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Assistant Athletic Director, Major Gifts (HR Title: Major Gifts Officer III) at Southern Methodist University Inc in Dallas, Texas

Posted in Other 30+ days ago.

Job Description:


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU's more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries to take advantage of the University's small classes, meaningful research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs.

SMU serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students through eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Cox School of Business, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Dedman School of Law, Perkins School of Theology and Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

SMU is data driven, and its powerful supercomputing ecosystem - paired with entrepreneurial drive - creates an unrivaled environment for the University to deliver research excellence.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical, enterprising leaders in their professions and communities. SMU's relationship with Dallas - the dynamic center of one of the nation's fastest-growing regions - offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for global impact.

SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.

About the Department:

Development and External Affairs (DEA) supports SMU by securing funding for University priorities; by promoting meaningful involvement in the life and work of the University; by heightening international, national, state and local awareness of SMU; and by supporting the enrollment of a diverse and able student body.

DEA comprises the offices of Office of the Vice President, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, Development Services, Program Services and Donor Relations, Marketing and Communications, Principal and Major Gifts, and School and Project Development.

SMU continues to leverage the benefits from the largest fund-raising campaign in its history to achieve dramatic increases in academic quality and impact.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

SMU seeks a dynamic and driven individual for its Assistant Athletic Director for Major Gifts vacancy to identify, cultivate and solicit prospective major gift donors ($100,000+) to the SMU Department of Athletics.

Working under the direction of the Associate Athletic Director of Development, and as a member of the Mustang Club staff, the Assistant AD for Major Gifts will manage a portfolio of major gift prospects, implementing strategies to encourage philanthropic gifts in support of the SMU Department of Athletics' priorities.

The ideal candidate must demonstrate a proven track record of successful fundraising practices, preferably in a college setting.

Essential Functions:

  • Frontline Fundraising: Manage a portfolio of 100-150 major gift prospects with a focus on gifts of $100,000 or more. Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward assigned donors. Establish and pursue annual goals for number of visits, number of solicitations and dollars raised. Track progress through timely contact reports and plans in university's prospect management system, Blackbaud/BBEC.

  • Travel in pursuit of goals, with an emphasis on both in-state and out-of-state prospects. Develop a budget and plan for cultivation activities. Develop, in partnership with Athletics Development Operations staff, a stewardship plan for assigned donors.

  • Relationship Management: Build trust and rapport with prospects in pursuit of fundraising goals and in alignment with the donor's philanthropic interests. Collaborate and work closely with members of Athletics Development, the Department of Development and External Affairs, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, National Major Gifts and other campus partners.

  • System/Constituent Management: Responsible for keeping accurate records and supporting the Athletics Development staff and Athletics Ticket Operations staff with proper use of the department's ticketing system (Paciolan) and prospect management system (Blackbaud/BBEC). Posses a knowledge of priority points, ticket allocation opportunities, donor benefits to effectively serve Athletics supporters.

  • Other duties as assigned including, but not limited to, attending sporting events, alumni events, and other events in support of the SMU Department of Athletics and Department of Development and External Affairs.

  • The position requires regular evening and/or weekend work for sporting and alumni events. The position also requires frequent travel in alignment with fundraising goals and in support of athletic teams.


Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required.

A minimum of five years of work experience is required, preferably in a nonprofit or higher education setting. Fundraising and/or sales experience is also required.

Experience working for a professional or collegiate athletics organization is strongly preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong quantitative analysis and creative evaluation skills to analyze and synthesize information in assisting the strategic direction for the Athletics Development unit. A strong focus on attention to detail is essential.

Candidate must have strong organizational, planning, and time management skills. Must also have the ability to multitask and handle multiple priorities. Strong project management skills are essential.

Candidate must have a strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Experience with and/or a working knowledge of constituent databases, especially Blackbaud and Paciolan, preferred. Knowledge of the SMU community, especially Athletics, desired.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • Sit for long periods of time

Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.

Priority consideration may be give to submissions received by April 8, 2024.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.
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