Job Details

Pennsylvania State University
  • Position Number: 1368063
  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Position Type: Development and Fund Raising

Director of Major Gifts, The Smeal College of Business

A top frontline fundraiser is needed in the role of Director of Major Gifts to engage alumni and friends as partners in supporting the Smeal College of Business, ranked among the top 20 business schools in the country and among the top 100 in the world. Reporting directly to the Smeal Senior Director of Development and working closely with the college's dean and academic leadership, 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
  • Plan and execute solicitation strategies leading to major gifts
  • Travel extensively throughout the country to pursue these strategies and build enduring relationships, completing fifteen visits per month
  • Supervise, train, and/or mentor other fundraisers and support staff, as assigned
  • Articulate Penn State'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
  • 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 is required, as are a valid driver's license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check in addition to standard background checks. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.

    The Smeal College of Business

    Philanthropy will have a special impact in the Smeal College of Business, whose extraordinary success has been built upon support from alumni, friends, and corporate partners. Through a naming gift from Frank P. and Mary Jean Smeal, and through endowments for students, faculty, and programs from other business leaders who credit their success to Penn State, the Smeal College of Business has become a destination for top educators and researchers, M.B.A. and Ph.D. candidates, and undergraduates in fields ranging from finance to supply chain management. The Smeal community's commitment to ethics, integrity, and sustainability has also made it a leader in higher education, and our programs have been recognized by Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Bloomberg Businessweek, among others, for their excellence and value. A full list of our current rankings and recent achievements is available at

    To support this success, more than $93 million was raised by the Smeal team in the University-wide fundraising effort For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. Continuing private support will be essential as the Smeal College of Business pursues an even more ambitious vision for itself and its students: becoming one of the nation's top five public business schools.

    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 Stateit 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 problemsand 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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