WGU Advancement is a nonprofit fundraising foundation created by Western Governors University to expand access to and accelerate innovation in education. Advancement's focus is on complementing and enhancing the WGU vision to reinvigorate the promise of higher education. In addition to scholarships and other initiatives aimed at increasing access, WGU Advancement raises funds to support the development of innovative programs, research, and technologies that will improve educational quality and student outcomes.
Reporting to the President of WGU Advancement, the Executive Director of Development plays a critical role in building and sustaining meaningful relationships with individuals, corporations, and foundations that are important to WGU and its affiliates. This position oversees the frontline fundraising staff of the organization and provides the operational strategy to meet the strategic fundraising goals of the organization. In collaboration with the WGU Advancement President and other University leaders, the Executive Director will help to develop an unprecedented culture of philanthropy at WGU and create and implement approaches to raising the financial resources required to achieve the University’s goals. In addition to leadership responsibilities the Executive Director will manage a portfolio of high-level donors and prospects and assist the WGU Advancement President and other university leaders with their strategic cultivation and solicitation.
As a member of the WGU Advancement leadership team, this role exemplifies the culture, value, and leadership principles of the university. The Executive Director provides transformative leadership to a team of high performing professionals while inspiring and developing staff in sustainable ways.
Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
Advises the WGU Advancement President and other University leaders on all matters related to fundraising.
Provides leadership for all aspects of major gift, foundation, and corporate fundraising to include establishing, coordinating, and implementing goals and strategies.
Works with the Advancement President to prepare annual operating plans with specific goals and objectives for philanthropy.
Manages and supports the fundraising team, including training and support on prospect management policies, procedures, metrics, and strategy. Provides leadership and support for front line fundraisers to help them to meet their performance expectations.
Provides counsel and advice on major gift strategies, effective visits, and contacts, and appropriate follow up and stewardship.
Develops a sound, achievable, comprehensive operational fundraising strategy to meet the goals for unrestricted and private restricted fundraising set by the Advancement President and Board of Directors.
Collaborates with stakeholders across WGU in order to ensure consistency in representing potential donors and other audiences.
Establishes a comprehensive and timely reporting schedule across the organization to undergird communications, fund-raising, and advocacy strategies.
Skillfully utilizes analytics to ensure that the division aggressively sets and achieves its objectives.
Leads a high performing team with integrity; innovation, decisiveness, and collaboration that empowers and inspires others.
Champions the Code of Ethical Principles and Standards and the Donor’s Bill of Rights endorsed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skill, and Abilities
Professional leadership that drives WGU’s mission, and exemplifies a collaborative, decisive, motivating, and engaging communication style.
Advanced skills to secure major gifts, successfully managing campaigns, and engaging a community of motivated supporters.
Excellent leadership skills with the ability to lead high functioning team members.
Ability to balance multiple priorities in a complex environment.
Working knowledge of development best practices, trends in development, fundraising tools and technology, e-mail and online campaigns, and donor research.
Extreme discretion, attention to detail, and a commitment to excellence.
Deep appreciation and understanding of WGU’s mission and the ability to articulate its values and vision internally and externally.
Outstanding relational, verbal, written, speaking, and listening skills. Ability to articulate a bold strategic vision for the future and to build a division capable of achieving and sustaining that vision.
Strong analytical and financial skills.
Proven ability to influence and gain consensus through input from many sources.
Collaborates empowers and inspires others, while also being a decisive leader who takes action to drive the WGU Advancement forward.
5+ years of experience in fundraising and corporate philanthropy efforts.
5+ years of senior leadership experience within a large, complex organization.
About WGU Advancement
WGU Advancement's mission.
WGU Advancement is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2018 as the official fundraising arm of Western Governors University (WGU) and its affiliates.
Since its founding, WGU Advancement has dedicated itself to making high-quality, career-based education affordable and attainable for all by increasing and improving access to higher education and accelerating innovations in learning on behalf of students. WGU Advancement partners with foundations, corporations, associations, employees, students, and alumni to support scholarships, explore new learning models, and implement new technologies that reinvigorate the promise of higher education.