Director, Law School, Development

Reporting to the associate dean of alumni engagement and development, the director leads the development program emphasizes personal interactions with major gifts, leadership gifts, planned giving, and annual fund prospects/donors. He/she is responsible for designing and implementing a strategic, donor-centric fundraising plan to develop and foster sustainable philanthropic relationships with all levels of donors. The director will hire, train, supervise, evaluate, and mentor gift officers. He/she will actively manage a fund raising portfolio of between fifty and seventy-five highly qualified major gifts, leadership gifts, and planned giving prospects, and is expected to meet annual revenue and activities goals. The director will supervise the annual fund/reunion program officers. He/she will serve as a key advisor to the associate dean and the dean of the Law School on gift strategies and will facilitate visits for senior leadership and faculty with prospective donors. The director will also work with the university’s central development office’s major gifts, principal gifts, and planning giving staff members to coordinate strategies on prospects with interests in multiple Yale schools and programs. The director is responsible for the following:

  1. With the associate dean, creates and implements a strategic, donor-centric fund raising plan that emphasizes personal engagement with individuals/families to facilitate $100K+ gifts from alumni and friends of Yale Law School.

  2. Oversees the annual fund giving program staff, who are accountable for reunion-based fundraising.

  3. With the associate dean, establishes meaningful, measurable goals for the development team and closely monitors progress on team goals. Provides associate dean with regular progress reports on goals.

  4. Ensures that development’s annual revenue and activities targets are met.

  5. Proactively and strategically manages a portfolio of well-qualified leadership, major gifts, and planned giving prospects, and meets personal annual revenue and activities goals.
  6. Actively manages the gift officers (professional field fund raisers) and support staff to ensure success in meeting annual revenue and activities goals, and professional development goals.

  7. Strategically engages senior Yale Law School leadership and faculty in fund raising efforts to ensure that goals are met.

  8. Proactively engages with the university’s central development’s principal gifts, major gifts, and planned giving teams to ensure a donor-centric approach to prospects with interests in schools and programs across the university.

  9. Serves as the alumni engagement and development office’s expert on planned giving, and works collaboratively with alumni engagement and development team to develop and implement a robust planned giving marketing plan.

  10. Creates and monitors the annual development program budget.


Principal responsibilities

  1. Directs the efforts of the development office and its staff to create and promote opportunities for communicating the needs and priorities of assigned departments, schools, and divisions to potential donors; formulates and develops programs to identify and cultivate prospective donors.
  2. Directs development activities including: cultivation and solicitation events; proposal preparation; donor visits with staff and faculty; stewardship events; special exhibits and events, etc. that promotes and recognizes donors.
  3. Directs and monitors development of prospect donor lists in collaboration with the research department; develops policies and procedures related to identification of needs and priorities of specific schools or department; creates opportunities for donors to support the needs of the various schools and departments.
  4. Oversees and ensures schools are well-served in one or more of the following: prospect research, donor stewardship, development for major gifts, annual fund programs, and alumni relations function.
  5. Directs, leads, coaches, and motivates development officers throughout the university to educate fundraisers and ensure that potential donors understand the opportunities provided in special events, stewardship programs, alumni programs, fellows programs, parent giving and student fundraising programs; works with student volunteers, administrators, faculty, and staff to build awareness of these programs.
  6. Directs development office staff in planning special events working with student volunteers in planning type of event, timing, venue, invitation and/or promotion, activities or purpose, and anticipated results in order to maximize staff, faculty, administrator, and donor experience.
  7. Supervises a staff of non-exempt and exempt employees.
  8. May perform other duties as assigned.

Required skills and abilities

  1. In-depth knowledge of the donor giving cycle, outright and deferred gift vehicles, and charitable giving regulations. Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communications skills.
  2. Self-starter with a strong work ethic and the ability to set priorities and the discipline to meet deadlines. Entrepreneurial, innovative, collaborative, and results-oriented. Superior organizational and analytical skills.
  3. Strong problem-solving and negotiation skills; flexible, with ability to respond to changing situations with grace and aplomb.
  4. Highest level of personal integrity, honesty and trust. Ability to travel.
  5. Demonstrated proficiency with complex data systems and other technologies that streamline development processes and reporting to enhance program efficiency. Demonstrated ability with prospect segmentation, messaging, and fundraising marketing.

Required education and experience

Minimum requirement of bachelor’s degree in related field and six years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred education, experience, and skills

  1. Bachelor’s degree required; J.D. or MBA preferred.
  2. Minimum of ten years of nonprofit fundraising experience in positions of increasing responsibility and complexity, with a strong track record of building client relationships and closing six figure gifts. Experience in planned giving preferred. Experience in higher education development preferred. If not, ten years or more of private banking/wealth management experience with client-centric, metrics focused organizations may be substituted for nonprofit fundraising experience.

  3. Experience in strategic planning that emphasizes collaboration and articulates a bold but realistic vision, provides linkages to management systems and measurable outcomes, and emphasizes comprehensive, continuous improvement required.
  4. Demonstrated ability to effectively build, lead and motivate a successful fund raising team.
  5. Campaign planning and management preferred.

  6. Demonstrated proficiency with complex data systems and other technologies.

  7. Demonstrated experience with prospect segmentation, messaging, and fundraising marketing.