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ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, Leadership Giving)

Req ID:  12696

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:  UNIVERSITY

Duke University:


Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.


Nicholas School of the Environment

Associate Director, Leadership Giving
Development Officer II, Level 14, Job Code 1889




Working title: Associate Director


Reporting to the Associate Dean of Development & Alumni Affairs, identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership, major and planned gifts for the Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE). The Associate Director will work closely with the Associate Dean and department team to develop funding strategies and gift opportunities to meet fundraising goals from the current prospect pool and new constituencies. 


Essential JobFunctions


  • Identify new leadership/major gift prospects for the Nicholas School of the Environment that support the annual fundraising operating plan and school priorities.
  • Successfully cultivate, solicit and close gifts primarily above $100,000 from prospects.
  • Develop initial strategies for cultivation of additional prospects in the NSOE pipeline.
  • Understand and effectively articulate NSOE’s goals, objectives, and needs to prospective major gift/leadership donors. These include, but are not limited to, annual fund, financial aid, faculty support, new program initiatives and special campaigns to meet the school’s priorities.
  • Maintain a portfolio of prioritized prospects (150+) and an active cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship schedule with prospects and donors, partnering with school staff, faculty, volunteers and other development officers as appropriate.
  • Solicit donors verbally and through written proposals.
  • Identify new prospect constituency groups and develop and implement strategies for cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and long-term engagement.
  • Work with Nicholas School Advancement Services to prepare reports and analyses setting forth progress towards goals, trends, and appropriate recommendations or conclusions.
  • Represent NSOE’s priorities at cross-university and Central Development meetings as assigned.
  • Write detailed clear and concise emails, proposals and thank you letters to donors and prospects. 
  • Generate accurate contact reports and conduct follow-up communication for ongoing individual meetings including next steps and suggested moves involving appropriate staff.
  • Maintain active communication with development officers at Nicholas and throughout the University to coordinate prospect activity.
  • Acquire and maintain a working knowledge of University-wide funding priorities.
  • Report on personal activity on a regular basis in accordance with the NSOE development  team standards and in regular meetings with the Associate Dean.
  • Proven ability to work autonomously, to effectively manage multiple responsibilities, ability to interact with a variety of important audiences, including volunteers, major donors, prospects, and faculty members.
  • Ability to work and communicate collaboratively, formally and informally within one’s team and across the organization.
  • Coordinate tasks with attention to deadlines, concurrent management of projects and ability to create and follow a set strategy to goals and objectives.
  • Ability to effectively, and persuasively communicate ideas, thoughts, and facts orally and in writing.
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity and willingness to makes decisions and take action with as much relevant information as possible.
  • Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
  • The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.




  • Minimum of five years of experience with progressive responsibility, achievement and proven success in annual giving, major gifts or special project fundraising.
  • Ability to think strategically about identifying prospects and connecting donors to Nicholas.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple fundraising activities simultaneously.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • High level of creativity, initiative, and motivation.
  • Ability to travel frequently (making 13-16 trips annually to assigned regions/cities)
  • Bachelors’ degree required.


Required Qualifications at this Level



Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program.




Work requires five years experience in alumni affairs, public relations, fund raising, sales and promotions, marketing, student activities or a related field in order to acquire skills necessary to administer, coordinate and/or participate in general fund raising activities and proposal development. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE.







The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Nearest Major Market: Durham
Nearest Secondary Market: Raleigh