Rensselaer – Senior Advancement Officer, Principal Gifts

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Rensselaer GraduationSenior Advancement Officer, Principal Gifts

Rensselaer seeks a highly accomplished leader for the position of Senior Advancement Officer, Principal Gifts 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 Senior Advancement Officer, Principal Gifts is responsible for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding a portfolio of prospects capable of making gifts of $2.5M or greater. The Sr. Advancement Officer will work closely with the Vice President and Institute Leadership, as appropriate. The Sr. Advancement Officer will work with a Principal Gifts Strategy Team to develop and implement strategies to close gift commitments of $2.5M and above.

Duties and Responsibilitiesstudents at Rensselaer

  1. Manage a portfolio of Principal Gift prospects capable of gifts of $2.5M or more by conducting pre-planned face-to-face prospecting and cultivation visits.
  2. Assist the Vice President/Director of Principal Gifts in developing effective strategies for strengthening cultivation and solicitation of the principal gifts prospects. Work within defined standards of quality commensurate with the stature of a world-class technological research university.
  3. Work in collaboration with colleagues in the constituent, major gifts and annual fund offices.
  4. Participate in comprehensive, broad-based fundraising prospect strategies involving Institute Leadership.
  5. Advise the Vice President/Director of Principal Gifts of situations, issues, or actions that may influence the achievement of plans and goals which may reflect unfavorably on the Institute, or which may impact issues currently or about to be decided.
  6. Interdepartmental teamwork:
    – Provide staff support to Dean including briefings, solicitation meeting coordination, talking points, and follow up as required.
    – Meet with counterpart in Alumni Relations monthly including regional officers.
    – Meet with Annual Giving team quarterly.
    – Team with Major Gift officers and Principal Gift officers on strategic donor activities and solicitations.
    – Team with Corporate & Foundation officers on solicitations and cultivations.
  7. Prepare and implement written strategies for all prospects and utilize effective tracking and monitoring processes.
  8. Complete other duties as assigned by Vice President or designee.
  9. 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.

Qualifications (Education/Experience)

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 7 year’s related and progressively responsible fund-raising experience or a Master’s degree and 5 years experience
  • Experience in higher education and demonstrated record of cultivation and closing significant major gifts ($1M+)

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to develop effective partnerships with internal and external constituencies.
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain relationships with high-level prospects and close significant gifts.
  • Ability to set priorities while also contributing to team effort in Institute Advancement.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment, to demonstrate an understanding of ethics related to development activities and to use discretion in interactions with donors, prospects and others.
  • Ability to conduct research and assemble data, analyze information, and prepare effective, accurate and timely reports and other documents to support development activities.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to anticipate and solve problems.
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to interpret financial data.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet established goals and objectives.
  • Ability to work with a diverse population.
  • Strong computer skills and knowledge.

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 SPGO. 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.