Human Resources


Apply now Job no: 493409
Appointment Type: Admin Full-time
Department: College Relations
Categories: Administration

Director of Major Gifts

Pay Status and Classification: Exempt, Regular Full-time

Supervisor: Vice President for College Relations

Position Purpose: Leads development and execution of fundraising strategies, serving as Director of Major Gifts. Sets goals and standards for gift officers, assigns prospective donors, and integrates diversity and inclusion goals. Advises on effective cultivation and solicitation strategies for long-term engagement. Contributes to senior leadership discussions on campaign planning, volunteer management, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and goal setting within the division. The director’s prospect portfolio will include both leadership and some principal gift prospects, such as those with assumed gift capacity of $1 million. 

Essential Responsibilities and Duties:

  1. Fundraising and Leadership Engagement: Strategically works to diversify the donor pool through the development of the prospect pool at every level, from research through qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Collaborates with the Vice President of College Relations to develop a comprehensive and integrated fundraising plan that encompasses both major and planned giving gifts. Travels with senior College representatives to engage prospects and leading donors. Works proactively to bring prospects to campus for substantive visits and engagement opportunities with members of the Union community. Manages their own portfolio of prospects within specific regions.
  2. Program Management: In partnership with colleagues in advancement research, annual giving, and alumni and parent programs, creates a robust and diverse pipeline of leadership and principal gift prospects both alumni and parents. Oversees and supports a data-driven approach that ensures staff members execute strategies that result in the meaningful engagement and successful solicitation of a diverse group of prospects. Contributes to discussions related to overall strategy for the program and efforts to maximize lifetime relationships and philanthropic support from alumni, parents, and programs. Leads gift strategy sessions on a regular basis with frontline fundraising staff. Offers advice on creative and effective cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  3. Staff Management: Promotes excellence and an environment of teamwork, collaboration, and shared ideas by providing clear direction and setting priorities for staff members. Ensures that each staff member establishes mutually agreed upon, well-defined and measurable goals. Provides guidance, support, and professional development resources necessary for staff members to strengthen their work and achieve their goals. Ensures that development staff members are well versed in various deferred giving opportunities. Senses when to introduce these vehicles as part of a cultivation plan and solicitation strategy, and leverage gift planning tools to maximize philanthropy. 
  4. Donor Relations Management: Works with the donor relations team to ensure that the stewardship of donors makes supporting Union a personally fulfilling experience. Conveys to donors that the College and its leaders care deeply about their supporters and appreciate what they have done for the school. Demonstrates the impact their contributions have had on academic programs, student recruitment, and campus life.
  5. Budget oversight: Responsible for the management of the budget for the major gift officers, especially as it related to staff travel.
  6. Collaboration and Teamwork: Coordinates with the director of annual giving to ensure that frontline fundraisers include contributions to the annual fund as a part of the conversation about support for the College with donors at all levels. Works collaboratively to actualize the division’s goals and strategies with regard to DEI and anti-racism. Partners with colleagues in all departments across advancement to create a truly integrated advancement operation. Leverages the power of that approach to ensure greater alumni participation in advancement activities. Works closely with campus partners to assure the division is aligned with fundraising priorities. 


  1. Bachelor’s degree required, and three to five of progressively responsible experience in development with a proven ability to engage individuals and secure commitments at the five- and six-figure levels. 
  2. Ability to raise donor sights, articulate aspirational goals and ideas, set priorities, and present philanthropic opportunities. 
  3. Significant experience collaborating with senior leaders, faculty members, and fellow development and alumni relations professionals to raise significant funds to further the mission and goals of an institution.
  4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  5. Leadership skills to drive change, establish sound processes and procedures, and formulate performance metrics to measure impact. 
  6. Proven ability to build, manage, mentor and motivate a diverse and talented team of individuals, providing strong support and an opportunity for growth and development. 
  7. Proficient in MS Office and ability to learn new software programs. Familiarity with Ellucian products is a plus.
  8. Able to foster and enhance a thriving, culturally diverse, and inclusive learning community, while promoting a sense of belonging among students, alumni, faculty, and staff colleagues.

We know some job seekers may not apply for career opportunities unless they meet every qualification in the position description including the preferred qualifications. We are most interested in hiring the best staff and faculty colleagues, and recognize that a successful candidate may come from a less traditional career path. 

Note: All new hires of Union College are subject to a thorough education, work experience, and criminal history background check.


The annual salary range this position is  $120,000.00 - $130,000.00. Except for roles with a set rate of pay, the wage/salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The stated hiring rate/range represents the College’s good faith and reasonable estimate of the rate/range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

We offer exceptional benefits including:

  • Generous Vacation, Sick and Personal Time
  • Winter Recess Break in Addition to Paid Holidays
  • Healthcare, Dental, and Vision Insurance (Flexible Spending and Dependent Care Accounts)
  • Free On-Campus Fitness Facility Access and Discounts for On-Campus Wellness Programs
  • Employee Scholarships toward Certifications, Seminars, Training and Professional Development
  • Pre and Post Tax participation in a 403(b) Retirement Plan
  • Salary Continuation Program in the event of Disability
  • Tuition Assistance Program for Employee, Spouse and/or Dependents


If you require an accommodation throughout the interview process, please don't hesitate to contact our Human Resources department at or 518-388-6108. We are committed to ensuring that all candidates have equal access to opportunities and can participate in a fair and inclusive hiring process.

Diversity at Union College

Union College is an equal opportunity employer and strongly committed to student and workforce diversity. Increasing diversity on campus is a critical priority for Union, one that is integral to our mission of preparing students for a globally interconnected world. Union provides a blend of intellectual, social and cultural opportunities to facilitate the integrated academic, social and personal development of a diverse community. We value and are committed to a host of diverse populations and cultures including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin and veteran status. Union College is committed to providing access and will provide reasonable accommodation in its application process to individuals with disabilities that request such accommodations.

Union College

Officially chartered in 1795, Union College is the fifth oldest liberal arts college in the country. Located in the Capital District of New York State, Union is a highly selective residential and undergraduate college, home to 2,200 students and 220 faculty, and offering 44 majors. Union was the first liberal arts college to rethink the traditional liberal arts education and adopt an engineering curriculum. That pioneering approach continues today with an education that encourages students to work beyond the limits of disciplinary boundaries, allowing them to think globally and lead innovatively in a world where problem solving requires breadth across humanities, arts, social sciences, science, and engineering.

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