Associate Director of Advancement

George Mason University   Fairfax, VA   Full-time     Education
Posted on September 6, 2023
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Associate Director of Advancement, University Life


University Life at George Mason University, is currently seeking applications from qualified candidates for the Associate Director of Advancement, University Life position. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.


About the Department:

University Life’s vision is Every Student Succeeds. Our mission is to care for the whole student by promoting inclusive well-being and fostering lifelong learning to prepare ethical leaders for the world. The division is home to 35 student-serving units, over 450 professional staff, and more than 1,000 student staff all dedicated to ensuring every Mason student is successful both inside and outside the classroom, from orientation through graduation. University Life Advancement exists to provide strategic, active management of the fundraising efforts that support University Life and student success.


The University Advancement division is a comprehensive development and alumni relations enterprise with a staff complement of approximately 135 full time employees. Functional units within Advancement include development/fundraising, alumni relations, donor relations and stewardship, advancement communications, special events, gift processing, research, prospect management, gift planning, corporate and foundation relations, information systems and management, and infrastructure services.


The Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations’ mission is to build strong, lifelong relationships with George Mason University’s alumni and constituents while matching their philanthropic interests with the university’s aspirations and priorities.


The division is committed to serving the needs of the university, our alumni, and the greater community by providing access to quality education and lifelong learning. Respect, service, integrity, collaboration, diversity, transparency, and creativity are the values that guide our work and culture.


About the Position:

The Associate Director of Advancement, University Life plans and implements various strategies to raise funds from major donors and secure philanthropic support for University Life priorities. Manages a portfolio of donors and prospective donors, including individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is responsible for facilitating all phases of the donor engagement process, including initiating contact, cultivating and moving potential donors to solicitation and closure, creating solicitations, writing proposals, and stewarding donors. Working collaboratively with key volunteers, University Life staff, Advancement staff, and other representatives to cultivate and solicit donors for priorities impacting student success. Evening and weekend work hours for events, and travel (locally and nationally) as needed.


Position Responsibilities:


  • Secure financial support for University Life by performing discovery work through 1:1 visits with annual fund and leadership annual giving donors, including upgrades of mid-level donors;
  • Manage a portfolio of 90-100 prospects;
  • Generate a minimum of $500K through asks totaling $1M annually;
  • Meet or exceed metrics for visits, asks, and dollars raised, as determined by Central Advancement;
  • Actively research and seek out new prospective donors and demonstrate creativity in identifying new prospects;
  • Research, develop, and write funding proposals, appeal letters, and reports as required;
  • Participate in cross-unit collaborations, when appropriate, that center donor interests; and
  • Maintain accurate and timely records using University Advancement data management and reporting systems.


Donor Engagement:

  • Host recognition events for University Life donors with the goal of increasing engagement and support;
  • Create and execute effective ways of engaging alumni affiliated with University Life programs through events and communications;
  • Work with University Life units to include donors in unit-level events for cultivation or stewardship purposes; and
  • Participate in fundraising events hosted by Central Advancement.



  • Develop and executive stewardship plan for University Life donors that includes creative and effective ways to increase engagement and support; and
  • Coordinate inclusion of University Life donors in University-wide stewardship events.


Annual Giving:

  • Coordinate all University Life annual giving-level fundraising appeals in conjunction with University Life units and Central Advancement.


Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree, or a combination of related education and experience equivalent to an advanced degree;
  • Knowledge of door engagement process, including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals, corporations, and foundations;
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse groups of alumni, faculty, staff, donors, students, and colleagues throughout the university;
  • Effective oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently;
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with appropriate discretion;
  • Attention to detail and follow-through;
  • Demonstrated success in moving donors efficiently through the donor engagement process, including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship;
  • Demonstrated success closing five-figure gifts;
  • Demonstrated experience developing and executing fundraising strategies; and
  • Demonstrated experience working with a variety of funders, including corporations, foundations, and individuals.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of student affairs, including trends impacting the student experience in higher education;
  • Experience working in higher education;
  • Experience fundraising in higher education;
  • Experience fundraising for student affairs, or initiatives focused on student success; and
  • Experience working with diverse populations including students, faculty, staff, community members, etc.


Special Instructions to Applicants  

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number FA68KZ at; complete and submit the online application; upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.


George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.