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Associate Director of Development, Parent & Family Philanthropy (16395)

Date: Sep 12, 2021

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University


The Associate Director of Development, Parent and Family Philanthropy serves as a leadership annual giving officer for American University. The Associate Director is responsible for for achieving aggressive solicitation, commitment, qualification, cash, and visit goals, which are set annually in support of the fundraising goals for parent and family philanthropy team. This position manages a prospect portfolio of at least 250 active parent prospects with giving capacities from $10,000 to 100,000. This includes direct qualification of donor prospects through virtual and in-person meetings, developing and executing communication and solicitation vehicles that broaden the base of leadership-level parent donors, and leading key internal partnerships to include Advancement Services, Office of Campaign Engagement and Alumni Relations teams. In each of these capacities, as a central officer the Associate Director will be required to collaborate with colleagues in Annual Giving, across each of the schools and colleges, and with other members of the central development team including close partners in Research, Prospect Management, Alumni Relations, Donor Relations, and the division of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence. As a central officer, the Associate Director is a resource and liaison to the schools, colleges, and units across campus and serves as a pipeline for unrestricted giving and major gift parent prospects.

Essential Functions

1. Prospect Identification/Qualification: In consultation with Annual Giving, Research, and Prospect Management colleagues, create and hone a call list of 500+ lead annual giving parent prospects in top 10 major metro areas in the U.S including D.C. Conduct desktop research using various electronic resources; execute mail, phone, and email outreach to assess capacity and qualify inclination; build and constantly refine a portfolio of 250 promising lead annual gift prospects. Partner deeply with the regional leadership annual gift officers to envision a framework for meaningful parent engagement in AU’s top markets.  Serve as PFP member of the summer welcome reception planning team. As appropriate, meet with divisional colleagues to facilitate major gift hand-offs and develop solicitation strategies for specific prospects.

2. Prospect Cultivation/Solicitation: Conduct 145+ strategic, in-person visits per year to qualify new prospects, cultivate and solicit lead annual gifts of $10,000+, and recruit and engage volunteers. Leverage university and development and alumni relations events, giving days, and targeted direct response marketing to increase year-over-year giving for portfolio prospects. Deliver 175+ personalized solicitations for annual and lead annual gifts to meet specific solicitation, commitment, major gift referral, and cash goals.

3. Prospect Stewardship: Prioritize intentional stewardship and donor relations to retain and upgrade annual gifts from portfolio prospects. Develop and implement a sustainable lead annual gift stewardship program through the management of the Parent Leadership Council with a focus on volunteer management as a function of cultivating lead annual and ultimately major gifts from previously unknown, unrated, or unqualified prospects.

4. Operational Support and Mass Communication/Solicitation Serve as strategic lead for virtual engagement with top parents, ie: Parent Leadership Council e-newsletters, social media postings, etc. This involves deep partnership with the Parent & Family Engagement team in Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence, as well as advancement’s Office of Campaign Engagement and Annual Giving. Serve as strategic lead for onboarding new PLC families and timely virtual engagement of the PLC in between meetings. Serve as backup contact for the PLC in the Director’s absence. Working with colleagues in alumni relations and admissions support annual processes as it relates to parent philanthropy tracking. Provide event coordination and support including managing RSVP’s and planning event logistics.

Essential Functions (continued)

5. Data Integrity and Process Management: Lead parent data working group, ensuring smooth workflow of bridged parent records, research and tiers, and parent program reports. In partnership with the advancement operations team, request parent lists in support parent philanthropy tactics including regional parents, parent giving, etc. Monitor and update student add/drop list per semester and work with the Director of Development to update major gift strategies accordingly. Also responsible for participating in enhanced research for the incoming cohort under the advisement of the prospect development team. 

6. Other duties as assigned: Assist in the fulfillment of the broader objectives established by the Director of Development, Parent and Family Philanthropy. 

Work Environment

  • The Associate Director will prudently manage a $10,000 travel budget within the financial constraints outlined by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
  • This position will require travel outside the Washington metropolitan area 2-3 times per quarter, as well as occasional evening and weekend work associated with university events and programs.
  • The Associate Director has supervisory requirements.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full time
  • Project Leader/Advisor B

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Five years of experience in development and alumni relations or another related field (such as sales, marketing, public relations, event management) is required.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills are required. (A writing sample may be required.)

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Proven track record of successful project management, strong customer/client support is required; experience with volunteer management is preferred.
  • Experience with front-line fundraising is strongly preferred.
  • Proficiency in current on-line and social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn), and e-communications strategies is preferred.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications


  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options


Current American University Employees:

If you are a current full-time or part-time staff member at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us:

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC