Founded in 1872, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. The Commonwealth of Virginia's most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 33,000 students. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.
The university offers more than 100 bachelor's degrees through its seven undergraduate academic colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences), Architecture and Urban Studies, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Natural Resources and Environment, Pamplin College of Business, and Science. On the postgraduate level, the university offers approximately 150 master's and doctoral degrees through the Graduate School, a professional degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and a medical degree from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Division of University Advancement
Virginia Tech's Division of University Advancement is comprised of the offices of Alumni Relations, University Development, and University Relations. The offices were merged to form this new division upon the appointment of Charles D. “Charlie” Phlegar as the university's first vice president for advancement in 2015. This advancement model is being implemented university-wide, as well as at the college level by unit-based teams that dually report to the division, in order to better align the strategic engagement, relationship management, and messaging that provide the basis for successful fundraising. These changes are fostering a holistic approach to donor cultivation, resulting in more sophisticated strategies and dynamic gift proposals. This shift holds transformational potential for Virginia Tech and is helping to define a new era of partnership, integration, and “thinking bigger” in envisioning the future of the university, its programs, and giving opportunities that will inspire philanthropy from current and prospective stakeholders.
Reporting to the associate vice president for principal gifts, the Principal Gifts Officer is a senior development officer assigned to the highest-level development prospects for Virginia Tech. The individual will serve as a visible frontline fundraiser and manage a portfolio of 15 to 35 principal gifts prospects. This position is concerned with strategy development as well as staff support, planning, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of initiatives for individuals assigned to the prospect pool. The Principal Gifts Officer's primary focus is identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding high-level prospects who have the capacity to make transformative gifts to Virginia Tech. The Principal Gifts Officer will work closely with the vice president for advancement, the associate vice president for principal gifts, the president, deans, and with other key academic leaders to set short and long-term donor-centric strategies and develop initiatives to advance each prospect's meaningful connection to the university to set the stage for solicitation in accordance with university priorities. Given the nascent profile of Virginia Tech's principal giving program, the Principal Gifts Officer must embrace the role of teacher and mentor of corresponding best practices. S/he must also champion the strategic engagement, creativity, and poise required to inspire and mobilize the aspirations of internal partners and prospective donors alike, and exemplify the high-level stewardship essential to maintaining and expanding donor relationships.
Required qualifications and experience: dedication to the mission and goals of Virginia Tech; bachelor's degree required, advanced degree preferred; minimum of seven years of experience in development positions with progressive levels of responsibility, preferably within an institution of higher education, nonprofit organization, or other environment of similar complexity with multiple stakeholders; previous work experience in a hybrid centralized-decentralized fundraising model or similar structure involving many units, departments, and/or teams is preferred; experience with both individual and institutional principal gifts; participation in a major capital campaign is strongly preferred; particular strength in developing the case for support and strategic and complex fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives; experience working directly with the most senior levels of an organization and its transformational donors is critical, as is a sophisticated, nuanced understanding of the confluence of relationships that facilitate principal gifts discussions and propel them forward; demonstrated ability to think strategically and to shape messaging in order to move individuals and institutions across the spectrum of prospect development, culminating in significant and potentially game-changing solicitations appropriate to organizational priorities and donors interests; track record of personally closing gifts at seven-figures or greater, and of staffing organizational leadership in soliciting seven and eight-figure gifts; steeped in national and international philanthropic networks as they relate to education, arts and culture, science and technology, and other charitable endeavors, with particular sensitivity and responsiveness to the culture and trends of those networks; experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers; ability to understand and distill complex academic and scientific topics and projects for development audiences; demonstrated familiarity with financial planning, tax and charitable gift laws, and planned giving vehicles and methods; ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process; willingness to travel nationally and sometimes internationally for the purpose of conducting field research, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects.
Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law.
For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Office of Equity and Access at 540.231.2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner Street NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
Virginia Tech has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search processes. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174