Washington & Jefferson College

Associate Vice President for Development

Washington, PA

Position Description

Executive Summary

Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) seeks an experienced, dynamic, and collaborative Associate Vice President for Development (AVP) to lead fundraising activities and staff during an exciting time of campus renewal. Reporting to the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement, the AVP will be a senior leader of the advancement program and will be jointly responsible for achieving the department’s annual fundraising goals. The AVP will have a unique opportunity to cultivate a culture of philanthropy and elevate the fundraising capabilities of the institution in anticipation of directing the college’s next comprehensive campaign.

Having just gone through a comprehensive strategic planning process, the W&J community is excited about the future growth and trajectory of the college. President John Knapp has outlined priority initiatives around social justice, environmentalism, and entrepreneurship that are galvanizing excitement and laying the groundwork for modernization. This provides ripe ground for the Development team to be innovative and opportunistic in identifying prospects, implementing strategies, and cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major, planned, and principal gifts and corporate and foundation support.

Washington & Jefferson College is recognized nationally as a highly selective, residential, student-centered liberal arts college with an exceptional record of producing future leaders, whose graduates are prepared for a breadth of life opportunities and professional success. Toward that end, W&J asserts its place as Pittsburgh’s premiere liberal arts institution, a role it has played for more than 230 years. More broadly, it is known as a robust community of engaged and intellectually curious faculty, staff, and students.

This is an exciting opportunity for an accomplished leader to strengthen W&J’s advancement program through the implementation of best practices, team and capacity building, and the application of data-driven strategies that will create a philanthropic enterprise befitting a first-rate liberal arts college. The AVP will educate and engage all members of the W&J community in development efforts in ways that reflect the collaborative and collegial culture of the college. Working closely with college leaders, the AVP will play an essential role in identifying and setting advancement priorities, designing compelling cases for support, and facilitating regular lines of communication across campus to advance the college’s overall fundraising efforts. Further, the AVP will contribute to building a culture of trust in an environment of shared governance, developing relationships with campus leaders and all campus constituents in support of W&J’s academic mission and the vision of President Knapp.

In partnership with the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement, the AVP will be responsible for leading a donor-centric development program. This executive leadership position in the department of Development and Alumni Engagement involves managing and mentoring the college’s centralized development team to ensure donors’ wishes are fulfilled and W&J continues to support its students and faculty. This position functions as a thought leader of the fundraising effort for the college and ensures the college’s development team collectively surpasses annual fundraising goals as well as activity benchmarks. Leading by example, the AVP will manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects. The AVP will direct W&J’s next ambitious fundraising campaign.

The ideal candidate must possess a minimum of 12 years of fundraising experience, a keen understanding of best practices in fundraising, expertise in managing a frontline fundraising team, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment in developing a successful development program. The candidate will be an expert at personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major and principal gifts. The candidate must possess a high level of integrity and credibility; be a self-starter with a sense of urgency and a clear set of priorities; and be adaptable to changing circumstances. The successful candidate must have extraordinary communication skills with a collegial, team-building style and a demonstrated ability to motivate staff as well as to cultivate productive, collaborative relationships with faculty and staff across campus. The candidate will create a professional work environment that rewards individual and collective success, builds confidence, and promotes diversity in all its forms. An undergraduate degree is required, and an advanced degree is preferred.

To Apply

Washington & Jefferson College has partnered with Talent Citizen to assist in this recruitment. Please contact President Tracy D. Welsh and Senior Associate Rachel K. Partin to share your biographical materials via email at: WASHJEFF-AVPD@talentcitizen.com.

Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) is committed to increasing diversity in our community and actively pursues individuals from all backgrounds. Additionally, W&J College complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and provides equal opportunity in all educational programs and activities, admission of students and conditions of employment for all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, gender identity, or national origin.

Position Description

Search Team

Tracy Welsh  

Rachel K. Partin