely with Foundation and University leadership to ensure that internal and external communication strategies incorporate consistent messages, and they are aligned with University key messages

Maintain a portfolio of principal gift prospects

  • Responsible for a portfolio of 25-50 principal gift-level donors
  • Responsible for making 8-12 solicitations each year.

Job Competencies and Experience

  • Education & Certifications:
    • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Experience:
    • 10 years’ of experience in a higher education fundraising setting required

Organizational Competencies

  • Effective Communication: Diplomatic & strategic in communication; able to present effectively to large groups of distinguished individuals; masterfully handles crucial conversations – anticipates and resolves conflicts; inspires and motivates others with communication style
  • Execution & Initiative: Creates a shared vision of strategy; inspires leaders and teams across the organization to work collaboratively to achieve the best outcome for OSUF; maintains awareness of emerging trends in business; anticipates changes that will impact the business; develops long-term approaches to problems or market opportunities; creates an environment where employees are connected with and aligned to the overall business strategy
  • Teamwork/Interpersonal Skills: Identifies, establishes and strengthens relationships, networks and partnerships with senior managers, stakeholders, and the general public to improve organizational outcomes; anticipates the impact of organizational change and develops strategies to grow talent; builds teams for where the business is going, not just where it is today; builds strong, trusting connections with others; maintains network of mutually beneficial relationships; creates a shared vision of strategy; inspires leaders and teams across the organization to work collaboratively to achieve the best outcomes for OSUF
  • Problem Solving/Judgment: develops broad strategies that reflect in-depth understanding and assessment of operational, organizational, and political realities and risks; makes decisions in alignment with appropriate components of organizational strategy; appropriately balances metrics, opinions of subject matter experts, and personal experience in decision-making and planning
  • Adaptability/Flexibility: Creates vision for organizational change; takes ownership for establishing the right climate and providing the resources needed for success; sets expectations for the organization by embracing opportunities for improving processes and technology in support of the changing environment; creates an environment where others constructively challenge organizational paradigms, norms and team members to consider changes that will foster long-term sustainable growth and innovation
  • Courage & Conviction: Takes responsibility for organizational outcomes regardless of success and learns from all results; creates an organizational environment where failure is seen as an opportunity for learning; publicly stands up for what is right and challenges inappropriate actions or comments of others
  • Donor Centered: Strives to eliminate barriers that interfere with providing excellent donor centered service; invests significant personal energy to establish long-term relationships that may not address immediate issue, but furthers OSUF’s reputation as a community and campus partner; demonstrates the vision for OSUF in an engaging way to generate commitment to achievement of objectives

Physical Requirements

Must use a computer terminal and view a computer screen for extended periods of time.  Must talk in person or by phone (frequently and sometimes for extended periods) to people on campus and across the country.  Must constantly use visual acuity to check printed and designed materials of various types.  Must be able to navigate within the OSU Foundation. Typical office working conditions.

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