Job Details

Pennsylvania State University
  • Position Number: 1340586
  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Position Type: Development and Fund Raising

Director of Major Gifts, The College of Arts and Architecture

Focusing on a strategic initiative of Advancing the Arts as a part of Penn State's current fundraising campaign, A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, a top frontline fundraiser is needed in the role of Director of Major Gifts to engage alumni and friends as partners in supporting the University's vision for the Museum of Art to relocate to a new state-of-the-art facility and serve as a visible anchor for a new University cultural center- an interdisciplinary space intended to further elevate a collaborative approach around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math)- located near The Arboretum at Penn State. Reporting directly to the College of Arts and Architecture Director of Development and working closely with the college's dean and museum director, as well as other partners and central development offices, this major gifts officer will:
  • Identify and cultivate a prospect pool of graduates and other key constituencies focused on the capital investment for a new fine art museum as the next phase of a University cultural center;
  • Plan and execute solicitation strategies leading to major gifts;
  • Travel extensively throughout the region and across the country to pursue these strategies and build enduring relationships, completing twelve visits per month;
  • Supervise, train, and/or mentor other fundraisers and support staff, as assigned;
  • Articulate the art museum's and future cultural center's needs, values, and ambitions - reflecting Penn State's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion - through excellent informal and formal communications, including written proposals.
This position requires a bachelor's degree or higher plus five years of work-related experience. The successful candidate will also have:
  • A track record of success in securing major gifts and meeting fundraising goals, particularly in facilities and/or arts-related fundraising;
  • Exemplary interpersonal and communication skills;
  • A proven ability to self-motivate and work both independently and as part of a team;
  • A passion for higher education and an understanding of complex institutions;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education;
  • A dedication to and understanding of the skills required to build relationships with diverse communities;
  • A commitment to professional development, learning, and being mentored.
Operation of a motor vehicle as part of the position's duties and a valid driver's license are required. Successful completion of a motor vehicle records check, in addition to standard background checks, is also required.

This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with possibility of re-funding. To learn more about philanthropy at Penn State, please visit Information about the College of Arts and Architecture and the Palmer Museum of Art is available at and

A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence (
No institution offers a more powerful example of private support furthering the public good than Penn State, and the University is pursuing an effort that will allow us to fulfill our land-grant mission for a new era: A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence. This strategic, five-year fundraising initiative reflects our commitment to the three core imperatives of a truly great public university:
  • Open Doors: Private support can not only bring talented students from every background to Penn State - it can help them to graduate on time and on track to successful careers and lives.
  • Create Transformative Experiences: Philanthropy will provide the opportunities- in our classrooms, on our campuses, and in the larger world- that let students and faculty discover their full potential and make a difference.
  • Impact the World: With the visionary gifts of alumni and friends, we can tackle the world's most pressing problems - and solve them.
Last year, donors inspired by the campaign's vision made $362.9 million in new commitments, the highest total in Penn State history and the second year in a row of commitments surpassing $300 million. FY2017-2018 also broke the institutional record for receipts, with a total of $322.7 million.

Much work remains ahead if the campaign is to reach its five-year, $1.6 billion goal. The Division of Development and Alumni Relations has established an innovative, performance-based incentive plan that enables employees to earn a bonus of up to 9 percent of their base salary in each remaining year of the campaign.

The ambition of the campaign is great, but no greater than the spirit and generosity of our supporters. A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence is an opportunity for our alumni and friends to contribute to the University's future and to the future we all share.

Building a Career and a Life at Penn State (
With one of the most respected development and alumni relations operations in the country, Penn State is one of only a dozen public institutions nationwide to complete a $2 billion fundraising campaign, and our alumni association is the largest dues-paying organization of its kind in the world. Learn more at

Penn State is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by the Time Higher Education University Rankings, the Center for World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Read about Penn State's success at

Penn State is also committed to ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the success of a world-class research institution. We are concerned uniquely with the institutional change required for visioning and realizing a more socially just University. Learn more at

This position is based at the University Park campus, located in State College, Pennsylvania. State College is ranked among the lowest-stress and safest small cities in the country, with excellent public schools, beautiful parks and other natural assets, and a broad range of cultural and athletic events and venues. To discover why residents love our region, visit and

As Penn State employees, development professionals receive excellent medical, dental, and vision coverage; retirement contributions and plans; substantial tuition discounts for themselves, their spouses and domestic partners, and their unmarried children; and access to life and long-term care insurance. More information about working at Penn State can be found at

If you have questions about your future with Penn State's Office of University Development, please contact Drew Kovacs, associate director of talent acquisition, at

Apply online at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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