Rensselaer – Associate Vice President (AVP) for Development and Fundraising

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Rensselaer GraduationAssociate Vice President (AVP) for Development and Fundraising

Rensselaer seeks a highly accomplished leader for the position of Associate Vice President (AVP) for Development and Fundraising to join a team of more than 75 professionals who specialize in major and principal gifts, alumni relations, communications, donor relations and advancement strategies, services and campaign operations.

The Associate Vice President (AVP) for Development and Fundraising reports to the Vice President for Institute Advancement and will be responsible for leading all fundraising staff to achieve annual cash and overall commitment goals as stated in the Campaign and Institute Advancement (IA) Performance Plans. Working with IA Directors, the AVP will plan and implement program strategic relationships with individuals, corporations and private foundations that provide annual revenue and Campaign commitments to the Institute from gifts, research contracts and tuition income. This includes establishing fund raising and other advancement goals; coordinating the assignment of individual, corporate, foundation, and internal prospects and ensuring their effective management; coordinating individual, corporate foundation and international fundraising volunteers; and providing appropriate levels of communication, involvement opportunities, and stewardship to prospects and donors.

Duties and Responsibilitiesstudents at Rensselaer

  1. Serve as a member of the advancement senior leadership team and actively participate in strategic and operational planning and implementation discussions.
  2. Provide leadership and managerial oversight of day-to-day operations while maintaining focus on the big picture and acting as a critical part of the development team’s strategic core. Provide accurate, appropriate and timely information to the vice president, including reports, analyses, and recommendations.
  3. Assess staff and responsibilities, defining roles as necessary to optimize fundraising efforts across each area and for the division as a whole. Establish performance metrics, set individual and departmental goals and monitor relevant benchmarks to ensure appropriate staff accountability and recognition. Foster an environment that brings out the best in each member of the staff and supports individuals in their professional growth. Communicate expectations and hold staff accountable for performance according to established metrics.
  4. Develop strategies for strengthening all fundraising programs including: individuals (principal gifts, major gifts and planned giving, corporate and foundation). Define standards of quality commensurate with the stature of a world-class technological research university.
  5. Work closely with the Vice President to develop and implement strategies that result in successful engagement of and charitable support from principal and major gift donors and prospective donors. Manage a discreet portfolio of principal and major gift prospects and donors.
  6. Lead the assignment of all individual, corporate, foundation, prospects and ensure that they are being managed through effective programs. This includes prospect clearance; strategy development; moves planning, execution, and tracking; and management of prospect partners, including Cabinet members, academic deans, key faculty and staff, alumni, and volunteers.
  7. Participate in comprehensive, broad-based fundraising prospect strategies and assist in the overall campaigns as established by the Institute integrating all advancement programs into the overall campaign plan under the direction of the Vice President.
  8. Oversee the recruitment and selection of staff to assist in attainment of goals and objectives; carry out human resource functions for direct reports including hiring, evaluating, training, developing, supporting, coaching, and when necessary, counseling and initiating disciplinary actions.
  9. Advise the Vice President of situations, issues, or actions which may influence the achievement of plans and goals, reflect unfavorably on the Institute, or impact issues currently or about to be decided.
  10. Perform other duties as assigned by the Vice President or designee.
  11. Maintain strict confidentiality as outlined in the Institute’s Policy on Confidentiality of Constituent Information (signed copy on file).

Job Requirements

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Position Relationships

Reports to: Vice President for Institute Advancement
Positions Supervised: Advancement Professionals and Administrative support staff as assigned

Qualifications (Education/Experience)

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred
  • Ten (10) years of progressively responsible professional fundraising and management experience preferably in a college, university or academic medical setting
  • Demonstrated history of superior team leadership including experience building strong, autonomous, and collaborative teams
  • Demonstrated success in personally cultivating, soliciting, and closing gifts of $1 million+


  • Comprehensive campaign experience

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Requires a deep appreciation for the history, achievements, and aspirations of Rensselaer and the ability to articulate that story effectively and compellingly.
  • Requires a keen eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources; the ability to plan, monitor, and manage a budget.
  • Mentors and motivates people, and encourages personal and professional growth.
  • Manages fundraising goals and expectations in a metrics-driven, deadline-oriented environment.
  • Possesses strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively and cooperatively with volunteers, donors, administration, deans, faculty and staff.
  • Handles sensitive and confidential matters with discretion.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position and a resume electronically to The subject line in the email should be AVPD. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Cynthia Woolbright by email to or by telephone at 585-787-0325.

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Confidentiality will be maintained, and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge or approval of the candidate.

Rensselaer has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. As such, the Institute welcomes applicants who will bring a diverse intellectual, geographical, gender, and ethnic perspectives to the Rensselaer community.