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Job ID: 215704

Senior Director/Director of Advancement for Intercollegiate Athletics & Associate Athletics Director (31876)
Northern Illinois University

Date Posted Jun. 26, 2023
Title Senior Director/Director of Advancement for Intercollegiate Athletics & Associate Athletics Director (31876)
University Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL, United States
Department Gift Planning
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Athletics


At Northern Illinois University Foundation, our vision is to develop, support and encourage a culture of giving throughout the NIU community that will allow it to flourish and accomplish NIU’s goal of becoming the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest.
The Major Gift Officer (MGO) Team strives to be a high ROI team that provides the most fulfilling donor experience possible. As a member of the MGO team, the Senior Director/Director of Advancement & Associate Athletic Director will embody our value of helping donors discover the joy in making a difference through their philanthropy while making an everlasting impact at Northern Illinois University. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, metrics driven, and has a demonstrated track record of high performance.

Position Summary

The primary responsibility of this position is to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of individual major gift donors and prospects, specifically for the NIU’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Senior/Director will build and manage a portfolio of individual donor prospects qualified at $25,000 giving capacity and above, with a goal focused on optimal philanthropic outcomes. This position will also play a critical role in progress and execution toward NIU Foundation & University Advancement comprehensive campaign goals, including strategic development and project management of opportunities/gifts within the department.

The primary accountability is to create and grow an extensive program of engagement between NIU Athletics and external constituencies that will encourage private philanthropy to the department from alumni, friends, parents, corporations, and foundations as NIU Athletics seeks funding resources for the entire department, to support priority and strategic areas of need in a dynamic and evolving environment. The Senior/Director of Advancement for Athletics reports to the NIU Foundation Executive Director of Advancement, with an indirect reporting relationship to the VP/Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

70% Fundraising:
    • The Senior/Director is the lead advancement professional for Athletics in the areas of gift and estate planning and will maintain a portfolio that includes the highest rated donors capable of making the most significant philanthropic contributions to NIU Athletics. The Senior/Director will be required to participate in comprehensive athletic fundraising activities including, proposal/endowment writing/development, special non-recurring projects and project management, assumption of leadership roles in comprehensive/capital campaigns.
    • The Senior/Director identifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards the Athletics portfolio of individual and corporate major gift donors and potential donors in partnership with the NIU Foundation Prospect Development and Strategy Team in accordance with the NIU Foundation Prospect Management Guidelines. The Senior/Director works to establish meaningful relationships with prospects; personal outreach and engagement is required on a consistent basis, with the most significant performance metric being gifts secured and funds raised, which are monitored and evaluated on a monthly basis, and as part of an annual employee performance review.
    • The Senior/Director provides leadership as well as oversight of all aspects of the Athletics Major and Planned Gift program, in partnership with NIU Foundation collaborators. The Senior/Director Provides specific input on annual fund strategies required to develop high-end annual contributions and support the overall mission of securing athletic major gifts.
    • The Senior/Director engages key internal stakeholders and volunteer leaders in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies and tactics of major gift donors/potential donors. These relationships require a high degree of skilled communication and careful planning.


20% Campaign Coordination and Project Leadership:
  • The Senior/Director assists the Executive Director of Advancement and the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in the implementation and comprehensive execution of NIU Athletics fund-raising and alumni engagement priorities.
  • The Senior/Director represents the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics in comprehensive campaign development and execution He/she will:
    • Serve as the advancement lead for assigned campaign or other fundraising priorities.
    • Serve as a member of the internal campaign team.
    • Lead the strategic planning and execution of assigned campaign fundraising priorities.
    • Assist in the establishment of fundraising goals and develop and execute long-range advancement strategies for various campaign fundraising priorities in collaboration with NIU Foundation Collaborators.
    • Appropriately manages stakeholder relationships and strategic involvement, including, the University President; President & CEO of the NIU Foundation / Vice President of University Advancement; the Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics; various university academic and non-academic leaders; NIU Foundation board members and volunteer leaders in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies of major campaign donors, particularly where such engagement is integral to the relationship, the strategy or the solicitation.
10% Program Development
  • Manages all prospect coordination between the two divisions, per policy.
  • Represents NIU Athletics, Northern Illinois University, and the NIU Foundation at university and college events, as well as community, volunteer, and professional organizations.
  • Identifies, recruits, trains and directs the activities of volunteers involved in development and alumni activities.
  • Collaborates with and mentors other fundraising staff within the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, ensuring coordination and cohesion between divisions, and execution of best practice fundraising.

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