Boston University

Assistant Vice President, Major Gifts
Location: Boston, MA

Boston University (BU) seeks a collaborative, strategic, and entrepreneurial Assistant Vice President, Major Gifts (AVP) to lead a highly productive team of major gift fundraisers comprising regional, athletics, and parents and family philanthropy. By virtue of the AVP’s university-wide lens and position on the senior development team, this is a leadership position with unlimited growth trajectory as the university moves into its next multi-billion-dollar comprehensive campaign.

The BU community is alive with excitement as President-elect Melissa Gilliam, a medical doctor, MacArthur-grant winning researcher, and adolescent health advocate will become president on July 1, 2024. One of the largest nonprofit universities in the country, Boston University comprises 17 Schools and Colleges. Founded in 1839, BU has always been a hub for innovation. It was the first university to open all divisions to female students in 1872. BU created one of the first study abroad programs, and, today, about one third of the University’s 36,809 students come from countries outside the United States. This inclusivity is one of the greatest institutional strengths of the University, underpinned by the University’s commitment to making BU affordable for all qualified students through initiatives like the Century Challenge. This unique philanthropic tool greatly increases scholarship support and provides access to the best and brightest students around the world. By participating in the Century Challenge, a donor establishes an endowed scholarship fund of $100,000 or more, and the University matches the income distributed from that fund for scholarship purposes for 100 years.

In partnership with the Vice President for Development, the AVP will be responsible for leading a donor-centric fundraising program and ensuring their team collectively surpasses ambitious annual fundraising goals and activity benchmarks. Working closely with university leaders, the AVP will play an essential role in identifying and setting university-wide fundraising strategies, designing compelling cases for support, and facilitating regular lines of communication across campus to advance BU’s overall fundraising efforts. This position functions as a thought leader in development and provides oversight, direction, and advice for a team of 15 professionals. Leading by example, the AVP will manage a small portfolio of major and principal gift prospects.

The ideal candidate will possess a minimum of twelve years of development experience, a keen understanding of best practices in fundraising, experience managing a team, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment in developing successful fundraising strategies in a complex university. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major and principal gifts. 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 across campus. The next AVP will foster a professional work environment that rewards individual and collective success, builds confidence, and promotes diversity in all its forms. In accordance with its core values and mission, BU is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals who will promote and uphold the values embodied within the University’s Diversity Statement.

Application Instructions

Boston University has partnered with Talent Citizen to assist in this recruitment. Please contact President Tracy D. Welsh, Managing Associate Rachel K. Partin, and Associate José Cisneros to share your resume and cover letter via email at:

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, natural or protective hairstyle, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. Boston University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

Information about BU’s COVID-19 policies is available here.

The Talent Citizen Search Team

Tracy D. Welsh

President | She/Her
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Rachel K. Partin

Managing Associate | She/Her
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José Cisneros

Associate | He/Him/Él
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Alicia Paquette

Search Coordinator | She/Her
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