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Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Elms College located in Chicopee, MA is seeking an Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement. The Assistant Vice President leads and oversees the endowed scholarship program, legacy/estate planning, and the annual giving program. The Assistant VP works with the Vice President of Institutional Advancement to develop a dynamic philanthropic program to expand financial resources for the college. The Assistant VP provides assistance in entrepreneurial leadership and strategic planning skills to garner major level philanthropic support from alumni, parents, friends, corporations, foundations and non-traditional sources. She/he will lead an exciting advancement program in annual and planned giving. The AVP will work closely with the Vice President of Institutional Advancement with major gift development through stewardship of major gifts as a part of the Elms College Comprehensive Advancement Program.


  • Works with the Vice President of Institutional Advancement to develop a dynamic major gifts philanthropic program.
  • Provides support to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, who has a portfolio of top donors and prospects.
  • Assists and supports the Vice President of Institutional Advancement in identifying, cultivating and establishing long-term relationships that will yield significant support from donors and prospects.
  • Demonstrates entrepreneurial leadership and strategic planning skills to garner major gift philanthropic support from alumni, friends, corporations, foundations and non-traditional sources.
  • Provides day-to-day management for annual and planned giving and increases the visibility and impact of the program across constituencies. She/he provides guidance for all aspects of planned giving activities, including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, closure, and stewardship of assigned prospects.
  • Independently drafts/prepares gift agreements, bequests, and estate planning agreements (in coordination with Elms College legal counsel and VP of Finance and Administration).
  • Solicits annual and planned gifts and manages a portfolio of $150 (+) prospects and donors.
  • Provides support to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, by organizing and overseeing an annual donor recognition event(s).
  • Manages the operation of the named endowed scholarship program and its activities such as student acknowledgment system and annual donor-scholar event. Works closely with financial aid office/business office to ensure timely awarding of scholarships in accordance with donor designated criteria.
  • Tracks, manages and reports prospective planned giving donor activity by gift type and cultivation stage through an integrated major gifts pipeline system. Ensures the proper and timely recording and classification of endowed and planned gifts according to the donor’s written intent.
  • Works effectively and collaboratively with Institutional Marketing to develop messages and materials that are strategic, appropriate and timely to successfully support advancement efforts targeted to leadership and major gifts constituent groups.
  • Fosters productive relationships with senior management in all divisions of the College to best understand and position the College’s strengths, priorities and needs.
  • Represents the College at events and functions, becoming a valuable and visible member of both the College and local community.
  • Assumes responsibilities of the office in absence of Vice President of Institutional Advancement.
  • Other duties as may be assigned by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education required; Master’s preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years of demonstrated success in fundraising, specifically in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of planned and major gifts.
  • Experience in managing growth, developing an organization, and supervising a development staff.
  • Development experience in higher education; experience with a private college is highly desirable; experience in Catholic higher education is an added plus.
  • Proven track record and success in the annual fund, major gifts, and planned giving programs, specifically in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major and leadership gifts.
  • Knowledgeable of database management technology and committed to its use to facilitate program planning prospect management, donor research, and results analysis; experience with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge software is an added plus.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills including effective verbal and written communications with alumni, leaders, donors, prospects, professional peers and colleagues.
  • Must have comprehensive knowledge of fundraising principles and strategies.
  • High integrity, committed to upholding the academic standards and mission of the College while earning the respect and support of the VPIA, President, cabinet, faculty, peers and co-workers.
  • High level of energy, an entrepreneurial spirit, a reputation for accepting and meeting challenges, and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to maintain an atmosphere of cooperation, sharing and tolerance, and balance multiple, competing priorities and strategies.
  • Maintain good working relations with internal and external constituencies.
  • Strong management skills.
  • Excellent project leadership, problem-solving, conceptualization and presentation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational and team-building skills.
  • Team player who is resourceful, highly organized, personable, a good listener, and results-oriented.
  • Effectively communicates within Advancement area and constituencies outside the office (faculty, staff, departments, management, President, and Board of Trustees, etc.).
  • Ability to manage approved budget within established guidelines.
  • Excellent time management skills to ensure that multiple, competing priorities and tasks will be handled and accomplished in a timely and accurate fashion.
  • Computer skills in the use of Microsoft Office Software (required) and Raiser’s Edge (preferred).
  • Ability to travel to carry out the requirements of the position.


Send a cover letter, resume, three writing samples (or links to samples), including a social media post, a press release, and an example of longer form writing, and contact information for 3 professional references via email (as Word or PDF attachments) to Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

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