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Director of Development, Research, Discovery and Innovation – Environmental Programs

Please see Special Instructions for more details.

Please provide a writing sample or donor proposal with your application.  Applications must be submitted online. Click “Apply for this Job” to do so. If you experience difficulties with the application system, please contact

Position Details

Position Information

Title Director of Development, Research, Discovery and Innovation – Environmental Programs
Department Development Office (9903)
Location Main Campus
Position Summary

Please note: your application will require the submission of a ‘Writing Sample’. Please see the ‘Special Instructions to Applicant’ at the top of this page for more information.

Working in cooperation with the UA Vice President for Innovation and Director of Biosphere 2, the University Development Program’s (UDP) Senior Vice President for Development, development colleagues in the College of Science and the UDP, and leaders of RDI’s environmental programs, the Director of Development will lead, direct and manage development activities for the environmental programs within the Office of Research, Discovery and Innovation (RDI), with an initial focus on Biosphere 2 (B2). This shall include, but not be limited to: identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospective major gift ($25,000+) donors, including individuals, corporations, and foundations. An emphasis of the position is to secure financial resources that can be directed toward sustaining and growing B2 and other RDI environmental programs. This position is collectively managed by RDI and the UDP. The UDP is managed under contract by the University of Arizona Foundation (UAF) as specified in the Development Services and Asset Management Agreement dated August 2016.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

• In collaboration with the Vice President for Innovation and Sr. Vice President for Development, develop an annual fundraising plan that has specific objectives with regard to funding priorities and core UDP metrics for all frontline fundraisers.
• Lead B2’s environmental program’s development activities: identify, cultivate, solicit, and provide stewardship to major gift donors and prospects; support programs for external funding by individuals, foundations, and corporations.
• Create and execute a plan for a multi-million dollar fundraising initiative for B2.
• Assist the Vice President for Innovation in cultivating and supporting the Advisory Board for B2 and lead the board’s development committee.
• Helps to support and promote a culture of philanthropy across RDI’s environmental programs and work effectively as part of the greater UDP.
• Work on major gift development activities for RDI environmental programs and provide guidance, education and support to the leaders of those programs about UDP resources and development best practices.
• Develops personalized strategies for all assigned donors and prospects that build, maintain and enhance relationships while furthering donors’ philanthropic objectives.
• Plans, coordinates, and schedules individual visits weekly utilizing UDP software, introductory letters, emails and phone calls to set appointments.
• Maintains current and accurate records of donor prospects in the UDP computer records system. On a weekly basis, enter contact reports of all visits, significant telephone conversations, letters and correspondence, gift solicitations, and other communications with donors. Maintain information about current and future gift proposals (asks).
• Provides input and direction for any development-focused newsletters, invitations, brochures, and other publications/communications, as needed.
• Partners with, and effectively utilizes, the development professionals and resources of the UDP, including the offices of University Programs; Regional Development; Gift Planning; Annual Giving (telephone, direct-mail, and e-solicitation services); Leadership Annual Giving; Board and Donor Engagement; Prospect Development; Financial Services; Information Services; and the Grant Information, Facilitation, and Training (GIFT) Center (preparation and submission of grant proposals to foundations).
• Utilizes the common systems, policies and procedures adhered to by UDP team members.
• Creatively leverages outreach activities (e.g. tours, lectures, exhibits, etc.) to develop new major gift prospects.
• After an initial 3-6-month on-boarding period, execute an agreed upon metric of at least 100 current or prospect donor visits and presentation of 20+ proposals per year, with an expectation of $1M+ raised after the initial on-boarding period (with incremental increases after the first year).
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

• Knowledge and understanding of development and fund-raising principles and procedures.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, strong ability to create personal relationships, and proven success in executing moves management actions and closing six-figure philanthropic gifts.
• Ability to effectively communicate the University of Arizona mission, strategic plan, and case for philanthropic support.
• Experience building boards and committee structures.
• Experience in developing and executing plans for large development initiatives
• Ability to build and maintain productive relationships with donors, UDP colleagues, and UA faculty, administration and staff members.
• Ability to inspire cooperation and participation.
• Ability to make good decisions and to exercise good judgment and discretion.
• Ability to maintain donor confidentiality.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Ability to understand and work with budgetary procedures and policies.
• Excellent time management and organizational skills.
• Excellent initiative and ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.
• Knowledge of computer programs such as MS Office products and donor databases.
• Ability to understand and follow UA and UDP policies and procedures.

Minimum Qualifications

• Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university program AND three to five years of development experience, or appropriate transferable skills, preferably in higher education.
• Demonstrated knowledge of development and fundraising principles and procedures.
• Experience working with volunteers, faculty, staff, and students.
• Experience writing proposals, grants, and reports.
• Outstanding interpersonal/relationship skills.
• Excellent oral and written communications.
• A valid driver’s license with the ability to drive according to the University Fleet Safety Policy.

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience with, knowledge of, and/or enthusiasm for environmental program themes of environment, renewable energy, and climate change.
• Graduate degree.
• Development experience in higher education.
• Evidence of vision, leadership, and ability secure strategic partnerships and grants.
• Experience managing programs and leading major fundraising initiatives.

FLSA Exempt
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40+
Job Category Administrative and Professional
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
Posted Rate of Pay DOE
Type of criminal background check required: Fingerprint criminal background check (security sensitive due to job duties)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number A22236
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Ellyn Chitwood
UDP Talent Acquisition

Open Date 12/01/2017
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 01/02/2018
Special Instructions to Applicant

Please provide a writing sample or donor proposal with your application. 

Applications must be submitted online. Click “Apply for this Job” to do so. If you experience difficulties with the application system, please contact

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  2. * Do you have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university?
    • Yes
    • No
  3. * Do you have at least three (3) years of development experience, or appropriate transferable skills, preferably in higher education?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Writing Sample
Optional Documents