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Principal Gifts Officer

Company: Florida International University
Date Posted: December 15, 2015

Florida International University

Principal Gifts Officer

Miami, FL

Florida International University’s Division of University Advancement seeks candidates for the role of Principal Gifts Officer.

Florida International University (FIU) is an urban, multi-campus, public research university serving its students and the diverse population of South Florida. It is committed to high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with its local and global communities. Miami's first and only public research university, FIU is classified as a top-tier Research University with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. With a current student body of more than 54,000 (61 percent Hispanic and 79 percent minority overall), FIU is the largest university in South Florida and among the 10 largest public universities in the nation. With more than 200,000 alumni, FIU constitutes one of the fastest-growing university alumni groups in the country.

Philanthropy has played a vital role at FIU and its importance will only increase. Miami is a vibrant philanthropic city and FIU’s ability to offer philanthropists high value for their investments places the institution in a very desirable position. The origins of the campaign for FIU derive from President Mark Rosenberg’s 2009 inaugural address, when he put forth the challenging and meaningful vision of a $750 million campaign for private support of Miami’s largest and maturing educational enterprise. During the “building phase” of the campaign, approximately $275 million has been raised, approximately 30 frontline fundraisers have been hired, and the Division of University Advancement now stands as a significant organization across the campus. The Rosenberg administration has given permanence to development at FIU and annual philanthropic commitments have grown from approximately $14 million at the start of this “building phase” to a current average of $50 million annually. As the campaign for FIU accelerates and approaches its “advanced gifts phase,” it benefits from renewed and highly-focused attention across the university to major and principal gifts from individual and institutional sources. Elevated giving levels are being fueled by growing academic research initiatives, and complemented by strong alumni relations and a rapidly expanding annual giving program. FIU’s emerging strategic plan for the next five years and increasing preeminence represent an excellent base for the formation of the campaign’s case for support.

FIU’s principal giving activity is carried out by a variety of individuals at the highest levels of the university, including President Rosenberg, senior leaders within the Division of University Advancement, deans, and select volunteer leaders, though only one individual currently engages in this activity on a full-time basis. As principal giving has been identified as the most important activity for FIU’s campaign success, FIU has created a new Principal Gifts Officer role, reporting to the associate vice president of development. The Principal Gifts Officer will manage cultivation and solicitation of prospects and existing donors with the capacity for gifts of $1 million to $100 million across FIU (except for the Academic Health Center, which already has a gifts officer dedicated to principal giving).

The Principal Gifts Officer will be a highly visible presence to the region’s philanthropic elite, connecting their interests to FIU priorities, and building and managing those relationships in consultation with the executive director of leadership gifts and campaign planning and other senior leaders of the Division of University Advancement, deans, faculty, board members, and other volunteer and alumni leaders, et al. S/he will also be able to work well beyond South Florida, with many opportunities for engagement extending nationally and to the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere. The Principal Gifts Officer will be able to truly work the globe on behalf of FIU, and will manage principal and high capacity major gift prospects from among alumni, parents, and friends of FIU, as well as from unaffiliated sources. The Principal Gifts Officer must be a collaborative member of the Division of University Advancement but also exercise high levels of entrepreneurism and self-direction in their specific area of responsibility in order to grow FIU’s principal gift activity.

Basic requirements: bachelor’s degree; at least five years of experience in fundraising or a related area, including at least two years of experience involving solicitation of principal gifts, or an equivalent combination of experience and education. Preferred qualifications and experience: advanced degree; bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish; frontline fundraising experience in large, complex organizations, with proficiency in seven-figure and higher gifts (or equivalent combinations) from both defined and undefined constituencies, including cultivation through closing and stewardship; successful track record in higher education and in a hybrid centralized-decentralized fundraising model involving colleges/schools is preferred, but experience in other nonprofit organizations with a diverse range of stakeholders will be considered; experience in a successful capital campaign; demonstrated ability to think strategically about moving individuals across the spectrum of prospect development, culminating in significant solicitations appropriate to the donor as well as institutional priorities; knowledge in wealth management, financial planning, tax and charitable gift laws, and planned giving vehicles and methods; ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process; working knowledge of modern data management practices and techniques, including database information systems, data modeling, and analysis; experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers, and an appreciation for their role in building an effective fundraising network; knowledge of the players, strategies, and trends in giving within South Florida’s philanthropic community; familiarity with university governance, academic administration, and related financial policies and guidelines.

FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative-Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. For more information, visit

Florida International University has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.

Managing Director

Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy

Diversified Search

275 Madison Avenue, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10016


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